IDEMA: Does the Republican Party have a heart?

Jul 18, 2012

 

Millions of people with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, can now attain health insurance. Kids can stay on their parents' policy until the age of 26, which is tremendously important for many families. Insurance companies can no longer cut off funds for treatment if costs skyrocket. Getting sick will no longer bankrupt families.

Such provisions are morally right, and should be proclaimed as such from every pulpit in America.

When the Supreme Court handed down its 5-4 decision upholding the constitutionality of the health care act, many Christians stood outside the court berating this decision. Why? Why wouldn't all Christians support a health care act that benefits so many, especially the poor and uninsured?

Jesus taught that we must care for the sick, the poor, the hungry, the homeless, etc. — "the least of these," as he puts is in the Parable of the Sheep and Goats in Matthew 25. Thus, all Christians should support laws which seek to do just that. That so many Christians oppose the Affordable Health Care Act makes me wonder what they are hearing from their pulpits, and being taught in Bible study classes.

What is the Republican Party, and Mitt Romney in particular, offering as an alternative health care law for those people with pre-existing conditions? Nothing! Yes, Romney offers vague platitudes, but does anyone expect a Republican-controlled government to pass a health care act that protects the poor and sick? Where is the evidence that this party has the heart to do so?

Some people argue politics and religion don't mix, and have little to say to each other. The naiveté of such a view is particularly clear when it comes to health care. We are not simply individuals left to fend for ourselves, but a community, a nation, where we care for each other — especially those who are poor and sick.

It is the church's responsibility to proclaim, and work for, medical care for all people — especially those who do not have insurance.

I think the trap organized religion has fallen into is paying too much attention to the rich people in our congregations and their politics. After all, wealthy people are often very generous in their giving to the church. So clergy are understandably afraid to alienate the rich in their midst — and many of those rich people, with "Cadillac" health care plans, simply cannot walk in the shoes of the poor, who too often have no health insurance.

Mitt Romney has many fine qualities, but empathy with the poor is not one of them. Clergy must have the courage to preach what is morally right — in this case, universal health care — and let the financial chips fall where they may in the Sunday collection plates.

Many clergy view the weekly collection as instant Nielsen ratings on the sermon. Playing it safe in sermons probably does not rock the boat. Showing some guts might, but then challenging those who are blessed with money and power at least puts the preacher in good company with somebody who did just that — Jesus of Nazareth!

— By the Rev. Henry Idema, Tribune community columnist
 

Comments

Lanivan

In the context of Obama's comment, a "freeloader" is someone who can afford insurance, but chooses not to insure himself, but expects and gets taxpayer-assisted medical help when going to the ER for a problem that potentially been prevented by regular primary care. That person is essentially not taking responsibility for his/her health needs with the expectation that in the event of an emergency, the ER will not turn him/her away.

Tri-cities realist

If a person who can afford insurance goes to the ER, the hospital will bill them, and they will be required to pay the bill. Now if the cost exceeds their ability to pay, the hospital may try to set up a payment plan, or worst case, send the debt to collections, which might be settled for less, or force the person to declare bankruptcy. Certainly, I can't think of anyone who would intentionally take that risk if they can afford insurance,, but I'm sure there are some who will roll the dice. In the long run, we all pay for this, in the form of higher medical costs for those who can pay or are insured, higher insurance premiums, etc. But for those who are wealthy enough to afford to self insure themselves ( I highly doubt anyone with that much wealth would take the risk of not having insurance) why should they be penalized (fined) for choosing to pay their own medical costs? For the true "freeloaders" who could afford the insurance premiums, but would rather pay the $2000 fine, if they go to the ER and rack up a $100,000 bill, nothing has really changed, other than the govt got their $2000, which I suppose was the point. Either way we all still will pay for this, so I don't see how this legislation would prevent this.

Tri-cities realist

Vlad, I re-read your post, thanks for enlightening me. I always thought that the irony of the legislation was that it actually hurt the people it purported to help, while coddling the do-nothing's. Now you've spelled it out succinctly, thanks again.

Tri-cities realist

Oh my... Where to start ghjhs... I pray this is not an acronym for the junior high I attended, Grand Haven Junior High Skool (intentionally misspelled, or is it mispelled, we all get one free pass)

What is the answer? I'm sorry but this is real life, you can't read the Cliff's notes, turn to the back of the book, or Google the answer.

I agree, something has to be do done, it was, and now the system is broken.

Yes, Obama did something, but although he attended law school and not medical school, I would remind him of the wisdom of the Hippocratic oath, "first do no harm".

And yes, the "Christian" thing to do is to take care of each other, but where in the Bible does it say to rely on the govt to take care of people? I must have missed that chapter.

In your last sentence you refer to the real issue. The PPACA (Obamacare) is not about "caring" for people, rather it is just another battle in the fight for power and money. So the real question is which side will you choose, the govt bureaucrats, or the private sector? Neither are perfect, it is a choice of which does the most good. It is left up to each of us to decide.

ghcatholic

theQuin: Let me get this straight, President Obama is a socialist for enacting legislation that has is as its core a government-private sector insurance cooperative (subsidizing the purchase of private insurance) and an individual mandate that was the brainchild of the CONSERVATIVE HERITAGE FOUNDATION as a Republican alternative to the health care reform Clinton was trying to enact? He is a socialist for enacting health insurance reform legislation that is very closely patterned after Massachusetts', which was championed by and signed into law by MITT ROMNEY? The mental gymnastics must be exhausting.

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truthhurts: if you think Romney will repeal the ACA if elected, I think you'll be mistaken. This reform is essentially what he signed into law in MA almost a decade ago, and what he was proposing on a national level as late as 3 years ago. and HE CAN'T REPEAL IT. If you remember your Schoolhouse Rock, only congress can repeal it, and unless the Republicans can get 60 solid votes in the Senate to override a fillibuster (very, very unlikely), then it isn't happening.

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Rev. Idema::
Thank you for the frank and blunt message. I see FAR too many "christians" champion extremely UN-Christian actions. For decades the Catholic Church has advocated for health care as a right not a privilege. the USCCB's little tantrum over having to follow the law with regards to birth and fertility coverage, and being more than willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater over it has really disappointed and disillusioned me towards the Church's hierarchy. Not only would it not cover "birth control" medication (which IS used to treat non-sexual issues, like severe acne, hormonal imbalance, and severe cramping and bleeding during menstration), it would also deny employees, who may not share their employer's religious views access to equal coverage for sterilization and infertility treatment. Why should an employer's religious belief's infringe on my right to make a personal, legal choice? Don't forget Jesus himself said "Render unto Caesar's what is Caesar's, render unto God what is God's." having a common set of rules and regulations for ALL CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY with regards to health care falls under the former to me....

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Also, Remember, for the first 300 years of Christianity, the Church WAS more or less a socialist/communist society, where Christians would pretty much hand over all they had to the Christian Community, where everyone would be taken care of, each according to their needs. This fundamental fact seems to be completely missed by many of the Calvinist traditions.

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I for one was disappointed by the ACA because I felt it didn't go FAR ENOUGH. The whole notion of profit centers in basic healthcare to me is morally wrong. We should have looked towards a "Medicare for All" approach, since Medicare's cost structure and overhead are much lower than Private insurance. Heck, Medicare has LOWER per-enrollee cost than private health care, even though Medicare has the highest Risk Pool (the elderly and disabled who are on SSI). A few years ago, I read an article, that a lifting the cap, and increasing the medicare payroll tax by less than 6% would be more than enough to provide medicare for all. My employer pays about 16% of my gross pay for my health care plan, and about double what someone guesstimated in the comments...Irregardless of the ethics of for profit vs. government supplied universal health care, this solution sure sounds A LOT cheaper and provides MORE VALUE.

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Finally, to those who say "well, the poor can just go to the emergency room, they can't be denied service".....well, ever hear the old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound in cure"? This thinking is EXACTLY why we pay significantly more per capita for health care for measurables that are mid-pack in the world. Give those that can't afford it access to decent preventative health care, and you'll see costs go down, and our nation as a whole become healthier and more productive. Also, for those who think it's heartless to force people who can't afford health care to buy it or pay a penalty, apparently, you missed the fact that the ACA greatly expands medicaid coverage for the poor, and offers graduated subsidies to buy health insurance up to IIRC 400% the federal poverty level, and IF someone STILL doesn't fall under that, can apply for a waiver to the fine. Also, for those who think costs will skyrocket by insuring all these addtional people, you really don't understand the concept of risk pools. spreading risk over a larger population in general lowers aggregate cost, as well as individual cost. For the one person who had a heart defect from birth that may eventually require a heart transplant, and a lifetime of expensive anti-rejection medications, that risk is spread out over a pool of millions of people who aren't susceptible to that extreme expense. THAT is the reason for the individual mandate. Very much in keeping with the spirit of the early Christian church, actually....

opinionscount

So....you are a Catholic and you support ObamaCare??? How can you be Catholic and support ObamaCare...mandates that force public funding for abortions and contraceptives, and furthermore, that the Catholic Church be forced to provide these through their religious organizations and hospitals? Have you read Catholic Catechism or YouCat? The Catholic Church is firm on their stance against contraception and abortions. Therefore, as GHCatholic, you are misrepresenting the Catholic Church with your blatant support for these invasive and unconstitutional mandates that violate religious rights and personal freedom.

Tri-cities realist

Wow I can see I'm going to have to spend some more time here.... But another day!

opinionscount

"Mitt Romney has many fine qualities, but empathy with the poor is not one of them." -Rev Idema. Well, Rev Idema, there is an incredibly huge difference between "empathy with the poor" and empathy with those who want to warm the couch and ride on the backs of hard working Americans. When the US Government can get smart enough to require necessary welfare screenings, and implement guidelines and procedures to separate the "poor and needy" from the "sorry and lazy", then you can take an accurate aim at those in the political sector that may lack in "empathy". Until then, I would refrain from pointing fingers at hard working Americans who are sick of wiping the sweat from their brow while false welfare recipients kick their feet up with the remote and wait for the welfare check to arrive in the mail. There are many who need welfare. No problem. However, there are even more who are receiving welfare that are able-bodies citizens that are just too sorry and lazy to lift a finger. They have a "give-me" mentality and a large number of recipients use their welfare money (that was provided by hard-working Americans) to buy drugs, alcohol, and to gamble, etc.
The system is twisted, it's broken,... it's an absolute mess. And, until this system is corrected, we will continue to run in circles every 4 years and end up right back where we were to begin with, having made no progress...and having only created more mess...like ObamaCare.

Tri-cities realist

Opinionscount.... Agreed. And if welfare recipients are not using drugs or alcohol, then they should not object to drug and alcohol tests. And for those claiming this would violate their rights, when you choose to accept aid from the govt, you have effectively given up any right to privacy, you want privacy, pay your own way. This is why so many of us object to govt intrusion, but they want to have their cake and eat it too. So sorry, but if you value your freedom and privacy to do what you wish, then don't accept the govt's handouts... If you want the handout, be prepared for some stipulations put forth by those who are PAYING for your handout. Pretty simple, isn't it?

opinionscount

Exactly, Tri-cities realist. Pretty simple, it is.

Lanivan

Oh My! Rev Idema, if you needed any evidence to support your op-ed of whether Republicans have a heart, just read over the majority of these posts. The gross lies, misinformation, propaganda, hatefulness, mean spiritedness, lack of respect for their fellow man, let alone our President, convoluted thinking devoid of logic, facts, or common sense, is breathtaking in it's scope. The whole whiny lot of you needs to take a year and live in Haiti, Liberia, or some other country that has no democracy, rule of law, or even basic citizen rights. Thank you HeyJude and ghcatholic for attempting to show another side and give some facts - I appreciate it, but, frankly, most of the other commenters here are so trapped in the conservative media echo chamber and simply too far gone to even acknowledge it. What miserable lives you must endure! What a terrible fate to live in America with a socialist president who hates you, forced by the government to do all sorts of unmentionable acts, subjected to the most cruel and humiliating governmental forces ever in the history of mankind! My heart goes out to you all.

Vladtheimp

I thought you would approve of whining – we are just following the Whiner in Chief – whose excuses for his miserable job performance run the gamut from Bush, Japanese tsunami, speculators, corporate jet owners, ATMs, and Wall Street to The Arab Spring. Having said that, I want to thank you for your sympathy over the miserable life I lead. Imagine the horror of not believing in The Chosen One and his Magical Mystery Tour (Obama and the Bureaucrats have everything we need, Satisfaction Guaranteed, Coming to Take Us Away from our guns and religion (apologies to the Beatles). Well at least your comments are not hateful, mean spirited, or disrespectful like the comments of those ugly, liberty-loving Republicans.

Lanivan

There you go with your assumptions, vladtheimp. I happen to have been raised and lived as an adult for many years as a liberty-loving republican; my father was a small businessperson, as am I; I'm a Christian; and I support totally Barack Obama. I believe he saved capitalism and our way of life from a severe depression through swift and courageous action with the passage of the stimulus, the auto loan program, the ACA, not to mention Osama bin Laden. I do not believe nor would it ever occur to me to think of President Obama as the Chosen One, a saviour, or even perfect. He's human, just like all of us, you know. As to my fore mentioned comments, I call 'em as I see 'em. And please don't drag the Beatles into this!

Vladtheimp

Like your "savior of capitalism" your response created a number of straw men which you proceed to knockdown. My comment made no assumptions about whether you are an adult, whether you were once a lover of liberty, what kind of work you or your father do, or your religion. I accept you have drunk the Cool-Aid and really believe Obama is not a socialist, contrary to all evidence, and that you call em as you see em - we simply disagree. As in Strawberry Fields Forever, to Obama devotees, nothing is real, Living is easy with eyes closed Misunderstanding all you see. However, living under Obama's socialism makes me think I'm Back in the U.S.S.R. Slainthe, my friend (you'll need it after Obamacare fully kicks in)

ghcatholic

Facts, they appear to have a liberal bias.....

Tri-cities realist

Lanivan, as a "liberty-loving republican", you supported the govt takeover of 2 automakers, the banking industry, and now ACA to SAVE capitalism? Please re-read the previous sentence a couple of times. Govt takeovers are what happens in socialism and communism, not capitalism. Approx half of all businesses fail, not ideal for the half that fail, but failure tends to be a great educator. So the govt should not be in the "business" of picking which companies survive, and which fail.

Tri-cities realist

If you are so enthralled with "facts" please feel free to add some to the conversation. And thank you for helping to prove our point. It is my intention for our country NOT to be like "Haiti, Liberia" which is why we are using our voice of opposition, we want to preserve our democratic republic, and maintain our freedom from govt intrusion and tyrrany, which is exactly what occurs in the countries you mentioned. Or is it not socially acceptable to voice opposition, unless you agree with it? Think about this... if 10 years ago Bush had gotten a law passed which said the govt would provide free health insurance to all responsible Americans, would you not have been suspicious of his intentions (rightfully so, and I intentionally use the vague term "responsible"). We should all be suspicious of any govt programs that purport to be in our best interest, regardless of which party enacts them. But I guess I just have crazy suspicion of govt, which our founders also shared.

Lanivan

I have commented regularly on pieces pertaining to the ACA in the GHTribune over the past several months, and use facts to back up my opinions. They are not hard to find. Yes - the very conservative Heritage Foundation promoted the almost exact same health care reform plan as the current law, beginning in 1989 to the present. Mitt Romney as Gov of Massachusetts passed this same health reform law. The GOP supported it until Obama was able to pass it, then of course they totally reverse course. My frustration is that no matter how many facts are given, no matter how much good, unbiased information there is out there, if you are against the ACA on principle, you simply are going to view the whole thing with negativity and paranoia. You are not concerned with your fellow man so much as the need to feel you are outside of any gov't influence or control - both good or bad. Getting the facts is not comforting or clarifying to people who think this way, because they are determined not to allow their opinions to be swayed or influenced. Rev Idema's op-ed has seemed to bring this out in many posts. It's a reckless abandonment of facts, or even trying to see the other side of the subject. Turn off Rush, and start by reading the following - there's lots of impartial info out there: healthreform.gov/newsroom/keeping_the_health_plan_you_have.html. Government health care reform has been a major goal of presidents since Teddy Roosevelt - including Nixon and Reagan - the ACA is nothing new, it's not a government takeover, it doesn't force anybody to do anything, and for most people who are currently insured, you won't see hardly any change at all.

Vladtheimp

This comment is almost laughable, especially when citing so-called facts. 1.That one conservative think tank once supported a very different mandate through tax credits has nothing to do with the monstrosity that is the Obamacare, passed with legislative trickery, bribes and kickbacks; 2. if opposing a bad idea is based upon negativity and paranoia, there would be no legitimate opposition to bad ideas; 3. the FACT is that roughly 50% of the population does not pay income tax, so they will not have to pay the taxes required by Obamacare - it is ludicrous to suggest as some have that 50% of the population is poor - the responsible members of society will be subsidizing not just those who legitimately need help, but also the irresponsible; 4. if the democrats were serious about health care reform, they would have taken steps to ensure we have sufficient doctors and facilities before dumping 16 million people into the system (CBO estimate); 5 The government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) actuary estimates that, under the president’s system, approximately 14 million Americans will lose or be moved out of their existing job-based coverage, and be enrolled in government-based plans; 6. Fact - Obama has granted over 1300 waivers to Obamacare, including two entire states - unions and insurance companies especially favored - while refusing to provide what standards are used to grant waivers; 7. the biggest laugher of all - Lanivan refers us to the Kathleen Sebelius Department of Health and Human Services, which grants all the waivers and lied to the religious institutions (Cardinal Timothy Dolan) to get the true facts - what, Obama and his minions would never lie to us? Facts are to Obama zealots as a Crucifix is to a vampire.

ghcatholic

Vladtheimp: Simple question. Where was all the outrage 6 years ago when Republican Mitt Romney signed basically the same health care reform into law in Massachusetts? There are a few differences, though. RomneyCare includes taxpayer funded abortions (the ACA does not), as well as coverage to illegal immigrants....

Vladtheimp

Simple answer - I don't stick my nose into things that don't affect me, such as the laws of states of which I am not a citizen. I am governed by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Michigan. State constitutions vary and permit government activity the U.S. Constitution does not. Having said that, I am not aware that Mitt Romney insisted his health care plan was not a tax until challenged in court; I am not aware that the Massachusetts legislature resorted to trickery, bribes and kickbacks to get their bill passed; I am not aware that Governor Romney handed out over a thousands of waivers to his supporters . I consider myself fortunate that I do not live in Massachusetts, which has the highest health costs in the country - average monthly premium in the individual market (Politico/Kaiser Foundation). Contrary to your assertion, quoting from the statement of the Catholic Bishops: "First, ACA allows use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions and for plans that cover such abortions, contradicting longstanding federal policy.The risk we identified in this area has already materialized, particularly in the initial approval by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of “high risk” insurance pools that would have covered abortion." I trust this is responsive to the question you asked.

Tri-cities realist

Ghcatholic, why did you not refute any of what Vlad stated? Could it be because it is the truth, which is why you then switched subjects to Romneycare in Mass?

theQuin

Respect is earned, not mandated. Obama is destroying the American free enterprise system - which has been key to our success as a nation. I do not respect him.

HeyJude

ghcatholic, you are so right! The Affordable Care Act does not go far enough. But every journey begins with a single step! Another point that is never talked about when people say that "the poor can always go to the Emergency Room" is that, Yes! they can go, but will also get a very large bill afterwards. Anyone who has had to use the Emergency Room would know that the bill is unaffordable for most working families. Then, there are two choices-pay the bill off slowly and be financially devastated, or blow the bill off completely. This second option forces the cost to be absorbed by everyone else. Why would either of these options be acceptable for our nation's families, given the huge profits enjoyed by insurance companies?? It has been disillusioning watching this health care battle playing out when fixing the problem is good, right, humane and just makes sense. You make a lot of good points!

Tri-cities realist

Heyjude, thanks for being one of the relatively few who admit that this 2000+ page monstrosity of legislation is just the First step. I can only imagine what wonderful future legislation awaits us! The fact that one of the 2 choices you state is to "blow the bill off completely". That says a lot. I mean why should anyone be expected to actually pay for the goods and services which they received? That is totally un-American, someone else should have to pay for them, right?

And actually there is a 3rd option which I experienced while being unemployed and without health insurance. I went to the ER for an injury i suffered while playing "tag" football. (I know, in hindsight not a wise thing to do without health insurance, but I paid the bill all by myself). It is called being financially responsible and paying your debts.... Such things as not going out to eat, canceling cable tv and cell phone service (is that even legal to be an American without a cell phone???)

So until people are literally living on beans and rice (which I dont think has killed anyone, in fact some crazy people choose to temporarily live this way), and have foregone all of life's modern conveniences, I submit they are shirking their responsibilities and trying to have someone else pay their debts. On the other hand, if someone is literally doing everything they can, while giving up everything but the necessities (food, water, shelter, clothing, electricity) and still can't seem to pay off their debt (5 years of debt pain may actually teach someone to change their habits and live within their means), then I will be the first to help them out of their financial difficulties, not just by giving them money, but teaching them how to avoid their situation in the future (think teach to fish vs. giving a fish). Some will say I am heartless and without compassion, but which is worse, learning to be self sufficient, or being a slave to the govt handout? I would hope all would say the latter.

HeyJude

Tri-cities realist, sounds like you need a reality check! Do you know that are are actually people that are poor enough not to be able to afford cable television or a cell phone?? The next time you go to McDonalds and enjoy a cheap meal or perhaps go to your child's school and it is clean, you can thank someone that makes it possible for you by working for a non-living wage. Also, what a wonderful offer you give, to teach those poor unfortunate people how to "change their habits and live within their means", when the topic here is affordable health care. When you can "teach" the poor not to get sick and need a doctor, well, then you will have solved a real problem!! The Affordable Care Act is not about a hand-out. Actually, since you seem to love personal responsibility so much, it should be right up your alley, since the Act actually does try to keep us all accountable. For those who are poor, there is help- which is where this discussion began in the first place. We like to claim we are a nation of compassion, a nation based on Christ. The Reverand was reminding us to think of Christ's teachings when it comes to the poor and afflicted. Medical care is not a "goods and services" . You can not "budget and plan" for cancer or MS, or any other catastrophic illness. Babies are born with heart defects, and even sometimes cancer. These can be million dollar illnesses. Treatments and cures are should not be exclusive to the fortunate. Heartless and without compassion? I doubt it! Maybe just not being realistic.

ghcatholic

Tri-Cities Realist:Lets change your first hand experience for a moment for the sake of argument. What if instead of a relatively minor tag football injury, you say, had a gall bladder attack and had to have surgery to have it removed? or an undiagnosed anyeurism that burst? Or fell down a flight of stairs and shattered your hip? What if as a result of that unfortunate event, one you realistically couldn't have planned for or prevented (dare we call it an act of God?), you're faced with $100k, $250K, $500k, or maybe even more in medical bills from the emergency surgery and ensuing rehabilitation/recovery? Now what? This is as much the reality, if not more so than freeloaders blowing off medical bills so they don't have to give up their Cable and Blackberry.


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Now in this scenario, How re you going to "teach a person how to fish" or how are they going to change their habits to pay off a quarter million dollars of debt if it's say a median US household of 4, with the median US houshold income, which is ~$45k gross (which nets out to about $2800/mo after fed/state/SS/medicare taxes)? To pay that amount off in 30 years at the low interest rate of 3% would eat up $1050/mo in household income, or 37%, leaving $1800/mo to pay for rent/mortgage, heat, electricity, food, car/car insurance/gas to get back and forth to work.
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One thing that has been forgotten about, in all this rhetoric are the raw economic impacts. the CBO originally estimated the total cost of implementing the ACA, between 2011 and 2021 while covering an additional 40 million americans (over 10% of the population!) is actually ~ $125 Billion LOWER than maintaining the previous status quo. and interestingly enough, adding a public option (allowing people to buy into medicare) would have saved more, and just going to single payer even more.

Tri-cities realist

Well then I would have to work my tail off to pay the bill, whether it took me 30 years or the rest of my life, but that is how I am, I don't expect others to pay on my behalf.

And regarding the "original" CBO projection (thank you for being accurate, in that it was their "original" projection), the CBO has since revised their projection upwards, but I guess you must have missed that. With the sort of creative accounting that was used to justify ACA (begin collecting revenue well before any expenditures), any new program could be made to look cost neutral.... Oops The CBO has since stated the projections were understated, but did any of us really think the ACA would save taxpayers any money? I know I didn't.
Still nobody has answered my question, why not just expand Medicaid to cover the poor, and leave those with private insurance be? I'll be the first to admit, our health care system is not perfect, but why not try to address the problem (30-40 million uninsured, who else can be off by 25%, other than meteorologists), without adversely affecting the rest of us?How did any of our ancestors survive without health insurance?

Tri-cities realist

Yes I know people who cannot afford cable tv or a cell phone. But I know many more who cannot afford them, but still have them. My issue is with the latter. If they were more responsible with their money, they could afford it. And yes, I believe we are still a country based upon Christian principles (but don't say that in most public schools), I just believe that we could do a better job than the govt. I would have thought Henry would have proposed increased giving to our churches to help the poor, rather than relying more on the govt. I think charities and the churches are much better than the govt at getting help to those who need it, which is where I choose to donate my money. But I guess that is where we differ, I prefer to keep the govt out of as much as we can, since the govt seems to do one thing well, spend trillions of dollars without solving the problems it supposedly intended to. And I agree with you, "You can not "budget and plan" for cancer or MS, or any other catastrophic illness", however you can budget and plan for insurance. And my experience taught me to make sure I bought insurance on my own when between jobs.

ghmomma

I'm just going to answer the reverends question........NO.

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