Discussions: Reponding to a Healthcare Question from a Friend.

To my FIU Republican friends, how do you react to the idea that FIU is a public option for higher education, and that since you are using the public option, why can’t healthcare have a public option?

Leonard Goenaga
If you would like to make loose references between public healthcare and colleges, then do the following: if you had the opportunity to go to a distinguished private school, or a public university, which would you pick?

Harvard or FIU? The answer is obvious. Private universities produce higher caliber programs, students, research, findings, professors, and the list goes on.

The US has the best colleges in the world, and these are not public options. The cream of our crop are our private ones.

So in this context, the private universities produce better institutions than the public. Same is said of healthcare, accept it takes it much further! 

For starters, healthcare would be something that would ensnare the public (like social security). It would deny you a freedom to choose whatever care and service for yourself. It would force payment for a program against your will, and unlisted within our constitution or as a ‘natural right’.

Greater still, our constitution tells us that any rights not given to the federal government is in the domain of the state. That’s why some states have public healthcare (which are terrible models). Look at walter reid hospital for a model of ‘public care’.

So if we follow the guiding document that states the delegation of power resides in states, that some fabrication of ‘natural right’, however passionately argued, is a debate to be had at the state level. This was designed for several reasons. Forcing north carolina to pay for new york’s health bill denies those individuals the sovereignty of self, and sovereignty of state. It is unconstitutional in its approach to a solution.

States should decide over this issue. If you disagree with your state, than you can move to one to your liking (its called freedom). If you want marijuana or public healthcare, you can move to Mass or cali (and see how terrible that experiment is). 

Leonard we need a national option because the health care industry is national.

You make a good point about how some states that do have public health are in bad condition. That’s because they don’t have enough money to run them thus requiring a greater economy of scale.

Finally medicare pays for old people, Medicaid for the poor. The federal government is already paying for healthcare and the grip that hmos have over hospitals and prices don’t help. Besides I’d rather foot the bill of an indigent that is receiving preventative care than the indigant’s problems due to lack of care which is what’s happening now.

You may have better results at private schools but lack of funding can do alot. Still for what you get from this public option, isn’t bad at all! All these reasons hide the thought behind public option. They are there so that those that can’t afford a private school may obtain the same education.

No one is saying abolish private healthcare. No one is saying we shouldn’t have public universities because the results may not be as effective. These are institutions that help those in which the market has squeezed out of affordability. May I also say that for education the results haven’t been dismal.

Leonard Goenaga
Thanks for your response. Pleasure to meet you as well.

You make several presumptions with your response. I’ll highlight them, and how they are invalid grounds for a rebuttal. The other points outside of these I’ll respond to as well.

This is what you are presuming:

1. We need a national option because health care industry is national.
2. States-run  healthcare fails because of not enough funding.
3. Preventive care argument.
4. Public option isn’t at all bad.
5. Private School affordability.

1. A. First, this argument is basically saying we need a national option just because its national. That doesn’t justify itself. Food is sold nationally. The flight industry is national. Transportation is a national industry. Add to this a multiple amount of additional industries which are national. Just because an industry is national, doesn’t mean we have to have a public option. One of the reasons we DON’T have public options in some of those sectors, is because the private market did such a better job that the public option was just a leech.

1. B. Something that MUST be stressed is authority. The authority you are referencing is a believe for it to be national. The authority I am referencing is the absolute high law of the land, the constitution. In it, it says:  “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” (10th Amendment). I won’t go through the entire constitution, but it is very clear on what the US Government can and can do. Protect the nation. Collect taxes. Print money, etc. Nowhere is healthcare there. Nor foodcare. Nor housecare (all logical extensions of your logic). The Constitution is clear that this is to be determined by states. It maintains freedom, which is what our constitution seeks to protect. In other words, it is NOT a national right, and just because an industry is national (such as McDonald’s), doesn’t mean it needs a public option, especially when the public option fails in comparison to the private. Which leads to…

2. A.This is simply not true. Public education funding has increased tremendously over the years, and with no real results. It has not made improvements. You don’t extinguish a fire by throwing dollar bills at it. “Since 1985, real fed­eral spending on K–12 education has increased by 138 percent. On a per-student basis, federal spending on K–12 education has tripled since 1970. Yet, long-term measures of American stu­dents’ academic achievement have not seen similar increases.” (See this chart: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Education/images/b2179_chart4.gif).

2. B. States that have public options, like Mass., fail because the programs are bad. They have not that primal incentive. Multiplying the mistake doesn’t work. You don’t treat cancer with more cancer.

Good example: A city with some of the lowest graduation rates in the nation (Boston) is also the area with the most per-student spending. The place with the smallest per-student spending (Mesa, AZ) has the highest graduation rates. Money DOES NOT solve the problem, as we see in Public Education. (See Chart http://www.heritage.org/Research/Education/images/b2179_chart5.gif)

3. A. Preventive care argument assumes even if people are given healthcare, they will take care of themselves. People are lazy. Many do not go to the doctor because American’s fear doctors, not because we can’t. Preventive care even assumes people would go in the first place, and you can’t force people to go.

4. Interesting enough, the response to point 4 is found in point 2. Those states-options are bad options. You already see the experiment at a smaller scale. Making it bigger doesn’t make it better, it just makes the problem bigger! Look at California! The state is gigantic (population, resources, and size wise). If they can fail with such crippling debt, what would make you think otherwise? Point two, your own admission, invalidates the assumption on point 4.

5. One reason many people cannot afford private school is because we’re forced into paying for public. Parents pay thousands of dollars to send their kids to public school already: it’s in your property tax. If my parents didn’t have to pay all that money, they could send me to private school, where I would have gotten a better education. If the government allowed people to choose whether they wanted to pay for private or public school, you would see where people would go. Public school is not a public option per-say, because we are forced into paying for it. Government doesn’t allow you to take those funds and invest in Private school.

Hope all these points, however long, will help you to see assumptions being made. In conclusion, this argument is grounded in freedom. Government, our’s in particular, is designed to protect man’s freedom. Forcing him into programs, especially ones that are $1,000,000,000,000.00 for 15-20 million individuals (a microscopic perspective of the population) denies man his freedom by forcing him to commit. It removes his financial freedom and forces it into a system that is not even as productive as the private models (see state-run programs like transportation, and walter-reid hospital, for dismal failures).

The government is clearly outlined in our constitution. This issue is a states issue, like many others. To force it upon people, people who are already tied up to paying $11,000,000,000,000.00 in debt, continued to erode their constitutional freedom, and their financial freedom.

It has failed on the states level. It has failed in other countries (compare our system with Canada and others), and it will only fail at a magnified level at the federal level.

11,000,000,000,000.00 for anyone who read this in full.

God’s blessings.


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