Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Kiss Your Health Care Choices Goodbye

I don't have time to comment on this right now but did want to get it out. Basically I agree with everything in this press release and urge anyone interested in health freedom to join the National Health Federation.

QUOTE:

HEALTH CARE REFORM UPDATE –A GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM TAKES SHAPE

By Lee Bechtel, NHF Lobbyist

October 6, 2009

In his recent address to Congress on health-care reform, President Obama made clear that he and his allies in the Congress know how to spend your health-care money better than you do. It’s a matter, you see, of “shared responsibility”: You share your dollars with the Feds, and the Feds are responsible for making your health-care decisions. In the health-care bill currently before the House, H.R.3200, there is even a “Health Choices Commissioner,” to be appointed by the President, who will rigorously define your choices.

There are numerous health-freedom and government-control issues in play in the current Congressional legislation. One that really sticks out is the issue of enforcing an individual mandate to buy insurance, and the costs for Americans who take responsibility and do not want the Federal government involved. Never before has Congress forced Americans to buy a private good or service. In this case, that means the forced purchase of private insurance or a government-insurance plan. In fact, for those with a traditional understanding of the Constitution as a charter of liberty (as opposed to the “living” version), the list of Congress’ powers in Article I, Section 8 grants it no authority to require any such thing.

Along with H.R.3200, Senator Max Baucus (D. Mont.) has unveiled a Senate Finance Committee bill that also has an individual mandate. It would levy a penalty of up to $3,800 on families for what President Obama has called “irresponsible behavior,” by which he means health-care choices of which he and his Democratic allies in Congress disapprove. In Obama’s usage, “personal responsibility” is selective; it does not extend to the question of taking responsibility for one’s own health care. That’s the government’s job, of course.

President Obama is right on one key point: The current system makes those with health coverage pay for those without. Those who are without health coverage, illegal aliens or US citizens, often get their care in hospital emergency rooms – the most expensive place possible. The President correctly calls this a hidden tax. Under existing Federal law, hospitals are required to provide treatment to everyone who comes into their emergency room, regardless of their ability to pay. There is no legislation under consideration that would change this.

At this time, there remains a difference between the key House bill, H.R.3200, and the key Senate legislation on Federal health-insurance coverage for illegal aliens. In the Waxman bill, illegal aliens could register and if they pay the monthly premium for a taxpayer-funded Federal health plan – "the public option" – they would then be covered. In other words, there is no requirement for verification of US citizenship. Without trying to sound partisan, there have been, to the best of my knowledge, four separate attempts/amendments by Republicans in the House committees to require verification. These amendments were voted down by the Democratic majorities in two different House committees. There have been other Republican amendments to reform the private health-insurance market that were similarly defeated (such as allowing insurance companies to sell such policies across State lines without individual State restrictions, similar to the way that automobile insurance is now sold, thereby allowing price competition on a scale not seen before).

On the other hand, as it now stands, the Baucus bill in the Senate at least requires one form of US citizenship verification (i.e., birth certificate, US citizenship certificate, social security card, or a State driver's license) to be eligible for and to pay for and be covered by a basic Federal government insurance plan. US taxpayer dollars, civil penalties, corporate and individual taxes, and taxes on middle-income taxpayers who have insurance coverage, will pay for this illegal alien coverage. This, in all fairness, may be good for individual State budgets, since many States, especially in the Southwest, already pay for illegal alien health care in hospital emergency rooms through their State Medicaid programs. Good for States like California, home to House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, for example.

It gets worse. In the Baucus plan, if a person refuses to buy health insurance, either through the private insurance State cooperative program to be created, or via the Federal public insurance plan, when cited by the IRS issuing the mandated IRS penalty, and if a person also refuses to pay the penalty on Constitutional grounds, they will have to go to court and could end up in jail. This is fact. This was extensively discussed at the Baucus Senate mark-up and several Republican amendments to change this were voted down by the majority of Democrat members on the committee. The political spin on both sides of Congress is deep and heavy for proponents of government-controlled health insurance.

Requiring everyone to buy government-specified health insurance, whether they need it or not, is an unacceptable violation of personal liberty. The choice between freedom and responsibility, as President Obama and his congressional allies portray it, is a false choice. It is a way of taxing healthy people, and people who do not want Federal government control of health-care decisions, without calling it a tax.

As it stands at the time of this writing, the House and Senate will likely vote on their respective health-care reform legislation in early to mid October. The Senate Finance Committee is marking-up the unnumbered Baucus bill now. The process is not over yet, but when each chamber of the Congress passes its legislation, there will be a Conference Committee appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. President Obama and his allies, i.e. the Democrats, will have the majority of representation on this committee to work out differences between the two bills. This is a legislative process fact.

Congressional and Presidential elections do have consequences. The final script for the shape of our new health-care system is yet to be completed. One aspect is almost certain: American's Constitutional rights are being trampled on, along with individual health freedom of choice. The strong cry against this usurpation of our liberties is already starting to be heard, even in the insulated halls of Congress.

More than one hundred and fifty years ago, the French economist Frédéric Bastiat made the case that there is the right to individual liberty and then there are claimed “false” rights (such as the “right” to healthcare) that can only exist at the expense of destroying individual liberty. Nowhere is the battle between the two more vividly depicted than it is now with this health-care fight. If you care about your individual freedom – and just as importantly care about your right to make your own health-care choices that will differ from those that the government wants to make for you – then you will contact your Congressional representatives and tell them to either throw H.R.3200 out the window or else don’t ever bother coming home.

END QUOTE

22 comments:

shel said...

as a Canadian, let me tell you: healthcare is the hill that you will live or die on. after this, all political arguments will be fought on the Left's terms.

conservatives will have no choice; they won't be able to say, for example, "we don't believe in public healthcare". they will be forced to say, "we will be the ones to deliver public healthcare more efficiently".

...i always tell people, while they stare, puzzled, at my forehead, "every 'right' given to someone ensures a liberty is taken away from someone else". this is snotnosed, cornbraided politics, argued by people with an insolent sense of entitlement and little sense of self responsibility. my property rights, freedom of speech and gun rights are sacred.

but Republican neocons are as willing to destroy your Constitution as social liberal Democrats.

the only thing that can save your country now is your (hopefully) latent libertarian streak, which your Constitution embraces.

i hope you recultivate your old American contempt for the state.

...if you don't, as a Canadian, where the hell will i be able to run? there will be nowhere left.

Charles R. said...

" In the Waxman bill, illegal aliens could register and if they pay the monthly premium for a taxpayer-funded Federal health plan..."

Umm, yeah. And that's a bad thing because??? Maybe you didn't read the "if they pay the monthly premium" part. If you pay the monthly premium, which means you are paying your way in the program, how is that a bad thing? The more people paying more premiums, the better. That's how insurance works.

Or maybe you're unclear on the point that if an illegal alien shows up at an emergency room, they get treated, insurance or not. So now, if they have paid their premiums into the plan, the emergency room gets reimbursed for the treatment, where previously, the costs were spread out to you and I. Or the emergency rooms close, like they have all over L.A..

Or even better, if the illegal alien has paid his premiums, which is designed to cover the cost of care, he or she gets medical care BEFORE ending up in the much more expensive emergency room. They will get vaccinations, they will get treated for small things before they become expensive big things that everyone then pays for.

So I am really trying hard to figure out why it's a bad thing for anyone who wants to buy into this insurance plan to do so. And in the case of illegals, it's particularly helpful to everyone, and less expensive for everyone, and better for overall public health, to get them paying into the system and using it in a reimbursable way.

Charles R. said...

"There have been other Republican amendments to reform the private health-insurance market that were similarly defeated (such as allowing insurance companies to sell such policies across State lines without individual State restrictions..."

And that's a terrible idea. They did the same thing for credit card companies years ago, and how is that working out for ya?

What happened with the credit card companies, and what will happen with health insurance companies, is that they all moved to the states with the least regulation, like South Dakota. And the states basically compete to have the least regulation...it's a race to the bottom.

As it is now, states regulate health insurance companies. And there is at least some chance that someone can contact their state insurance commissioner and get them to respond.

So on your plan, if my health insurance company moves to South Dakota, and I'm living in Washington state, and I have a problem, I'm going to have to try to talk to the state insurance commissioner in South Dakota? And since every other health insurance company will move to South Dakota, just what do you think the chances are that I will be able to get anyone to listen. And then what? I file suit from 1500 miles away?

That's a really, really bad idea.

Pete said...

Dear Shel,

As a Canadian, I ask you to please not speak for me.

sorry.. couldn't resist.

-DancinPete

Don said...

Excuse me, but aliens will not "pay their way," they will be subsidized by those of us who pay taxes.

Charles, it appears you missed the feature of this plan that FORCES people to purchase insurance even if they don't want/need it, under penalty of fine or imprisonment. This is morally wrong. Living without insurance is not a crime, it does not hurt anyone else. I lived without insurance for years and paid my way in cash. As for the penniless, before we had government interfering in the medical market, we had many charity hospitals in the U.S. (19th century).

In what other industry do we require that a company can only sell in one state? You can only purchase cars made in your state? You can only purchase food grown in your state? You can only buy books printed in your state?

As for regulation, I favor NO regulation. Let the buyer beware. I don't want any nanny state. If States race to have no regulation, it suits me fine. If so, it eliminates your scenario. If all states compete by reducing regulations, there will be no mass movement of companies to any state with no regulation because all will have no regulation.

Regulations just increase the cost of insurance and make it impossible to get low cost policies that fit your specific needs. Like in my state, mandates require that my policy cover a number of things I don't want or need coverage for (like maternity costs for myself).

No regulation is good regulation. When there is no regulation, this calls up the need for private certifiers, Better Business Bureaus, consumer protection companies, etc. The market will weed out the bad IF the market is allowed to work.

With credit deregulation, I agree also. If it increases the cost of credit, it reduces the use of credit, which is a good thing. I have never had any problem with credit card vendors. Deregulating means the buyers start regulating by avoiding unscrupulous enterprises and giving their busines to honest enterprises. Some people may get hurt but its not my job NOR THE JOB OF A STATE to keep everyone from making mistakes. Plus, we already have laws against fraud, etc.

I doubt I will convince you, but freedom works. All the current woes of the health care industry stem from government regulation, ranging from licensing to insurance regulation. It is lack of freedom that created this mess.

If you are interested, you can read this:

The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care: A Citizen's Guide by Sally Pipes, the whole book is free to download at http://liberty.pacificresearch.org/publications/the-top-ten-myths-of-american-health-care-a-citizens-guide

Don said...

One more thing that drives up insurance and medical costs: Insurance covering routine office visits. My auto insurance does not cover maintenance, check ups, etc. Home insurance doesn't cover plumbing breaks, painting, upkeep, etc. Why should "health" insurance cover the equivalent? Insurance is for unusual, unexpected expenses that may be "catastrophic" like an auto accident or a home burglary or fire. But the government combined with unions forced corporations to provide insurance for routine and expected levels of medical expenses. This in turn made it impossible for a physician to run an office without doing insurance billing and collection, which drove up his costs, which he passed along to the consumer by raising the cost of a visit. This is just one example of how government "regulation" of medicine has driven costs up. More regulation won't solve the problem created by regulations.

shel said...

Pete~

heyyy... i think i remember you from Richard's blog...

point taken, sir.

next time i'll say, "as one Canadian..." ;)

Charles R. said...

"Charles, it appears you missed the feature of this plan that FORCES people to purchase insurance even if they don't want/need it, under penalty of fine or imprisonment. This is morally wrong."

So I'm guessing you feel the same way about the requirements to have auto insurance?

Look, every other industrialized country requires everyone to have health insurance. That's because when everyone is insured, it's less expensive for everyone, and no one goes into bankruptcy because of a health crisis, etc.. And lo and behold, these other countries have health outcomes equal to or better than ours while spending half as much or less.

And the thing about how you don't want to pay for maternity costs. That's a straw dog argument. Women don't necessarily want to be protected against prostate cancer. But that's not how insurance works. You can't just insure yourself against what you think you're going to get. Everyone pays in to the system, and is covered for everything so that when something unexpected happens, it's covered.

I, like you, basically spend a lot of time and money and effort taking care of my health. Do I like the idea of paying into a system that supports people eating in a way that's going to make them sick? Not at all.

But I have to tell you, that no matter what you do, there is always the chance that you're going to go into the doctor one day and find out you have a tumor growing in your brain, as a friend of mine who was otherwise in perfect health(and took wonderful care of herself) found out.

And the point is that if everyone is paying into the system, it's less expensive for everyone, and the unexpected doesn't ruin lives.

And speaking of morality, I don't know how moral it is for the richest country on the planet to watch people die just because they can't afford insurance, as 44,000+ do every year.

And in terms of "subsidizing" those illegal aliens, maybe you missed the part about a) they are paying something into the system, and b) we are already subsidizing them by paying for their care when they come to the ER, and that's the most expensive setting to receive care. So if you tell me that we should be turning people away from ERs if they can't pay for care, then your argument would at least be consistent. Is that what you favor?

Charles R. said...

Now I tend to agree somewhat with you about insurance not covering routine office visits.

But here's the problem with that. If a low income person can't afford basic preventative care, and doesn't get their kid vaccinated because it's either that or dinner (and that's reality), then they have a much better chance of getting much sicker and costing the system more money, plus spreading more disease. Public health in the wider sense suffers when people avoid basic and preventative care.

So as long as you would still allow for lower cost or free medical clinics for people at the poverty level, I'm fine with that. And that isn't out of a sense of charity. It's out of a sense of protecting the public health.

shel said...

"More regulation won't solve the problem created by regulations".

you bet, Don.

another worrying thing (worry, worry , worry... i get it from my mom's side); the US seems to be picking up Canada's bad habits. a bit off topic, but a liberty issue: if you want to see your possible future, watch this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h21ukA5lFA

...there are seven parts.

Don said...

"So if you tell me that we should be turning people away from ERs if they can't pay for care, then your argument would at least be consistent. Is that what you favor?"

Charles, you use "we" in this. Why? I favor freedom. If a physician wants to turn someone away, that is his choice, not mine. If he wants to treat despite no payment, that's fine also. I object to FORCING him to treat. That is slavery.

If someone wants to create low-cost or free clinics, a free market will allow that. Its called charity. The public health argument fails on me. The U.S. had the healthiest population in the world in the 19th century. No public insurance, but lots of charity hospitals. People do the best things when not forced to spend their resources on "public" needs.

Charles R. said...

"People do the best things when not forced to spend their resources on 'public' needs."

Unfortunately, that's a romantic libertarian notion, but that doesn't seem to actually be the case in practice.

In fact the countries with some of the highest tax rates in the world (Denmark, Sweden, Norway) also rank at the top of the scales in overall happiness and life satisfaction.

People keep touting this rugged individualism and rejection of any sense of community responsibility as being the path to happiness, but it's essentially a religious argument, because there is no data to support it, and much to refute it.

I'm not denying that you individually might be happier living the way you describe, but it turns out that people as a whole are happier, healthier, and more fulfilled the more everyone is contributing to the common good. When everyone's basic needs for food, clothing, healthcare and education are considered shared responsibilities.

If we're putting hunter-gatherer groups up as ideal social organizations (and I lean that way) there was a tremendous sense of shared community resources in such groups. You can say it wasn't "forced" by laws, but it was certainly forced by custom. If you didn't share, you didn't last long in the group.

So it seems to me it comes down to this. Your choice is to live in a culture where it's everyone for him or her self because it makes you happier, even though there's no evidence for that choice beyond a belief that it will make other people happier.

I look around at other cultures, look at what social construct empirically gives people the greatest opportunity for happiness, and therefore choose to live in a society where social responsibilities are shared, which to me, seems to allow even greater freedom for personal expression and choice. Not necessarily because I think I have the responsibility for other peoples' happiness, but because if I'm surrounded by happier, healthier, people, that makes my life better.

Steve said...

Don

Just weak neocon BS. I enjoyed your posts on healthy eating but not this post is crap. I do business around the world and we have health care system that cannot match Cuba's health system. Yes Cuba has better health outcomes than the USA does.

Oh Yeah I know you have yours so the hell for those who have none.

shel said...

Don, you just keep on telling it like it is. somebody has to try and save the republic from the rabble and state/corp collusion. public healthcare plays into all these hands.

regarding Cuba; this should clear it up:

http://nrd.nationalreview.com/article/?q=NjE5NWFkNWU0ZGJhMzdlNjRkMGUzYWMzNGI2NDI5MzI=

Don said...

"People keep touting this rugged individualism and rejection of any sense of community responsibility as being the path to happiness, but it's essentially a religious argument, because there is no data to support it, and much to refute it."

I don't get why you assume that someone who objects to having the State force participation in things like single-payer insurance "rejects any sense of community responsibility." This is a red herring. I don't reject community responsibility. I do this blog for no compensation to help people. I have a low-cost acupuncture clinic. I work for a healthy food supply and clean communities. I reject slavery, not voluntary community service.

If socialism works so well, what happened to the Soviet Union? Why did the Eastern Block have high rates of heart disease, suicide, alcoholism, and depression? Why did China re-embrace free enterprise (which has long been part of its heritage)? You attribute the claimed happiness of Europeans to their socialism, while ignoring the unhappiness in other socialist regimes, therefore drawing a conclusion that socialism makes people happy in the face of contrary evidence. If Europeans are happy, it could very well be IN SPITE of taxation, not because of it. Correlation does not equal causation.

Don said...

Steve,

Thanks for the comment but I don't count myself a neocon. Neocons love corporate socialism (fascism) and war. I despise both. I am a libertarian.

I don't know what you think I have that others don't have. As for the poor, what they need is gainful labor. Poverty means inability to purchase quality food, housing, etc. Prosperity will help them more than handouts.

Government regulations on business along with devaluation of the money supply keeps them from earning what they need and keeping it. In some places, you can't even start a shoe shine or flower arranging business nowadays without paying a hefty licensing fee to the government. Making self-employed individuals pay for insurance from the get go will mean many will be unable to start a business, or they will have to raise their prices, increasing costs for every one of their customers. Putting health care insurance mandates on small businesses will put many out of business, or make them lay off workers, increasing unemployment and hence, poverty.

Charles R. said...

"If socialism works so well, what happened to the Soviet Union? Why did the Eastern Block have high rates of heart disease, suicide, alcoholism, and depression? Why did China re-embrace free enterprise (which has long been part of its heritage)? You attribute the claimed happiness of Europeans to their socialism, while ignoring the unhappiness in other socialist regimes, therefore drawing a conclusion that socialism makes people happy in the face of contrary evidence."

Your argument reminds me of how French intellectuals would respond, "Sure that may work in practice, but in theory?"

Hmmm. I'm trying to come up with the most significant difference between Norway, Finland, Sweden and China/Russia. Let's see what that would be?

Oh, yeah. The first three are democracies, where people choose the structure of their government. The two you mentioned are dictatorships, where the people don't choose. So comparing the two, or calling their forms of government by the same name, "Socialism", doesn't make sense.

So the people in Scandinavian countries have chosen to pay higher taxes, and ensure that everyone is adequately fed, and educated, and has access to healthcare. And lo and behold, they are happier.

Since they are democracies, one assumes that if they weren't happier living this way, if they wanted to just let everyone fend for themselves and the lucky ones win, they would choose to lower taxes, reduce services, and embrace whatever it is that you are suggesting they embrace.

And when it comes to health care, by the way, there is anything but a "free" market. 80+% of the market is essentially monopolistic. There are few choices out there in any location for health insurance. And selling across state lines, for the reasons I suggest above, won't work.

And as for preventative care not working to make people healthier. You're absolutely right, at the end of life it doesn't. But I have been a part of school-based clinics in two cities, where inner-city kids got healthcare that they never got before. And it kept them from getting more serious diseases, and kept them out of the ERs, and made them more successful in school, and presumably more successful after that, since they got a better education.

The people in those cities were forced to pay for that through their taxes. And for some reason, they felt fine about doing so.

Steve said...

Just the Facts and not political BS:

In 2007, the life expectancies at birth were as follows (World Bank data):
Cuba, 78.26 years;
United States, 77.99 years

The mortality rates for children under five in 2007 were as follows (World Bank):
Cuba, 6.5;
United States, 7.60
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_in_Cuba

You might not like it or wish it wasn't so but Cuba has better health outcomes than the USA does.

Shelie try sticking to facts and political BS.

And Don I believe in a single payer system where all are covered. In single payer countries all are free to be doctors or not.

Believe or not I like most of your stuff, but in this area I disagree with you,

Don said...

Steve,

77.99 is 99.5% of 78.26. This is an insignificant difference.

7.6 per 1000 is .76 percent; 6.5 per thousand is .65%. The difference is 0.11 percent. Again, insignificant.

Those figures do not prove that Cuba's outcomes are better than the U.S.

And who provided the Cuban data? Cuba, or an independent investigation?

I know that we can take care of each other without the coercive hand of the state (taxation).

I agree to disagree.

Don said...

"So the people in Scandinavian countries have chosen to pay higher taxes, and ensure that everyone is adequately fed, and educated, and has access to healthcare. And lo and behold, they are happier."

"The people" chose? Was it unanimous? "They are happier." All of them? Compared to what? Did they try a libertarian approach and then decide, no, they prefer the "democratic socialism" approach?

"Since they are democracies, one assumes that if they weren't happier living this way, if they wanted to just let everyone fend for themselves and the lucky ones win, they would choose to lower taxes, reduce services, and embrace whatever it is that you are suggesting they embrace."

This is like saying that since everyone in the U.S. does his own grocery shopping, if they aren't healthier on their current diet than on a paleo diet, one assumes they would change to paleo. The fact is, most people either don't know about paleo or "know" a bunch of falsehoods (like, you can't have an adequate diet without grains). Similarly, I'd bet very few people in those nations know what a true free market is like or how it would work. If people don't know how free markets work, if they have misconceptions about free markets (such as what you express), they aren't going to choose them.

It appears that most people imagine that a libertarian society is just the U.S. economy (centralized corporate production systems) minus government. In fact, the U.S. economy has never been a true free market, and most people think of free markets consist of robber barons etc. They don't know that corporatism is not libertarianism, and that the U.S. economy is corporatist, that the so-called "evils of the free market" are really the evils of state-sponsored corporatism. Like Boeing.

When I say "free market" I mean free enterprise like small business, farmer's markets, cottage industries, and more, none favored by any coerced taxation. I don't have time or space here to clear all the misconceptions about free markets. You could learn by studying market anarchism.

"And when it comes to health care, by the way, there is anything but a "free" market. 80+% of the market is essentially monopolistic. There are few choices out there in any location for health insurance."

EXACTLY!. And that is the fault of regulation, state interference in free enterprise. People say the free market won't work, and use as evidence the currently very un-free market.


"And selling across state lines, for the reasons I suggest above, won't work."

You didn't give any good reason why it wouldn't work. If you want to learn why it would work, read the book I gave the link to to learn why. I don't have time or space to address all the misconceptions here.

Charles R. said...

(First of all, I will not be at all offended if you don't post this comment. This discussion has gone on long enough, and we've both made our points, and aren't going to change each other's minds. I respect your opinions and appreciate the forum and all you do with it.)

"I know that we can take care of each other without the coercive hand of the state (taxation)."

Maybe we can, but we don't.

I'm not arguing from a position primarily of charity. I'm arguing from a position of self-defense.

If we all lived in the wilderness, far away from each other, then whether you had adequate healthcare wouldn't really affect me that much. But since we don't, and we live in relatively close proximity to each other, what you do affects my life.

So I want your children to have access to vaccinations, so there aren't outbreaks of whooping cough in the schools as there were when 40 kids got the disease in my community last year.

I want people coming up from Mexico and Central America into California to have access to healthcare so that they don't spread drug-resistant tuberculosis through the community. I don't care that they're here illegally, their microbes are here regardless.

I don't think U.S. businesses need to be at a disadvantage when competing against businesses of countries that have universal healthcare and who don't have to provide health insurance to be competitive for good employees.

Every other major industrialized country has universal healthcare, and they have it by choice, not by fiat, and they are happy with it, and many have health outcomes at least as good or better than ours.

Yes, it pisses me off that I'm in a risk pool with people who don't spend the same amount of time and money that I do to stay healthy, avoid diabetes and heart disease. But if the costs are spread over everyone, then the costs for each individual are greatly reduced.

To buy into that system is a choice I am making, and a choice that millions of people have freely made around the world because it makes for a better, more efficient, healthier population. And that makes for a more pleasant world to live in.

I would also suggest that if everyone was like you, Don, the world would be a much better place as well. Seriously. But it ain't, so we muddle along with imperfect attempts to organize a society that has become too large and strayed too far from it's supposed core values. But that's a genie we can't put back in the bottle.

shel said...

"In 2007, the life expectancies at birth were as follows (World Bank data):
Cuba, 78.26 years;
United States, 77.99 years

"The mortality rates for children under five in 2007 were as follows (World Bank):
Cuba, 6.5;
United States, 7.60
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_in_Cuba"

i can browse the web and pull stats out of my butt too, Stevie.

here's a couple:

Cuban abortion rates- 32 per 100 pregnancies; and that's much less than HALF what they were during the 80s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_in_Cuba

...gotta keep those live birth stats high and weed out the deadwood, right? nice...

http://www.ishr.org/index.php?id=812

http://www.therealcuba.com/

the abortion rate in the States was 2 per 100 (2005) for women aged 15-44.

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/4000608.pdf

is all our information correct? who can tell? can you? and just because a statist country's mortality rate is comparable to the US, would you want to live there?

so, you spin it your way and i'll spin it mine. but it all comes down to the sovereignty of the man; are you happy with the idea of the state taking care of you? are you too nervous to stand alone? then be comfortable with your betatude.

Don, i won't hijack your thread anymore.