Peanut Gallery for “A Reply To Consi” on national health coverage

Over on the thread, A Reply To Consi on national health care,  Les is responding to the following quote:

If you don’t have the talent or the willingness to move to where there is a job that provides health care, well then, that is a bed of one’s own making.

Consi is answering but…

In posting this up, the subject line seems to suggest a desire for a conversation between us.  I’m more than willing to engage in that conversation, but that is often times difficult to do here.  The reason being that there are multiple posts of varying value between the replies.  If you do want a conversation to take place, I’m asking you to so state.  If you so state, I’d like to ask your other members to show the courtesy and restraint necessary to allow the conversation to take place by not flooding the thread.

OK, fine.  We’ve been here before:  Consi wants silence in the theater while he dazzles the audience with his intellectual legerdemain.  (in the previous case, there was some justification as the subject was very technical)  So THIS thread is a peanut gallery where the rest of us can carry on with our simian chattering “of varying value” on the subject.

26 thoughts on “Peanut Gallery for “A Reply To Consi” on national health coverage

  1. Consi’s skillfully evasive, but (unless he donates to les or works on the site) doesn’t have the right to restrict others on the same level (those without a stake in the running of SEB)

  2. He wasn’t restricting anyone, only asking for a courtesy.  I figured it would be OK to go over to another table and order our own drinks.

  3. I don’t think Consi’s request was unreasonable as it can be difficult to be the sole voice of opposition at a site like this just from the number of comments he’d have to try and reply to at once. I understand and appreciate that.

  4. Not sure which thread to post this in since it is directed at Consi, but in the interest of not cluttering things up, I’ll drop it over here.

    So, Consi, what’s your opinion of public education?

    Should you be burdened with the cost of educating my kids? After all, it was my choice to have them. Perhaps the only kids to be educated should be those that come from families who can afford the expense themselves. Private Schools only, privately funded.

    We don’t do that now, because we’d like all of these children to be able to grow up and become productive members of society. It’s not a right to education, it’s a decision we’ve made, as a society, for our greater good.

    How does it differ from health care? Hard to be a productive member of society if you’re sick.

  5. I suppose it’s ok to ask people to arrange to engage you at a time and rate they can handle, but ‘flooding the thread’ includes comments outside conversation with consi, and it’s kinda stealing the thread. I know I don’t have cause to complain because I wasn’t in the conversation at the time (and so havn’t been inconvenienced), but I wouldn’t like to see the scope of a thread limited, it makes it more single-issue when it happens.

    I must say I was motivated to say that because I so often see people use courtesy as a backdoor way of saying ‘you shouldn’t do this’, not that they can’t but nethertheless trying to control what people do using mind-tricks where the consequence is other people’s opinions, which are arbitary anyway. I see xians say “you should”, “you shouldn’t”, “you should have the courtousy to do this arbitary thing”, and I hate it, it feels like a restriction to freedom. Not giving a damn is the only way not to have your choices changed.

  6. Bahamat: I suppose it’s ok to ask people to arrange to engage you at a time and rate they can handle, but ‘flooding the thread’ includes comments outside conversation with consi, and it’s kinda stealing the thread. I know I don’t have cause to complain because I wasn’t in the conversation at the time (and so havn’t been inconvenienced), but I wouldn’t like to see the scope of a thread limited, it makes it more single-issue when it happens.

    In most threads I would tend to agree with you, but the thread in question existed only as a reply to something Consi had said elsewhere, hence the thread title… “A Reply To Consi”

  7. KPG- I can see your point, I think I saw a tactic that I wanted to minimise, and this was a rare oppertunity to stab against it. To avoid it being implemented in other situations I hope people see why I take the stance I do.

  8. It didn’t help that Consi managed to fold an insult to nearly everyone, into his request.  As he noted I was a bit sarcastic but he isn’t unfamiliar with the genre.


    What is it about conservatives that they think so little of America? wink  Maybe it’s just idiot nationalism talking, but it really bugs me when people say we just can’t manage something that other countries seem to do.  Other countries teach their kids nondestructive ways of being sexual.  Other countries manage not to imprison a huge chunk of their population for minor offenses.  Other countries manage to educate their kids (American kids fare poorly in tests).  We apparently can’t design cars that get good gas mileage though China does.  And for some reason, we can’t provide national health care even though every other industrialized country manages it.  Hell, even dirt-poor, Communist Cuba does pretty well at it, considering. Yet somehow we liberals are accused of being defeatist!

    If we ‘kin whup them Nozzies ‘n put a man on dad-burn moon we dang well oughta be able to handle health care without paying more per capita than everyone else!  (Wipes patriotic foam off mouth)

  9. That’s a very good article that I’ve actually got a printed copy of sitting on my bookshelves. I wouldn’t characterize it as interesting, I’d call it compelling. I wish that it had been picked up by the AP and printed in newspapers across the country on the first page.

  10. I didn’t want to post this here- I want to put it on the ‘main’ thread. However, out of respect for Les’s comment above…

    A society is more than the sum of its parts.  Consi wants to know why someone else should cure his ill health.  It is because a society is just that, a society, not a group of individuals.

    Because there is a quid pro quo. 

    The people who picked up the tab for the health bill will one day require help themselves.  Should I object toward the upkeep of a police service?  If I am not robbed then I have gained nothing from this expense.  Should we not say instead if you have a crime committed against you, it means you did not take preventative measures?  Why should I pay for the detection and imprisonment of someone who has done me no harm?  Should the police budget be paid for only by those who insure themselves, and the police only respond to those who hold insurance.  What about fire-fighting?

    A society, if it is anything, is more than the sum of its parts.  It is a contract.  All will contribute, on the understanding all will be helped.  Marx eloquently encapsulated this:

    “From each according to ability,
    To each according to need”

    Consi, we do not ask that we be fed where we can provide food for ourselves.  Part of the social contract is that we produce what we can, for the good of the whole.  We ask the vulnerable be protected.  A true society accepts that there will always be those who require more than the can contribute.  A society does not judge on the lot that nature deals, it asks only that you uphold the group, and where possible improve it.

    If you do not have a society where the powerful defend the powerless, you do not have a society.  You have individuals who happen to share the same geography.

    I do not deny that the message has become muddied- that there are those who believe they can take without contributing.  They, like you, are outside the tent that is the group.

    Those who are disdainful of the group, who feel that there is no society have that freedom BECAUSE there is a group, there is society.

    Orwell said people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.  What is the value of a human life?  Is it less than a baseball player gets paid?  Yet daily someone who earns less in a year than a pitcher is paid in a week, places their life on the line for the good of us all.  All that they do militates against that which Consi espouses- why should one person pay for the wellbeing of another.

    When firefighters rushed into the WTC, they did so for the furtherment of the group, of society.  They did not do the zero sum game that Consi says we must do.  They made a choice, placing society over self.  They could have said ‘No’.  They made a choice.

    Consi may deny it, he may demand proofs, actual quotes, knowing full well much that he implies he does not state.  But every thing he types represents to me the placement of self over group, at any cost.  Consi, you are not inhumane.  You preach unhumane.  Turning your back on the group.  But you can preach this, you can twist and turn and say what you want because human kind, when they are alone with nothing but their conscience laid bare to them, runs TOWARD the scream.  While the group, on an instinct level- what they actually do, not what the believe they think- thinks different to you, you have the freedom to preach against the group, for the rough men protect you, even while you despise the ideals that mean they do.

    If a society does not look after all, then it is not a society, and no amount of pledging to a flag will make it otherwise.

  11. Maybe its just nihilism speaking, but I always find it odd that everything always has to present itself in debate form.

    This is idealistic, as debate is the closest one can get to conversation with someone of different creed or ideology, as they certainly are not willing for compromise, but still. Something about arguing with an agenda, or point in front misconstrues rationality.

    You can add constraints, isolate people from the debate, but then you’re isolating outside thought and ideas.

    Iunno. I always sort of had a gripe with news or blogs or whoever ran around with their opinions painted on their face, running amuck pointing out the things that support what they believe and carefully ignoring the things they don’t believe in. Something we’re all fault to.

    People need to doubt themselves more. Live in fear of their own decisions.

  12. “And the people bowed and prayed To the neon god they made…”

    Social contracts?  Nice point, truly so.

    Every contract must have an “opt-out” ability, ideally implemented when some notion of maturity and culpability is reached in the society.

    How to distinguish between those who are “in” and all Others ?  Easy…  a small RFID widget implanted under the forehead’s epidermis, denying all sorts of services:  healthcare, masstransit, extended education, water, passage to the Lunar Colony, breeding, etc.

  13. I was given a separation package in lieu of moving a few months ago.  I have been job searching for the past month, and I hope that the job that I was given a preliminary job offer for last Friday actually goes through.  I am still on severance pay and I still have insurance. 

    I am fortunate to live in Northern Virginia because there are good Unix Sys Admin jobs available.  If I had lived in many other areas of the country it is very likely that I would not be able to find a job.  Many of the jobs that I had been interviewed for wouldn’t have provided health insurance for six months.

    I am fortunate that if necessary, I could get myself put on my partner’s insurance. 

    There are many others in the US with the same skills that I have who are not as fortunate or lucky and they find themselves without health insurance.

    Having employer provided health insurance in the US is a series of fortunate and lucky situations.

  14. Les has given up.  Consi has his mind set, maybe in concrete.  He generously poses the question “why do my choices become your responsibility” and that’s right thoughtful but it’s a smokescreen.  And he says the concept of a “common good” is just too abstract for him – I think.

    Not everything fits through an ideological filter or is amenable to philosophy.  Take Michigan for example.  A very practical result of national health care coverage would be that there’d be less of an exodus of qualified people from the state.  That gives Michigan a springboard for an economic comeback and avoids flooding the skilled job market in other states.

    But for me the persuasive argument is simply that the US is paying way more than anyone else per capita, and getting less.  And it’s probably a reasonable conjecture that healthy people work more, so they’ll pay more taxes.  And if everyone has basic coverage, emergency rooms can turn away non-emergency cases, at tremendous savings.

    Setting aside Consi’s “I got mine, the hell with you” argument, I think national health care simply makes better economic sense.  The proof is that other countries do it and it works out well; they spend less per capita, have lower infant mortality, and live longer lives with less chronic care.

  15. To me it seems wierd that conservatives wouldn’t be behind a national health care system.  Businesses can hardly afford to provide health care to their employees.  And as the cost goes up so does the prices of goods.  Which makes it harder to be competitive.

    Unless I’m missing something a national health care system would really be good for everyone.

  16. Question

    Someone has a heart attack in the street. At what point does some-one try and find out if they can afford the ambulance/hospital?  What happens if some one dials 911, and the person receives meical care (with out asking), and then says ‘But I have no insurance’.  I’m sure many Brits wouyld be interested to find out what happens to the poor and uninsurable.

  17. In the US you cannot be refused treatment if you have no insurance.  Something that we US citizens had to be told after a court case.  Which boggles the mind!  I don’t have to be told by the courts that not treating someone because they cannot afford health insurance is inhumane.  That to me is common sense.

    However the person without health insurance better be in a life threatening situation, otherwise they are going to wish they had died once they see the bill.

  18. I’ll tell you what happens; they are hounded to the end of their days by bill collectors.  As they get deeper into intractable debt, it becomes ever harder to get credit, take care of other necessities, or afford health insurance.  In fact, their medical debts and lack of current insurance are counted against them when they apply for said insurance.

  19. Now officially scared.  It’s not always a choice not to get health insurance.  A few years ago a BBC report into the way the US health insurance system works interviewed a Insurance salesman who was on Consi’s side of the fence, despite his own employer refusing him cover, as he was considered too much of a health risk.

  20. I think it’s amazing that a country as advanced in so many ways as the US does NOT care about the health of all its citizens. As a people or race it is unable to see that the actual health of a nation is as important as the health of its education and security systems.
    It’s obvious that if Health and Education had similar lobbyists with the same level of intensity as the War Machine has, your economy/country would be even stronger than it is.

    In some ways I’m glad y’all have the rampant greed of capitalism controlling your Health System, your psyche, your nation, where the least important among you die of treatable diseases because the rest of us can continue to see the US as a backward nation of shallow dollar worshippers controlled by gullible fools who justify treating the least among you as no more than fodder for the machine.

    Maybe that was laid on a bit thick but I think it’s criminal that the least among you needs to die to somehow prove there’s some silly little notion of freedom of choice attached to health care.
    Silly little people that see nothing wrong with spending Billions upon Billions trying to win an unwinnable war on drugs or trying to force democracy onto a nation of backward tribesmen in the ME to disguise the blatant desire for oil BUT balking at universal health care.
    I can’t be the only one who finds this ‘logic’ difficult to understand.

    I read Consi’s words over there and I’m at a loss to understand his reasoning; it’s as if something has blinded him to Truth and Justice AND what Society means … let alone what humanity means.
    He follows the ‘I’m alright, Jack; fuck you’ rule where I’m more of a ‘one for all and all for one’ sorta bloke. He has been conned into believing we all make cognisant choices as to where we are and where we want to be in the scheme of things.
    There was a time in my life I resented people with children paying less tax than me.
    I felt I was forced to support them; when I thought about it my taxes paid for many things I didn’t agree with but I eventually realised there was more to society than just me and what I believed.

    “A society should be judged not by how it treats its outstanding citizens but by how it treats its criminals.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky
    I could add, to judge a nation all you need to do is look at how its poorest are treated.

    I am lucky in Oz that we have Universal Health care for all although since the early 70s successive right-wing governments have done their best to chip away at the benefits.
    On a personal level, because of my war service, I have access to the best health care available, at no charge, including psychiatric, dental and spectacles as well as an allowance for medication so I have no axe to grind; I just happen to be one of those silly fuckers who care about the health and well-being of my fellow planet-dwellers.

  21. Barman- a beer for the hairy arsed Aussie. I have nothing to add. (though I don’t think the controllers are guillable fools They make money from them though).

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