Joe Lieberman Has Health Insurance – Do You?

Just when Senator Harry Reid, Majority Leader, says he’ll include some version of a public option in the healthcare bill, Joe Lieberman goes all Republican on our country’s collective ass.

Lieberman said:  “I’ve told Sen. Reid that if the bill stays as it is now I will vote against cloture.  To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now.”

This whole issue of a public option creating too much debt, too much burden – BULLSHIT.

I mean the thing is this: I read articles about Medicaid and Medicare fraud, and I read articles about private health insurance companies denying claims.  I realize that Medicaid and Medicare fraud have some negative financial impact on me at some point, but do I really feel it?  And, realistically, eventually those people whose claims are denied, who lose everything trying to pay for healthcare, wind up qualifying for Medicaid or Medicare, or showing up as indigents in emergency rooms, so at some point, I suffer a negative financial impact from that, too.

Technically, in the sense that any tax creates a debit in my personal finances, you could say I suffer a negative financial impact.  When I weigh that debit against the credits, however, it’s a deal I’m comfortable striking.  Modern roads, safe and sanitary infrastructure, public schools, even a military that acts as one of the largest, if not the largest, social welfare programs we offer US citizens.  I put those things solidly in the credit column, both as personal benefits for me, and a common benefit for our common good.

Questions for your consideration:

  • Would you rather risk having too much health insurance to go around, or not enough?
  • Are you really so convinced that you and everyone you love can maintain excellent health, or the ability to pay for private coverage, no matter what happens?
  • Are you really so sure that without a public healthcare option, your taxes will suddenly decrease?

Each year, claims against the current government healthcare programs we already have in place fluctuate.  Can anyone look me in the eye and tell me they’ve documented tax relief, either personally or collectively, in the years when claims were lower or fraud was less?  Because honestly, in the years since I started making money and paying taxes, I haven’t really noticed the impact of the government’s deficit on my personal finances in a way that has changed how I live my life and spend my money.

The bogeyman of saddling our children with debt is just that – a bogeyman.  A public healthcare option will no more saddle future generations with debt than any other government expenditure, but it might just keep those kiddos healthier so they can work longer and contribute to Social Security, and it might keep us healthier so those kiddos don’t face the financial burden of caring for us when our money runs out.

People who oppose the public option are betting against the existence of a kind and compassionate supreme being.  I believe that Blaise Pascal proved that’s a stupid bet to make.

So out of the way, Joe Lieberman.  Suck it up, Senate.  Give us the public option, and then, if you are really so sure it is bad for us, ask in 10 years how many of us want to give it up.

I’m guessing it will be about as many people as there over 65 who want to do away with Medicare.

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