Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Throwing the Baby Out With the Bathwater...

Most of us on Facebook have probably seen the little poll about Universal Healthcare, which asks "Are you in favor of a Government run healthcare system?"

Aside from finding it blatantly misleading (using an image of Obama, who doesn't promote anything near a universal healthcare system), I rather enjoy this poll. Not solely because I'm a HUGE advocate of such a plan, but because it gives me a glimpse into other people's perspectives, and I'm a student of human behavior.

Case in point, someone on my friends list voted "No" and left the following comment:

"I don't think my tax $ should pay for someones 'choice' to kill a baby!!"

Now, I obviously respect her (one of the kindest people I've ever met), or she wouldn't be on my friends list...but I'm going to use this as a case point to make a couple of observations.

She has every right to be concerned about what her tax money pays for. I don't want my tax dollars paying for religious schools, supporting faith-based initiatives and the batshit insane bigots that run them, buying bombs to kill brown people for oil in a religious crusade, paying the salaries of racist officials, creating an oppressively brutal police force, or any other myriad elements of our reality. But I'm only one 320 millionth—0.000000003125%— of the population, and I realize how democracy works (or is supposed to).

But the main problem here seems to be the typical over-zealousness and narrow-mindedness mixed with ignorance of the facts in the face of intentional misrepresentation. And I honestly mean nothing negative in that statement.

First, some of the facts as reported here:

"Abortion is not mentioned in the 1,018-page bill..."

"The Supreme Court has established a woman's right to abortion, but federal law prohibits government funds from being used to pay for the procedure in most cases. However, nearly 90 percent of employer-based private insurance plans routinely cover abortion."

OK. Pretty cut and dry.

Second, let's forget almost the entirety of my personal belief system, and attempt to deal with this just on the basis of these and a few other established facts (namely 1: there are a shit-ton of uninsured Americans, and 2: some pretty serious problems come along with being uninsured or not sufficiently insured in a society that has ridiculous healthcare costs).

So, she's saying that 46 MILLION uninsured Americans essentially should continue to suffer because the government MIGHT use tax dollars to fund abortions, most likely only in the event that it saves the mother's life (again, not even a definite option, but, if it is an option, a rarely used one)?

But in the meanwhile, the current private system covers almost all abortions, AND screws over 46 million American men, women (and their fetuses), and children. Not to mention, the dollars YOU pay into YOUR premiums are what the insurance companies use to pay for those abortions (!). So, in the current, private system you already ARE paying for abortions. For less debatable reasons. And there are still 46 MILLION people going without any health care or all, or substandard health care.

So, in a nutshell, the reasoning is "I don't want to help my fellow humans because it might lead to significantly lower levels of something that is already happening". I must say that doesn't make much sense at all.

It is worsened by the fact that the assumed reasoning is based on a religious affiliation with a faith that is supposedly defined by merciful dedication, sacrifice, and non-judgmental service to one's fellow humans according to the example set by a God/prophet that never once mentioned abortion but did prop up the poor, condemn the rich, and stress egalitarianism and beneficence.

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