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Idiocracy, We Are Here!

I love a good debate. I prefer an America with 2 strong parties holding opposing views, because I believe it makes us stronger and keeps us centered.

But in the Health Care Reform–or is that Insurance Coverage Reform now?–discussions, the debate seems to have turned into insane banter and bickering between the uninformed and the uninspired. Sadly, democrats are leading the uninspired charge this time.

I knew we were in trouble when I saw the video (it’s all over the web) of one angry man screaming at a U.S. Representative that he “didn’t want the government’s hands on his medicare”.

The fact that this guy obviously missed the memo on who pays for and manages medicare wasn’t the troubling factor, I’m used to impassioned zealots spewing meaningless rants.

It’s the fact that every major news network I’ve seen has now played that clip not as evidence that these rants and oppositions are from the uninformed, but rather as evidence that “normal people” are overwhelmingly siding against the proposed reforms.

Then today I found a great piece that covered a publishing by Investor’s Business Daily (NOTE: the story has since been changed to remove the silly implication, but accounts of it are all over the web) which spoke ill of the reform plans, making it’s case by saying that the rationing of any government controlled public option would lead to such dire examples as [from the original publishing]:

“People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.”

Perhaps someone at IBD should have asked their underworked fact checker where Stephen Hawking was from.

As you might be aware, he’s from the UK, has lived there all his life, and credits the National Health Service there for giving him the opportunity to live as long and productively as he has:

“I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS, I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.”

The sad truth is, under our current system in America, Hawking is probably accurate in saying he wouldn’t have survived because the odds are good that he would have been dropped from any commercial policy he did have (as many Americans who thought they were covered by good insurance have been) and ultimately would have been left to sub-standard on-going care via Emergency Room visits rather than closely monitored care with a primary Doctor who knew his history and could judge¬† his continued symptoms and progressions better.

That’s not to suggest our ER’s are sub-standard in any way. They’re not. But they are designed for emergency care, not on-going treatment and care. But, for the uninsured, they are often the only option available in our system, and when used improperly, and well intended care can turn into an ultimate disaster for the patient. It’s also a much heavier burden on tax-payers than paying for proper continual care with the right providers would be, but opponents to reform never want to acknowledge that.

But this writing isn’t to debate the health care reform issue, it’s to point out that we’re losing our common sense and manners in this country.

I’m not that old, just entering middle-age in fact, but when I grew up we were taught to be mindful and respectful of others.

We were taught that points were never made by being louder than your opponent, but rather by being smarter and more informed than they were.

If you didn’t like what your government was doing, or planning to do, you have a voice, but it is supposed to be your inside voice you use.

That every man (or woman) of good character will make a stand for what they believe in, but when you decide to make your stand for something, you ‘ought to know what the hell you’re standing for, or against, before shooting your mouth off. Otherwise you just get caught with your britches down.

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Technorati Tags: bad manners, dumb ideas, health care reform

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