Sunday, March 2, 2014

Can You Think of an Exception?

After all this time of arguing political philosophies, it struck me that it can all be explained in one simple sentence - "Liberals are kind-hearted; Conservatives are hard-hearted." 

Conservative Take - "If they really want to get serious about lowering the cost of health care in this country, they would revisit another federal statute that has been there for a long time," Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) said at a University of Georgia political science alumni gathering. "It came as a result of bad facts, and we have a saying that bad facts make bad law." The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act is a 1986 law that requires hospitals to provide emergency health care treatment to anyone who needs it, regardless of citizenship or their ability to pay. It's provided life-saving care to countless people, but it's also strained hospital resources and turned emergency rooms into the first stop, instead of a last resort, for some.

Liberal Take - "The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied, but written off as trash."
John Berger

I have probably written millions of words about the differences between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives and differing political philosophies over the last 30 years. I have tried to think of new ways to same the same things to make my views clearer, to illustrate what I base them on. 

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After all this time, it struck me that it can all be explained in one simple sentence - "Liberals are kind-hearted; Conservatives are hard-hearted." 

There you go, that's really all you need to know. This fact is illustrated by the two quotes above. 

Georgia declined to expand their Medicaid program and put 400,000 poor Georgians on the Medicaid rolls even though the federal government will pay 100% of the cost for the first three years and 90% after that. In the meantime, eight hospitals in poor, rural areas of Georgia have closed because so many of their patients can't pay them.

The law Governor Deal is referring to in the quote above is the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act of 1986, a federal law that mandates that hospitals that accept any federal funding must treat patients with emergency situations even if they can't pay. Naturally, this creates a hardship for hospitals located where most of their patients are poor and uninsured.

So instead of accepting the Medicaid expansion and creating 400,000 more paying customers at a cost to his state of zero for three years, the governor's solution is to rescind the law so that poor patients can no longer receive emergency treatment. There! Problem solved! See how easy that was? 

He doesn't say what would happen to those poor people. Would they simply die at the emergency room door to be carted away to some new Potter's Field created just for them? If this isn't the exact illustration of poor people being treated as trash, as in the second quote by John Berger, I don't know what would be.

And in the red states considering Freedom of Religion laws like the one Governor Jan Brewer just vetoed in Arizona, it doesn't have anything to do with money but instead, of sexual orientation. A doctor or paramedic could presumably refuse to treat an injured or ill homosexual. I guess a teacher could decline to teach a gay child. Or a nursing home could reject a gay resident. 

In Congress, Republicans have cut food stamps and unemployment and veteran's benefits and filibustered Democrats' attempts to restore these cuts. They support Stand Your Ground laws even when they are obviously racially biased. They oppose giving Latino kids, born here and knowing nothing except being Americans, the option of becoming citizens. They've tried to defund Planned Parenthood even though that agency is the major medical provider for hundreds of thousands of American women.

Conservatives in Tennessee fought hard against Volkswagen letting its employees form a union even though both the workers and the company were in favor of the United Auto Workers coming in. 

The most important mission of the last four years for the right has been to prevent uninsured Americans from obtaining healthcare. 

Meanwhile, they've been willing to go to the mat for investment bankers and oil companies and rich corporate farmers and chemical companies and mine owners.

On every issue I can think of, the conservatives are in favor of the cruelest option.

Can you think of an exception.