Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Health Care Discussion & Public Virtue

Today while observing the politicians who occupy our television and various other devices streaming news through the eyes of the media commentator, one might find themselves caught up in the opinions of the favored commentator, perhaps identifying with their perspective, at least in principle. Are we perhaps doing ourselves an injustice by assuming the opinions of our favorite news sources without truly looking behind the scene to understand motive and intent?

What is virtue? A desired quality; an asset; a good value; high merit/caliber and goodness. When we look at public figures and we assess their performance do we see their good value, high merit and caliber, their goodness? Is it important for our elected officials to have and demonstrate virtue? One of the architects of our republic, Benjamin Franklin, held this idea: “"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Also, from the first president, “Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder. “ –George Washington

Today we are exposed to news reports of elected officials who either sold out their virtue for a dollar or they never possessed it and were caught fully exposed in their unethical character. The understatement above by George Washington then becomes all the more relative. Yet, conversely, we have some who hold virtue an honor and speak out in defense of it. Of late, Backman, Palin, Issa, and Conryn to name a couple. It is not that we are void of Virtuous leadership it is that we are overwhelmed by the shameful.

We arrive now at the threshold of an incredible time for liberty’s survival. If Franklin’s assessment is correct, ‘only virtuous people are capable of freedom’, where does this leave Liberty and you? Our country is being ripped apart from those who would march Liberty way out to sea from her home on the Hudson River and out of our lives as Americans vs those who hold Patrick Henry’s words as a mantra: “Give me liberty or give me death!”

We have been eye witnesses to the struggle for Liberty these past few weeks during the passionate discussion regarding health care and the proposal before the public being considered in the Congressional portion of the legislative branch. Public Virtue dictates honest debate on real issues that may lay dormant in HR 3200. Recently, Mike Leavitt referenced the health bill as ‘essentially a series of headlines and aspirations.’ [commences at 4:30 seconds] Please pay special attention to the ‘process’ of fleshing in the details of the outline which is HR 3200 as discussed. How can debate proceed when generalities populate the document, said generalities having ignited such a blaze? Wouldn’t Public Virtue involve what is best for the whole of the Republic not merely the elected officials; especially those who make no bones about their vocation? Going back to Washington’s comments regarding virtue vs highest bidder, is it any wonder the folks who have gone out on the hot August days to vent their thoughts and concerns with their elected officials [or their AARP representatives], do not recognize the leadership’s reticence to actually discuss issues as a Public Good? Or, Public Virtue?

The President has already taken his stand, there will be health care reform in 2009! And to that demonstrative dictate perhaps the question should be reiterated, “Why the rush on this bill when it took 6 months to choose a dog?” CAVEAT: Don’t know that it took that long but certainly it was in the news for a long time.

Would it not be in the majority’s best interest to truly hash out the health care plan that works to serve America’s already notable heath care industry?

Senator McCaskill made the following points during her town hall in Hillsboro, MO:

1. No bill has been voted on

2. The Senate will not be voting on the HR 3200

Since no bill has been voted on, how about they return to the drawing table and rework the bills they are entertaining for vote and have it reflect or at least assuage the concerns of the many VIRTUOUS Americans who came out and continue to show up at the meetings. Public Virtue, again, what is good for the country not for the individual, especially if that individual stands to gain from the loss of liberty and health care standards which are the envy of many western nations!

A challenge goes forth from this blog: Instead of trying to beat some partisan clock to win a victory as a feather in your legacy cap with the passage of such an unpopular bill; instead of rushing through this process just for the sake of ‘getting her done’, how about you step back and work at this with the long view!? So what if you don’t get the credit for the whole deal, if you at least get it going down a reasonable road that will be far more important and virtuous.

One last question: Where is it ordered, sanctioned, authorized or mandated that our government provide health care? That is a personal issue. In the early days it was between the practitioner and the patient. Entrepreneurial spirit initiated a bit of capital market trade when they sponsored health insurance. It is private business. The Social Security Act introduced the Medicare component which insinuated the government into the health care industry. There are many ways which have been suggested to create competition between private industry without the government looming over the whole health care system to its potential detriment. We all admit something has to give, and there is no doubt private insurance will need to be the biggest giver, but there has to be a far better way to innovate than to burden all of America with a national health care system. Apart from all of the philosophical discussion on the rights and wrongs of the form of government that leads to, the idea what was to be LIMITED GOVERNMENT now has carved out the potential to come in and hobble our freedoms on so many levels with this sort of health care is over kill!

Here is a clue: If you just went back to trying to fix Medicare? The 90Billion dollars lost to fraud would be a great place to start funding the physicians the fees they require that will encourage them to accept Medicare. It may be na├»ve but if doing nothing means absolute collapse for the entire system it may well be in everyone’s best interest to sit down and really work out a solution the Medicare folks can live with and the doctors and health care industry can support. The rest of the folks, those on private insurance they need to work through their power to purchase to motivate the private sector and those without, more and more companies are offering limited health care which will cover the big ticket items at least. Those industries have regulators to make sure they are offering real coverage for real health care needs.

Employing people to write health care who give access to a certain age group while exercising an actuarial attitude towards other age groups on either end of the ‘life’ spectrum will not for a long time fly with Americans. They are not ready for selective survival determined by a committee. They are not close to acceptance of eugenics. And let not the leadership forget, you too will grow old and face life threatening malady.

Just because someone is deemed a leader does not mean they are virtuous. Americans standing up and being heard right now demonstrate their desire for liberty and in doing so take the leadership role in PUBLIC VIRTUE. This is not something your neighbor can do for you or you can do for your neighbor. This is all on you!

REMEMBER: “"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.”

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