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Healthcare reform has to be budget neutral, but not war?

Adam FivensonSeen recently as a friend's Facebook status: "I still don’t understand why healthcare reform needs to be deficit neutral, while war escalation can have a limitless price tag."

My thoughts:

While everyone agrees that something has to be done about healthcare — that is the politically expedient position right now — not everyone agrees WHAT to do or HOW to do it.

President ObamaThere are so many contentious issues involved, from the inclusion of a public option, to malpractice reform, to the price tag, that it’s next to impossible to craft a bill that will satisfy the demands of enough legislators — which vary widely depending on the wills of their respective constituencies — to garner the required number of votes to pass.

The price tag is one of the few aspects of the bill that everyone in office can agree on: it has to be budget neutral, and that requirement exists mainly due to current economic conditions, but also because healthcare reform is still seen by a large portion of the voting public as an essentially philanthropic endeavor to give coverage those who can’t afford it.

Given the paucity of jobs in this country right now, most people are more concerned about how they’re going to deal with their own mounting problems than they’re going to help others deal with theirs.

War funding votes don’t come with the same baggage. As a legislator, you either vote for it, or you’re branded by your opponents as unsupportive of the troops and soft on national security, either one of which is likely to make you easy prey for those same political opponents in the next election.

Every Joe Q. Public in the country can get behind the idea of not having his house blown up by Osama and his coterie whether he’s got a job or not, which makes the decision of how to vote pretty easy for most legislators. Healthcare is not seen with the same urgency by many, which is why President Obama faces such a momentous task in getting a bill passed.

Photo Credit: Kevin Dietsch – UPI Photo

  • boatnbob

    Right now the debt is $111.000.00 per taxpayer and getting worse – you figure it you.

    Healthcare is never-ending, a war will end.

    Would you go into debt for your weekly food bill? No, you would spiral forever deeper into debt. But you would by a car on credit. While expensive, the debt can be managed and liability reduced over time.

  • Anonymous

    Right now the debt is $111.000.00 per taxpayer and getting worse – you figure it you.

    Healthcare is never-ending, a war will end.

    Would you go into debt for your weekly food bill? No, you would spiral forever deeper into debt. But you would by a car on credit. While expensive, the debt can be managed and liability reduced over time.

  • formertcresident

    In our we have the rights founded by our fathers we are given certain rights – rights that protect us from the government. The right to bear arms, a fair trial, representation in the government, happiness, religion. In all of these rights there are no guarentees. Barack Obama's view on the Bill of Rights is that we have a declaration of limitations. Unfortunately that by trying to change the direction in which our country was founded we begin to impede on the rights set forth by the founders. In order to give everyone the right to a healthy and long life you must limit their lifestyle. No longer can we have the right to eat as we wish, do the activities we want, or experiance life in the ways we want. Through limiting these we can guarentee to minimize people getting hurt by their activies and lifestyles. If the government begins to dictate what we can and cannot do with our lives how are we free? I do not want to live one day to tell my children I remember when we were free to do as we wished within the law. Heathcare is a back door to implementing government control over the people. What makes this country great is the freedom we have. I can't think of any example in which our government has run anything on a large scale effectively.

  • Anonymous

    In our we have the rights founded by our fathers we are given certain rights – rights that protect us from the government. The right to bear arms, a fair trial, representation in the government, happiness, religion. In all of these rights there are no guarentees. Barack Obama’s view on the Bill of Rights is that we have a declaration of limitations. Unfortunately that by trying to change the direction in which our country was founded we begin to impede on the rights set forth by the founders. In order to give everyone the right to a healthy and long life you must limit their lifestyle. No longer can we have the right to eat as we wish, do the activities we want, or experiance life in the ways we want. Through limiting these we can guarentee to minimize people getting hurt by their activies and lifestyles. If the government begins to dictate what we can and cannot do with our lives how are we free? I do not want to live one day to tell my children I remember when we were free to do as we wished within the law. Heathcare is a back door to implementing government control over the people. What makes this country great is the freedom we have. I can’t think of any example in which our government has run anything on a large scale effectively.

  • thrashertm

    Ironically the more we do to “stop Osama” with never ending military intervention abroad, the more we create blow-back and increase the likelihood that terrorists, both from outside and within (Fort Hood) will strike us.

    We are spending up to $1 trillion a year sustaining a foreign empire. Perhaps it is time that voters stopped giving legislators a blank check to “support the troops”, and started demanding that we pull out of Korea, Japan, Germany and the 130 other countries we are occupying.

  • Anonymous

    Ironically the more we do to “stop Osama” with never ending military intervention abroad, the more we create blow-back and increase the likelihood that terrorists, both from outside and within (Fort Hood) will strike us.

    We are spending up to $1 trillion a year sustaining a foreign empire. Perhaps it is time that voters stopped giving legislators a blank check to “support the troops”, and started demanding that we pull out of Korea, Japan, Germany and the 130 other countries we are occupying.

  • boatnbob

    “started demanding that we pull out of Korea, Japan, Germany and the 130 other countries we are occupying”

    and who would move in when the USA pulls out?

  • Anonymous

    “started demanding that we pull out of Korea, Japan, Germany and the 130 other countries we are occupying”

    and who would move in when the USA pulls out?

    • Bob

      Koreans, Japanese, and Germans perhaps? Who do you think threatens to invade them? I like Korea as the first to pull out of, and at the same time we very publicly say to China that he is their problem to deal with. The south faces no real threat from the north; it is time to come home while some of the Korean vets that are getting short on the ground here can still see it.

  • Bob

    Koreans, Japanese, and Germans perhaps? Who do you think threatens to invade them? I like Korea as the first to pull out of, and at the same time we very publicly say to China that he is their problem to deal with. The south faces no real threat from the north; it is time to come home while some of the Korean vets that are getting short on the ground here can still see it.

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