Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Online Debates, Facebook and Health Care

I love Facebook.

I love being able to find friends from long ago, and keep up with new friends and even distant family members. I find it reassuring somehow to be able to stay connected with everyone. The only down side I've seen so far on Facebook, has been the ability to have a long debate or discussion. The threads get too long and there isn't really enough space to put up a nicely parsed, logically thought-out out discussion. Discussions get buried quicker and deeper in Facebook than in a blog or forum arrangement too.

Over the past few months I have been surprised to find two of my Facebook friends to be in favor of Universal Health Care, in terms of government sponsored and supported Universal Health Care. The first time was a college kid that I have watched grow up through our homeschool group from a solid Catholic family, attending a Catholic college. The discussion on my part wasn't so much about whether or not everyone deserves health care (they do), but whether big government was the best way to provide it. As I recall, (because it's nearly impossible to go back in Facebook to find stuff unless you go back chronologically) this discussion ended with this young man convinced that Universal Health Care was necessary, and if we had to support it with our taxes, so be it. Spoken like a true idealist who hasn't tried to raise a family or run his own business yet.

This week, I saw the issue come up again in my Facebook Newsfeed from a Catholic Blogging friend. This time the issue seemed to be that "There is more than sufficient teaching in Catholic tradition to mitigate against hastily condemning the idea." We got into it a bit about the definition of basic health care and the history of health care and then my friend dropped the discussion I guess.

It's no secret that I opposed the 2000 page behemeth bill that was pushed through the congress in the name of "health care." And neither of my discussion partners was able to tell me why they think a top heavy bureaucracy that levied heavy taxes on the population was the best way to go about providing "health care."

My own position is again, to look back at what worked - fee-for-service.  In the days before government intervention with Medicare and Medicaid the medical market place had real costs and prices in place and patients paid them or worked them off and charities and the churches helped those that couldn't. It was government interference that skewed the costs. It was also government interference that brought "medical insurance" into existence.  But these discussions never got to examine that perspective in any depth.

Incidentally, although I still debate around the internet as time permits, I rarely post a link to an ongoing discussion here any more.  I might bring them here when the discussion/debate is essentially over.  

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