But Isn’t Universal Government Health Insurance Socialist And Therefore Bad?

Well first things first, ALL health insurance is essentially socialist whether or not there’s a profit margin attached.  Socialism doesn’t mean “communism” as some people seem to think, all socialism means is paying for something which is too expensive or unmanageable to pay for individually, by chipping into a big fund to pay for it for a large group of people, who then each only have to pay a relatively lower fee per person, which is exactly what private health insurance companies are doing.

Whether this is done through taxes or through insurance premiums the major difference is whether there is a profit margin, which not only means a big chunk of what you pay isn’t going to actually benefit you or anyone else, but it also creates a cash (and in the case of corporations who are legally obligated to make money for their shareholders also a legal) incentive for withholding as much money and denying as many procedures and medications as possible.  With the way we currently pay for healthcare we spend almost twice as much as other countries that publicly (meaning with public money, tax dollars) insure everyone and every procedure, and we have millions of uninsured, thousands of people dying every year preventably because they either don’t have insurance or their insurance company won’t pay out for the procedure they need, and fixable problems like obesity and diabetes are reaching epidemic proportions because health insurance won’t cover pre-existing conditions and preventative medicine, not to mention things like clinical depression and exhaustion which often get overlooked even though they are some of the most common complaints doctors hear.

So what is being proposed here?  NOT the total takeover of health insurance by the government.  NOT government run hospitals like the VA.  Simply a public health insurance option that people can pay into like regular insurance, but that you actually get out of it what you put into it.  Which means it must pay for pre-existing conditions and offer preventative medicine, cannot refuse payment, has no profit margin and therefore will force the private insurance companies to act competetively and stop price-gouging their insurees. 

But it’s socialism, it has to be bad right? 

Socialism is actually good a lot of the time.  Some examples of socialism are the fire department, the roads you drive on, the military that protects you, the police, the FBI, etc.  Anything paid for with public money is an example of socialism.  Surely not all of these things are bad.

But the government is taking MY money and spending it without MY permission to help other people!

Yes, just like when your tax dollars go to build roads you don’t drive on and put out fires in other peoples’ houses and investigate, prosecute and incarcerate criminals for crimes committed by people you’ve never met against people you’ll never meet.

How is it when “MY” money is used to help those people it’s seen as a moral obligation and an essential service, but when my tax dollars go to some sick kid with cancer who can’t afford a procedure or a medication, it’s spun as the government stealing your money and giving it to a bunch of no-account layabouts? 

The reason is that the police and FBI are not for-profit agencies, there is no industry that stands to lose money by investigating crime.  There are however billions of dollars in profits to be lost in giving people a better quality of healthcare for a lower price.


About agnophilo

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46 Responses to But Isn’t Universal Government Health Insurance Socialist And Therefore Bad?

  1. MangoWOW says:

    As long as my money goes to something good (like helping people get BETTER) then I don’t see a reason to complain.People are so selfish.

  2. AlterEgo909 says:

    Yes. Its so, so, simple. If people got over themselves and got off their high horses they’d see that. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    This totally makes sense.

  4. curious33 says:

    Good thoughts, right on the money.I pay a huge premium for health insurance out of every paycheck, and it seems it goes up every 6 months or so.  I feel like I’m being squeezed by my balls.  They can’t keep squeezing ‘joe the taxpayer’ to offset their profit margin, and they can’t treat indigents and retain their profit margin.  Reform is required, so what is the hub-bub all about?  SIGs and lobbyists, donating millions to political campaigns to push their own agendas.  Pharms trying push their meds to make a profit, blah-blah, the list goes on, what it basically is is corruption of power in the most blatant form.  It’s all about the money and those few CEOS, greedy rich, looking out for the interests of their corporation and not the people that support their lifestyle.   

  5. agnophilo says:

    @twotothefightingeighthpower – Thanks.@MangoWOW – Yeah I know.  I only mind taxes when the government pisses the money away or uses it to artificially inflate corporate profit margins, and therefore artificially inflate corporations which then rely on government subsidy and bailouts to not only survive but keep our system from self-destructing when they inevitably fail.  People complain and are “outraged” not entirely because they’re selfish, but because there are a lot of people telling them they ought to be outraged and that they’re being victimized, and a lot of people agree because like with all sophistry it seems valid on the surface.@bobjallen – Thanks : D@curious33 – Yup.  I lol’d at “joe the taxpayer”.

  6. Going to have to agree with @MangoWOW – here. Humans = selfish.I’d also like to add that humans =  lazy, arrogant and misinformed.

  7. agnophilo says:

    @ElliottStrange – As I said to him/her:”People complain and are “outraged” notentirely because they’re selfish, but because there are a lot of peopletelling them they ought to be outraged and that they’re beingvictimized, and a lot of people agree because like with all sophistryit seems valid on the surface.”

  8. I think the biggest problem presently is the big rush to get something passed. There has not been enough time for the public to digest the change that is being proposed. There are questions that need to be answered. People are looking to similar programs in place in other countries and the type of care that it has evolved into, which has been inadaquate enough that people have sought out medical care in the US.Incidentally, just to name a few socialist programs that we have in place in the US, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare……. I’m thinking that the funding for those programs and how they are handled by our Government gives us an idea of how a “National Heathcare” program would be handled. But really if the Government is interested in providing a Heathcare system for people in the US, Why can’t the Medicare system that we have in place be expanded for those in need?

  9. So that’s all you have? I tear apart your healthcare bill in proving that it doesn’t work medically speaking, that it doesn’t work economically, that it is Unconstitutional, and so morally weak that it can’t even stand up to a moral reciprocity check…you just put the blinders on and move right along?Are you serious?

  10. @agnophilo – Exactly.This is a great post that addresses most of the petty complaints I hear about universal health care.

  11. Those last two paragraphs were just what I needed to argue this case with friends.This was a fantastic post. Socialism is such a trigger word for people…- John

  12. Look at all the fuckuppery that happened when we started hiring for-profit mercenary companies in Iraq. A wonderful reason that there are some things the government should do for no profit.

  13. moss_icon says:

    thank you for an intelligent and informed view of universal health care and socialism. the amount of uninformed republican propaganda some people spew has me beating myself into unconsciousness with my laptop anytime i come on xanga. 

  14. Universal health care is definitely the debate of 2009. It even sparked a Twitter war for a while there between conservative and liberal British people about the NHS.

  15. Bricker59 says:

    Well said.Americans should ask themselves why they are the only industrialized nation that allows themselves to be GOUGED and CONTROLLED by the insurance companies when it comes to health care.

  16. RogierFvV says:

    Good piece. It has nothing to do with socialism, that’s just a fear campaign. It’s good government. The only purpose of government is to provide those things in society which are more efficiently provided on a collective basis than otherwise. Health insurance is just one of them. The private system ultimately pits profits against health, and an unhealthy, or worried population will ultimately also be less productive. So, I’m all for good government, and thererefore for universal healthcare…

  17. GodAintGood says:

    When will people realize that the healthcare system is controlled by the big greedy insurance companies? Great post.

  18. vexations says:

    The debate needs to focus on the issues of cost, service and quality.  You seem to have done that.  It is all of the labeling that gets us off the mark. 

  19. care says:

    THANK YOU and A-freaking-MEN!!

  20. agnophilo says:

    @TurboGrafxKid – They probably don’t want to just expand medicare because medicare itself has problems of it’s own, and is state run but federally funded if I’m not mistaken.@x_Butterflies_and_Hurricanes_x – Thanks : D@Magniloquentia – Actually your response is coming, and this blog was not addressed to you.  But thanks for thinking the universe revolves around you anyway.@methodElevated – Thanks : D@The_Aftershock_3650 – Thankee.@GodlessLiberal – I agree.@moss_icon – Yeah I know.  The tv is just as bad.@Bricker59 – They’re not being gouged and controlled, they’re paying free market capitalist jesus and apple pie rates and being well looked after by their friendly neighborhood conglomerate.  Shhhhhh….@RogierFvV – Thankee.  And I agree.@GodAintGood – I’m still waiting for people to realize that the republicans are controlled by the big greedy insurance companies.@vexations – Whythankyou.  Yeah, it’s all word games.  No substance.@Kristenmomof3 – @care@momaroo – @gnostic1 – @momofjenmatt – Thank you very much : D

  21. FreakSaphhic says:

    ❤ Thanks for posting this. I’m all for well thought out, organized healthcare. The kind proposed by people who know what the hell they’re talking about and proposed because it’s a good idea, not because it’s supported by red or blue.

  22. Sein_Herz says:

    you hit the nail on the head nicely done..good job

  23. LydJaGillers says:

    Thank you. It is so nice to hear information from well educated people rather than Loudmouths spewing nonsense and adding fuel to the fire. 

  24. Anonymous says:

    I wish I could rec this a thousand times. People are so misinformed, and it seems the less a person knows about this, the louder they shout about it.

  25. agnophilo says:

    @C0ll33Ncorps – That’s very nice of you to say.

  26. nephyo says:

    It’s interesting the profit motive distinction. One of the proposals the Obama administration seems to be leaning more and more toward would create health care cooperatives that are non-profit organizations that compete with the private industries.So there you get some health care providers who aren’t presumably in it for the profit so that should help control prices.But will it?There’s more to it than just whether the money is going to profit or not. A lot of what sets prices in the real world is bargaining. These organizations for-profit or not have to deal with a lot of private companies and determining at what price they get their goods depends a lot on bargaining with those companies.But here the issue is having a bunch of non-profit cooperatives is unlikely to be big enough to bargain down prices. Large private insurers will not see these new small non-profits as a significant threat and so will not themselves have to negotiate lower prices or reduce profits to control costs.I’m not fond of the way the current proposals are going. I think they’ll be better than nothing and the right wing critiques are just nonsensical. But I’m afraid we’re too busy fighting against the “socialism” critique we’re going to miss the real problems and end up with a system that will have to be reformed AGAIN in ten years.  And then we’ll probably be so disillusioned with the democratic way that we’ll go even further into the crazy excessive privatization system and then things’ll get so bad it’ll have to be reformed yet AGAIN ten years later. Then we might get something like single payer that would work.I hope not. I hope we can get it right, right now. At least make something strong enough that it only needs to be tweaked here and there.

  27. agnophilo says:

    @nephyo – I agree.  Very good response.

  28. BobRichter says:

    Very true, and a point I was going to make myself. I keep wondering if we’re ever going to get over the Cold War. Another socialist program to add to your list: municipal garbage collection.But yeah, defense. That’s a big one, and one I think the right will be a little reluctant to acknowledge.@Magniloquentia – Dude, you’re funny. Don’t ever change. I need people to laugh at.

  29. agnophilo says:

    @Magniloquentia – I took the time to answer your long rant in which you ignored almost every single thing I said to you in the previous response.

  30. BobRichter says:

    @Magniloquentia – And still, I am laughing at you.

  31. RogierFvV says:

    just another goodie that belongs in this thread… a former spokesman for Cigna Healthcare speaks out: http://www.guernicamag.com/spotlight/1207/the_last_temptation_of_wendell/index.php 

  32. agnophilo says:

    Interesting blog, thanks for adding on : D

  33. @BobRichter – While you still can’t defend an idea, you continue to attack the person.

  34. BobRichter says:

    @Magniloquentia – I’m not trying to defend the idea. I’m laughing at you. Seriously. Don’t ever change. LOL

  35. @BobRichter – So you mock me while I attempt to register some common sense in someone who wants to kill your freedoms?Your comments confuse me.

  36. BobRichter says:

    @Magniloquentia – And that’s why you’re funny.

  37. Melba27 says:

    Health insurance for the first questions we have to face is for whom do we need health insurance how much insurance is enough and how I can afford to spend on it Instead of answering these questions first and then look for the insurance you can even take the opposite path. Knowing what is available see what they offer and then make a decision. There are several options available to choose from. The first choice between the policy of health insurance for the family or a health plan for each.International Health Insurance Deals

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