The Libertarian vs. the Lefties: A Facebook DramaAugust 18, 2009Jon Brooks 1 Comment »
Perhaps, in the middle of this national free-for-all of a health care debate, you’ve found yourself in an argument with friends, family, or a stranger on the Internet masquerading as the same avatar your 13-year old uses. Here is one such mini-drama, spied on Facebook. (Disclaimers: Certain emoticons have been changed to protect the innocent, and rants have been truncated to prevent readers from falling into a coma, for which they may or not may not be insured.)
Enter LIBERTARIAN.Libertarian: So does this invalidate my opposition to this “Healthcare” catastrophe our President is trying to cram down my throat? Lefty: And you would prefer to keep the broken down crap that we have now??? Libertarian: You think THIS is broken? (Unconvincingly) I don’t want to argue. (Convincingly again) We’re going to get government controlled health care, regardless, and you’ll understand then.
Lefty: Let me guess…you are a Republican, right?Libertarian: I am a registered independent. And a libertarian. I’m still reeling that you feel it should be illegal for a company to not insure someone. By your reasoning, why should I have health insurance? Just wait until I need it, then buy it. It would be illegal for it to be denied to me. Private healthcare insurance will disappear when Obama-care becomes law. You should research all of the details.
Lefty: Obviously, private insurance companies are not going away anytime soon, so we need to fix their strong hold on such policies as denying anyone with pre-existing conditions, or at least offering something to people who are denied through private insurance.Enter LEFTY 2, carrying Democratic Talking Points. Lefty 2: Under at least some of the current proposals, insurance will be mandatory, so you won’t be able to game the system by only insuring yourself when you’re sick. If you don’t have insurance, then you will pay a fee that goes to the overall program. The current system is the most inefficient in the industrialized world. We pay the most per capita to insure the fewest people. A huge part of your premium goes to marketing and administrative costs, which includes a giant infrastructure dedicated to retroactively denying people coverage who are very sick based on specious claims of unreported pre-existing conditions.
People only think they are completely insured. But when you really need your insurance the most, you will find that is when the fine print becomes relevant—lifetime caps, denial of treatment, etc. This fabled “government bureacrat” that will be controlling health care under the Obama plan will have to really work hard to keep up with the very real corporate bureaucrat that most assuredly controls it now. Of course, if you are dead certain you or someone in your family will never get seriously ill, than there is no reason to change a thing.LEFTY 3 enters. Lefty 3: Kudos to Lefty 2! The eternally healthy and perpetually wealthy have nothing to gain through Health Care Reform–but everyone else does. LEFTY 4 enters. Lefty 4: (Speaking to Libertarian’s last point) “Private healthcare insurance will disappear when Obama-care becomes law. You should research all of the details.” Citation needed. Libertarian: Citation needed? Look it up yourself. I don’t try to change anybody’s mind. You all believe what you already want to believe. So insurance will be MANDATORY? Everyone is REQUIRED to have it? No thank you. They can try to fine me. I’m not playing their totalitarian game. Lefty 4: Sorry, Libertarian. That’s not how that works. You don’t make a sweeping generalization and then place the burden of proof on the shoulders of the other guy. Enter CENTRIST PRAGMATIST, smoking a pipe. Centrist Pragmatist: The first bill was poorly drafted and presented hastily. It is intellectually dishonest to suggest that any legislation as monumental as this should be one-sided and quickly enacted. We should expect this process to be well funded and well organized on both sides — and include plenty of spin. As with the entire political process, everyone should be allowed to participate, irrespective of whether their party “lost.” Right now, the Republicans don’t have the power to stop whatever the Dems want to pass, so their strongest chance to participate is through this sort of community activism. Libertarian: Enjoy your “free” healthcare, sheeple. Lefty 3: Libertarian, I don’t know you, but I think you’re probably feeling ganged up on. Let me say those who support reform are upset at the tactics being deployed at town meetings because their purpose appears to be stopping discourse. If the same energy were deployed in a more constructive way, to support a particular change in the proposed bill or to emphasize a particular problem, it might stand a chance of influencing the passage of a bill which, because of the current political balance, will be passed in some form this fall. Libertarian: I don’t disagree Lefty 3. But ANY discourse on the subject is being characterized as Big (Pharma, AMA, Hospitals, Insurance, whatever) skewing the debate. There are people that legitimately feel this is a HUGE mistake. Cash-For-Clunkers, another government program, took less than a week to become a farce. NOTHING is free, and we’re ALL going to be paying more for less if it’s mandatory. I have chronic health problems that VERY FEW know about. I’m not insured. I work for a small hourly wage. I spent 4 months of last year in the hospital, and flat-lined twice. Supposedly, this would be a boon to me. I’m not falling for it. When it destroys our health care system, I WILL leave the country, on a sailboat, and live simply somewhere south, letting the global big-government pandemic chase me around the globe until there’s nowhere to run. I’m not an end of the world alarmist, I think we’ll weather all of this, but I’ll chose to not participate Lefty 4: Oh my god. You actually said “sheeple,” and unironically, too. Libertarian: OMG, you made an assumption that turns out to be false! I’m shocked! Enter LEFTY 5. Lefty 5: Libertarian, I hate to ask, but since you brought it up, if you don’t have insurance and work for a small hourly wage, how did you pay for 4 months in the hospital? Libertarian: I’m still paying for it. Slowly. But I’m paying for it, not other people. Lefty 4: I’m sorry. I can’t take seriously anyone who uses the word “sheeple.” Have a good day. Lefty: Libertarian, you are deluding yourself if you think paying off your hospital debt slowly means you are being responsible for it all yourself. The hospital is carrying your debt for you as long as you take to pay it off. They have already paid off the doctors that treated you, so that money has to come from somewhere else until you pay it back. If you take too long, they will have to write it off as a loss and if everyone who could not afford the outrageous bills that hospitals charge took it upon themselves to pay it back as they could, the hospitals would probably go out of business, as this is not a sound business plan. Which further reinforces the idea that everyone needs to be insured. Including you, so you don’t pay things back slowly.
Lefty 2: I think we’ve basically come to the end of the road debating Libertarian. I am paying nearly $16,000 per year for COBRA coverage for my family, which means I’m working a good part of my day for the insurance company. I could choose not to pay it, but if I, my wife, or my daughter gets sick, who’s going to pay for it then? Family, friends, or the general public.Fear-mongering people have claimed the end of civilization is nigh for every social benefit granted Americans from the end of slavery to Social Security to Medicare. The true sheep are the people who blindly follow a free market ideology despite all evidence to the contrary. These people live inside their heads spinning out fantasies even Ayn Rand wouldn’t try to pawn off on her readers. Enter CONSERVATIVE. Conservative: Here’s a 35 year old woman on vacation, celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary, so upset with situation that she attends her first town hall–yep, more fake grass roots, keep telling yourself that. (CONSERVATIVE posts a Fox News report.)
Lefty: Conservative, no one said the town hall meetings are ONLY filled with fake grass roots! But they ARE there. And they are spreading misinformation, which is why people like that woman on vacation is out at the town hall meeting horrified. Old people are coming out to meetings and saying stuff like “Keep the government out of my Medicare!” People are clueless and frightened. Spreading misinformation about what may happen does not help. Something MUST be done, so if the right does not like what the current bill states, then they should work together to make it acceptable. Otherwise, we get to keep this system where the only winners are the insurance companies! Is that what you are advocating?A silence falls over the discussion, as it’s time to watch “Entourage.” THE END…?