Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Health Care Debate and our Middle-School Congress



I normally avoid political topics on my blog. Don't get me wrong, I have very strong political beliefs...it's just that I don't want this blog to become divisive.
As everyone knows, our government is now shut down. It’s really sad. I honestly cannot tell the difference between middle school and the United States Congress. Even when I squint my eyes they look and act the same. The impetus for the shutdown is the opposition to the Affordable Health Care Act.

The health care debate has really divided our country. People have very strong opinions either in favor of or in opposition to the Affordable Health Care Act. To me, it comes down to one question: Do you feel that health care is a right or a privilege?
What are your thoughts? Is health care a right or a privilege?

165 comments:

  1. It's a battle that needs to be fought at another time - right now, let's just keep the country from going into a total tailspin.
    The sad thing is the Act will have a lot of negative repercussions, as businesses will find it cheaper to pay the fine than provide health care - or better yet, just drop all employees to part time and not pay anything.

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    1. does that mean all of the psychiatrist are not working now.

      to change the brain. you have to face the pain. pure and simple.

      :0)

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  2. Divisive or not, at least this is a real existential question! There is another way to look at this issue, nobody is really giving anything away to anyone.
    None of this comes from the heart, it is all about math. Our health system cost us 18% of the National Budget and without the ACA (Affordable Care Act) is supposed to increase. With the ACA it is supposed to be 14% and is supposed to get less. It is simply my conservative business side that makes me in favor of it. We already have it for those over 65, why not expand this system? It will be less expensive.

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  3. Is the Affordable Health Care Act like our nation wide Medicare? Which means that everyone can afford to go to a doctor when they need it and pensioners don't have to pay a co-pay amount. If that is what the Affordable HC is then I'm in favour of it. Why should only the rich have access to good health care?

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  4. I agree with Alex. It is so very disappointing to see this issue pushing our country into a tailspin. I think it is a time we just vote out the whole Congress and start over again! Maybe the new Congress could get this healthcare situation sorted out in a more professional matter. Of course, that cannot HAPPEN here; but I wish it could.

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  5. It is a right. It should be a right. This whole debacle reminds me of children playing ball. What, you can't win the game so you kick the ball into the woods so no one can play the game? Let's put on our big boy pants, be adults, and get millions of civilians back to work and getting their paychecks. People are suffering while the Tea Party sits and pouts.

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  6. Since I'm Canadian Keith... I believe that health care is a right. I don't debate it with anyone... we all have our right to our opinions. I feel sad when people don't feel it is a right but I do understand that we have our own rights to our own thoughts...

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  7. Although I am sickened by the toddlers we have running our government, I would have to say that health care is a right. We find money to fund all kinds of yahoo things so yes, I think health care is a right.

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  8. Considering that our health care system has BECOME one in which only the wealthy can afford it, yes, I think that we have a right to affordable health care. If nothing else, we simply need to level the playing field again.

    I too am appalled by the behavior of our elected leaders. Unfortunately, public memory is short, and by the time November 2014 rolls around, I'm sure most people will have forgotten how abominably their leaders performed.

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  9. I go back and forth with that question - I have always been lucky enough to have jobs that offer health insurance ... sadly though with what Bush put in place, it now costs me MORE than ever before and we can barely afford to get my daughter's surgeries that she needs, even with insurance ... and then I see others who don't have it, and have no problems getting help to get doctor care ... I am truly torn

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  10. It is all pretty damn pathetic, these elected morons sit there and screw everyone over while they are all fine and dandy. For the people my ass. Only first world country left with such a screwed up healthcare system anyway, need to get a grip.

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  11. I would like to know why this President shoved this health care bill down our throats-what the majority still do not want-but fixed it so he and congress and other special people on his list-do not have to have this-that's not fair.
    I chose to work for a company (am now retired) that offered excellent healthcare-now my insurance is not affordable any more because of this health care bill-so I am not happy.
    In America I feel nothing is a right except for liberty and freedom-it is your choice to make good or bad decisions in your life not the governments-of course that is now changing

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  12. I'm from the UK so I have to say it is a right and although our National Health system is going through bad times our right to free medical treatment still goes on.

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  13. It's ridiculous to think about what our country has become - one side accusing the other of well, everything. It's Bush's fault, it's Obama's fault - NO, it's no one administration. It's a culmination of decades of agendas and things that waste money and just don't work. Makes me wonder if we'd be better off with a businessman like Warren Buffet in office versus a politician. At least they would cut the waste and use our tax money more efficiently. As for healthcare, I do not want to be told what to choose. To me, that is the opposite of freedom.

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  14. It's a right....of course, we have universal Health Care in Canada. It's a good thing, with all its problems.

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  15. Hi Keith I am not in the middle of your decisions I just know that as a Canadian I know we value our health care system and there are not very many people I know that grumble and complain at paying the high taxes that we ALL benefit for in the end. My parents are and were being well cared for by the taxes we all contribute too even if we are not using those services at this time there is a time everyone will need it even if they do not believe that at the time.. Just my opinion just wanted to let you know how valuable our health care system is to us and we do not mind paying for it.. B

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  16. Well I am Canadian. We have had strong public healthcare for decades and it means I can see specialists when I have abnormal cancer cells, it means I get an amazing doctor if I happen to go into psychosis and my brother gets to see a specialist for his Chron's disease. My parents are strong supporters of public health care, rallying at the legislative building and making sure the government puts health care front and centre. I wonder if any of those polititions have ever needed medical care…don't they know how important it is?? Good luck out there in the States.

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  17. very much...a privilege... that we give ourselves...and a right for those who have served our country by working for it for years and years and/or in combat!

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  18. Since I am a retired middle school teacher, I would like to pass out a wad of detention slips in the halls of Congress.

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  19. I realise many people (especially here in the UK) would argue with me, but I very strongly believe that health care should be a right, whether or not we can afford to pay for it.
    Our NHS has been slowly disintegrating for years now and people are dying as a result. It is extremely worrying:/

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  20. Healthcare's a right; the US doesn't live within a feudal system and denying people's access to healthcare because of cost is definitely a form of serfdom.

    I'm very excited about the ACA, and I hope it can continue to evolve to become better. Right now, I think the biggest problem it still has is that the very poorest population still can't access it, but by having everyone else who can afford it by into it, it will drive the price down naturally. I would like to see the ACA resemble more of the single pay system that exists in the Canada and the UK.

    I just have to mention that what I find the most ridiculous is how uneducated Americans are allowing themselves to be on this issue. Have you seen any of the polls asking respondents whether they support the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare? I've been completely shocked at how many people think they mean different things.

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    1. Typo.. I didn't mean "the Canada," hahah.

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  21. A right or a priviledge.....as a Canadian I'm having a tough time with that question....we have so much provided for us here, out of our own tax dollars of course, amd seniors have a good portion of their drugs as well as eye examinations covered. The disadvantaged who are on disability pensions and OW have a great deal covered for them as well that the rest of us either have to buy health insurance for or pay out of our own pockets such as dental care and glasses etc. I can't imagine why anyone would have a problem with government provided health care. The amount of money an individual would have to budget for to cover regular expenses plus emergency expenses would be practically impossible for most of us.

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  22. It's a right. There should be no debate, no discussion, no disagreement.

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  23. Health care is a must ... I live in Canada ... I work my a ... off every night ... on a ,,,of on a busy acute care psych ward ... love the work ... love my people ... things regarding help for my people are working well right now ... as they should ... scrap Mc Donald's foods, and a few other fast food ventures, and the wold will be alright .... I really think the fast food industry and the pharma industry are in cahoots ... in order to make and keep people sick and dependent ... black list me now ... I do not care.

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  24. Sorry , I am not aware about this :)

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  25. A right! but I'm Canadian and with all the taxes we pay they better have free health care

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  26. I think it is a right. Anyone who thinks it is a privilege is a sorry excuse for a human and has no idea how lucky their circumstances are. I am totally for a single payer system since this ACA stuff seems to just needlessly complicate an already messed up system. Before all of this though, the ones who were mainly getting screwed were the people with insurance, so I don't understand why more people aren't happy about this taking affect.

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  27. My question has always been...If it is such a great plan why are so many exempt from the plan? If it's good enough for us, then it's good enough for them. But it's not. The very people who passed the bill are exempt.

    We've heard over and over about social security being an entitlement program. What do you think this will be? The biggest entitlement program ever. And who pays for it? The middle class for as long as there is a middle class.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

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  28. When you pay taxes you have a right to free medical care.

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  29. but no really, our government looks like children, actually they look worse than children, because children would probably already have come to a decision by now.... it's embarrassing.

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  30. In a fantasy world everything is a "right". Unfortunately in the real world it is not. I certainly believe that everyone is entitled to health care, but socialized health care has never been completely successful and isn't the entire answer. It will further complicate an already complicated situation.

    Unfortunately our country is on the road to political chaos and hasn't been so radically divided since the Civil War.

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  31. healthcare is a right, just ask any European! However, personally I think that cosmetic surgeries and similar should not be available for free (many aren't even here, but there are borderline cases which should need to be paid for but sometimes people get them for free).

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  32. Oh no - don't get me started on the health care debate! Actually, I agree with much of what Jon said (above).

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  33. That's a tough one. I think everyone should have access to affordable, quality health care. I'm not sure how that can be done. My husband's insurance covers all of us, but it is outrageously expensive and I often wonder if we would be better just paying out of pocket when something comes up.

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  34. def no easy answer in sight on this one...i think the govt shut down is ridiculous....i think the politicians are being childish and i hope that it shows in the poles when they are up for re-election...how is it that other countries that provide health care do not have the same idiocy?

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  35. I believe Congress is fighting each other rather than focusing on the complex issue. I feel we have taxation without representation.

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  36. Healthcare is a right, I believe we should expand the Medicare program to everyone including congress too. The behavior in congress is shameful and childish. We are far behind most industrialized countries in heath care. We rank poorly on the CIA World Factbook for maternal deaths, (#137) 21 per 100,000. Canada's (#148) is 12 per 100,000 for instance. the top of the list (#184) Estonia is 2 per 100,000.

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  37. strip the politicians of their medical coverage and they paychecks, then let's see how quickly they can agree on a solutions to this impasse.

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  38. Pretty well my thoughts about politics can be summed up in a part of a Queensryche song, of all things;

    "Got no love of politicians
    or that crazy scene in DC,
    It's just a power-mad town...
    Who do you trust
    when everyone's a crook?...
    "

    Funny how poignant that is and the song's twenty-four years old...

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  39. I think it's become obvious our choice is an illusion. The fighting and shutdown are all political stagecraft that we'll see after all the smoke clears will lead to not a whole lot changing. It reminds me of the French revolution where the elitist ruling class looks at the starving and says: "let them eat cake."

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  40. It should be a right, but it's a privilege in this country. I'm privileged to "only" owe $5,000+ on a tab for a major surgery that I had to endure, which totaled over $123,000. I work full-time - two careers, in fact - and have the best health coverage my employer could afford. I'm privileged to be in debt and alive. Thanks for braving this issue, Optimistic.

    xoRobyn

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  41. I'm from the UK but have travelled all over the world - and can see that health care is a privilege, but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be available for rich and poor alike.

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  42. I really don't think even with the Affordable Care Act that healthcare has been made a right to every American.

    Back in the 2010 they should of passed Medicare for All

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  43. As much as it is sometimes criticized, we take our national health service for granted here. Personally, I don't know where I or my O/H would have been with out it. He certainly wouldn't be here now - I think the doctors and nurses are brilliant. 100% everyone's right to healthcare, that's my opinion.

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  44. It's a right. We as humans are based on communities. Our earliest communities always had a doctor, eg medicine man, what have you...there was never an issue on 'healthcare being provided' until insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and litigious-minded people came into play. At the heart of the matter is the fact that certain things should be taken care of by the community, and healthcare is one of them.

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  45. I firmly believe that healthcare (like education) should be a right not a privilege.
    To say it is a privilege means that there are those who will be excluded because they do not fall into that 'privileged' group. I think that that position is morally untenable. In the UK there is a growing feeling that healthcare should not be for the privileged but for those who deserve it - by which they mean, who have paid for it through taxes and perhaps private insurance. In which case the argument shifts from healthcare not for the privileged but for the deserving. As political rhetoric it seems attractive and far more palatable, however it overlooks (or disregards) the fact that not everyone has the same access to employment or the ability to pay top-ups or insurance... so it too is really about privilege.

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  46. Yes, it's dividing people, and spreading so much anger through the air. Have you noticed that?

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  47. I'm not a strict constructionist but the constitution does promise the right to LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness :-)

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  48. Health care I believe is a right. I have the right to not have the government shove something down my throat that I do not want or need. That goes with anything.
    It is such a shame that this beautiful, wonderful country of ours is in such a shamble. Even animals can negociate and get their problems solved!
    Both sides of this government are acting like children!

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  49. I follow this news and do not know when the consensus is. The health care is the right, of course.

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  50. I don't have the 'right' to speak for what goes on in your country, but from a personal perspective, I believe that healthcare is a right. I live in Canada where healthcare is available to everyone. I don't mind paying into a collective pot, which becomes accessible by all. There are times when I've had to use money from that pot just like anyone else. Also, I never think twice about going to see a doctor, worried about the bill that will come with it. I never have to worry about going bankrupt if ever I need intensive care (or someone I love does). I never have to worry about whether I can afford health insurance or not, particularly something with decent coverage. And I never have to worry about being refused coverage by an insurance company for whatever reason. It's very comforting knowing that, at the very least, I can access healthcare at any time without any fear or reservations. And so can any other citizen.

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  51. Used to be, I thought the leaders of our country were the brightest and best, but that was a long time ago. The bozos we have now keep stomping on my rose-colored glasses, and you're absolutely right: they're acting like a bunch of spoiled children more interested in having their own way than in doing what's best for the country.

    That people die in one of the greatest countries in the world because they can't afford decent medical care is abominable, and that a bunch of rich white politicians don't want to help them help themselves is even more abominable. That they're holding the whole country hostage with this shutdown stunt in a vain attempt to defund a law they don't like is over-the-top insane.

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  52. I think it is a right. However, thanks to this new healthcare law, our employer has been forced to switch to a different insurance provider, leaving me with extremely high deductibles. As one who has to frequent the doctor for an ongoing health issue, I simply can no longer afford to go, even though I have "insurance". Simply put, our government sucks.

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  53. I can't follow the debate, but if Obamacare makes the American healthcare system less complicated and more accessible to those who don't have insurance, then I don't see why someone would disagree. This is just my Greek point of view.

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  54. In my opinion....the way things WERE before "obamacare" came across the way of things to be, the health care worked. We taxpayers helped with paying in from our checks, for medicare/medicade. In fact, USA had the best medical care on the globe. I've talked with several people from Canada and some friends in Denmark...they have 'free' medical...but they pay DEARLY in taxes. And it's showing now that that is what is coming about here. A friend of mine signed up...got his first shock when he found out his 'premium' for 'free' medical went up nearly 400%!!!

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  55. Middle school? More like - Pre-school. Of course there should be affordable healthcare. Right now people use the emergency room as their personal physician and those of us who DO have health insurance are paying for it. Every taxpayer is paying for it - Let's have the users of the medical system pay for at least a part of it.

    No one has a right to a free ride.

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  56. Unless someone has been in a position to be without health care - and have it denied to them because of "pre-existing conditions" - or be unable to pay for it because of the cost of subscribing independently - or find themselves in a spot between jobs and needing to pay high "in-between" charges - anyway, unless someone has been in that spot, no one knows what it is like to be able to, at last, have health coverage. It is rather like the saying - "Unless you have walked a mile in the other person's shoes, refrain from criticizing."

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    1. I haven't been there, but I know someone who died because he could not afford health care to diagnose and treat him when he got sick. He suffered a lot due to lack of health care.

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  57. Certainly health care is a right in a humane society. Unfortunately, there is a faction of congress that resists the requisite commercial reform through obstructionist tactics that have nothing to do with government by discussion. In this sense they have abandoned any usefulness they may once have had to a democratic republic.

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  58. I think it's a right and everyone should be able to have health care when they need it. My only problem is how our government is acting.

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  59. Hmmmm, well, if someone is in pain or dying, it has to be a right, we cannot NOT take care of our people and let them suffer. But then there is everything in between. And there are many different types of health care. In Sweden everything is free from the government. But if a man has prostate caner, they want to wait until it has spread more before they treat it, so they have the highest death rate for this cancer of almost anywhere. Even with free government health care.

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  60. I was pleased to hear that some opposition to Obamacare comes from people who think it does nearly go far enough and is far too weak. Of course everyone should look after the sick through their taxes and it is recognised as being the cheapest form of the health care.

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  61. In the UK, we have the NHS which means we are all equal in getting health care at our time of need, regardless of our ability to pay for it. We are privileged that in this country it is considered our right. I believe in it.

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  62. For all of its critics our nhs has been pretty wonderful for 60 years

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  63. I don't even know what I think anymore. I can tell you this I have my own health care. My boss paid me more to have my own. My husband's boss went that route as well. We pay more for health coverage a month then we do on our house payment. It's pretty sad. I know that people won't see a big difference with work; when it's covered through them. Well my own went up about $200 a month! I was pissed. Now I'm just like, it is what it is.

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  64. I think it is a right. It costs states huge amounts of money if people don't have healthcare and go bankrupt - someone still has to pay and that someone is the state. Having lived in Australia where there is universal health care - things run so smoothly, it's lovely.

    As an aside there was a report here on the news from the US...I think it was Jimmy Kimmel - went around and asked people they supported ObamaCare and the interviewees said no, and then they asked if they supported the Affordable Care Act and they said yes. It's amazing what's in a name.

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  65. I don't live in a mansion and I don't drive a big car but I do pay for supplement insurance and it ain't cheap. I hope to always be responsible for myself. I do know there are people that have hard luck without any fault of their own and they do deserve help.

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  66. Well, when I look at the ACA, I believe there are some really good things about it. However, the part that really, really bothers me is everyone being forced to have insurance. I really want everyone to be able to have healthcare, but everyone's situation is different and I just don't think it should be mandatory. That is getting a little too "big brother" for me. There is a quote I read once and can't remember the exact words right now, but it was about how the government is there for our protection, not to control us.

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  67. Like Alissa, I really don't know what to think anymore. We pay an obscene amt for our health insurance, increased since 2009. We will see sometime who was right & wrong.

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  68. I do think that everyone deserves to have healthcare. But with all the social services that are out there, it seems like some non-working people have better benefits than the employed. I pay a hefty amount for family coverage out of my pay, in fact this year it went up $200 a month. An unbelievable amount to me.

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  69. I believe it's a right for all people to be able to get good health care, BUT who's really to blame for the lack of it? Congress, the President, or health care companies? I have an idea, but....

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  70. I am also Canadian and I believe its for the good of everyone to have affordable health care ~ We are taxed a lot here but we don't mind if we reap the benefits like a free universal healthcare ~ Have a good week ~

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  71. Well, I work my butt off at my job. But my job does not offer me any form of insurance. And getting outside insurance for myself is incredibly expensive and something I can't afford.

    Luckily my fiance just started a job in which I can be grouped onto his insurance. But I'm lucky.

    I believe it should be a right. Some people don't have the means to get it and that just is not right.

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  72. I too think that having healthcare is a right but being penalized for not having it is taking one's rights away. Our school has told us that if we don't carry the right amount of insurance (under the new plan) that we would have to pay a penalty. It is odd. They also claim to be able to cover all those who cannot afford healthcare but government cannot even afford itself! My two cents...

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  73. Judging from what I have heard that has happened in England where, when a tourist gets sick, they will treat the person and not charge them, I believe that it is a right for every being! I don't wish to get into this because I live in Quebec, and if you have heard, we have plenty of issues of our own here. Still, I think that health care could, and should, be improved worldwide.

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  74. I think medical insurance and care is a privilege, but ideally it should be a right.

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  75. Replies
    1. You've summed it up perfectly in three words.

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  76. Here in Europe and the UK we cannot understand why there is such opposition to the health care plan. That said we don't fully understand it I am sure. However didn't the Democrats get elected to pass it? It seems really strange that the Republicans cannot accept the will of a democratically elected government to carry out it's election promises!

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  77. I just wonder how countries with universal healthcare make it work. As far as these politicians, they are screwing with peoples lives and we should have the right to fire them like any other job.

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    1. Please remember to fire them come election day.

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  78. I need insurance. I couldn't afford my medication otherwise. I have very good insurance through my employer. When I had my daughter our total bill (for her and I) came to about $3K and she was in in the NICU for 3 weeks.
    I know a couple of people who have chosen specifically not to get their employer offered insurance because "they don't get sick" so when they do, they pay the full price for their care. That being said there are people who do need it who can't get it or afford it. I think it is a right, but perhaps there is a better way to go about it.
    And I agree, the government is acting like a two year old. I just heard on the news that due to the shut down those families of those killed in Afghanistan are not getting their immediate death benefits. And that is not right. The military is not getting paid. TSA (and I don't even like them) are not getting paid, but they all still have to go to work if they want to be employed when this laughingstock of a government finally goes back to work.

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  79. I have been doing without health care since I lost my full time job in 2009. My dept was closed so there wasn't much I could do. I have been taking care of myself good enough not have to take any antibiotics for four years. Even with two part time jobs I don't get health Insurance. It would not matter to me as I have seen my life. I am a grand mother. But to those of us who are very young with young children affordable health Insurance is a must.

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    1. It's a must for you, even more so. What sort of burden would be placed on your kids if you were to fall ill? It could wipe them out financially without health care. I hope the idiots in congress agree to fund what they set into law for your sake as well as everyone else's.

      http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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  80. To me it's not just a right - it's a no-brainer. I don't know how free healthcare would function in such a big country as the US, but in Finland it is functioning just fine. Along with free education...

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  81. Good health and education should be at the fundament in all countries. It affects families, businesses and the economy on a basic level. It is a human right.

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  82. We should all have healthcare, but we are all need to take responsibility for it as well.

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  83. My family is covered through my U.S. Navy-employed wife and I'll never forget the doctor who told me that if it were not for TRICARE, the cost of care for No. 1. Son (in the NICU for two weeks) would have been about $84,000.

    Obviously, service members can be put in real harm's way, so I understand why free health care is a privileged benefit - but surely there is a way to provide coverage for all - and keep the "kids" in Washington happy, too...

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  84. My husband's cousin worked in DC. When the shut down came she and her entire office (not small) were told at lunch time to go home. They're all sitting around without pay until something comes about. For her, she's older and it's okay, she's not hurting financially. I'm sure that's not the case for everyone and some people are really feeling that pinch.

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  85. This is a topic that needs to be discussed, and no, you did not even come close to crossing the line or raising hate because you never said what YOU think. With that, I am so angry at John Boehner and the Tea Party. Obamacare is law. It was passed and the Republicans tried to overthrow it 40+ times and failed. The votes are available to pass a clean budget, but Boehner is holding the country hostage by refusing to allow a vote. He and his cronies should be jailed for TREASON because they have publicly set out and voiced their plans to make Obama fail. Plans to destroy the gov't is the very definition of treason, so I'd like to know why no one has filed charges. Furthermore, the distribution of wealth in this country is disgustingly slanted. Mama Gump says, "A man can only use so much money, and the rest is for show." Why are the rich so rich? Because they have bought politicians who have allowed them loopholes to avoid paying taxes and to suction off funds from hard working people. We are one of the few countries who does not have a health care system for all. Obamacare is not perfect, but it's a start. We need to start somewhere and can go back to the table and tweak things out later. I'm so sick of selfish TEApublicans! Now, what I say is controversial.

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  86. I'm gonna pass on this one...
    Have a wonderful day!

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  87. I am a little worried about Obamacare. I don't know if I think it's a right or a privilege to have healthcare or not. I see both sides. What I do know is, I'm sick of people blasting one side or the other. We need to figure it out and stop the bickering. Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

    P.S. I think insurance companies (in general) are the bane of my existence. Too dramatic?

    :)

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  88. Funny thing is, the Supreme Court cleared AHC, it was ratified by the people, it became a LAW. It should not have become an issue for passing the budget. Closing down the government is NOT due process for changing laws in the United States--there are other avenues to do that.

    Unfortunately, opposers tried to gut the law, rendering it a law in name only, by refusing to allocate the agreed upon funds and that last minute gutting legislation became a rider on the budget.

    I think there should be access to health care. My thoughts are more on a single payer system similar to Medicare. All pay a percentage of their paychecks into it just as they do for Social Security and Medicare. Seems logical to me.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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  89. If good health was a right, it would be written into the constitution. The issue facing us now is socialized medicine, and if you look at the history of countries who've incorporated it, it's a bad cookie. We need to go back to the day of paying for what you need--before insurance. You know, when doctors made house visits and often gave free service when families couldn't afford care? (Says the granddaughter and daughter of doctors.) We went wrong when the bureaucracy stepped into the health field, just like the country is going wrong under the hands of uncompromising dictatorship.

    Want successful healthcare? Get the governments hands out of it.

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    1. I agree!

      To elaborate, I don't believe either healthcare or education are rights. I don't think anything that requires another person in order for you to receive it (i.e. you need a doctor in order to get care, need a teacher/parent to teach) is a right, because then you can take away their own free rights in order to receive those things.

      Rights are life, liberty and property/what we've earned and that's about it.

      In order for universal healthcare to work, people have to all pay in money - that means there are people who are giving up their right to what they've earned - their property - in order for people to get a "right" to healthcare. That means by default, by definition it is not a right - you can't use a right to pay for another right, so to speak.

      However, I do believe in people receiving good healthcare, and I think a universal system, ran by a government is absolutely the worst way to do it monetarily.

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  90. Oh, gosh, Keith. I don't know that this is the true reason the government has actually shut down. Red herrings abound in our political history. :( You're dead on about the Middle School description. Actually, that's an insult to Middle Schoolers.

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  91. A right, of course! Call me a socialist, if you like...

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  92. It really is shameful to see how our government is acting lately. They need to get it together because we are suffering as a result of their actions. I do think the health care system needs to be overhauled, but I just don't know the best way to do it. Things are terribly broken and need to be fixed.

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  93. It's funny, I think people are acting like middle schoolers too. I am so tired of people I don't even know spouting off either in favor of or against the Affordable Health Care Act. They have no idea how I feel or may incorrectly assume I'm on their side. Now that I think about it, poor middle schoolers. I'd hate to be compared to our government right now....which is, frankly, an embarrassment.

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  94. My grandfather was a doctor. He lived in a rural area and made house calls. Many times he traded his knowledge and services for food to help provide for his family. Somewhere along the way, medicine turned into big business. Much good has come of that, but at a high cost for both physician and patient.

    This doesn't answer your question, but it's something I felt the need to say.

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  95. It's not good for my mother. She's in her 70's and she is very concerned.
    Cortne

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  96. Even going into the healthcare, I think that healthcare as well as many other aspects of government are a privilege which should be earned. I do not think the entitlement attitude of our society is a good direction for our future at all...I think something should be contributed in order to receive "free" stuff.

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  97. I weighed in on your Facebook page on this topic, but I probably didn't express myself that well.
    People spend a lot of time talking about the cost of healthcare but I think the more important cost that can't be calculated is the one of lost potential of those who we lose because they don't have access to healthcare.

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  98. Even down in little New Zealand we hear about the strain of your health care system. So although you like to stay away from political topics on your blog, if you were going to talk about anything this is it. Katie

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  99. O.. well I can't comment much on this as I'm not in your country. But I do think that anything that encourages too much of a spirit of entitlement can't be good and can easily be abused. Here, the government contributes to one's healthcare, but also expects one to as well, according to one's ability; this is done through enforced regular savings contributions from one's income and so forth. This, of course, is putting it very simplistically; certainly there are lots of debates happening here too.

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  100. The Tea party aren't as mature as Middle Schoolers. My nine year old would be a better senator than those bozos.

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  101. I wouldn't insult middle schoolers like that. I think if middle schoolers were in there, this whole thing would have been settled a long time ago.

    But the gov't is shut down not because of healthcare but because of the debt ceiling the prez wants to increase. Just sayin'.

    Prayers for peace for our country soon.... and sanity!

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  102. HEALTH CARE IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT. It is the duty of the state and the state is bound to give us that.

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  103. Tough call....on all sides, Keith. I live in a country with pretty good healthcare. I never take it for granted.

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  104. An absolute right as I said on your FB age. We aren't god and cannot decide who has the right to treatment and who does not. Stripped of all our belongings and materialism we are all people who stand naked and worthy the same.

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  105. It's a right. I can't believe it's a debate. I can't believe it can be such a divisive subject.

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  106. I've read everyone's comments, and my opinion closest resembles what Joyce Lansky and Rick Watson said.
    And that's all I'm gonna say about that.
    Hope you're having a golden autumn, Keith!

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  107. I live in Europe, and most of take health care for granted so yes - it IS a right. I pay some of the highest taxes in the world, and I don't mind, because I believe that everyone should get health care and I'm more than happy that some of my taxes go towards making sure this happens.

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  108. Interesting post! Thanks for that!

    Xoxo!

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  109. Health care should be a right, not a privilege.
    No system is perfect. I've worked in three different countries in the medical field, so I know that no system is perfect.
    What I really don't understand is why everything is so expensive here in terms of healthcare. That's where the root of the problem is. I believe the cost of everything here may be higher than in other countries.
    First of all, we should all strive to make the system more cost-effective. We have to avoid asking for tests that are not needed and are not going to change the outcome. This should be one of the goals. Healthcare is expensive, so we need to optimize it to make it more cost-effective.
    We should have a system nationwide that allows providers to know past medical histories and previous studies to avoid repeating tests.
    It is not easy.
    I think it is good that Obama is trying to address the problem of healthcare. Those who oppose it should come with clear solutions.

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  110. Thanks for visiting my site!
    I believe searching for the right healthcare is the responsibility of each individual. Healthcare should not be a requirement, demanding of people. In all, people need to makes choices for themselves.

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  111. well i wouldn't mind if you weren't penalized by not having this right

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  112. I agree with you about not wanting to delve into politics. I avoid doing so at Penwasser Place because I don't want to get divisive (as my blog says, all I want to do is laugh).
    But, I think health care of an emergent nature should be rendered for free if someone needs it and cannot afford it. How can a civilized people turn someone away from an ER if they are in dire need? That being said, while in a land of sunshine and lollipops, everyone would get whatever medical care they need for free, it just can't be done. There's not enough money in the world to do so. And, humans being how humans are, some would take advantage of others for things such as facelifts, nose jobs, and nipple extenders. That, in a nutshell, is also my philosophy about socialism. It would be fantastic were it not for the fact that human beings are involved, many of whom are self-centered lazy slack asses. What I'm trying to say is that this isn't a black and white issue.
    Okay, let's just have a few yuks, huh?

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  113. I think it's a privilege. Though all people have a basic human right to good health, it's also up to them to ensure that they are living healthily. I think this is just slightly similar to our welfare system in New Zealand. A lot of people seem to think that the Unemployment Benefit is a right, not a privilege - when a huge chunk of them can actually work but choose not to. I hope that correlation makes sense!

    Thanks for visiting my blog Keith :)

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  114. Too many people in our country are not able to afford health care. It is shameful. It's probably the people who already have health care or can afford it who are against the Affordable Care Act. We have too many inequities in this country.

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  115. My thought: affordable healthcare is one thing, but Obamacare is a bad policy. I think we could have come up with something better than this.

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  116. Hi JJ .. you ask about healthcare - the basics should be provided to all ...

    However I hope they can sort the more important problem out right now - before what ever implodes implodes ... Hilary

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  117. We have here the same battle and yes I thing health care would be a right absolutely Keith!!
    Have a nice weekend!

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  118. To me it's a right but as a practical matter, can we as a society afford not to provide it? The chronically sick are less productive and one way or another we wind up providing for them.

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  119. In the age of extreme inequality it has become a right. Not to become extremely divisive though I do believe comparing Congress to a middle school you have unfairly criticized middle schools....:)

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  120. I know a lot of folks in Britain look at your healthcare situation with disbelief. We have Universal healthcare. Free from the point of service. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. That question you posed is exactly what I stated in one of my past postings!

    Have a healthy weekend. And America, wake up!

    Gary

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  121. Healthcare is a right, pure and simple.
    Anna :o]

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  122. Health care should always be an absolute right. Most physicians will tell you horror stories of people who waited to get help until they were nearly dead and then went to the ER and it ended up costing about ten times what it would have cost to go to a doctor. And I have read every single word of Obama's Health Care policy and it is a very, very good start.

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  123. I think, just like education, it should be a right. This is a major reason I couldn't continue working in the health field. I didn't feel it was morally sound to charge people such a ridiculous amount to teach them how to be healthy. Good habits/care should be something that is shared universally not profited on.

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  124. It should definitely be a right. The American system is so messed up. In Germany everybody has a right to have health care. I do remember the first time I got sick in America. I was so scared of all the costs. In Germany, I don't have to.

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  125. It should be a right! Medicare for everyone!

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  126. it depends on how people take it. Not everyone go as this, however I go with it! Wishes

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  127. As far as I am concerned, it´s a right. I cannot do a deep analysis of what is happening in USA because I have not all the data, but I don´t question this idea, maybe because this is how things are here, in my country. Every person who is working legally is also legally obliged to pay health care, but every person who lives in the country has right to them, even those who are not citizens. Part of the medication expenses is also subsidized. Of course, this has created us also some problems as for example, overspend, abuses, bad practices and a sense of disorder, because the outlay is high and the services are often overwhelmed and we have been immerse in a debate about this issue along the last years after the economic breakdown. Even so, the system is being preserved with some changes. I think that maybe the problem has been a lack of supervision and organization and I also understand the need of certain adjustments, but I am happy to know that we have this system that is based in the idea that health is indeed, a right. In particular, when I think about aged people, children, unemployed and vulnerable collectives.

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  128. Hi Keith….I answered your question much earlier; but I saw your comment on Brian's blog about your beginning to take an interest in poetry. I do hope you one of these days we will see a poem from you. We all had our beginnings at one time or another. When if not now…for you?

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  129. Health care is a right, a human right, a civic right. Not just of an individual but also of a nation.

    Thanks for sticking your head above the parapet! :-) Hope you don't get hurt.

    Greetings from London.

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  130. There should be NO exemptions for anyone. Whatever benefits are given to Congress, everyone gets. We all should live by the same rules. Fair is fair...

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  131. Health care for all is an absolute right. There isn’t a European country which does not have some sort of universal health care. Yes, in most countries one must make a contribution but even if you can’t, you are not going to be left lying in pain , without help.

    Shame on you, USA.

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  132. I will refrain from dying anything about he healthcare reform. I am in the insurance business and things are just messy right now... Hopefully it will get better. Thank you for the positive thinking!!!! Shushu says thank you too ;-)

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  133. No comment on health care or politics. :)

    But I'll echo what Mary said in her second comment. I've mentioned it to you before--I'd like to see you write poems. Why don't you start another blog for poetry only?

    You can keep this blog for discussion, but I think it'd be good for you to explore creative writing. To express your voice.

    If you need support or ideas, you have my email. Smiles :)

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  134. My opinion is that even without Obamacare everyone has the right to health care right now. You don't need insurance to go to the doctor, you never have, but you do need money. I think it comes down to, is having someone else pay for your coverage a right or a privilege? I have never had health care in my entire life, so I learned to only go to the doctor if it was a big deal. I believe it comes down to whether or not you want to take responsibility for yourself and your life, whether through your actions and living choices or putting out the money to help yourself. Personally, I haven't encountered one situation where this has made health care any more affordable.

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    1. If you can only get health care if you have money then that means it is not a right: it is a privilege (private right) available to those with money. So actually you don't think health care is a right.

      Right.

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  135. It seems to be rather strange that a country that is as rich as the USA even needs to have a debate about health care for all. I was born in the UK - National Health system and all - and now live in Australia, where while not completely free health care costs are far lower than in other places.

    And I suspect that the battle lines that have been drawn in the US have little to do with health care and a lot to do with party politics.

    That may be a bit more opinionated that I expected!!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne.

    PS; I almost feel well today - thankfully!

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  136. Hello Keith :-)

    I must first warn you that I have not been following the news about the US shutdown and hence am ignorant of the whole deal, but as regards to your question of whether healthcare is a right or a privilege, I have something to say:

    It just boils down to this question- If you see that I am unhealthy and you have a way; any field of health care- physical, mental or spiritual- from home remedies to Homeopathy to Ayurveda to Neurotics to Psychology to Philosophy- any damn thing basically;
    So if you feel that you may have a way to bring me back to health, what stops you from helping me?

    I hope that when you begin to find an answer to this question, you may find what you are looking for. Or maybe not.

    Eitherway, thank you for the opportunity for this mind-churn!
    Namaskaram.

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  137. I have lived in England and my in-laws live in England. The NHS has many critics but it seems to work very well from my view. Could the same type of healthcare work here? I doubt it since the government can't seem to get anything right. We need a Department of Common Sense!

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  138. i think some are hiding behind the health care act so they dont have to discuss the bigger problems of fixing the budget. we need to see what really happens w/the act, let it be, it passed, now talk about something else. if it flops then change it, if not, good!

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  139. Keith, thanks for posting this. So interesting to read people's responses and thoughts on this topic. Like many of your readers I'm Canadian and belief in every person's right to healthcare. I have had to depend on national healthcare at various times in my life. When you are working minimum wage and having a hard time with bills the last thing you want to worry about is getting sick and being unable to afford to see a doctor.

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  140. Universal health care all the way. And a high quality free education. Two of the most important building blocks of a "healthy" society, in my personal opinion. Thank you for touching on such an important topic...

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  141. I think they all need to be fired and stop their pay during the shut down. :P

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  142. Lots of comments here! It is a shame Nixon got into so much trouble. Had he not, we would probably have some kind of national health insurance/program today--brought in by a Republican. There were lots of talk about it in the early 70s. I don't particularly like the Affordable Care Act as it seems wimpy--it doesn't go far enough in providing a health safety net.

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  143. It is both a right and a privilege - right now. Unfortunately, under the new law it will be neither; instead it will be a FORCED REQUIREMENT on everyone, even those who can't afford it or don't want it. Even worse, if they can't afford it, they will be punished with a fee for not having it. This is NOT Freedom. This is Tyranny! ...so sad!

    PS. I have been out of blogging lately. I miss you my friend! :)

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  144. I know it seems elitest, but I see it as a privilege. I say this ONLY because the strong are supposed to survive according to evolution, and between over population and society growing weaker and weaker, we are not evolving {unless you are talking technologically}. Although, I do think that a lot of our medical problems stem from the food that we are putting into our bodies, and in that case I BLAME our government for not protecting us, and in that instance- they OWE all of us for essentially poisoning everyone. This is why I see both sides.

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