Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Are you really a Republican if you support tax funded universal health insurance?

Last night, this resolution was passed unanimously at the Toledo City Council meeting:

RES. 256-08

Recognizing Cover The Uninsured Week 2008.


WHEREAS, Cover The Uninsured Week 2008 will be April 27- May 3, 2008; and

WHEREAS, 1.3 million Ohioans, including 43,700 adults and 6,200 children in Lucas County do not have health care coverage; and

WHEREAS, eight of 10 people who are uninsured are in working families and Ohio no longer offers medical assistance to low-income non-elderly adults without children at home, unless they are totally and severely disabled; and

WHEREAS, viable solutions to these problems are within our reach; and

WHEREAS, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid are successful programs that provide cost-effective coverage that saves both lives and taxpayer dollars through preventative care and early treatment; and

WHEREAS, insured children are twice as likely as uninsured children to get the medical care they need, when they need it; and

WHEREAS, as costs continue to rise, Ohio’s individuals, working families, and small businesses need help paying for coverage; and

WHEREAS, Ohio is poised to make historic progress in children’s health coverage through expansions passed in the FY2008-2009 budget; and

WHEREAS, Ohio’s leaders are on the verge of taking meaningful action to find common ground between providers, consumers, businesses, and insurers to create a sustainable plan that will assure affordable, accessible, high quality coverage to hundreds of thousands of Ohioans; NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it resolved by the Council of the City of Toledo:

SECTION 1. That Toledo City Council urges Governor Strickland and Ohio’s legislative and administrative leadership to take all necessary steps to reach affordable, accessible, and adequate health coverage for all Ohioans, and hereby declare April 27-May 3, 2008 as COVER THE UNINSURED WEEK in TOLEDO, OHIO.

SECTION 2. That this Resolution shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by law.

Such a resolution isn't unusual in the liberal/Democrat-dominated Toledo City Council, but what is unusual is that this resolution passed with the support of the three Republicans.

I have no idea why Republicans would vote to urge state government to provide health insurance, considering that a core Republican principle is LESS government involvement in our daily lives, not to mention the idea of LESS taxation...

What's more puzzling is the lack of discussion about this 'whereas': "...the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid are successful programs that provide cost-effective coverage that saves both lives and taxpayer dollars..."

Taxpayers would save MORE if these programs didn't exist, but I guess that's beside the point.

And how anyone can claim that these bloated bureaucracies, which are about to go bankrupt, are 'successful programs' is just beyond my (apparently) limited understanding.

Perhaps our GOP representatives will say that they voted to name the week - a meaningless action in which all governmental bodies partake (and I've done so myself when a County Commissioner). But if they were just voting to name it "covered the uninsured week," they could have asked for the policy issues to be excluded from the resolution. That's what I've done.

As it stands now, George Sarantou, Betty Shultz, and Tom Waniewski are on the record as supporting state-provided (read taxpayer funded) universal health insurance coverage. It's no wonder many Republicans believe they have no representation on Toledo City Council.

6 comments:

navyvet said...

They may be republicans...but they are not Conservatives.

There are times when you should not go along to get along...

What were they thinking?

Maggie Thurber said...

Conservative or Republican, the vote wasn't consistent with either, imho.

Kadim said...

I agree that the endorsement of SCHIP and Medicaid is a little odd.(Actually, I've understood that if there's a model system for government run health care in the US, it's the VA.)

Though I don't necessarily see how a vote for this resolution is an explicit vote in favor of single-payer health care. (At least, not enough to castigate them for it.)

Having said that, I think you'll see more and more Republicans joining the universal health care band-wagon. That's a shame, not necessarily because single-payer is good or bad, but because many of the problems we have with health care right now aren't solvable by universal health care.

I've also read that 65% of all healthcare spending in the US is already running through the government in some way. In essence, we are already 65% of the way towards a universal system. I should think it's very difficult for Republicans to figure out a clever way of backing out the current morass.

Maggie Thurber said...

Even if you can't find a way to back out of the existing government funded health care, do we really want/need to expand that? And while some get excellent service through the VA, I've heard enough horror stories on that front as well.

I'm a free market person when it comes to health care. One option to 'back out of government' health care might be to start with giving individuals the money and letting them spend it, rather than forcing them into medicare/medicaid providers, managed care systems, approval by government, etc...

Personally, I think if we let people keep more of their money instead of taking it through taxation, many individuals who can't afford health care might find they have the funds to do so.

Additionally, many individuals have the ability to pay for health care, but they cannot afford insurance costs. Many young people choose to forego insurance costs when they're healthy, often opting for the old 'major medical' type of catastrophic coverage but not the full coverage of complete health insurance.

In the end, every government that does this type of thing ends up rationing it in the long run...I really don't believe government can do this better than the private market can.

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Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

Leave it to lawyers and politicians to take pages to say, "please spend more taxpayer dollars".

I would like to propose an alternative. I would like to propose a "Help the Overtaxed" week, or better still a month. I would then resolve (much more simply)...

WHEREAS useless, bloated government programs and bureaucracies are sucking the life as well as the money of of the taxpeayers of every State in the Union

BE IT RESOLVED that council urges government at every level easy the burden of taxation on the people of Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, and the rest of the United States of America, and create a "Help the Overtaxed Week". By doing so, we further resolve to urge government at all levels to return this country to the spirit of opportunity that it was founded on and which has made it great.

Yep, pretty simple...

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