An Informed Opinion

23 Mar

Science fiction author Harlan Ellison (yeah, sue me) once told my interviewing class at UCLA that “everyone has a right to theirinformed opinion.” Of course, some people say things before they think. I’m guilty of that, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve made an effort to make informed opinions.

Whether you agree with the health care reform package that just passed the House of Representatives on Sunday (me, with some reservations on costs, implementation, etc.) or not, I’m sure we can debate the merits of the issue and still be in friendly terms. I have a friend of mine who’s quite the political opposite of me (except on issues such as fiscal responsibility, accountability and priorities) and he’d sometimes had a counter-argument on the subject, filled with quotes and facts, which, even if I disagreed 100%, made his point quite substantial. If I’m ever proved wrong, I will gladly admit it. I admire people like him because even though I will never agree with some things he touts, I know that he does make an effort to read the news or understand other points of view.

However, with a subject like health care, which fuels many passions, you’re bound to have people who have no clue what they’re talking about. Take this Facebook conversation last night. This guy posted an update on his page:

Best part of health care bill? No denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions.

He’s right. It’s quite possibly the best part of the health care reform. At least I have the peace of mind knowing that if I get some life-threatening disease, I won’t be denied coverage from my current insurer or denied coverage if I move to a different insurer.

OK, you’ve got some people praising it and blah blah blah. However the rationale of this conversation gets interesting. Out comes this girl with an Earth-shaking statement.

Best part of the health care bill? NOTHING!

Nothing? While we may not agree with the way it’s structured or funded, surely you’re for people with pre-existing conditions purchasing health insurance? I mean they want to buy health insurance, even if it will cost them in the long run? What’s wrong with that?

Then the guy shoots back:

so youre saying that if (and thank god this isnt the case) one of your boys was born with a congenital illness and could then not be eligible for healthcare, since insurance companies currently can and do deny service to those with any pre-existing conditions, then that would be ok? you would actually want to have an unhealthy uninsured child?

About 30 minutes later, she strikes back:

When there are circumstances for certain children in families, there’s always medical or cal optima. All this means is that now my kids are going to be paying for this ‘health care’ for the rest of their lives, simply because Obama had to ‘prove a point’ that he was not elected into office for nothing, becuase so far, he’s done diddly squat. There’s a reason almost EVERYONE voted against this! He’s pretty much saying he is smater than the majority of American people who are against this “plan’.. Making things like health insurance mandatory is just ridiculous. Obama is a big fat JOKE! I’m just glad he’ll be gone for good in 2012.

Almost everyone? Voted against what? If you mean they voted against Obama, you clearly haven’t read that 69.4 million people or about 53% of voters supported Obama in 2008. However, if you mean what the people think on health care, then the most recent poll before the vote in the House had 48% opposing the reforms, 37% supporting and 15% not sure.

The guy then counters her statement:

no theres not, those arent absolute and certainly are not all encompassing, efficeint or even easy to access. What hasnt he done? Who is this ‘everyone’ that voted against universal healthcare? is obama just proving a point like LBJ did with the civil rights act? Not all institutions and services should be privatized, could you imagine a fire department or law enforcement team that wasnt a service provided to us by the state?

Yeah I could imagine a law enforcement team that wasn’t a service provided by the state. Think Robocop, but I digress.

Of course, Ms. “Obama is a big fat JOKE!” doesn’t give up:

The VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICAN CITIZENS! That’s who! You know, all of us who will be paying for it for years and years to come, and BEYOND! He promised a LOT and has reneged on all of it. Where are our troops…? Where are our jobs…? Where the HELL is all this money going to come from for his “plan”? NOW he thinks he’s doing us all a favor by putting us all in debt for the rest of lives? Lovely. For those that don’t have health coverage, Im sorry. But there ARE ways to get coverage when you need it. It might take a while but there are ways. Obama has no idea what he’s doing in office and we’re all paying the price, Just watch, if you don’t see it now, you will.. And once you have children of your own, who will know exactly where I’m coming from.

The guy gives up trying to explain to the mother of twins his side because no matter how much he tries to rationalize this conversation, she isn’t taking any of it! But then later on she makes amends, and he agrees. Friends should be friends no matter how informed their opinion on the subject or where they stand on the issues, right? I was glad this debate didn’t turn into a personal slugfest.

But then along comes this other guy:

You’re wrong about the vast majority of Americans. A good part of the healthcare reform attempt under Clinton failed because of powerful insurance firm lobbying. This time, Obama struck a deal with them early, leaving him to just face the majority of Republicans. They didn’t help themselves either as they relied on anger (see Tea Party) and partisanship. Everyone agreed that reform was necessary, but as Obama’s healthcare summit very clearly demonstrated, the Republicans come up short on a clear and consistent alternative message besides “kill the bill.”

I also take issue with the statement that Obama’s a joke. That’s a personal attack. If he’s a joke, what’s Sarah Palin? A clown?

Personal attack? I’m not offended because I called Bush a joke. Fair is fair right?

But of course Ms. “Obama is a big fat JOKE!” goes back into fighting mode!

You’ll see why this is a huge mistake when your healthcare premium sky rockets,, unless you are one of those FOR the healthcare plan because you aren’t insured. I made my point, and that’s that. Im not going to argue with anyone (you) about it. A personal attack? Haha on who, you? Are you offended? And she too, was a joke. But she wouldn’t have been president.. I really wish we all coud have been blind when we elected Obama, cuz there’s only ONE reason he made it into office and we all know what that is. NOW you can be offended 😉 History has definitely been made, in more ways than one. Did you know who “Barack Obama” was or anything about him before he ran for president…?

You’re bothering me, go away.

“You’re bothering me, go away”? I’m assuming she never left high school. It’s something you say to that guy who sits behind you and ogles at your behind. Clearly this guy wasn’t acting that way. He was just stating something that you obviously didn’t like, so you had to tell him off the high school way. Nice one. Don’t you miss high school?

However, this guy had the last word:

To view me as annoying simply because I hold an opposing and valid opinion strikes me as disappointing.

I know many people who have opposing viewpoints and I don’t find them annoying solely on the basis of their opinions. However, if they try to make it a really, really big deal or use personal attacks, then they’re not my friend anymore.

Finally, from the guy:

And suppose I was uninsured. There are plenty of citizens in my position that lack healthcare. If I wasn’t so lucky to have parents whose employer has generous insurance benefits, I would, in fact, be uninsured. Does that make me less deserving of affordable medical care at a time when insurance companies gouge people? The issue at hand is whether or not citizens have a right to affordable health care. Apparently, you don’t think so. Perhaps you think “health insurance coverage” should be earned. I submit that it makes poor financial sense to burden tomorrow’s generation with huge medical debt in a highly flawed private insurance system. But what do I know? I just study a lot.

The good thing is this guy, while overpraising Obama, does “study a lot” when it comes to his arguments against Ms. “Obama is a big fat JOKE!”

Clearly Ms. “Obama is a big fat JOKE!” doesn’t have much of an informed opinion on this issue. While I understand that as a mother of twins you are concerned about your family’s future (as do millions and millions of American families), it wouldn’t hurt to go look at a news web site, wouldn’t it? Even if you do read the news more often and STILL disagree with health care reform, it would show in your arguments.

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