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Nanoose
08-20-2009, 07:12 PM
I found this post by Sojourners Magazine (Jim Wallis) interesting today.

"With all of the shouting, the fear, and now what often looks like hatred -- we are in danger of losing the moral “core” of this health-care debate. That core, quite simply, is that many people are hurting from a broken health-care system. They include the 46 million who have no health insurance, but also the many who do but don’t get what they need and simply can’t afford good health. "

Do you think there is a moral core to this debate? A moral responsibility for reform?

Milo Christensen
08-20-2009, 07:17 PM
. . . Do you think there is a moral core to this debate? A moral responsibility for reform?

Yes I do. There's a definite moral responsibility to do it right. But what's happening now isn't right. In fact, the "reform" now being so heatedly debated is just the moral equivalent of putting a bandaid on a severed jugular and an extension of the immoral status quo.

Glen Longino
08-20-2009, 07:22 PM
I think there is a moral responsibility for reform, along with an economic responsibility.
Trouble is, those who have claimed to be the moral majority, the salt of the earth, servants of Jesus, Christian fundamentalist elitists, are the opposition to health care reform. Go figger!

Glen Longino
08-20-2009, 07:24 PM
Yes I do. There's a definite moral responsibility to do it right. But what's happening now isn't right. In fact, the "reform" now being so heatedly debated is just the moral equivalent of putting a bandaid on a severed jugular and an extension of the immoral status quo.

Better to just jump back and watch the blood spurt than to apply an imperfect bandage. See what I mean, Deb?

johnw
08-20-2009, 07:26 PM
Yes I do. There's a definite moral responsibility to do it right. But what's happening now isn't right. In fact, the "reform" now being so heatedly debated is just the moral equivalent of putting a bandaid on a severed jugular and an extension of the immoral status quo.
I agree, it needs to go a lot further, but it can't hurt to make a start.

Kaa
08-20-2009, 07:26 PM
Do you think there is a moral core to this debate? A moral responsibility for reform?

No, not really.

Not unless you consider that there is a moral responsibility to feed all the hungry in the world, build homes for all the homeless, etc. etc.

http://aaron-ng.info/blog/images/VULTURE.jpg

Kaa

George Roberts
08-20-2009, 07:31 PM
I agree with Kaa.

johnw
08-20-2009, 07:36 PM
Personally, I think there is a moral responsibility to feed the hungry. My uncle took considerable risks to help feed people in southern Sudan during the worst of the fighting, and I honor him for it.

But the healthcare debate is different. We have a system that is tremendously expensive and doesn't produce as good results as the systems used in other countries. The choice is between a system that enriches a few and serves many badly, and reforming it into a system that is more efficient and more humane. Should be a no-brainer. Why isn't it?

Peter Malcolm Jardine
08-20-2009, 07:39 PM
I found this post by Sojourners Magazine (Jim Wallis) interesting today.

"With all of the shouting, the fear, and now what often looks like hatred -- we are in danger of losing the moral “core” of this health-care debate. That core, quite simply, is that many people are hurting from a broken health-care system. They include the 46 million who have no health insurance, but also the many who do but don’t get what they need and simply can’t afford good health. "

Do you think there is a moral core to this debate? A moral responsibility for reform?


Remember, We're talking about a nation that still rabidly defends it's citizens right to carry guns to town hall meetings...

Captain Blight
08-20-2009, 07:56 PM
No, not really.

Not unless you consider that there is a moral responsibility to feed all the hungry in the world, build homes for all the homeless, etc. etc.

http://aaron-ng.info/blog/images/VULTURE.jpg

KaaJust because you don't feel that way, doesn't mean that the obligation and responsibility doesn't exist. Not everybody pops a chubby while reading the Moon Is A Harsh Mistress-- you know that, right?

Kaa
08-20-2009, 08:07 PM
Just because you don't feel that way, doesn't mean that the obligation and responsibility doesn't exist.

Exist where?

In your mind? Maybe. I am sure there are lots of things in there. In my mind? I rummaged around, but can't seem to find anything like that. In somebody else's mind? Hmm... I don't know -- shall we go take a look?

Kaa

Captain Blight
08-20-2009, 08:12 PM
Trying to square my atheism with a concept of moral absolutism is taking up most of my CPU activity, there's not a lot of room for an actual thought in there, not as such :)

No. What I'm trying to get across is that I feel most people who consider themselves to be morally upright would not let a fellow human suffer poor health simply because it's against policy for a multinational corporation. YMMV.

Kaa
08-20-2009, 08:17 PM
Trying to square my atheism with a concept of moral absolutism is taking up most of my CPU activity, there's not a lot of room for an actual thought in there, not as such :)

You need to offload that on a peripheral processor -- it's a simple loop anyway -- and clear the CPU for mure useful stuff :D


No. What I'm trying to get across is that I feel most people who consider themselves to be morally upright would not let a fellow human suffer poor health simply because it's against policy for a multinational corporation. YMMV.

It's not that simple and you know it. Things have consequences. Would you like being hungry be a valid justification for stealing?

Kaa

johnw
08-20-2009, 08:23 PM
You need to offload that on a peripheral processor -- it's a simple loop anyway -- and clear the CPU for mure useful stuff :D



It's not that simple and you know it. Things have consequences. Would you like being hungry be a valid justification for stealing?

Kaa
So if people who can't buy health insurance now could do so under some sort of reform, that would be stealing? You're usually more logical than this.

The moral obligation is to feed the hungry, not to face them with a choice between starvation and theft.

pefjr
08-20-2009, 08:26 PM
Remember, We're talking about a nation that still rabidly defends it's citizens right to carry guns to town hall meetings...

Thank you for that input, now run along and tend to your book burnings.

Kaa
08-20-2009, 08:30 PM
So if people who can't buy health insurance now could do so under some sort of reform, that would be stealing? You're usually more logical than this.

Reading comprehension ftw :-)

The comment about stealing was in response to "most people who consider themselves to be morally upright would not let a fellow human suffer poor health simply because it's against policy for a multinational corporation"

Would most people who consider themselves to be morally upright let a fellow human starve simply because shoplifting is against the policy of the supermarket?

Kaa

Glen Longino
08-20-2009, 08:57 PM
Reading comprehension ftw :-)

The comment about stealing was in response to "most people who consider themselves to be morally upright would not let a fellow human suffer poor health simply because it's against policy for a multinational corporation"

Would most people who consider themselves to be morally upright let a fellow human starve simply because shoplifting is against the policy of the supermarket?

Kaa

Your usual clear vision seems a bit opaque tonight.
You been drinking that danged Windex again, ain't you?
How many times do I have to tell you, wipe it on, don't drink it?:eek::)

Kaa
08-20-2009, 09:02 PM
Reading comprehension ftw :-)

Lemme repeat myself...

Kaa

Kaa
08-20-2009, 09:05 PM
You been drinking that danged Windex again, ain't you?
How many times do I have to tell you, wipe it on, don't drink it?:eek::)

Wipe on... wipe off.. .wipe on... wipe off :D

I have drank blue liquids though not recently.. :-)

Kaa

Glen Longino
08-20-2009, 09:06 PM
Wipe on... wipe off.. .wipe on... wipe off :D

I have drank blue liquids though not recently.. :-)

Kaa
:D:)

Captain Blight
08-20-2009, 09:14 PM
Would most people who consider themselves to be morally upright let a fellow human starve simply because shoplifting is against the policy of the supermarket?

KaaNo, not this child. What I would do, what I have done in the past and surely will again, is buy them a couple sandwiches, out of my own pocket. Whether the need is brought by their own hand or by circumstances beyond their control, what matters is that a fellow human is hungry.

Or hurt. Or whatever.

PeterSibley
08-20-2009, 09:18 PM
I agree with Kaa.

What a surprise .

TomF
08-20-2009, 09:19 PM
Yep, there's a moral responsibility. A moral resp to feed the hungry too.

We are accountable, for all that it's uncomfortable to let ourselves know it.

PeterSibley
08-20-2009, 09:20 PM
Hmmm..are people stealing health care? Breaking into hospitals and demanding treatment?

I hadn't noticed.

(You can surely come up with a better analogy, Kaa)

He's trying , but so far the results aren't good .

Kaa
08-20-2009, 09:22 PM
Yep, there's a moral responsibility. A moral resp to feed the hungry too.

We are accountable, for all that it's uncomfortable to let ourselves know it.

So, Tom, what are you doing about the starving children in North Korea..?

Kaa

Kaa
08-20-2009, 09:23 PM
He's trying , but so far the results aren't good .

Meh, it's just like a 'roo on a stick :D

Kaa

johnw
08-20-2009, 09:26 PM
Reading comprehension ftw :-)

The comment about stealing was in response to "most people who consider themselves to be morally upright would not let a fellow human suffer poor health simply because it's against policy for a multinational corporation"

Would most people who consider themselves to be morally upright let a fellow human starve simply because shoplifting is against the policy of the supermarket?

Kaa
I see. People are asking for reforms that will allow them to buy the insurance companies' product, and that amounts to theft. I do apologize for assuming you were talking about the world we live in, rather than KaaWord, a distopian fantasy of your own devising in which helpless multinational corporations are faced with destitution. In the world we actually live in, these companies profit mightily from the way they are regulated, and play the game of lobbying more adroitly than pretty much anyone else.

They just succeeded in getting the bill in the Finance Committee modified so that they are required to pay out 65 cents on the dollar in benefits, rather than the 75 cents on the dollar that had been in the bill. Just imagine if Medicare ate up 35 cents on the dollar for the benefits it pays. The same people that are fine with the inefficiency of the insurance companies would be up in arms.

TomF
08-20-2009, 09:32 PM
So, Tom, what are you doing about the starving children in North Korea..?

Kaawell, we gave a substantial chunk of an inheritance away to world development and relief this year, even though ee could have used it to get our family out of all debt. Coulda built a boat with it too, but I didn't.

What are you doing?

Kaa
08-20-2009, 09:32 PM
I see. People are asking for reforms that will allow them to buy the insurance companies' product, and that amounts to theft.

Um, I haven't noticed people asking to buy insurance. I have noticed people asking for the government to pay their bills and I have noticed people asking for the government to stay the hell away from health care.

People you're talking about -- haven't seen them...


I do apologize for assuming you were talking about the world we live in, rather than KaaWord, a distopian fantasy of your own devising in which helpless multinational corporations are faced with destitution. In the world we actually live in, these companies profit mightily from the way they are regulated, and play the game of lobbying more adroitly than pretty much anyone else.

Dystopian fantasies are generally more interesting than utopian ones :D but which multinational corporations are you talking about? Or you use this word just as a synonym for "evil"?

However, yes, I agree that lots of companies profit from the way they are regulated. No, I don't like it. Yes, I'd like to stop that. You see any bill that proposes to do that?

Kaa

Kaa
08-20-2009, 09:34 PM
well, we gave a substantial chunk of an inheritance away to world development and relief this year, even though ee could have used it to get our family out of all debt. Coulda built a boat with it too, but I didn't.

Did you actually check what happens to your money? I have worked for a non-profit for a while. The experience was enlightening.


What are you doing?

Nothing, but then I'm a cynical bastard with no sense of moral responsibility, am I not?

Kaa

Captain Blight
08-20-2009, 09:34 PM
So, Tom, what are you doing about the starving children in North Korea..?

Kaa
A rising tide floats all boats. If our system is demonstrably better (and hasn't this been at the heart of US foreign policy since WWII at least) then others will wish to come here and partake of its goodness. Or at least model their system on ours. Mind you, Canada--even in the Maritimes-- is a better choice for a "demonstrably better system" in an awful lot of areas, including feeding the hungry.

By the bye, this "feed the hungry" analogy you introduced, Kaa, is a bit of a straw man. How about comparing apples to apples, and using a "healing the hurt" analogy?

Kaa
08-20-2009, 09:38 PM
A rising tide floats all boats. If our system is demonstrably better (and hasn't this been at the heart of US foreign policy since WWII at least) then others will wish to come here and partake of its goodness.

They do, they do. Check out the US immigration numbers, both legal and illegal :D

As to the spread of democracy and such in the third world, as I said, it ain't that simple. Societies are not homogenous and often enough elites have a lot of interest in maintaining a system which, while giving the short end of the stick to most, keeps them in power.


By the bye, this "feed the hungry" analogy you introduced, Kaa, is a bit of a straw man. How about comparing apples to apples, and using a "healing the hurt" analogy?

Since then we've transitioned to the 'roo on a stick analogy :D

But speaking of apples to apples, what would you like an analogy for?

Kaa

TomF
08-20-2009, 09:45 PM
Did you actually check what happens to your money? I have worked for a non-profit for a while. The experience was enlightening.



Nothing, but then I'm a cynical bastard with no sense of moral responsibility, am I not?

Kaaone of the advantages of giving through the mainline churches is their remarkably low admin rate, compared with most outfits. We routed our gift through the Anglican church's fund specifically for world relief.

Kaa, I've no doubt that you're a far less cynical bastard than you appear. Most of us are, given the opportunity to be otherwise.

Despite the current health debacle's exaample to the contrary.

Milo Christensen
08-20-2009, 09:48 PM
I agree, it needs to go a lot further, but it can't hurt to make a start.

How can you, or anyone, who has waged a righteous, relentless war against the evils of private insurance companies, possibly accept any start that requires tens of millions of uninsured to annually spend tens of billions of dollars they don't really have in the name of making a start.

Don't you see that your following post illustrates my point perfectly:


. . . They just succeeded in getting the bill in the Finance Committee modified so that they are required to pay out 65 cents on the dollar in benefits, rather than the 75 cents on the dollar that had been in the bill. Just imagine if Medicare ate up 35 cents on the dollar for the benefits it pays. The same people that are fine with the inefficiency of the insurance companies would be up in arms.

Anybody who accepts this travesty in the name of making a start is just not thinking clearly. You have been slowly, change by change from the intent of the original legislation, deliberately sucked into supporting the immoral status quo. It wouldn't be so bad if it was the status quo, but it has been extended to extort billions from millions into the pockets of the health insurance companies who will get to keep 35% on the dollar rather than the 30% other posters have insisted goes into their wasteful and/or greedy pockets now.

You have a moral imperative to stop this and stop it now.

johnw
08-20-2009, 09:55 PM
Milo, the most immoral thing about the status quo is that so many people don't have health insurance, and therefore can't get proper care. Fixing that would be a start.

Milo Christensen
08-20-2009, 09:59 PM
. . . so many people don't have health insurance, and therefore can't get proper care. Fixing that would be a start.

Explain to me how the current bills, not some dying liberal fantasy from early June, but the current bills fix anything?

Kaa
08-20-2009, 10:00 PM
one of the advantages of giving through the mainline churches is their remarkably low admin rate, compared with most outfits. We routed our gift through the Anglican church's fund specifically for world relief.

Well, it's complicated. Admin rate is just one piece of the puzzle. The bigger problem is that aid of the kind seen during the last 40 years or so seems to be not all that useful. It breeds dependence and has been remarkably ineffective in lifting the recipients out of poverty.

Take, I don't know, Sahel. The overpopulation (because the reduction in birth rate lags the reduction in infant mortality brought on by Western drugs and aid) leads to too large herds of livestock which leads to overgrazing which leads to desertification which leads to utter dependency on Western aid without a clear way to get out of the pit dug by helpful hands. You have to trade off short term gain (save people from dying) against long-term gains (make the society self-sufficient). As I said, it's complicated.


Kaa, I've no doubt that you're a far less cynical bastard than you appear. Most of us are, given the opportunity to be otherwise.

Maybe, and maybe not. Remember the basic Christian teaching -- man is corrupted and evil and lost without Christ. How can you expect the heathen to be good?

Kaa

johnw
08-20-2009, 10:03 PM
Um, I haven't noticed people asking to buy insurance. I have noticed people asking for the government to pay their bills and I have noticed people asking for the government to stay the hell away from health care.

People you're talking about -- haven't seen them...

Take another look. The healthcare reform most likely to pass is one that A: makes it possible for people to buy insurance; B: requires people to buy insurance; and C: subsidizes those who can't afford to buy insurance. That's because healthcare reform is aimed at solving the problem of the uninsured, first and foremost. Making the system more efficient is important, but much harder to do. How much of that part of the bill will survive, I don't know, but the insurance companies are likely to come out of this with far more customers. And bigger profits.




Dystopian fantasies are generally more interesting than utopian ones :D but which multinational corporations are you talking about? Or you use this word just as a synonym for "evil"?

However, yes, I agree that lots of companies profit from the way they are regulated. No, I don't like it. Yes, I'd like to stop that. You see any bill that proposes to do that?

Kaa
No, I don't equate multinational with evil. I associate it with being fairly powerful, and adaptable enough to operate under a variety of regulation regimes.

Kaa
08-20-2009, 10:07 PM
How much of that part of the bill will survive, I don't know, but the insurance companies are likely to come out of this with far more customers. And bigger profits.

I agree. Do note that it's a bill crafted by Obama and the Democrats, and likely to pass the Democrat-controlled House and Senate, and likely to be signed by the Democratic President.


No, I don't equate multinational with evil. I associate it with being fairly powerful, and adaptable enough to operate under a variety of regulation regimes.

I haven't looked, but I don't expect most of health insurance companies in the US to be multinational. You think they are..?

Kaa

JimD
08-20-2009, 10:19 PM
... I'm a cynical bastard with no sense of moral responsibility, am I not?

Kaa

I doubt you have no sense of moral responsibility. Likely you have isolated pockets of it here and there. Its hard to believe you make no distinction whatsoever between good and evil or right and wrong; right or good conduct under any circumstances.

PatCox
08-20-2009, 10:19 PM
Modern american conservatism accepts as an absolute truth the proposition that anyone who is poor and starving and lacking health care, is poor because of their own moral failings, and therefore they (the modern american conservatives) have no moral obligation to help the poor, and they even take it further, applying the "tough love" fantasy, and beleive that helping the poor only encourages them to remain poor. They therefore beleive that it is "moral" to deny the poor charity, because by denying them charity, they will force them to amend their immoral ways, cease being lazy, and that this is the best way to deal with the problem of poverty and people lacking healthcare.

Now this is the conventional conservative southern republican view. More recently, libertarian, Ayn Rand types have gained a lot of traction in setting the conservative agenda, and these people are completely off the rails, they truly believe that society is best served by a "devil take the hindmost" attitude which views failure, poverty, early death, as the moral due of the inferior, and that it is a form of slavery to ask or expect the succesful to in any way aid the poor and destitute. This morally evil notion is amazingly popular in the US today, the idea that each individual in society owes no obligation whatsoever to anyone ot anything but himself or herself, and that all collective effort, is a form of slavery that yokes the superior people to what they view as an immoral obligation, they often call it "slavery" to help the inferior people.

Hitler would applaud the paultard libertarians and republican conservatives. Jesus, I am sure, weeps at their folly. yet they call their opponents nazis.

I am sad.

Kaa
08-20-2009, 10:22 PM
I doubt you have no sense of moral responsibility. Likely you have isolated pockets of it here and there.

Pockets! I have pocketses? :D Where would I look for these isolated pockets?

Kaa

JimD
08-20-2009, 10:24 PM
Pockets! I have pocketses? :D Where would I look for these isolated pockets?

Kaa

Start with your pants. You likely use them to scratch yourself without even thinking about it. :p

Kaa
08-20-2009, 10:26 PM
They therefore beleive that it is "moral" to deny the poor charity...

I think there is some reality disconnect in evidence...

I don't recall the data, but I think it has been shown that American "right" gives much more to the charity than the American "left".


This morally evil notion...

What's your reference morality? :-)

Kaa

Kaa
08-20-2009, 10:27 PM
Start with your pants. You likely use them to scratch yourself without even thinking about it. :p

Pants. Hm.... So, I should look for morality in my pants? :D

Kaa

JimD
08-20-2009, 10:29 PM
...I think it has been shown that American "right" gives much more to the charity than the American "left".

Kaa

Mainly due to a guilty conscience. No wait. That can't be it. That would presuppose the existence of a right wing conscience.

High C
08-20-2009, 10:46 PM
....
I am sad.

Serves ya right for making up a load of BS, especially considering charitable giving patterns in this country. :rolleyes:

Nanoose
08-20-2009, 11:43 PM
How can you expect the heathen to be good?

Kaa

I think he said 'less cynical', which isn't the same as 'good'.

Kaa
08-20-2009, 11:55 PM
I think he said 'less cynical', which isn't the same as 'good'.

Ah! :D So... "more gullible"? :D

Kaa

LeeG
08-21-2009, 12:15 AM
Do you think there is a moral core to this debate? A moral responsibility for reform?


why do you ask? I think some folks are motivated by a sense of right and wrong but folks have different views on what is right and wrong. I think it's more a matter of ensuring the general welfare in good times and bad.

jbelow
08-21-2009, 07:07 AM
Modern american conservatism accepts as an absolute truth the proposition that anyone who is poor and starving and lacking health care, is poor because of their own moral failings, and therefore they (the modern american conservatives) have no moral obligation to help the poor, and they even take it further, applying the "tough love" fantasy, and beleive that helping the poor only encourages them to remain poor. They therefore beleive that it is "moral" to deny the poor charity, because by denying them charity, they will force them to amend their immoral ways, cease being lazy, and that this is the best way to deal with the problem of poverty and people lacking healthcare.

Now this is the conventional conservative southern republican view. More recently, libertarian, Ayn Rand types have gained a lot of traction in setting the conservative agenda, and these people are completely off the rails, they truly believe that society is best served by a "devil take the hindmost" attitude which views failure, poverty, early death, as the moral due of the inferior, and that it is a form of slavery to ask or expect the succesful to in any way aid the poor and destitute. This morally evil notion is amazingly popular in the US today, the idea that each individual in society owes no obligation whatsoever to anyone ot anything but himself or herself, and that all collective effort, is a form of slavery that yokes the superior people to what they view as an immoral obligation, they often call it "slavery" to help the inferior people.

Hitler would applaud the paultard libertarians and republican conservatives. Jesus, I am sure, weeps at their folly. yet they call their opponents nazis.

I am sad.

Your BS stinks . My grandparents had no government welfare or health care , were poor and went hungry . Fought in WWII to save the world. They were better than you or I. They died wealthier than you or I could ever hope for.

John Smith
08-21-2009, 07:15 AM
I found this post by Sojourners Magazine (Jim Wallis) interesting today.

"With all of the shouting, the fear, and now what often looks like hatred -- we are in danger of losing the moral “core” of this health-care debate. That core, quite simply, is that many people are hurting from a broken health-care system. They include the 46 million who have no health insurance, but also the many who do but don’t get what they need and simply can’t afford good health. "

Do you think there is a moral core to this debate? A moral responsibility for reform?
I think there should be, and the fact it's ignored, sadly, proves my previous point.

The party who is controlled by the highly religious section of our country sees no reason why everyone should have health insurance.

It seems to me that churchs all over the nation who have no trouble getting involved in politics when it comes to abortion, should be strongly advocating that every American, hell, every person, is entitled to the best available health care.

The fact they have not been speaks volumes.

John Smith
08-21-2009, 07:21 AM
Trying to square my atheism with a concept of moral absolutism is taking up most of my CPU activity, there's not a lot of room for an actual thought in there, not as such :)

No. What I'm trying to get across is that I feel most people who consider themselves to be morally upright would not let a fellow human suffer poor health simply because it's against policy for a multinational corporation. YMMV.

I don't think one needs a belief in God in order to believe that reaching out and helping his fellow man is the right thing to do.

Do onto others as you would like them to do unto you isn't necessarily a "I believe in God" concept.

The very LEAST of the moral obligations of people in this debate is to stick to the actual facts, rather than making them up and lying.

If all the believers would follow the "Thou shalt not bear false witness" commandment, it would be a great help;.

John Smith
08-21-2009, 07:25 AM
Did you actually check what happens to your money? I have worked for a non-profit for a while. The experience was enlightening.



Nothing, but then I'm a cynical bastard with no sense of moral responsibility, am I not?

Kaa

Non profit is an interesting term. Boy Scouts are non profit, but a lot of cash flows into the organization. People draw huge salaries.

Just because the organization isn't making a profit, doesn't mean the people running it aren't.

TomF
08-21-2009, 07:27 AM
Ah! :D So... "more gullible"? :D

KaaI can leave in the "bastard" part if you prefer, Kaa.

Sam F
08-21-2009, 07:38 AM
I found this post by Sojourners Magazine (Jim Wallis) interesting today.

"With all of the shouting, the fear, and now what often looks like hatred -- we are in danger of losing the moral “core” of this health-care debate. That core, quite simply, is that many people are hurting from a broken health-care system. They include the 46 million who have no health insurance, but also the many who do but don’t get what they need and simply can’t afford good health. "

Do you think there is a moral core to this debate? A moral responsibility for reform?

Yes, Christians bear a moral responsibility to look after their fellow man*. But that doesn't mean one has to be stupid about it. We're exhorted to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves", so we need to do the right thing, the right way (as Milo indicated)
So far as I can tell - not being terribly knowledgeable on the subject - nobody has a solved this problem. The European style systems, for instance, are unsustainable. Therefore, it would be awfully handy to create a system that is affordable but also encourages personal responsibility - or to put it another way one that's reasonably efficient, accountable and that doesn't tend toward tyranny.

*We live in a pluralist society, so others don't necessarily share that responsibility - right Glen? ;)

John Smith
08-21-2009, 07:45 AM
Yes, Christians bear a moral responsibility to look after their fellow man*. But that doesn't mean one has to be stupid about it. We're exhorted to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves", so we need to do the right thing, the right way (as Milo indicated)
So far as I can tell - not being terribly knowledgeable on the subject - nobody has a solved this problem. The European style systems, for instance, are unsustainable. Therefore, it would be awfully handy to create a system that is affordable but also encourages personal responsibility - or to put it another way one that's reasonably efficient, accountable and that doesn't tend toward tyranny.

*We live in a pluralist society, so others don't necessarily share that responsibility - right Glen? ;)

I have heard so many things about the health care in other countries that have proven to be false, I no longer listen.

What I know about the system in this country is that it's collapsing around us. Our system is unsustainable.

The "right" way would be single payer, cover everyone, get health care costs off the backs of our employers so they could be more comptetitve, but that's not about to happen.

I would like those who oppose a public option to make up their mind: would it be so good that the private companies cannot possibly compete with it, or would it be a disaster. It cannot be both.

TomF
08-21-2009, 07:50 AM
...So far as I can tell - not being terribly knowledgeable on the subject - nobody has a solved this problem. The European style systems, for instance, are unsustainable. Therefore, it would be awfully handy to create a system that is affordable but also encourages personal responsibility - or to put it another way one that's reasonably efficient, accountable and that doesn't tend toward tyranny...In my opinion, the degree to which universal health care systems (of any stripe) are unsustainable is not reflective of a poor concept for the systems of health insurance themselves. Most of the nations involved have had such programs for decades, and are in fact sustaining them ... with markedly lower costs and broader benefits than the American alternative.

As I've said before, IMO what makes any health program unsustainable is the unstated but always implicit goal of trying to cure death. We'll cure cancer, and heart disease, and stroke, and infectious diseases, and respiratory disease, and degenerative nervous system disorders, and ...

... and ultimately, there'll be nothing left to cure, right? So what will we die from?

Our bodies were never intended to be permanent. My wife's family has underscored this simple truth; a great Aunt died last year at 107, another turns 99 next November. Neither's had (or in the one case, is still having) a particularly wonderful wonderful quality of life for decades now ... though they've avoided major illnesses and senility.

bob winter
08-21-2009, 07:56 AM
My maternal grandfather died in 1921, at the age of 30 something, from the flu because he and my grandmother didn't have a pot to piss in and were too proud to ask the doctor for help, which I am sure would have been provided. My grandmother remarried a few years later, fortunately to a well off man. She came down in the early 1930's with some sort of female cancer but things were different and she spent six months in hospital in Toronto, on my step-grandfather's nickle. It damn near put him in the poorhouse, he had to sell off something like seven sawmills and thousands of acres of land, but he paid the bills.

In a civilized country, my maternal grandfather should not have died and my step-grandfather should not have nearly gone broke. As far as I am concerned the state should provide basic healthcare to citizens of a country, just as it provides roads, fire services, police, etc., etc.

I find what is going on in the US beyond belief, but I also find fundamenltist christians beyond belief.

skuthorp
08-21-2009, 07:58 AM
Quote Pat Cox's post: "Now this is the conventional conservative southern republican view. More recently, libertarian, Ayn Rand types have gained a lot of traction in setting the conservative agenda, and these people are completely off the rails, they truly believe that society is best served by a "devil take the hindmost" attitude which views failure, poverty, early death, as the moral due of the inferior, and that it is a form of slavery to ask or expect the succesful to in any way aid the poor and destitute. This morally evil notion is amazingly popular in the US today, the idea that each individual in society owes no obligation whatsoever to anyone ot anything but himself or herself, and that all collective effort, is a form of slavery that yokes the superior people to what they view as an immoral obligation, they often call it "slavery" to help the inferior people."

or 'survival of the fittest' the rest being dispensable.

Quote SamF: "Yes, Christians bear a moral responsibility to look after their fellow man*. But that doesn't mean one has to be stupid about it. We're exhorted to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves", so we need to do the right thing, the right way"
Not just christians, it's everyones responsibility, but I'm disturbed about the final 2 phrases SamF.

Glen Longino
08-21-2009, 08:11 AM
Yes, Christians bear a moral responsibility to look after their fellow man*. But that doesn't mean one has to be stupid about it. We're exhorted to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves", so we need to do the right thing, the right way (as Milo indicated)
So far as I can tell - not being terribly knowledgeable on the subject - nobody has a solved this problem. The European style systems, for instance, are unsustainable. Therefore, it would be awfully handy to create a system that is affordable but also encourages personal responsibility - or to put it another way one that's reasonably efficient, accountable and that doesn't tend toward tyranny.

*We live in a pluralist society, so others don't necessarily share that responsibility - right Glen? ;)

Morality has been around a lot longer than Jesus and Christians, Sam.
The fact that morality is spread rather thinly among those who claim the most morality is not the fault of Unrecovered Atheists, is it?

Sam F
08-21-2009, 08:13 AM
In my opinion, the degree to which universal health care systems (of any stripe) are unsustainable is not reflective of a poor concept for the systems of health insurance themselves.

Huh? So spending more money than one takes in is not necessarily a flaw?
You might want to reexamine that assumption:


The Sustainability of European Health Care Systems: Beyond Income and Ageing
During the last thirty years health care expenditure (HCE) has been growing much more rapidly than GDP in all OECD countries posing increasing concern on the long-term sustainability of current trends. Against this background, we look at the determinants of HCE in European countries, explicitly taking into account the role of income, the effect of ageing population, life habits, technological progress, as well as institutional and budgetary variables. Our results show that the current trend of increasing HCE is rooted in a set of highly differentiated factors. Ageing population is usually regarded as a key driver of HCE in Europe. However, increased life expectancy and decreased fertility rate only tells part of the story. Increased income levels also lead to higher HCE, and the magnitude of the estimated elasticity poses serious concerns about sustainability of current trends. Besides, our results show the deep influence of technological uptake and diffusion, as well as the institutional framework and budget constraints as important factors in explaining HCE growth dynamics. We further control for health habits of the population by looking at the consumption of sugar and of fruits and vegetables. Our results reinforce the need for a political debate at the European level aimed at assuring long-term sustainability and prosperity.

It seems that at least somebody holds a somewhat less sanguine view than you do. Nor is this stuff hard to find... Lots of people are worried about the sustainability of these welfare state programs.



Most of the nations involved have had such programs for decades, and are in fact sustaining them ... with markedly lower costs and broader benefits than the American alternative.

AFAIK nobody is claiming that the American system is cheap.


... and ultimately, there'll be nothing left to cure, right? So what will we die from?

Budget deficits? ;)

Sam F
08-21-2009, 08:16 AM
Morality has been around a lot longer than Jesus and Christians, Sam.

I know that Glen.
What I don't know is why you should care what happens to your fellow man...
Other than self-interest, can you explain why you ought to pay for my healthcare?

Sam F
08-21-2009, 08:21 AM
Quote SamF: "Yes, Christians bear a moral responsibility to look after their fellow man*. But that doesn't mean one has to be stupid about it. We're exhorted to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves", so we need to do the right thing, the right way"
Not just christians, it's everyones responsibility, but I'm disturbed about the final 2 phrases SamF.

I'm not sure what could be disturbing... perhaps you'll explain.
One thing that might cause unease is this - though it's quite standard stuff:
I think we do live in a pluralistic society, right? And we wouldn't want to impose our values on others, right?
So in all that chaos of pluralism, I bet it's not all that hard to find the Ayn Rand types (I know several BTW).
So how do you bring them on board? They don't consider it their responsibility you know.

skuthorp
08-21-2009, 08:24 AM
I know that Glen.
What I don't know is why you should care what happens to your fellow man...
Other than self-interest, can you explain why you ought to pay for my healthcare.

**** happens SamF, you surprise me, or maybe you don't.
I have been healthy (so far) most of my life. Some are not so fotrtunate in their choices or genetic inheritance. Some make bad choices, some get the blow-back of others bad choices. What comes around goes around, we are, or should be, a community, not a collection of self centered individuals.
A query, as a commited 'christian' do you think peerchance that illness is 'god's punisment' on those who don't follow the party line?

Sam F
08-21-2009, 08:31 AM
...What comes around goes around, we are, or should be, a community, not a collection of self centered individuals.

Oh? The wicked don't prosper? I'm afraid they often do.
And exactly why ought we be a community?
In a pluralistic society there are lots and lots of folk who think otherwise.


A query, as a commited 'christian' do you think peerchance that illness is 'god's punisment' on those who don't follow the party line?

Whoa there! Given my health problems, I musta be somthin' terribl'. ;)

Seriously, do try to drop the stereotypes. Ok?

TomF
08-21-2009, 08:37 AM
Sam,

"Sustainability" is a buzzword in healthcare. So much so that in British Columbia, my counterparts tell me that they're not even allowed to use the word in their documents anymore.

I do not dispute that costs are rising steadily, and faster than the increase in GDP in places with universal health insurance, just as they are within the US. The fact that they're mostly rising more slowly in comparison with GDP than they are in the US, and are rising from a lower overall spend in any case, simply means that we've got a bit more time than you guys. Besides which, a foundational premise of "sustainability" for us is the notion of continuing to cover all our citizens.

But the cause of unsustainability isn't the fact of publicly run universal health insurance - your place is less sustainable. The cause of unsustainability is the fact that there is no logical cap for demand.

I've long said that while administrative and scheduling efficiencies can indeed buy a lot more time, it really just temporally displaces the problem. Unless demand is addressed by achieving some societal moral consensus on how to determine when we've reached "enough," there's no logical end in sight.

Sam F
08-21-2009, 08:43 AM
Sam,

"Sustainability" is a buzzword in healthcare.

The concept has been a "buzzword" for me since the early 1970's... but then I come out of an environmentalist background.


So much so that in British Columbia, my counterparts tell me that they're not even allowed to use the word in their documents anymore.

Well that's a relief! For a minute there I was afraid Canadian bureaucrats might restrict free speech.


I do not dispute that costs are rising steadily, and faster than the increase in GDP in places with universal health insurance, just as they are within the US. The fact that they're mostly rising more slowly in comparison with GDP than they are in the US,...

OK so it'll take you longer to go bankrupt than the US.


But the cause of unsustainability isn't the fact of publicly run universal health insurance - your place is less sustainable. The cause of unsustainability is the fact that there is no logical cap for demand...Unless demand is addressed by achieving some societal moral consensus on how to determine when we've reached "enough," there's no logical end in sight.

Ok, that's being smart. How does one encourage personal responsibility in healthcare as a way of "capping" demand - which is AFAIK the only way to address the issue?

TomF
08-21-2009, 08:50 AM
How does one encourage personal responsibility in healthcare as a way of "capping" demand - which is AFAIK the only way to address the issue?I think it's not personal responsibility in health care, so much as needing to face the reality that our bodies are designed to die.

One impact of increased secularization has been a real resistance to that rather hard truth. But it's a truth that must be faced by the religious and the secular alike, if we've any notion of not bankrupting our grandchildren, and extending some equity in health care providing a decent quality of life for those who are around.

I hold about the same hope for that as I do for heading off the environmental crisis that will wallop them. Rather unconvinced that humans are going to man up in sufficient numbers.

Milo Christensen
08-21-2009, 08:53 AM
And there you have it. A liberal Canadian health care policy wonk advocating death panels.

Dan McCosh
08-21-2009, 08:56 AM
No, not really.

Not unless you consider that there is a moral responsibility to feed all the hungry in the world, build homes for all the homeless, etc. etc.

http://aaron-ng.info/blog/images/VULTURE.jpg

Kaa

There is. Also a pragmatic reason to do it. Much of the so-called "health care" issue in the US is directly related to extreme poverty, IMO, and may not even be the most important aspect.

Glen Longino
08-21-2009, 08:58 AM
I know that Glen.
What I don't know is why you should care what happens to your fellow man...
Other than self-interest, can you explain why you ought to pay for my healthcare?

I don't know that I "ought" to pay for your healthcare.
I do know that I will pay for it if I can so that you have the same care I have.
Maybe it is self-interest. I don't want to watch other people perish from lack of care while I thrive, even you and yours.

downthecreek
08-21-2009, 08:58 AM
And there you have it. A liberal Canadian health care policy wonk advocating death panels.

What nonsense.

TomF
08-21-2009, 08:58 AM
And there you have it. A liberal Canadian health care policy wonk advocating death panels.What unutterable bull****, Milo. Where have I done such a thing?

No. You see a liberal Canadian health care policy wonk recognizing that we're a society of kids who are infatuated with ourselves, to the detriment even of our children. Wishing we'd man up, and stop being afraid of the dark.

Flying Orca
08-21-2009, 09:09 AM
Hear him, hear him!

skuthorp
08-21-2009, 09:11 AM
Quote SamF; "And exactly why ought we be a community?"
Because that's how we got where we are, community, cooperation. And that's probably how we got the time to think and talk and contemplate our own mortality, and invent the glimerinmgs of religion I should think.

But you are of course playing your own games again, and everyone realises that.

downthecreek
08-21-2009, 09:12 AM
I think it's not personal responsibility in health care, so much as needing to face the reality that our bodies are designed to die.


Since human mortality and eternal life are at the heart of Christianity, I would have supposed that the fact of death (and the hope of resurrection) would be acceptable to, and perhaps even embraced by, those professing this faith (a group to which, I suspect, a great many people wittering on about "death panels" and extremely expensive attempts to prolong a fading life for a few more weeks or months, do in fact belong)

Janacek's opera "The Makropoulos Case" explores this theme very powerfully. It shows how humanity in its best sense is lost when the elixir of life is found and how it is restored only when the possibility of death is also restored. A good performance, such as I have witnessed a couple of times, can be very moving.

skuthorp
08-21-2009, 09:21 AM
Kenny Chesney Lyrics – Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven
Preacher told me last Sunday mornin’
Son, you better start livin’ right
You need to quit the women and whiskey
And carrying on all night
Don’t you wanna hear him call your name
When you’re standin’ at the pearly gates
I told the preacher, “Yes I do”
But I hope they don’t call today
I ain’t ready
Everybody wants to go to heaven
Have a mansion high above the clouds
Everybody want to go to heaven
But nobody want to go now
Said preacher maybe you didn’t see me
Throw an extra twenty in the plate
There’s one for everything I did last night
And one to get me through today
Here’s a ten to help you remember
Next time you got the good Lord’s ear
Say I’m comin’ but there ain’t no hurry
I’m havin’ fun down here
Don’t you know that
Everybody wants to go to heaven
Get their wings and fly around
Everybody want to go to heaven
But nobody want to go now
Someday I want to see those streets of gold in my halo
But I wouldn’t mind waiting at least a hundred years or so
Everybody wanna go to heaven
It beats the other place there ain’t no doubt
Everybody wanna go to heaven
But nobody wanna go now
Everybody wanna go to heaven
Hallelujah, let me hear you shout
Everybody wanna go to heaven
But nobody wanna go now
I think I speak for the crowd

TomF
08-21-2009, 09:22 AM
Janacek's opera "The Makropoulos Case" explores this theme very powerfully. It shows how humanity in its best sense is lost when the elixir of life is found and how it is restored only when the possibility of death is also restored. A good performance, such as I have witnessed a couple of times, can be very moving.This opera lover has never seen Makropoulos - something I'll try to remedy soon. Thx!

Nanoose
08-21-2009, 11:02 AM
Since human mortality and eternal life are at the heart of Christianity...

I do not think questions of life, death, our own mortality, are unique to Christianity. All humans ask/answer them in some way....some believing there is no soul, and we simply are no more upon our death; some believing we are reincarnated until we get it "right"; some believing we find either perfect justice, or perfect mercy.

But I do believe these worldview questions absolutely impact how we live...how we make the decisions we do....which is why it is interesting to hear the perspectives on whether or not there is a moral core to this debate.

Lastly, to correct John Smith's earlier post (#54) stating that Christians are not among those working for this reform is incorrect. The quote at the top of the post goes on to talk about what is being done in that regard, including a phone in "town hall meeting" involving President Obama yesterday. I just didn't post it all. http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=action.display&item=HC09-main links to much that is being done for this reform within the faith community.

From one of those links: "From a biblical point of view, it is simply wrong when health becomes a commodity and accessibility depends upon wealth."

johnw
08-21-2009, 12:34 PM
I agree. Do note that it's a bill crafted by Obama and the Democrats, and likely to pass the Democrat-controlled House and Senate, and likely to be signed by the Democratic President.



I haven't looked, but I don't expect most of health insurance companies in the US to be multinational. You think they are..?

Kaa

Yup. Democrats aren't saints. Who knew? Anyway, as Lincoln said, we've got the best legislature money can buy.

Many insurance companies are multinationals, and while I haven't surveyed the industry, I think you'll find health insurance tends to be offered by units of companies that also offer other kinds of services. In addition to health insurance, AIG, for example, offers home and property insurance, anuities, financial services, etc...

AIG was brought down by a small unit operating in Britain. Mind, it wasn't a health insurance unit -- insurance companies are also financial institutions.

In general, we can think of them as big boys who can take care of themselves, but then, there's AIG...

Sam F
08-21-2009, 04:51 PM
Stop and think about it for a bit and you might conclude, as I have, that competing world-views (i.e. pluralism) might have something to do with a lack of progress to date, eh?

Quote SamF; "And exactly why ought we be a community?"
Because that's how we got where we are, community, cooperation.


I don't know that I "ought" to pay for your healthcare... Maybe it is self-interest...

Well that's one reason - so long as it's in one's self-interest


And that's probably how we got the time to think and talk and contemplate our own mortality, and invent the glimerinmgs of religion I should think.

Community created religion? And that makes community a good thing?
Glen! what do you have to say about that? ;)


But you are of course playing your own games again, and everyone realises that.

I'm not sure how asking fundamental questions about how a pluralistic society could agree on what makes for good healthcare is playing a game. I expect the answers to be difficult and nothing like a game at all.
But speaking of games...
Secularists talk a good game about compassion, community and morals when it's in their self interest to do so. And they're just as ready to pitch the whole thing when that same community thwarts their desires. It should be no surprise that this long standing Leftist game has created the almost total lack of trust we've witnessed in the recent healthcare debates. That is no way to build anything like a community, nor is it likely to ever do so. As it happens, communities, by their very nature, place limits on personal freedoms and are thus always at risk from people who place themselves first.