Republicans Who Just Don’t Get It

I’m generally liberal, but also usually accepting of other people’s views and understanding of why they believe as they do. Even when I don’t agree with those views, I tend to respect them–with a couple notable exceptions, which I’ve probably already talked about in prior posts. There is nothing in the Republican Party’s published stance on the issues I am particularly disagreeable with.

During the recent Republican debate, the subject of health care came up. The question was who should take responsibility for a man who chooses to not have health insurance and unexpectedly lapses into a coma.

Ron Paul carefully avoided the subject by mentioning that under socialized medicine, the government would foot the bill.

When questioned further, he brought up one of the cornerstone philosophies of the Republican Party: personal responsibility. This led to the question of whether we should just let the guy in the coma die.

Before Ron Paul could answer, several members of the audience yelled out affirmative responses.

That’s a stance with which I can find no sympathy.

The Republican philosophy of personal responsibility is about people taking control of their own finances and being responsible for their own decisions. The social aspect of Republicanism is that charity should be voluntary and we, as a people, should not be forced into supporting everyone through higher taxes. However, this philosophy assumes that people will be charitable if the government doesn’t force them to be.

Basically the Republican stance is: Every person should have the right to choose not to be charitable, but good people should be charitable.

The “Let them die” philosophy is not only inhumane it’s inhuman.

Current laws state that a medical center cannot refuse to treat a life threatening condition if a patient cannot afford to pay. This does, in fact, mean that everyone who can afford to pay picks up a little bit of the tab on those who can’t. Even those who are covered by Medicaid or Medicare’s benefits don’t always cover the costs to the medical facilities. This means that, to remain operating the medical facilities add a bit to their prices they charge to those who can afford to pay to make up the difference. Yes, this does result in higher health costs for everyone.

The Republicans believe that if we didn’t require health insurance and didn’t have some degree of socialized medicine such as Medicaid and Medicare that people would, by necessity, find a way to budget for health related incidentals, either through saving or insurance.

The opposing view is that it’s simply not possible for everyone to personally afford to budget for such contingencies and therefore as a society, we provide, through government run programs, for the basic medical needs of those who can’t afford them. This is the current model, and, according to just about everyone, is flawed to one degree or another.

Republicans honestly believe that in the case mentioned above, some charitable organization would step in to foot the bill, because without such high taxes, people would be more charitable.

The more pragmatic view believes that this may not be the case. They point to pre-social medicine history which tells us that those who cannot afford treatment would fall into the realms of church run sanitariums which provide hospice care, which would be considered unfit for animals by today’s standards. Again, these would not be providing recovery treatments.

So the official Republican stance is “sensible healthcare reform”. While we are not sure what that exactly means, we are pretty sure this is not synonymous with “Let them die.”

If I were a Republican, which I am not, I would be ashamed to be in the same party as these people who lack the tiniest shred of compassion and humanity.

I’m trying really hard to believe that most Republicans are not of that ilk. I like to believe that Republicans are just people who have a slightly different perspective and not the crazed sociopathic “let them die” types and not the religious nuts trying to enforce their god’s rules through law.

Personal responsibility and a prudent fiscal plan I can respect. To me these are the core values of Republicans. Now, if we could just get some candidates to not try to pander to all the extremists who make news.


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