Over on FaceBook I am completely outnumbered by friends and family who lean rather hard to the right and are (in my view) totally misinformed and thus adamantly opposed to any type of health insurance reform. It is tempting to get into “discussions” on FB with some of these folks, but I am afraid that FB is not the proper forum so I hold off on commenting. If they want to have a discussion, they can comment on my FB page or find my blog. The fact that most do not reassures me that my instincts in this matter are correct.
Still, when I see a comment like this one - “we can see the waste and fraud in medicare, medicaid, social security, food stamps, and i am sure numerous other govnt run programs and know why they should not be in charge of health care!!!” - I want desperately to respond.
So I will do so here on my blog - even though the person making the comment will never see it, but that is probably just as well.
Waste and fraud in Medicare, Medicaid, etc.? Sure. I’m sure you can find waste and fraud in almost every government program. But you can also find waste and fraud in most private businesses as well. There is nothing inherent about government that leads to waste and fraud, it is just a human phenomena. Any large organization or operation is going to have these problems.
For those who think private industry is so much better than the government, here is a reminder from a few years ago -- The Corporate Scandal Sheet
Remember these guys? Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia, HealthSouth, Tyco, Arthur Anderson, Global Crossing....
Or how about all the private contractors in Iraq who were bilking the government for millions of dollars?
The only reason that government waste and fraud will seem more prevalent is because it is always out in the open. Much of the private scandals go unreported, unnoticed and uncorrected until they grow so large that the whole thing collapses like a house of cards the way Enron did.
Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Food Stamps and the numerous other government-run programs referenced above have all got their share of problems. But they also do a tremendous amount of good for the nation and provide a necessary level of service that could not be replicated by private charity. Without these social support programs that rightwingers resent so much, our entire economic system which props up our middle-class society would collapse. Talk about pending disasters... We’ve already seen what happens when rightwingers are put in charge of every aspect of the government for eight years. We are dealing with the fruits of that woeful experience right now.