New Proof that Richard Land is a Moron
Richard Land, head of the misnamed “Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission” of the Southern Baptist Convention is a moron. Oh, he has a Ph.D. from Oxford in Church History–and is fairly competent in the area of his narrow specialization. But they should never have given him a job where he has to speak regularly on things like ethics, faith and public policy, church-state matters, etc. That’s his job and he sucks eggs at it.
Latest proof of this is found in this article in which Land claims that the recently expanded State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) is a Trojan Horse for “socialized medicine.” Only the UK really has “socialized medicine,” Mr. Land. Yes, in the British system doctors and health care workers work directly for the government–and the people LIKE it that way. (Don’t believe me: Ask yourself why even PM Maggie Thatcher didn’t DARE to privatize healthcare in the UK. She would’ve lost an immediate vote of no confidence in Parliament and lost early elections–while protesters would have been at #10 Downing Street day and night until she was run out of town on a rail, “Iron Lady” or no!) But Canada, France, New Zealand, Australia and most other Western democracies have “socialized health insurance” rather than socialized medicine. Most doctors are still in private practice. It’s just that everyone is covered by a single insurance program paid for by their federal taxes.
Land thinks S-CHIP will crowd out private health insurance. I doubt it. Not by itself. We NEED universal, not-for-profit healthcare in a single-payer system like Canada’s. The easiest way to get there would be to expand Medicare to cover everyone. But this is a GOOD THING–not an evil. No one would fall through the cracks. EVERYONE could get help when sick. The poor could stop using emergency rooms for primary care. The U.S. could stop having infant mortality rates that are as low as some Third World countries.
Further, it would help in our current economic mess. What is the largest labor cost for big businesses? Employee health benefits. This makes U.S. firms less competitive with foreign companies. If General Motors was a Canadian company, even with the same poor management and same bad business model, it would not have needed a government loan last December–because it would have saved approx. $22 billion (rough estimate from GM back in December–I no longer have the source) in labor costs per annum! Think how much cheaper we could make U.S. products without such labor costs.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy. Well, if entrepeneur Smith has a brand new idea for a business in nation with socialized health insurance, Smith can quit his job without losing health benefits and open up his business without worrying about how he can either provide health insurance for employees (much harder for small businesses to do this ) or attract good employees without such a benefit.
And small family farmers can also have an easier time–not having to worry about either doing without or buying expensive insurance individually.
Medical expenses would drop in a few years time for several reasons: 1. Much less paperwork. The scores of people needed to deal with the huge number of forms for various insurance companies would stop clogging the system. 2. People would go to the doctor sooner and catch things early–which extends life and cuts costs. 3. Since hospitals and other institutions would not be motivated by profit (just not losing money), we would see less inflated costs. 4. The latter would be helped by placing caps on the size profits that Big Pharma can make with its drugs.
If S-CHIP is a tiny step on this road, as Land thinks, then that’s a good thing. I want to see much bigger steps, such as supporting Medicare for ALL Americans. (Did you know that currently the only Americans with a Constitutional right to healthcare are convicted criminals in prison? Otherwise it is a form of cruel and unusual punishment and banned by the 8th Amendment. That’s good for the prisoners–and bad for the rest of us.) But even then it wouldn’t be “socialized medicine,” just “socialized health insurance.”
Now why would a Christian minister (follower of One who passed out free healthcare miraculously all the time!) be against healthcare for children?
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