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Common Sense Health Care; Individualism or the Commonweal

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copyright 2009 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org

Democrats dance in the streets and declare success. An ABC News-Washington Post poll released on October 18, 2009, found that only twenty percent of the population defines themselves Republican. Progressive assert this result will work in the their favor if the public option is to pass. However, the now ecstatic portion of the electorate discounts the "disconnect" discussed in the aforementioned study and also addressed in a Pew Research Center report published only a week earlier. The overjoyed overlooked the Independents (42%), the leaner's, Left and Right (39%), and the less than inspirational number who proclaim themselves proud Democrats (33%). For these individuals, the topic of health care reform is a complex issue. Trust in Congress is near nil. People are engaged in the subject, albeit a bit overwhelmed. Sixty-six percent (66%) say they do not understand the proposed policies. Personal matters move most people, more so than Party politics does. Possibly, that is the problem, or the predicament that precludes authentic medical insurance reform in America.

Health care concerns consume every American and $1 out of every $6 [six dollars] citizens and the country spends. Currently, in the United States,17.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) is devoted to medical costs. In 2007, a national study, revealed more than sixty-two percent of bankruptcies were the result of expenditures related to illness and injury. This total reflects a twenty percent increase in financial defaults due to medical bills since 2001. Eighty percent of the persons who filed insolvency claims had health insurance.

Nevertheless,countless citizens cry out; our current health care coverage system is the "best in the world.". Several of those who think medically speaking, the American people are not well-served say reform would make matters worse. All crave what they believe to be common sense. However, there are as many definitions of good judgments as there are people, politicians, pundits, and regular people. Personal preferences have power over our opinions. Perchance that is why so many believe "common sense" in the health care coverage debate is crucial.

When Senator Max Baucus, and the Finance Committee he chairs, unveiled their version of a Bill, they titled the remedy a common sense cure. However, hours before the measure passed, uncommonly candid assessments appeared. "Unfortunately, the bill would leave 17 million citizens and legal residents without insurance in 2019." Authentic appraisals frequently conflict with assertions. Consider the notion called common sense.

For months, in town halls, tea parties, and at kitchen tables nationwide talk of health care reform triggers cries for "common sense." America's Chief Executive asserts a need for it. Cable News Correspondents and Commentators, such as Glenn Beck calls for it. Magazine Publisher Larry Flynt offered his thoughts on the topic. Columnist Peggy Noonan states, "Common Sense May Sink ObamaCare."

Entrepreneurs' enter the fray. Whole Foods Chief Executive Officer,John Mackey addressed the common sense axiom as it relates to our well being. "Every American adult is responsible for his or her own health." Then, there are the American people. They too are very familiar with what passes for lucid logic. However, few ponder the variance in veracities. The subject that supersedes sound judgment is the slant, "Individualism or the Commonweal." The two contradictory "ideals" together in a single mind cause conflict, or cognitive dissonance.

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Recent Realities
Still, some "truths" remain solid. Statistics show the rise in health care costs is steady. Those families and individuals unable to acquire insurance for medical treatments has also increased. Only two short years ago, measured data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that there were 46 million Americans without health insurance in 2007. Newer research released by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine stated that in January 2009 almost 52 million Americans were uninsured. These numbers do not take into account the persons with inadequate coverage or those whose policies are canceled retroactively. . Recission is profitable and the preferred practice for many insurers.

Cancellation of policies is a popular notion. Employers consider personal compensations to be of greater value than the health of their personnel or the wellbeing of the common folk. Perhaps the philosophy in practice explains why, in late 2007,Employer-provided insurance continues to decline. Poverty is on the rise. The median income is less than in the past. Job-based health insurance has become but a dream.

Employee contracts are also now easily eliminated. In a fifteen-month span, from February 2008 through May 2009, employers have shed 5.1 million jobs. Many of these laborers cannot expect to be re-hired. Professionals and business personnel are not exempt from these numbers. In what was once the most prosperous country on the globe, the losses are great.

Only six months ago, Americans learned, in a single month "more than 320,000 Americans lost their employer-provided health insurance." This "amounts to approximately 10,680 workers a day." The authors of an investigation analysis avow, "Middle Class families, frequently collapse under the strain of the health care system that treats physical wounds, but inflicts fiscal ones." Possibly, that is why in Common Sense 2009 Larry Flint argues, "Wall Street, the mega-corporations and the super-rich . . . decide our fate."

Thus, the average American struggles with a sense of destiny. Those who think themselves stable and secure, gainfully employed and covered, are happy with the current health care system. For the few who believe they are solid citizens, the uninsured are merely careless. Their thought is, control is best when it is in the hands of commoners with common sense. Hence, with posters held high in their hands countless have chosen a path of civil disobedience. Protesters rally. Everyday people rant. Collectively, throngs of citizens who oppose the "ObamaCare" chant words first penned by writer Thomas Paine. However, much is lost in the translation.

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Thomas Paine; Reflections From the Past
Essayist, Pamphleteer, Radical, Inventor, and intellectual Philosopher Paine, some say, is the only voice of reason. Voters resolve Paine speaks to the rights of individuals. He understood and addressed the necessary apprehension for Administrative rule. Rarely remembered or recited is the founder's resolve to embrace an elected Legislative and Executive Branch.

In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest, they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought.

A thousand motives will excite them thereto, the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labor out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing. This necessity . . . will point out the necessity, of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.

Perhaps, in our shared hours of physical and fiscal pain we might wish to recall the words Paine penned when the New World was young, rather than rely on what in recent years has become the New World Order., Our forefather, Thomas Paine stated a need for government,. He understood; human frailties, such as greed, necessitate rules and regulations. The role access to authentically adequate medical treatments plays in the broader community, would not have been lost on a man who recognized we all share responsibility for societal ills.

Paradigm of Perception; Thomas Paine Text Transformed
Today, those who rant against an official health care policy reason that in this republic elected officials are the enemy. A person has rights, they shout. People who rage in opposition to plans that would transform the insurance cartel frequently quote Thomas Paine as though he would have supported their contentions, "We are all responsible f or our own lives."

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