Healthcare and States Rights

Today, I have a political rant. I'm gonna try and keep it bipartisan, because I think the ideas fit both parties… or at least the moderates of both parties.

Before I start, a simple letter to all politicians in Washington–SHAME ON YOU! To shut down the government. You are all criminals in my mind. I urge everyone to vote out the incumbent in the next election.

My dad came into town this weekend. I love talking politics with him. We come up with some great ideas together. We are both moderates, though he leans conservative and I lean liberal. So it makes for ACTUAL bipartisan discussions. The topic of health care was inevitable.

Let me begin by saying we both believe in health care is essential for civilized society. The form in which it is taking may or may not be good for our government. However, I believe there are better options. So let me lay down a couple of my basic beliefs.

  • Corporations left unregulated will not regulate themselves. They will cause more damage to society than if they were regulated, and they while still prosper.
  • The Federal government is too large to effectively manage most public services. Better that they should compartmentalize and focus primarily on regulation.

It wasn't my dad who sold me on the idea of States rights. It was common sense gained from running my own business. Heck, I learned it just as much from my own family. It works best if you divide duties up in your household.

Think for a moment of your own family. Are you a single person? You probably know what I mean. You have to take care of laundry, do the dishes, make dinner, pickup around the house, mows the yard, vacuum the floors, etc.

Next you get married. One person does the laundry, makes the dinner, mows the yard. Another does the dishes, vacuums the house, cleans the dishes.

Now there are TWO people doing the work of one at the start. It was a LOT of work in the beginning. It's gotten easier.

The federal government has a LOT of housework to do. So lets break up some of those duties into 50 states. Those 50 states can break up those duties into X number of counties. Those counties can break up duties into Y number of cities. And so on…

Makes sense, doesn't it? All of a sudden those Federal duties are not so expensive, not so time consuming, not so threatening as they were under a one giant government.

Now some duties you can't. The Federal government should manage the military. But healthcare? Can we break down health care?

I believe we can. We pass it to the States. They manage it.

Of course, then you get to Alabama and Mississippi, fairly poor states. (Birmingham, AL just declared bankruptcy thanks to crooked politicians). How do you manage stuff then?

That's where the Federal government comes in and regulates. Then the congressional politicians don't have to fight over healthcare. Instead they fight over regulations of healthcare. Each State is responsible for offering their own degree of healthcare. The Federal government just sets the minimum and enforces it. Much like it does with emissions testing and whatnot.

Of course, enforcement just raises other issues, but it moves us a wee bit closer to a more effective government… one that is manageable.

At least, that's what I think. I'd love to hear your thoughts too. Post 'em below.


7 comments on “Healthcare and States Rights

  1. Good thoughts! Not sure I have much to add since I generally agree with what you said. I appreciate hearing constructive thoughts on what could help. I also wish I had a better grasp on all things political. I am definitely going to exercise my voting rights next election with this in mind. However, I’d like to think that there are some currently holding office that are trying to do the right thing and greatly oppose shutting the government down. Or when you mentioned voting out all the people in the next election, is it the fact that government got to this state and everyone was involved in some way? I would like the next elected individuals to be able to come to some sort of agreements for the wellbeing of the people at least… :-/

    • To my understanding, the Affordable Care Act was passed into law in 2010. That means Congress is basically refusing to fund an act that was already passed…. That’s just wrong!

      Congress or more particularly the Boehner and his crew care so little for our government that they are denying hundreds of thousands of employees their money because they couldn’t stop the Act the first time around. (And I *believe* Congress is still getting paid? correct me if I’m wrong)

      So really, it’s not most of our politicians. For that matter, I understand the House came up with options to stop the shut down, but Boehner-controlled Senate denied it.

      Now there will never be agreements. I saw an idiotic Facebook rant about Obama being a peace recipient but not being able to make peace with the Republican party. Idiotic considering he made two great peace agreements with Syria and someone else this week (I forget who). And as I said, there will never be agreements.

      The Republican Party is too far right. The Democratic Party is too far left. They are both extremists. We need more moderates. For that matter, Obama tried many times when he was inaugurated to work with the Republican party. They refused. It requires compromise on both fronts. And I’m sure many Republicans would say that Obama did not offer any real compromise. So again… it’ll never happen.

      Ah well…

      The best *balance* we can really hope for is that the Dems get office for a few years and get their way. Then the Reps get the office for a few years and get their way. In the long run, it balances out. In the short run, it’s hell on the people they are trying to represent.

  2. Just because it was passed, doesn’t make it right. It was an atrocious bill that the left wing shoved through without even reading the thing. As far as government involved with health care, no thank you. Just look at every other government run program. If they can make it worse, they will.

  3. Ahh, that clears up some things I wasn’t sure about with the Affordable Care Act already being passed. And yes, congress is still getting paid. Yeah, the political party pendulum does swing both ways, but it would be nice if it stopped in the middle for awhile…and things still managed to get passed 😛

  4. My current thought on the matter runs as follows.

    Basic premise:

    For most things, profit motive and competition is all you need to ensure the best possible result. Frequently, you have to do things to promote competition — breaking up monopolies and oligopolies, anti-trust work. Sometimes, you have to regulate in order to ensure the common good (the environment).

    There are some industries where the profit motive runs completely counter to the best possible result. Health insurance is one of those industries.

    Healthcare is something that is needed in great amounts by everyone who gets old enough, in great amounts by a small percentage of the young, and almost not at all by the rest. Insurance makes its money when a large number of people are putting money in, and as few payments as possible are getting paid out. The only way to truly maximize this function is to deny healthcare to people who need it. Moreover, their need for profits adds to the total cost of healthcare, by requiring this middleman to be paid.

    Doctors have to be regulated. You can’t just have anyone do this kind of work, and not just at any time. We have that already.

    Hospitals have to be regulated. Otherwise they’ll throw care you don’t need at you, just to charge you for it. We have that already.

    The biggest problem with all the systems we’ve tried is that they all preserve the for-profit insurance industry. That’s what we have to get rid of. That’s the piece that makes everything more expensive, that denies people health care. I used to be a foe of the single-payer system; now I’m a fan.

  5. “States’ rights” only works when the states are willing to address the problem. When it comes to the individual rights of citizens- freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom full stop- history has shown, again and again, that states CANNOT BE TRUSTED to provide equal protection for the rights of all. To the contrary- some states (and usually the SAME states in all cases) will actively work to persecute minorities and provide favored treatment for certain people, in direct violation of the American principle of equality for all.

    “States rights” as applied to medical care boils down to this: Can’t afford medical care? Live in a state that doesn’t want to do anything about medical care costs? Too poor to move? So sorry- you’re screwed.

    States can’t even be trusted to administer national programs, as Obamacare has now thoroughly demonstrated. The states have not only rejected federal regulation, they have done everything in their power to SABOTAGE it- and they’re not done yet.

    It’s for this reason that, whenever I see a conservative saying, “That should be left to the states to do!” I read it as, “It shouldn’t be done at all, but I don’t want to admit that’s my position, so I’ll use states’ rights as an excuse.”

    • That is one concern, especially having lived in a crooked state like Louisiana and now a poor state like Alabama. That is why I suggest Federal Government regulation, but you’re right, it’s very likely states will drag their feet.

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