Friday, February 29, 2008

The Right Party

I am a Republican.  I can say that without shame or regret in a time when it is unpopular to be a Republican.  I did not vote for George Bush and I have not always agreed with his policies, but his mistakes have not stopped me from claiming the GOP as my party.  

I am not a bible thumping Republican of yore, nor am I zealously pro-business, but I do think people ought to take economic responsibility for their personal decisions.  I certainly don't think our government should provide universal healthcare to everyone and certainly not at my expense; Medicaid is already provided to the poor and private insurance is readily available. Yes, private insurance is more expensive and there are limitations, but one always has the option of being uninsured.

When I got pregnant with Lizzie, I was uninsured.  Her father and I were unmarried at the time and we made too much money to qualify for Medicaid, so none of my prenatal care was covered.  Did it suck?  Yes, but I had options. Get an abortion, move back home with mom where I had full coverage under her medical plan (I was twenty and a student), or suck it up and go to the free clinic.  I went to the free clinic.  And, it was really awful.  Long waits and substandard care was the norm, but at the end of it all I had a beautiful baby girl, a $5000 hospital bill, and a heck of a lot of motivation.

The free clinic experience motivated my ex and I to get off our asses and make a better life for our little family.  Within six weeks of Lizzie's birth, her father found a new job that doubled his salary and provided us with family coverage at no additional cost to us.  Sure, universal healthcare would have saved us some trips to the free clinic, but I did not want, nor need, a handout. When I chose to have my baby, I embraced the responsibility of that decision.  Since then, I have had two more babies, but I have never again visited a free clinic or birthed my baby in a state hospital.  

Universal healthcare is a handout.  Medicare and Medicaid fill the gaps for those people too poor or infirm to afford health insurance.  I live in a city of 90,000 people, yet free clinics are plentiful thanks to the faith communities and positive city initiatives.  Let those community organizations continue to provide care to those who don't qualify for the federal programs. They can do it better, cheaper, and more efficiently than our government ever will.  

12 comments:

EatPlayLove said...

I am a democrat, I grew up with out health insurance because my father was a carpenter. Maybe we had insurance 1/3 of my childhood.

I don't support universal healthcare. I believe there should be affordable options for those that aren't making ends meet, but make too much for medicaid.

It's sort of a pickle. That grey area, Democrat or Republican.

PT-LawMom said...

I am a democrat. I spent a good part of my life living in a country with universal healthcare and have seen the pluses and minuses. I believe universal healthcare generally benefits society as a whole. Everyone pays into the system through higher taxation and everyone benefits. I think it's fair, just and equitable. People who can afford to pay for extra private healthcare still can get advantages/jump ahead, but there is a common base of preventative care for everyone. Too many middle class people are living with chronic illnesses and going into bankruptcy or losing their jobs because they cannot afford basic medical care for themselves or their children and they don't qualify for medicaid or medicare.

Anonymous said...

pt-lawmom
I love the line "I think it's fair, just, and equitable." Wait a second- how is it "fair" if I no longer get a choice in the matter... but you choose for me? And with your choice comes higher taxes? I have loans to pay back.

Most people who work have insurance, so I assume you mean it's fair to my friend's brother, who is a meth-head. Umm he made his choices, I made mine. Yeah, he has a chronic problem all right- he's lazy.

How about you put your own money in-- you can do an opt-in plan-- and you and everyone who thinks it's "fair" can pay for everyone else in the middle and lower class that agrees. (I've known poor people who would be insulted at the insinuation you are making, and wouldn't opt in either). That seems more "fair" to me. You can even put a red tag on my car to try to shame me for not participating. I will consider it a Red Badge of Courage.

PT-LawMom said...

To each their own, anon. I'm not trying to shame anyone into doing anything -- just expressing my views on the matter. Hence the "I think" part of the sentence. You're welcome to disagree with me and I will sit back and disagree with you. Hooray for free speech. :)

Anonymous said...

Disagreement is great, as is free speech. I just get concerned about your view becoming a vote, a vote that directly impacts my freedom and hits my wallet!

PT-LawMom said...

Yes, but wouldn't your vote then cancel out mine? Unless you think the Dems are going to win... ;)

Anonymous said...

You are missing the point completely. Substantive arguments fall away and you get into a giggle match of how cute it is that we disagree.

The problem I'm trying to point out to you is that while I'm quite indifferent to your point of view, I'm offended that you think you should push it on me. I go through life trying not to tell anyone else how to live, but expecting others to accept the consequences of their own actions.

Going back to a substantive discussion, I read the comment by PPB that Law School Mom linked (the comments did get weird) and am always shocked that people think financial ruin is 1. caused by $13k in debt (I'm in much deeper than that) and 2. have a bizarre fantasy that the really poor in America are poor because someone is holding them down. Who? I guess rich people? "The man". "The system."

lawmom said...

Hi I read your blog and I respect everyone's opinion. But I have to say I just couldn't disagree more. I have a link which outlines the pro arguement better than I could so here it is.

http://cthealth.server101.com/the_case_for_universal_health_care_in_the_united_states.htm

and

http://www.pnhp.org/

Anonymous said...

http://www.boston.com/news/health/articles/2008/02/03/subsidized_care_plans_cost_to_double/

PT-LawMom said...

I'm not missing the point. I'm just not willing to engage in "substantive debate" with an anonymous commenter to a blog that is not even my own.

Hyphen Mama said...

Excellent post! I couldn't agree more. I grew up in a house with parents who owned their own business, made less-than-poverty income and still provided health insurance for our family.

I just want to control where my money goes, without the government taking more and doling out my money as they see fit. I have plenty of places to spend my money without their help. Thankyouverymuch.

Thanks for stopping by my place. Hope you return soon.

Me said...

You wouldn't have that abortion option if the vast majority of republicans had it there way. Just sayin'