Kind of a weird title, but there is a Political game being played with your mind and here is how it works. Visualize a pencil and a pen. We can put these two items in a group called “Writing Instruments”(notice that a can of spray paint could be considered a "Writing Instrument"--it's in the group by default). Abstracting up another level, the "Writing Instruments" are also in a group called “Communication Media.” We could still be talking about pens and pencils, but the last layer of abstraction also would include TV's and Radios. As one abstracts upward, the groups encompass more items. I am talking about a pencil which I visualize as green; you might see a red one without an eraser. The Senators talks about “Writing Instruments." Congress passes a bill on “Communication Media.” The voter thinks he is choosing between the different colors of pencils. Everybody believes they are on the same page and that is the farthest thing from the truth.
Now let’s visualize some basic health items; health insurance, hospital costs, Doctors compensation, Nurses salaries, insurance company rates, drug company prescription charges, these are the pencils and pens. Let’s group them all together and call it “Health Care.” Then from here we have items not mentioned that fall into the "Health Care" level group; "Government Health care for the retired" and :"Government support for hospital emergency room services." There could be more, but we’ll take the three items and abstract it up another layer and call it; “The Great Health Care Reform.”
What is ticking people off, and they might not know why, is the fact that the people pushing these arguments seem somewhat logical but you know something isn’t quite right. Everyone is talking pens and pencils (health insurance) and the Congress is trying to pass Communication Media (The Great Health Care Reform). The terms "Health Insurance" and “The great Health Care Reform" are used interchangeably. If you buy onto the "Health Insurance" plan, you have just inadvertently signed up for the "Health Care Reform". They are not one and the same. You have been abstracted to a higher level without realizing the shell game in progress.
What Congress knows, is that the socialized retirement plans called Medicare and Medicaid are gigantic black holes. They cannot be funded at the promised rates. Congress is talking about low level items like "Health Insurance" with very little abstraction and then switches to labels like "General Health Care"--used in the high abstraction layer. This Health Care plan, is a very big item that covers a lot more than just Health Insurance. We are being sold a pig in a poke. It's kind of like falling in love with the girl of your dreams, only to find out that she needs another 40 grand to make the sex change operation complete. The question comes to mind "Is it time to cut and run?"
As a post note, if you ever want to read a book that will change the way you think, I recommend "The Tyranny of Words" by Stuart Chase. It was written during the Great Depression. It deals with abstracting to a higher layer. I guarantee once you read it, you will never lose another argument (unless it's with your wife).
As a second post note; some people reading may think that I am just being a hard ass on health care, that is not the case. My mother died of cancer at the age of 54 and had a hospital bill of over a half million dollars (hard money 25 years ago) (my dad had to sue the insurance company to get them to pay the bill). My Dad at the age of 81 (believe it or not) had a triple heart bypass which he survived only to be paralyzed from the shoulders down, by a blood clot. From there he was in the intensive care unit of the rehab wing of the hospital, in physical therapy for 4 months until he passed away. Since he was a World War II prisoner of war, he had free medical. I can’t imagine how much that must have cost the VA. Sadly, we have to admit that the government can't solve all of our problems, we have to learn to accept the reality of old age with responsibility.