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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
Let’s Honor Our Veterans — By Revoking Their Benefits 
Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 | 04:52 pm [humor, politics]
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(Previously posted at The Gay Atheist.)

My friends, I’m writing to bring to your attention a great injustice. We here in the United States have been party to an unpardonable breach of trust. We have wronged and betrayed those members of our society to whom we owe the most — our land, our freedoms, even our very lives. I’m talking about our veterans, those brave men and women who have served, and are currently serving in our armed forces. I, like all good Americans, treasure our veterans, and think it’s high time we liberate these courageous servicemen and –women from the iron-fisted government-run tyranny in which they have been trapped for decades.


The time has come to honor our veterans — by taking away their government-provided healthcare.


Our precious veterans are imprisoned within a socialist government healthcare system! Did you know that the Department of Veterans Affairs — a branch of the U.S. Federal government! — provides healthcare services to any eligible veteran of the U.S. military who enrolls? If this doesn’t freeze the very blood in your veins, well, friends, it ought to! To think that the United States of America, the freest, noblest, most democratic nation in the history of the world, forces the members of its military into a government-run healthcare system . . . frankly, it makes me want to vomit.


Low-income veterans, those with service-connected disabilities, former prisoners of war, and recipients of the Purple Heart may receive healthcare services at no cost to them whatsoever. Don’t our veterans deserve better than this?


But it gets worse: those enrolled in this government-run health system, in order to better facilitate access to their benefits, are issued government ID cards. I, for one, think our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines should not be issued ID cards from Big Brother! For God’s sake, not in the United States of America! What’s next? Implanted microchips?


No, my friends. We owe our veterans and their families much more than guaranteed access to low- or no-cost health services, including discounts on prescription drugs, mental health counseling, bereavement counseling, and emergency treatment at non-VA facilities. It’s time to end these socialistic government benefits and allow all our veterans, whatever their service status, whatever their personal income, to purchase their own insurance and join the rest of us in the vastly superior private healthcare system.


“But Steve,” some of you godless, un-American Stalinists may be saying, “aren’t our veterans already able to purchase their own private insurance to supplement their government benefits? Don’t many of them do just that?”


First of all, if you think they have such great healthcare in England, why don’t you just move there and leave the rest of us alone? Where I went to school, they taught us that we won that war, baby. “Spot ‘o tea?” No thank you, John Bull.


Second, of course veterans are allowed to buy their own insurance (for now), but the availability of free or low-cost government-provided services make them less likely to buy private insurance, or more likely to buy cheaper supplemental insurance only. I say it’s high time the government gets out the way and allows our beloved veterans to make the same honest choice as hundreds of millions of their fellow Americans: private health insurance or nothing.


Our healthcare system here in the United States is the best in the entire world! (Unless you believe those commies at the World Health Organization, who in 2000, after evaluating the American healthcare system objectively across a wide range of categories, ranked it at #37, behind both Canada and Great Britain, and Colombia and Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, to name just a few. Boooooo!) It’s time our veterans had a chance to take part in it!


Imagine how damaging it must be to the spirit of our fighting men and women, to return home wounded from the theater of war, knowing they won’t have to navigate the complicated and baffling bureaucracy of a private insurance company, knowing they don’t have to worry about how they will pay for the medical care and procedures they need to survive. That’s got to be an arrow through any warrior’s heart. My own grandfather was involved in a serious car accident in 1951, toward the end of his service in the U.S. Navy. He needed major reconstructive surgery on his face, and spent a few months at Bethesda Naval Hospital on the government’s dime. I don’t know for sure, because he never said anything like this, but I can only assume that it haunted him for the rest of his life.


Moving our military members into the private insurance system will cause morale to skyrocket, but it will have other benefits as well. For instance, our troops will be more careful in combat.  Knowing that a pre-existing condition like severe brain damage or a missing leg would make it virtually impossible for them to find a private insurer willing to cover them, they will be less likely to engage in unnecessary heroics to protect their comrades or accomplish their missions. How many limbs have been lost by troops chasing that Purple Heart, and the guaranteed free health services it carries? Never again!


Finally, my friends, we must end government healthcare for our troops for the good of the rest of us. It’s bad enough that our precious troops are subjected to socialist medicine, but even now dark forces within our government are working to impress the same tyranny on all Americans — yes, even you and me! Think it won’t happen? Don’t be so sure! There is still a slim chance that reformers in Congress will succeed in imposing low-cost health coverage on all citizens regardless of income, employment status, or pre-existing conditions. First it was seatbelts and speed limits, then taxes on cigarettes, now this! Where will it end — martial law and internment in forced labor camps?


Americans, rally to my cry! Write and call your Republican senators and representatives (nevermind the Demon-crats — most of them are lost causes, anyway!) and urge them to have the courage of their convictions and end government health benefits for veterans! If socialized medicine isn’t good enough for the rest of us, then it’s sure as hell not good enough for the best of us!


In closing, let me just say thank you for your time, and may God bless all of you who share my principles and beliefs. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 | 11:56 pm (UTC)
I guess I’m just a dumb Republican, Steve, because I just don’t get your point here. Let me try to get this straight. It’s stupid to oppose government-run healthcare for the masses if you are in support of Veterans health benefits. It’s stupid to concern oneself over liberty in the healthcare debate considering only an ass would expect those who have served our country to front their own care.

You’re right, only an ass would consider something so stupid.

“The groups oppose the idea because they believe that the government has a moral obligation to pay for service-connected injuries for the men and women who risked their lives serving the country.”

“Veterans Groups Irate At Obama’s Private Insurance Proposal”


Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 | 03:41 pm (UTC)

I'm glad you linked to that story from a few months ago. I remember that. I thought it was an incredibly stupid idea that had no chance of ever succeeding. And you know what was funny? Most conservatives thought the exact same thing. Which got me to thinking: if socialized medicine is so awful, why is it that we insist on it for our troops? Surely they deserve the best healthcare they can get.

My point is this: The one argument I've heard over and over again against healthcare reform is that the federal government is just too incompetent to handle it. I often hear this from members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives — constitutionally empowered officers of said incompetent government — which is a little funny, but nevermind that for now, since I hear it from lots of non-government types, too. And I agree that there is plenty of shit the government has fucked up big time. It has shown itself capable of mind boggling inefficiency, incompetence, and corruption.

But to pretend that it's incapable of providing social services? That's just nutty. There is a long list of successful government programs, from the obvious (medicare, medicaid, food stamps and WIC programs for low income families) to the so-obvious-we-don't-even-think-about-it (the post office) that prove the federal government is perfectly capable of managing a massive social service. When people like Sean Hannity respond to callers who support universal healthcare with "Oh, come on, you don't really trust the government to do that, do you?" they're just reaching for an excuse.

I don't pretend that it would be as simple as expanding the VA to cover everybody. I worry about how we would pay for such a massive program (as, I assume, do you). But I don't think it's impossible. And I think it's way, way past time that we just bite the bullet and do it. According to the last WHO survey, the United States has the 37th best healthcare system in the world. That's disgraceful. If we are the richest, most powerful nation on the planet (and I don't dispute that we are), then the only reason we aren't at the top of that list is because we don't want to be. But I think that's the very least we owe to ourselves, and I think there's enough determination and, practically speaking, enough cash in the United States of America to make it happen.

Now I'll step off this soap box I seem to have gotten on top of somehow. Thanks for commenting!
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 | 07:59 pm (UTC)
Veterans do deserve the best care. We insist on providing care for veteran’s injuries because we have a moral obligation to do so. The public owes them one, so to speak. Socialized medicine can still seem like a crummy idea in respect to providing veterans with health care, because socialized medicine has nothing to do with covering the costs of arms and legs lost serving our country.

Check it out, I got laid off in late 2007 and I lost very good health care coverage for me and my two children. If we wanted to now put the whole family on my husband’s plan it would cost us over $800 a month. No can do. Trust me when I say I would love to have free health care, even if it meant standing in line or rationed care…anything’s better than nothing. So why then am I opposed to this health care reform business? Glad you asked. It’s not because I think the government is completely incompetent. But, I do think they are trying to take on too much too fast. I don’t think the government is incapable of providing social services, in fact, I’m not too proud to admit that I have had to depend on a social service or two at points in my life. But, what they are proposing in this health care reform is one heck of a social service at a time when our economy is quite fragile. Not to mention the 1000s of pages no one, once again, seems to be reading. And there’s the cap and trade thing, and the corporate bailouts, and the stimulus, all this other great big stuff that’s so urgent, urgent. So yeah, add it all together and it’s easy to get the sense that the government is on crack and can’t sleep. Even as I sit here with no job and no health insurance, I intuitively get the nagging sense that maybe I’m better off without the governments help for now.

You can have your soap box back now. Thank you.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 | 08:18 pm (UTC)
You're calm, articulate and rational on this issue. If I were a Republican, I'd be begging you to run for office. Unfortunately, those very virtues would all but guarantee you a quick and brutal defeat in the primaries. Still, it'd be a nice gesture.
Thursday, August 13th, 2009 | 03:01 am (UTC)
i'll consider running. Thank you.

Thursday, August 13th, 2009 | 01:19 pm (UTC)
I couldn't vote for you, you understand. But I'd try to make it down for a town hall.
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