Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pick you poison: Trading liberty for security or the “Public Option”

As we continue to argue amongst ourselves about Federal Government’s role in healthcare - the proposed “Public Option,” reforming the Private Health Insurance industry, rationing healthcare [private health care rationing or Federal Government rationing] - the one intrusion by the Federal Government that should be scaring every American but seems to be OK with many, are human rights abuses of terror suspects all in the name of National Security. For many people, abusing and torturing suspected Terrorists is just fine and should be done as often as possible. But, the key word in the last sentence is “suspected.”

But why is roughin’ up suspected terrorists such a big deal? Don’t they deserve it for the 9/11 Terrorists Attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.? Terrorists don’t treat our people like they are staying at a Ritz Carlton, so why shouldn’t we treat them the same way? Why should the average American fear the Federal Government more as it relates to the way the CIA interrogates suspected Terrorist than fearing more government in health care reform?

In my mind, there is one simple reason why we should fear how our government treats criminal suspects. It puts us only a few steps away from doing the very same thing to our own citizens [which some would argue already happens]. Whether we realize it or not, the United States Federal Government, the very government that we either support or don’t, already has access to our financial records, driving records, criminal records, health records, and can monitor/listen in on our calls, emails and the web sites we visit every day.

Private Health Insurance and other private businesses that make billions from the current system are playing off the fear of “Big Brother” to stall or kill any reforms to a private health care system that already rations care to the healthiest and wealthiest. Health Insurance premiums continue to increase at unsustainable rates and millions of dollars from those premiums go to lobbying against any health care reforms, as well as CEO pay and bonuses.

Private Health Insurance administrative costs are massive compared to Medicaid and Medicare, which is around 2 to 3% compared to the average of 25% for private health insurance administration. They are fighting like hell to kill the proposed “Public Option” because it will cost the private health insurance industry billions and force them to actually provide coverage to everyone, regardless of pre-existing conditions. But, has the private health insurance industry actually provided a good, quality product that is cost effective and competitive in the free market? If it had, we wouldn’t be having this debate.

But back to what we should really fear: Federal Government listening in on your phone conversations, reading your email, monitoring the web sites you frequent, all in the name of “National Security.” I keep coming back to Ben Franklin’s quote: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” The CIA broke the law and that is why the United States Attorney General is moving in the direction of prosecuting those that authorized enhanced interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists that may or may not have produced reliable intelligence. Former Vice President Dick Cheney can complain all he wants, but he’s a supporter of strictly interpreting the United States Constitution so he shouldn’t have anything to worry about if he wasn’t involved.

1 comment:

  1. Do you believe the Constitution is the rule of law? Do you believe in the original intent of our founding fathers? Do you want to reform Congress? If your answer is yes, we have to work together to make this happen.