Individual vs Society (HR 3962)

          Although I don’t think everything can be divided into two camps I do think there are a finite number of greys.  Democrats want to improve society and Republicans want to improve the individual, is a statement both camps are comfortable with.

          Acceptance of this adage is due to combining desired improvement with words (society, individual) which present differing meanings to different people.

          Republicans think positively about individual; to them, an individual is:  a leader, a stalwart, a trail-blazer or a commander.  In the mind’s-eye of a Republican, an individual is always self-sufficient.  On the other hand, Democrats have difficulty detaching the silent and invisible adjective selfish which always seems to precede individual in their mind's-eye.

          Not so with society.  Democrats hear society and think about the large group they’re part of, which includes many who are less fortunate than they are.  Republicans hear society and see the slothful looking for hand-outs, welfare abusers, and human parasites.

          During a recent lengthy discussion with my sister (economic-free market-pessimist / social-conservative / professional-successful businesswoman) she used the term Obama care.  So, I asked her why she was against 2009's health care bill.  She mistook my question as a statement of protest, and I needed to repeat myself a few times before my clarification “just because I voted for him doesn’t mean I support everything he does,” got heard.

          I didn’t know much about the health care bill before today (and still don't know much).  I knew it was almost 2,000 pages big and was supposed to improve health care in the US (there's that word again improve, now it’s appended to health care...which hits the mind’s-eye just like society, and not like individual.)

          Since my sister is an adjunct to the medical, legal, and insurance professions I thought she'd have a rational, fact-based, explanation for dismissing it.  She does not.  Instead, she fell into an all too familiar rant-rut: Medicaid...broken...goes without health care...ditto.

          I assumed she’s too close to the issue (the forest-from-the-trees analogy) but she says she sees the issue better than most because of her perspective, which is why she is amazingly confident in her ability to forecast the future failure of the 2009 heath care bill, which gradually becomes law over the next four years.

          So I found it and skimmed it.  Bill HR 3962.  It delineates (repetitively and in legal jargon) the new law, while it also updates previous laws, describes new responsibilities, outlines oversight, enrollment, and fines, as well as updates the Native American health care laws, and revises some Medicaid laws.

          In a nutshell, all US taxpayers (with exceptions) will be required, by 2014, to purchase health insurance or pay healthcare bills with cash.  No more county clinic walk-ins claiming 'too poor to pay'; failure to do so will mean facing an annual fine (like a tax) which will be assessed by the IRS.

          I have not paid much attention to this bill because I (retired military) and my fiancée (Native American) are two exceptions.  Reading portions of the bill did not clarify, for me, why it's expected to reduce health care costs, although I do see how it'll improve coverages and close loop holes.   I don’t know why my sister says it's all total bullshit.  I suspect, though, that in the next few years there will be a dramatic increase in US taxpayers joining the Christian Science Church because, after 2014, the IRS can't fine you for refusing to own health insurance if you are a member of The First Church of Christ, Scientist.  Which begs the question:  Are we sure we want the separation of church and state to be negated by an organization that advocates the creation of zombies on their registered logo?


Southern said...

The author's wit is not spared in the comment about the Christian Science Church and its logo.

While appreciating the humor, as a Christian Scientist myself, however, I thought it might be worth while to point out for the sake of any readers that the inscription referenced and shown here, is a quote from Christ Jesus in The Bible, not a Halloween reference to zombies by some fringe group.

While I understand the political context of the comment, the fact is that I and my family in addition to thousands around the world have experienced significant healings coupled with on-going "health-care" through the application of the teachings of Christian Science. What is it? It is the science, or provabililty of what Christ Jesus taught as discovered by Mary Baker Eddy in 1866. For anyone interested in more information, I'd recommend visiting

There is no separation of church and state issue here, in that Christian Scientists who have a proven track record of healing for over 100 years, would simply prefer not to pay into a system, from which they will not then partake of any services. This is no different than the fact that someone who does not own a car, is not obligated to carry car insurance.

Anonymous said...

Hey Snapperhead, as you know the social health care concept has been in place in Germany for many many years. However, the Government has not been able to break down on the pharmaceutic industry yet to force them to lower the prices in Germany for medication. Nor has the Government been able to minimize bureaucracy within the federal health insurances. If they were able to complete one of the two - holy cow - whattacostsaving that would be :-) Greetings from Stuttgart, Germany. Voula

veach st. glines said...

It's been a decade - I hope all is well with you and yours. I would welcome catching up with you more extensively (

veach st. glines said...

southern, your analogy - only car owners are obligated (by law) to own car insurance - is specious.

Since all of the following things need to occur (after 2014) in order for a fine to be levied on an American taxpayer:

1. Uninsured taxpayer (or child of taxpayer) is injured or becomes ill and obtains medical care.

2. Taxpayer fails to pay for aforementioned care.

3. Unpaid medical bill is reported to IRS.

4. Taxpayer files tax return and receives fine.

5. Unpaid fines are treated as unpaid taxes and IRS garnishes wages.

To include in the law that a taxpayer can be exempt from this fine if "owning health insurance is against his religion" is not keeping religion and government separate.

Hypothetical - A member of the christian science church - while walking along a sidewalk - is struck by a drunk, speeding, uninsured, motorist (many people drive without insurance). The injuries are severe. An operation is imperative to stop blood loss and death. I've read (but, Southern, maybe I've been misinformed?) that many christian scientists permit this type of medical repair of damaged bones and tissue in order to prevent death. I've read they reserve the healing-by-muttering about their specific magic sky cake for non-emergent the (impossible and improbable) ones on their logo.

By giving a get-out-of-hospital free card to one specific religion is no less an improper overlap of church and government (state) than passing laws that would say:

- Possession, sale, and/or use of controlled substances (like marijuana) is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment unless you are a member of the Rastafarian religion.

- Bigamy and sexual intercourse with a minor is illegal and punishable by imprisonment unless you are a member of a fundamentalist JCofLDS church.