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Aug 05, 2014

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Craig Westover

I know Dave Racer personally. I have worked with him on health care issues. I think your portrayal of him is a little harsh and based on too little exposure. The logical points you make, however, are well-taken.

Our government was not set up to "rule" anyone, by anyone, whether that wannabe "ruler" is a Christian or a secular collectivist. The point that comes out of the discussion, however, is that given the expanded extra-constitutional scope of government -- common core curriculum and the ACA being two prime examples -- the only way for one to protect one's values is by seizing control of government and imposing one's values on others.

This is where libertarian philosophy differs from both conservative and progressive. Conservatives and progressives in the form of Republicans and Democrats seek to win elections so they can impose their values on others. Libertarians want to win so they can reduce the scope of gov't and limit its power and ability to impose any values on anyone. It's where I differ with Dave.

A final note: I have not seen Dave's presentation "Christian Citizenship in a Post Christian America" but the topic is certainly valid and knowing Dave I'd expect it to be a well-thought out insightful presentation targeted to people concerned about preserving their Christian faith. Even when I have disagreed with Dave, I never found him to be anything less.

Phoenix Woman

As a hater of statism, Craig, you should really love the ACA. Instead of going the "Medicare for All" route and eliminating the insurance companies from the health care equation, the ACA helps insurance companies by shunting tens of millions more customers their way in exchange for ending the practice of using pre-existing conditions to bar people from getting coverage.

But then, going the "Medicare for All" route would gift us with far less bureaucracy (especially of the private-sector kind).

Craig Westover

Actually, the subsidy idea is, like Paul Ryan's voucher idea, not a bad way to go if the intent is really helping people. The problem with the ACA is that on the other end it mandates what policies must look like taking away choice.

"Hating statism," I don't want to see the government "helping insurance companies." If it must be involved, it ought to be helping people by providing truly vulnerable individuals with both opportunity and resources to participate in an unencumbered free market.

Medicare for all fails because to the extent Medicare "works" today it is because the rest of the health care system subsidizes Medicare patients. Many doctors are no longer taking Medicare patients because the reimbursement is too low to sustain a practice. Most medicare patients have private insurance riders to cover the cost of care Medicare doesn't cover. If we all have "Medicare," who will do the subsidizing?

And just a note about pre-existing conditions: you understand that pre-existing conditions is only a problem because of government policy, right? Prior to wage and price control in the 1940s, most people had individual, portable policies. Employers started providing health insurance as a benefit to get around a bad law. After the war, the government institutionalized the practice by giving employers a tax break on health benefits -- and thus employees were able to buy more insurance at less cost from employers than individually. Worked great when people didn't change jobs much, but that's not the case today. Thus without the portable, individual policies of the past, Houston, we have a problem that sans government involvement in the first place would be far less severe if it existed much at all.

Phoenix Woman

Well, Craig, considering that the US health care system is the most expensive in the world where patients are concerned, something had to be done. Health care is one of the biggest drags on the US economy; only the nasty effects of income inequality engendered by Reagan-era "trickle on" class warfare might exceed it.

By the way, ever since President Clinton fixed it up in the 1990s, the much-maligned VA actually provides better care overall than Johns Hopkins or the Mayo, particularly in those areas like Minneapolis and Detroit where there are plenty of VA hospital beds and staff to go around; you will note that the current "VA scandal" is a result of not enough VA facilities in Sun Belt areas and craven VA management fudging the numbers rather than telling their congresscritters they needed more staff and facilities in Phoenix et al.

Getting back to this post, I must admit that as I look at the Racer ad, the big question that comes to me is "Was this composed on an Apple II? The font looks awfully 1980s-ish".

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  • All of the statements, opinions, and views expressed on this site by Sally Jo Sorensen are solely her own, save when she attributes them to other sources.

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    Sorensen, editor and proprietor of Bluestem Prairie, serves clients in the business and nonprofit sectors. While progressive in outlook, she does not caucus with any political party.

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