Posts Tagged ‘obamacare’

I am sitting here, listening to yet another pounding rain, watching election returns.

I have been praying for weeks that God would please not give us what we deserve, which would be another four years of Obama, the continued acceleration of the destruction of the unborn, disastrous overseas policy, lies, cozying up to Comrade Putin (who seems increasingly oblivious to the end of the Cold War), the ruin of the economy, the spreading persecution and villification of anyone who dares say homosexual behavior is wrong, the vast expansion of the GIMME GIMME GIMME welfare/entitlement state, etc., etc.

On Facebook, where my husband maintains a very limited personal account, a number of acquaintances have come up with such gems as, “The Republicans’ support is all stupid, white men; doesn’t that explain a lot?”  Wow… let me sit and ponder that one.  With all those degrees, that’s really all the logic she could muster?  My opinion of advanced degrees and certain “prestigious” universities continues to plummet as I meet women with lots of framed paper on their walls and not one ounce of sense, but an overarching fear of being called our for it, masked by an obnoxiously loud and strident proclamation of how smart they are for not being like one of those stupid pro-lifers and/or conservatives.  A complaint about the Republican platform would be fine, but this is just middle school name calling.

Of course, Facebook has also hosted its share of general rants about how Romney should ask women what they think about contraception.  Well, I’m a woman, last I checked (I know, I know: “She’s not a woman!  She’s a Republican!” as the line went about Palin), and I think contraception is about the stupidest thing we’ve done with technology.  We managed to strangle our future generations while wrecking havoc in the stability of our own (divorce rates follow the availability of contraception, and it doesn’t go down, like contraceptives’ proponents say), all in one fell swoop.  How’s that for scientific efficiency?  And then, even though Hugh Hefner embraced contraceptives as the greatest gift to lust-ridden, irresponsible misogynist pigs everywhere… somehow, women still were convinced that they had to have contraceptives for their own good.

America, the Jesuit magazine for “thinking” (which is code for “dissenting”) Catholics, and the Huffington Post (almost equally useless in their ability to identify or promulgate sound Catholic doctrine) apparently both ran articles explaining to Catholics why Obama (since all Democrats are better for the economy, and abortion is really just about financial inability to raise a child) is really the more pro-life choice than Romney (who hates women and wouldn’t really have anything to do with the legality of abortion, you know).  Scarily, some people actually reposted these articles as a “something to make you think” kind of thing.  Yes, it makes me think we’re pretty stupid to accept that “financial hardship” is the real reason for the abortion, and not actually a symptom of the disappearing father, embarassed or coercive parents, unfeeling school administrators, etc. who all made it painfully clear to the pregnant mother that they would abandon her, penniless and homeless, unless she got the abortion and stopped making demands on them.  And yeah, it makes me think… that catechesis in the Catholic Church in this country has absolutely and almost universally stunk, quite literally, to high heaven for decades, so that we’ve turned out a bunch of religiously illiterate adults who can’t perceive the moral difference between government handouts being somewhat decreased and government-funded murder.

And then we promoted some of those adults to the head of CCD programs and parishes, where they spout about the unfairness of working conditions in Nike factories in Asia and the evil, hard-hearted, poor-hating jerks who argued against Obamacare… but NEVER utter one word about the millions dying every year around the globe and around the corner because of the evil of abortion.

Of course, these people were shocked- absolutely flabergasted!- to find out that those crazy, extremist pro-lifers were right about Obamacare being doomed to bring with it mandatory abortions and contraception for everyone, religious objections be damned.  (I’m not holding my breath for an apology.  Apparently, being liberal means never having to admit you were wrong about the actual long-term consequences of your ill-considered idealistic actions.  At least the bishops finally realized the danger they were in and sued the government over the HHS mandate.)

This morning, I spent two and a half hours in line to vote down here in southeastern Virginia.  Our polling place made the local news, and, sadly, we weren’t the worst of it.  (Four years ago, the line was outside for the first hour, and the wait took more like 3.5 hours.)  Two extra computers for checking voter registration finally showed up after we’d been in line for two hours and had only finally made it to the far end of the school cafeteria from the voting booths.  (Yes, I had all four of my kids with me.  They were remarkably good, something I was very thankful for.)

The polls tell us that many people only made up their minds about who they’d vote for in the last few weeks.

It would seem more people have solid opinions about who they root for on “Jersey Shore” or in the “Twilight” series than in politics.

It sure looks like a huge chunk of the U.S. population thinks the government owes them and/or others, not that they have the responsibility to work to provide for themselves, their families, and the poor in their own communities.  (Yes, Vice President Biden, I’m talking to you.  Crap, I give away more money in a month than you did in a year as a senator, and I know my household makes a heck of a lot less than yours.  No, Catholic social teaching does NOT support the idea that voting to give away other people’s tax money to programs for the poor is the same as tithing, the CCHD notwithstanding.)

It would also seem that most women, especially “educated” women, are dumb enough to believe that they have to vote Democratic, or else they’ll be seen as stupid.  Or not worthy of their “lady parts”.  Or that they’ll be chained to the kitchen sink, barefoot, and forced to have babies until they die, while being deprived of proper reading material, like the HuffPo.

I’d like to think we were smarter than this, that a clear explanation of things would open eyes, that we would not fall to what John Adams said could ruin our country: lack of morals and the realization that we could vote ourselves money out of the public treasury.  The election should be obvious and not close at all, if we still remembered those things that made our nation great (faith, the rule of law equally for all, civic involvement, personal as well as group responsibility and charity, etc.).  No matter who wins tonight, this election is too close to be excusable.  Everything in our history says we should be smarter than this.

Thank God, I am solidly aware that my true citizenship is not here, that my deepest loyalties are not to the United States of America, and that all man-made kingdoms will fall and fade, otherwise, I would despair.  (Besides, I learned more than what my pitiful CCD program bothered to teach me, so I also know that despair is expressly forbidden; it is a sin against God’s goodness.  I have thanked God and blessed the Archdiocese for the Military Services repeatedly over the years for those marvelous, holy chaplains assigned to the Naval Academy.)

But I am losing heart in the power of words, logic, and even personal example to change most peoples’ minds.

Kinda a problem for someone trying to keep up a blog.


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Just so we’re clear, the Catholic Church is right: contraception is wrong.  It does not reduce abortions; contraception increases abortions.  It does not improve marriages by removing the risk of unwanted children, it destroys marriages.  No, contraception isn’t really contraception all the time: when the Pill fails to prevent ovulation, it prevents implantation of the days-old child by reducing the uterine lining, around 25% of the time.  Which means that women on the Pill, if we assume around a 1/3 chance of pregnancy (conception and successful implantation, the advice given in NFP that “if you haven’t gotten pregnant in three cycles, something might be wrong”), then women on the Pill, especially younger women, generally more fertile and sexually active, may be averaging an abortion a year.  And when the Obama administration says “contraceptive services”, they include post-sex contraceptives, which are large doses of the usual chemicals, which will either prevent ovulation or abort a just-conceived child.

But the issue isn’t really contraception.

I suppose I should start farther back, with Obamacare itself.  The pro-life movement was up in arms, crying that any government takeover of health care would end in taxpayer-funded abortions and contraception.  “Oh, what a bunch of worrywarts!” scoffed most of the bishops and many members of Congress.  In some cases, anti-Obamacare advocates were maligned as “anti-poor”.  We were assured, “Mandatory abortion or contraceptive coverage?  That’ll never happen!”

Well, your Eminences, welcome to the “never” your encouragement of Obamacare has created.

While I’m thrilled to hear that every single Catholic bishop in the U.S., along with a good many Protestant leaders, including people who suppported Obama, have issued statements against the contraception mandate, I’m a bit underwhelmed.  Abortion and contraception have been rampant in this country for decades, and the bishops and priests have largely failed to fight them.  It isn’t a moral triumph to finally acknowledge that you ignored people being killed or maimed after they’re dead.  Better late than never, but better on time.

But back to the mandate.  Contrary to our dying local paper, the problem isn’t that there wasn’t an exemption for houses of worship.  Actual churches would be exempt from the mandate, since they employ and serve almost exclusively people of their own faith.  The problem was that absolutely nobody and nothing else would be exempt.

Our local paper condescendingly allowed that if churches insisted on not paying for contraception for the women who worked in the parish office, fine.  However, the editorial went on, when the churches do “secular work” like taking care of migrants, adoption placements, hospitals, schools, etc., then they weren’t really churches anymore, and, thus, had no right to ask that their religious beliefs be respected.  They have to play by the secular laws when they do secular functions, “reasoned” the editors.  (Which takes us back to the Obama administration’s preference for “freedom of worship” instead of “freedom of religion”.  They aren’t the same thing.)

EWTN is suing the federal government, since they don’t qualify for an exemption, but they are adamantly opposed to contraception in general, and paying for it in particular.  Since the Catholic TV network is not directly controlled by an order or a diocese (there were power struggles with the USCCB trying to claim it, so it went private some time ago, although many members of the board are clergy), it wouldn’t even qualify for consideration of an exemption.  So, while they air programs explaining how contraception destroys marriages and is frequently abortifacient (and therefore murder), they would be required to participate in (i.e. pay for) an insurance program that offers free contraception to EWTN’s employees.  In Catholic moral discussions, we describe this as levels of “cooperation with sin”.  Just because you didn’t choose the evil, if you facilitated or encouraged it, you are still somewhat culpable.

I would note that EWTN has hit the nail on the head, when many bishops have missed a bit.  The problem isn’t that Catholic Charities or your local Catholic school (or any of the Protestant organizations or ministries similarly tied to denominations that do not approve of contraception) shouldn’t be forced to pay for something they don’t believe is moral.  Most bishops are clear that those types of organizations should not be forced to violate their moral principles in order to avoid massive, coercive government fines.

The problem is deeper.  I (and you, by the way), as a normal citizen, would be required to buy health insurance from a company that is mandated to provide certain services that I believe to be deeply immoral.  Today, it’s contraception and the early chemical abortifacients.  What comes tomorrow?

If Obamacare and the latest mandate stand, Catholic social services will shut down across the country.  Schools, hospitals, etc.  The Obama administration already yanked a federal grant for human trafficking assistance, because the USCCB (US Council of Catholic Bishops) office wouldn’t provide abortions to the rape and prostitution victims it rescued (never mind their excellent record of service spanning decades).  A number of local Catholic Charities adoption agencies (and, presumably, a number of other, smaller agencies with similar reservations but less publicity) have closed because they refused to call gay “marriage” a legitimate family arrangement and place children for adoption in such families.  The religious agencies are forced to shut down as unprofessional or anti-regulation, and the government increasingly gets to hand out the goodies of social services.

The alternate allegiance to the church that helped you is shifted to the all-powerful government.

All of this goes to emphasize the brilliance of the foundation of both the Constitution and Catholic social teachings.  In Church documents, we call it subsidiarity: the idea that issues should be dealt with at the lowest level possible, for reasons of efficiency, personal relationships, and proper power and responsibility allocation.  The government was never meant to be the all-powerful, omnipresent force in everybody’s lives that it has become.

Archbishop Chaput, as always, clarifies the problem.  It isn’t, he argues, that this mandate was ill-advised in an election year or poorly thought-out:

But it’s clear that such actions are developing into a pattern. Whether it was the administration’s early shift toward the anemic language of “freedom of worship” instead of the more historically grounded and robust concept of “freedom of religion” in key diplomatic discussions; or its troubling effort to regulate religious ministers recently rejected 9-0 by the Supreme Court in the Hosanna Tabor case; or the revocation of the U.S. bishops’ conference human-trafficking grant for refusing to refer rape victims to abortion clinics, it seems obvious that this administration is – to put it generously – tone deaf to people of faith.

I’m guardedly optimistic that the USCCB has decided to reconsider what else they’ve supported when they’ve embraced Democratic politicians for their social programs but ignored their other positions.  If we’re only going to defend the rights of religiously affiliated organizations to have conscience protection, though, we’re missing the point again, and we’ll be discussing the next “surprising” anti-Christian piece of regulation shortly.

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… but not quietly.

A few weeks back, Parade magazine, which comes packaged in my Sunday paper, had a nice, sympathetic piece on Congressman Bart Stupak deciding not to run for re-election this year.  It was quaintly titled, “Mr. Smith Flees Washington.”

Huh.  Now, it’s been quite some time since I saw Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but I seem to remember something rather significant, plot-wise, about Mr. Smith actually trying to keep his ideals while in Washington, in spite of heavy pressure from the older, *wiser* Congressmen who rolled their eyes and advised him to do backroom deals like everyone else.  Mr. Smith refused to back down and was criticized heavily.  When he continued to be obstinate about his ideals, he fought on alone to block a bill he thought wrong, while trying to let people back home know what was really going on in Congress.

Aside from the “criticized heavily” part, I don’t really see the connection with Mr. Stupak.

Bart Stupak, considered a leader of the pro-life Democrats, fought the Obamacare bill originally, on the grounds that it would allow federal funding of abortion.  He offered an amendment to specifically prohibit tax money funding abortion in any way.  However, after some backroom politicking, arm twisting, and a fat piece of pork for his constituents, Stupak caved in.  He insisted that President Obama’s promise to sign an executive order was good enough for him to trust that the bill wouldn’t fund abortions.  Stupak and most of the “pro-life” Democrats smiled for the cameras and voted for the bill.  They then proceeded to call the non-believing pro-lifers nasty names.

Pro-lifers were stunned.

For years, many pro-lifers have defended pro-life Democrats, insisting that they were the ones with the best chance of ever even hoping to change the Democrats away from their pro-abortion stance.

Others of us seriously doubted if such a pro-abortion party, with such strong ties to both Planned Parenthood and the environmentalist movement, could ever be rescued and turned into a pro-child party ever again.  Frankly, it seemed like the pro-life Democrats weren’t so much influencing the Democratic party as being used as human shields to cover up the depth of the pro-abortion push within the party.

And then Bart Stupak proved the doubters right: there really is (almost) no such thing as a pro-life Democrat.  Maybe one or two, but certainly not an organized caucus of truly, firmly, pro-life Democrats.  After the performances of Stupak and the others who caved in for a not-very-binding executive order, I doubt anyone will believe any Democrat really means it when he insists he’s pro-life.  Since Stupak won re-election, in part, because he could wave his pro-life credentials and voting record, it really wouldn’t make sense to bother to run this time: now, everyone knows exactly how far that alleged conviction does, or does not, go, and nothing he could say on the campaign trail would make any serious pro-lifer vote for him again.

In the Parade article, Stupak bemoaned the “loss of civility” in Washington.  One of his colleagues even shouted, “Baby killer!” at him during a speech.

If that colleague had worked with Stupak on pro-life issues, had defended him to other pro-life colleagues who looked askance at all Democrats, had believed that Stupak really cared and would stand firm… well, I have to say, I can’t blame him.

I would’ve probably said, “Traitor!” but quibbling over the exact wording of the disgust, disappointment, and deep sense of betrayal is just splitting hairs.

I am reminded of something that struck me from listening to Prof. Joseph Pearce talking about Shakespeare recently (I stocked up on CD’s at the homeschooling conference last fall).  Prof. Pearce lamented that his birth country (Britain) no longer has the Ten Commandments, but only one: Thou shalt not be impolite.

Publicly calling Stupak to task for his betrayal was certainly impolite, and Stupak and others are *shocked* and rather noisily offended.

However, in the sense that we have to call all sinners to repentance (and that usually has to start with pointing out to them that, their personal guess aside, yes, their behavior was sinful), I would have to say that yelling the accusation was probably charitable.

The pre-Roe v. Wade laws that banned abortion in almost all states were partly the result of the early feminsts’ campaigns.  The broke many laws of civility: they called it “child murder”, they called it “abortion”, they spoke and wrote about things that proper women weren’t really supposed to be talking about at all, much less publicly.  And they pointed fingers at the guilty parties: the mother who was talked into it, even more so the father who encouraged or insisted on it and paid for it, and the doctors who profited by breaking their oaths to do it.

The pro-life feminists were not always civil.  They were not polite, as their society defined the word.

But they succeeded because they were, ultimately, charitable, in that they called evil by its proper name and made no excuses for it.

To modify the saying, the only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing… or only do “polite” things.

(Which leads into the new study of why young people are leaving religion in record numbers, but more on that the next time I get my act together and blog.)

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Ok, I said I was going to be gone, but the crisis is on hold, so I got to watch President Obama’s speech tonight.

Oh, joy.

Now, I’ll say this for him: President Obama is a great speaker, especially if you like traditional “black” pulpit-pounding preaching.  (I was a little disappointed at the lack of, “Can I get an ‘Amen’!?!”  Done right, I actually like that style once in a while.)  The problem is, I don’t believe a lot of what he says.

One of our strengths as a nation is a “healthy skepticism for big government…”  The man who presided over the $787 billion stimulus package (estimated by the CBO to have a true price tag of $3.27 billion in ten years)?  The president who took over car companies on the flimsy excuse they were “too big to fail”?  He’s skeptical of big government?  Maybe he thinks “skeptical of” is a synonym for “addicted to”.  (I did have an otherwise reasonable boss once who adamantly insisted that in lieu of meant because…)

“I won’t pass a bill that will add a dime to the deficit…”  Ok, this is technically true: if this passes, it will add millions and millions of dimes to the deficit.

“We’re going to pay for this out of savings from the inefficiencies in the system…” and I’ve got some lovely oceanfront property in Arizona to sell off to pay for my health care plan, too!

“… the danger of too much government is matched by the perils of too little…”  Actually, “too much government” got us the Revolutionary War.  Too little government gave us the Constitutional Convention.  I happen to be of the opinion that the Constitution is a whole lot better than a war, but that’s just me.

“There are still details to be worked out in this plan…” (loud guffaw from at least one Congressman)  Now that’s restraint; I would’ve considered booing.  Pelosi looked like she was going to jump out of her seat to strangle someone.

But that’s ok; President Obama insisted that he has an “open door” to discuss issues and suggestions with Republicans.  (General unhappy murmuring could be heard after this claim, too.)  Funny, but the Congressman who tried to take him up on going line-by-line through the bill doesn’t seem to have gotten an appointment yet.

Yes, the almost-nod to tort reform (although Obama carefully avoided that exact phrase) was good.  Frankly, if the bills were going to cover tort reform, legislate pre-existing conditions be covered, allow people and companies to band together to negotiate rates, allow everyone to buy insurance across state lines, and allow people to buy drugs from Canada… well, I’d be thrilled to see it passed fairly quickly (especially since DH’s company just passed on the news that the blasted health insurance company is cancelling our plan, forcing us into one with a higher deductible).

Of course, if all Congress was doing was removing restrictions, the bill would be ten pages or less and easy to read quickly.  Unlike the current bills.

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The problem with DVR’s is that you wind up watching live shows from Friday night on Sunday night.  Oh, well.

The World Over, EWTN’s weekly news program, had several people discussing the health care bill.  Thankfully, several Catholic groups that had seemed to support the bill currently being discussed have come out, clearly stating that they support the goal of universal access, but not necessarily of universal health care as now written.

Even more interestingly, one of the guests pointed out that there are 179 uses of the phrase “by the secretary.”  As in:

  • “… deemed appropriate by the secretary…”
  • “… defined by the secretary…”
  • “… prescribed by the secretary…”
  • “… enacted by the secretary…”

Ok, I understand some usage of that phrase, since the HHS secretary will presumably have something to do with implementing this bill.  But allowing the HHS secretary to define, prescribe, and deem appropriate?  Isn’t that why they’re writing such a ridiculously long bill in the first place, to define, deem what’s appropriate, and prescribe actions?

Now, remember, this would be the Secretary of Health and Human Services, former Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius, who had ties to late-term abortionist George Tiller.  Tiller contributed almost $40k to Sebelius’ campaign funds, and Sebelius stonewalled attempts to prosecute Tiller for alleged breeches of Kansas law on late-term abortions.

Is this the person you want “defining” and “prescribing” what the new government health care system will and will not do?  Would you trust most politicians with that much leeway?

I wouldn’t.

Given that, sooner or later, power will shift in Washington, bills are usually written to be pretty explicit in what they are doing, covering, mandating, etc.  In a bill this long, covering so much territory, why is anything being left to the whims of the HHS secretary?

What is being slipped in within the wiggle room that nobody would vote for if it were spelled out?

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The news has been swamped with Obamacare for weeks.  Will it work?  Will it take care of the uninsured?  Will it bankrupt us?  Will there be health care rationing?  What about the British and Canadian systems; they aren’t exactly great?

The friend who quoted a number of CNN talking points to justify her revulsion towards the Tea Parties (and everyone in them… only partially slowed by the discovery that I attended two) finished her claims with, “Well, this isn’t British health care, so it isn’t at all valid to compare the two plans.  Obama’s plan is going to emphasize prevention.”

Like the British don’t?

That difference, she claimed, would’ve helped my friend who would’ve died from her cancer before she got to the front of the queue for the first diagnostic test.  Under the new plans being discussed, we would’ve paid for the test.  Hmm.  Sounds nice, but the British would’ve paid for the test, too… too late.

The problem with the argument is two-fold:

1.  Preventive tests cost money.  If the incidence of the disease is low, it doesn’t make economic sense to do screenings.  Good for you if you’re lucky enough not to get sick.  Not so good otherwise.  Apparently, even the Congressional Budget Office has (again) had to pop a budgetary fantasy balloon, saying that, no, “prevention” is not going to shave billions off our health care spending.  CBO director Doug Elmendorf, quoted in an article by Charles Krauthammer, said, “Researchers who have examined the effects of preventive care generally find that the added costs of widespread use of preventive services tend to exceed the savings from averted illness.”

2.  Preventive tests take time.  If fewer people are becoming doctors, as has happened in Britain, you wind up with shortages of people to do the tests.  Sure, once you’ve been identified as possibly having a problem, you can have the cancer screening… in ten months or so.  Of course, as we keep hearing, early detection is key to beating cancer, which may account for the fact that Great Britain’s cancer suvival rates are significantly lower than those in the U.S.

 Of course, this doesn’t even touch the discussion of whether or not you will want the government running your health care.

I’ve been in government-run health care: the Navy’s.  Some of the doctors were really great, caring, talented people who you got the impression would be doing medicine no matter what.  Some others were people who gave you the impression they were in the Navy because they would’ve been sued for malpractice too often in the civilian world and had their medical licenses yanked.  In government medicine, suing is not allowed, no matter how egregious the problem.  Being a heavily military area, our local paper ran an article on the lack of protection from malpractice in the military.

As a midshipman, we all laughed at the sign in Medical insisting to the doctors (and trumpeting to the patients) that, “Our patients are not an interruption in our day, they are the reason for our day.”  The joke was that, really, the driving principle down there was more of, “There are going to be another 1,300 or so midshipmen arriving again next July, so why worry if we lose a few from the current classes?”

I had several tests denied not because my concerns were illogical or easily explained, but because, “That test is too expensive.”  My acne medicine that I had been taking in high school (which worked) was changed to a different medication with no explanation at all.  It didn’t work, but I was told that was what the Navy had decided it was doing for acne.  A friend of mine was denied a biopsy on a lump she’d found in her breast; they didn’t want to check it because, if it wasn’t just a cyst, they’d have to operate, and, “That would be a pain.”  She couldn’t get anything done about it until we graduated (three years later) and went to a different duty station (and different medical department).

The Navy was very good at delivering babies (or so I hear), and very bad at dealing with infertility.  Their basic operating procedure was to sort of dither around doing next to nothing (except badger me about my *roll eyes* antiquated religious beliefs that wanted my fertility fixed, not medically forced) until they’d convinced you to cough up your own money and go get IVF out in town.

I hear the Navy is also very good at repairing sports injuries in knees (often of the knee-meets-metal-deck kind, because all the floors on the ships are metal, so that’s your only option for basketball).  When my own knees ached and swelled constantly and made odd crackling noises, the chief in charge of Medical on the destroyer shrugged and said, “Everyone gets that.  Take some pain killers.”  Without his referral, I couldn’t go get a second opinion from an actual doctor, much less specialized help.  (On the aircraft carrier, we had a specialist who x-rayed my knees and discovered major cartilage deterioration.)  A painful skin condition on my hands was similarly dismissed several times (“Use more handcream,” they said), until I changed duty stations again and got a doctor who actually pulled out the skin disorders book and figured out what was wrong.

Of course, on a lighter note, there is also the issue of BCD’s, popularly called “birth control devices” (no, I don’t remember what it really stood for).  These were the awful, chunky, date-repelling, plastic glasses that the Navy issued.  (The Catholic Midshipmen Club had a running joke about how we ought to get better looking glasses, since we were religiously opposed to artificial birth control.)  My eyes are so bad that my lenses could not be made that small properly; straight lines appeared bent, and I never wore my issued glasses.  I had to pay out of pocket for years, in spite of allegedly being covered.  On a positive note, about thirty years after the BCD’s went out of style, the Navy finally decided to offer a few new frames that actually looked good.  (Some cynically claimed that was only because the chunky, retro glasses were coming back into style.)

Our daughter was sent to a civilian pediatrician who accepted the government’s low payments for services; many doctors limit how many Tricare patients they will accept, because they can’t afford to take too many.  As soon as we were out of Tricare, we found a new pediatrician.  Many Navy families put the spouse and children on the non-Navy spouse’s medical coverage if they can, in spite of having to pay for it.


Although some of the doctors were good and cared about their patients, although preventive care was covered (and mandated- your command was notified if you’d missed a required check-up or screening), many people still considered Navy medicine to be much less than ideal.

The final impression you left with, nine times out of ten, was of long lines, uncomfortable waiting rooms, hurried doctors, and more concern over cost than the patient’s health.  Yes, civilian doctors have that, too, but not to the extent I saw it in the Navy.

Is that what we really want?  Do we really believe that, somehow, the national government’s health care for everyone will look all that much better or different than what it already provides for the people who volunteer to serve our country in the military?

When the government is the payer, the government is the customer.  The patient becomes only a secondary, costly consideration.

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