Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Land of the Free Things

Growing up in the rural part of Kansas, I learned through my parents the values of working for the things you own. I learned that nothing in life is free and there is no “living above your means.” If you wanted something you couldn’t afford, you either saved for it, or you worked your butt off to get it.
As I got older I became more intertwined with the urban and inner-city lifestyle. I saw a difference in the way people thought. The small town people I was used to believe just what my family did; nothing is free in life, and you worked hard for what you have. Many,  but NOT ALL, of the big city folks “in my opinion,” assume that simply because they are an American Citizen that they deserve healthcare, retirement, financial security, bailouts, welfare checks, etc. courtesy of the U.S. government.
Yet those same people think that living above their means is normal and that monthly payments to the bank can get them whatever they want, as long as they can make the payment each month. Notice I said “want” in that sentence. People are more than happy to pay nearly double for a big screen television or the new shiny car that they “want” by making payments, but when it is something they NEED, like health insurance, or retirement savings, they do not “want” to pay for something like that, and assume that it should be given to them because they work for a living in America.
This is the “Land of the Free,” not the “Land of the Free Things.” That means we are free to make choices. So if we choose to buy a new car instead of healthcare, and we get sick, whose fault is it as to why we went bankrupt? Well people seem to believe that it’s America’s fault and not their own. That’s where they are wrong. When it came to the car or the health insurance, most of us chose the car. Why doesn’t the government say “STOP, that’s a nice car, now show me your health insurance card,” or “Oh, you don’t have health insurance? Well you better downsize and get rid of the big fancy house and car so you can get some.”
 All our lives we are encouraged to spend. What’s worse is it’s our own government telling us to do it. Why not to save? Why doesn’t the Government make it mandatory for Social Security to hand their earnings over to private companies so that the money can be managed properly?  This way retirement is privatized and the government doesn’t have the liability anymore. But the government refuses to do anything. “It would take away from the economy,” they say. Well what does S.S. do? Social Security is a giant Ponzi scheme and everyone knows it. Instead of keeping the money in there for the future baby boomer shortfall, the government borrows the surplus funds. Funds that it has no plan of action of paying back. How is this even constitutional?
Why don't state governments make banks require consumers to have health coverage before they can get a loan? Think about it. A consumer is a liability to a bank without health coverage because if they get sick they can be overwhelmed with debt overnight leading to a default. If the bank gave insurance holders the normal or slightly cheaper rates and gave the non-insurance-holders higher rates, the difference in interest could nearly pay for the healthcare premiums in most cases, and encourage people to buy health coverage to get the lower rates. Especially on mortgage loans where 1% can equal hundreds of dollars. This would also help to eliminate risky loans. But the government has too many friends working at the banks and they will probably think that this is a bad idea. They would claim it violates equal opportunity rights. How? You can’t get a car loan from a bank without auto insurance. It’s the same thing. They do not need to know your health problems either; just proof that you have coverage.  
The government needs to persuade Americans to do things the right way, not force them and take on huge liabilities. If people want coverage for all, then coverage needs to come first before new cars and homes that are twice the size you need. Why should I, who works to live within my means, have to pay for Joe’s health coverage when he is driving a brand new car that he got because of a “Cash for Clunkers” deal courtesy of the government, yet he doesn’t have insurance? I would like to know how many people bought a new car with the “Cash for Clunkers” program that didn’t have health insurance.
This is why conservatives are angry. More money keeps disappearing out of our paychecks so that it can go to people who can’t manage money and who rely on the government for assistance. I think that if Congress paid more attention to what the uninsured used their money on instead of healthcare, they may have been able to work hand in hand to get a “health for all” plan without costing the taxpayers a single dime. It seems like this whole debate on healthcare has been about nothing but politicians being able to put their name next to the words “health coverage” in our children’s school history books. And they will do whatever it takes. They need to look at the big picture and see that we are Americans, we are mentors to the world, and we need to be able to take care of our own future.

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