Today’s blog post, which marks both a switching of hosts and the end of a hiatus, is courtesy of one @ProudLiberal714, aka @OC_CPA, a delightful chap that I met last night on Twitter. While arguing the merits of government-controlled healthcare, he said this:
“[S]tudies show when people make healthcare decisions based on price they tend to err on saving money and health worsens” (Link)
To which I countered:
“Really? When I got fat, I decided that losing weight would cost less than (hereditary) diabetes.” (Link)
Now, there are some who know me who might challenge my use of the term “fat” when describing myself. I agree that, given the connotations attached to the word “fat,” a more accurate term would have been “overweight;” but the nature of Twitter is one wherein brevity is a virtue, and so “fat” it was.
But all that is incidental to the point I was making – namely, that I was using myself as an example of someone who, when faced with a current medical problem that had potentially serious ramifications down the road, chose an option that was both cost-effective and healthier in both long and short terms. The argument for socialized medicine is one in which the proponents regale the rest of us with horror stories consisting largely of stupid people who are too stupid to curb behaviors that lead to expensive medical conditions (’cause they’re stupid, see), and then stick everyone else with the bill. Given this perspective, and especially the self-proclaimed compassionate nature of the Modern Liberal, you would think that my proudly liberal new friend would laud my weight-loss efforts.
Yeah, you would think that. ‘Cause you’re stupid, you stupidhead.
No, the Proud Liberal in question seized upon my use of the word “fat,” and attempted to use it as a cudgel with which to cow me into submission. After all, anyone so mentally deficient as to gain weight during a pregnancy is surely incapable of forming any sort of cogent argument, and therefore, according to the Great Saul Alinsky, can be summarily dismissed.
So at this point, my new friend is expecting me to run crying to my room, throw myself on my bed, and weep desperately into my pillow, perhaps stuffing a few pounds of chocolate bonbons into my mouth en route. (Indeed, he did accuse me of being too sensitive when I called shenanigans.) There’s only one problem with this scenario: I don’t care if he despises me — or rather, if he despises his highly fanciful conception of me. In fact, based on our brief exchange, I suspect that there are other things about me that would deepen his contempt – things like the fact that I had a C-section; I bottle-fed my son; I currently let him consume soda and other things containing high-fructose corn syrup; my husband and I both play video games, and we allow our son to as well; I think organic is a rip-off; I think anthropogenic global warming is a hoax; I worked in fast food for a considerable period of time; I attended a community college; I got married and pregnant without finishing my degree. And yes, I gained weight while pregnant.
You see, my new friend, I am fully aware of the fact that your disdain for me does not define me in the slightest – it only defines you. So now that you have established the fact that you’re an elitist snob with a penchant for jumping to horrible conclusions about people who have the gall to disagree with you, let’s get back to brass tacks, shall we?
Your initial claim was that studies show that, when people take cost into effect, they are prone to spend less money and their health worsens. Let’s put aside for a minute the nebulous nature of these unnamed studies, and assume they actually exist. We’ll also ignore the fact that, like polls, you can get a study to say pretty much anything you want it to. So taking this claim with its requisite grain of salt, we see that what you’re saying is that, when people are spending their own money in the medical field, they tend to be more cautious with it. In other words, the medical field, in this regard, is exactly the same as every other sort of good or service that is in demand by the general public.
It seems that, at this point, this leaves the realm of “studies have said” and enters the realm of common sense. So let’s pile on a few more things from the common sense category. Stuff like: When people are spending other peoples’ money, they tend not to care if they even need what they are getting, which leads to a lot of those “unnecessary expenses” our President was so fond of talking about during his “Anyone Who Disagrees With Me is An Idiot” healthcare tour. This is where laws of supply and demand come into play, which contribute to a rise in costs, leaving people who are still spending their own money on all things medical in a position where their money doesn’t go as far, and they are forced to make more hard choices. (This of course is not the only reason for the rising cost f health care – Medicare reimbursement rates and government regulations have a lot to do with that, too. But that’s an argument for another day.)
But let’s also step back from the bean-counting aspects of whose money is getting spent on health care, and look at a broader picture. Namely, that spending other people’s money on your own goods and services is not empowering; it is degrading and embarrassing. The end game of ObamaCare is one in which we are all dependent on Big Daddy Government — i.e., someone else’s money — for our health care. In other words, it’s a system that asks you to trade your dignity for your life; and history has shown that, if you find yourself in a society that asks you to make that trade, you may as well save yourself some time and consider both forfeit at the government’s pleasure.
I do have to say though, that what really amused me about this little Twitter exchange was my new friend’s parting shot:
“[L]ive your life however you want. I really don’t care- eat ding dongs all the live long day.” (Link)
Amazing, isn’t it? I seem to have turned my new liberal friend into a libertarian! Because, you see, ProudLiberal, this is not the argument of your side. Your side’s argument is that, if I want to sit around all day stuffing my face with Ding Dongs, it’s not only your business, it’s everyone’s business.
Also, the correct counter to my real-life example that contradicted your “study” assertion was not to insult me for putting on weight in the first place, but something like the following: “That’s great that you personally have opted for a low-cost preventative measure over a high-cost chronic disease. But what you present is anecdotal evidence, which by itself isn’t strong enough to overturn the results of my anonymous study.”
Of course, this would only applicable be if you were actually interested in arguing your point, rather than just insulting anyone who dares disagree. My apologies; carry on.