Yesterday, I had a discussion with my neighbor about Obamacare. He is conservative and opposed to it on the grounds that it restricts his personal freedom not to have insurance. He is about my age (late 70's).  I pointed out that he is on Medicare with a good secondary insurance from his former employer and is therefore unaffected by ACA, his reply was that he would be if he didn't have insurance and that was enough to make him mad.

The argument that the uninsured use emergency rooms for which he pays indirectly through increased hospital costs did not make any difference to him since he never sees those costs explicitly. The man is a retired software engineer and might be expected to understand things better, but his rightwing mindset prevents it. He said he preferred the country he grew up in where you still had choices. In that country—before Medicare—one third of people our age lived below the poverty line.

This illustrates the difficulty in getting people to understand public issues. Once the issues have been framed in an emotional setting, reason departs.

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A few years ago I met a wonderful woman doctor at a cocktail party in Madrid. She worked for Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) and had just returned from Africa. She did pediatrics and specialized in cosmetic surgery on harelips.

There are some fine heroic doctors doing wonderful work and many others trapped in a profit-making system that neglects the poor.

America's predatory capitalists like several kinds of socialism. Among them are these:

1. Any kind of gov't expenditure (i.e., highway construction, water projects, etc) that increases land values. Insiders who know which lands will increase in value and hide their land ownership in blind trusts find it highly profitable. Law enforcement finds it untraceable.

2. The usual corporate welfare.

3. The also-usual agribusiness welfare.

4. Any kind of gov't expenditure that lets businesses privatize the profits and socialize the losses.

ACA AND MEDICARE

Click on the above link if in doubt.

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