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Is Joe the Plumber responsible for our health care mess?

The financial collapse in the United States and the long, deep recession the nation will likely endure may be the calamitous event needed to finally tip the country toward adopting a universal health insurance, according to Uwe Reinhardt.

The Princeton health economics professor told students at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health last week that thanks to the Wall Street CEOs health care reform may be a possibility. They finally proved the free market can’t succeed without some government regulation and helped drive the U.S. and world into the greatest financial disaster since the Great Depression.

“I think people will realize that government has a role,” Reinhardt said. “Government is of you, it’s your creation. How can you hate your government like that? If you read the paper sometimes you’d think the government came from Mars and is occupying you.”

Then, Reinhardt expressed his deep-rooted anger at Joe the Plumber, and other “rugged individualists” who profess a hatred for government. They say no one has the right to tell them to buy insurance, but when they’re sick, they declare the “right” to lifesaving medical care.

“You chip in when you’re healthy so when you’re sick you get care,” Reinhardt. “If you don’t want to pay insurance than you should absolve me from the moral responsibility to provide care.”

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Linda ChristianchelseabitestcoyoteJamesJeff Recent comment authors
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Linda Christian
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Linda Christian

Don’t even think about health care , the media already has Obama as our next prez. He could no more disown his white granny then he could disown rev Wright , he agreed to public finacing , but then it wasn’t to his liking soo..Do you actually believe anything he tells you??.linda

chelseabites
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I’m amazed by the incredible amount of public interest in both Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin. Good or bad, they’ve become somewhat of a pop icon. With Palin, people are dressing like her to be and/or mock her all at the same time.
For instance, I found this video on dressing like Palin:
http://www.mindbites.com/lesson/668-how-to-dress-like-sarah-palin

tcoyote
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tcoyote

Uwe is a thoughtful European style social democrat, to whom the “government” is a fundamentally benign instrument of social solidarity. OUR government in my personal experience is actually full of conscientious thoughtful people; it is our political system which is, perhaps irretrievably, broken. This campaign has been disgusting- a pathetic bipartisan display of ill grace, an insult to our values and decency, a wasted billion dollars that ended up tarnishing two high quality candidates, and generating at least ten thousand acre-feet of bile and sewage. And in the end, we don’t have, really, the faintest idea of what we are… Read more »

James
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James

“I do hope that this ‘capitalist collapse’ will help people realize that there is a valid role for government.” We had Uncle Sam involved in about 60 percent of the nation’s mortgages and this is somehow a failure of capitalism? Sorry, but this situation was a classic example of government meddling in the economy causing a disaster. It’s roots go back to the Community Reinvestment Act urging loans to people who couldn’t pay them back, a regulatory push to pummel banks that didn’t go along with this madness, government-subsidized activism of ACORN, Freddie and Fannie waiting to buy up the… Read more »

Jeff
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Jeff

“The Princeton health economics professor told students at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health last week that thanks to the Wall Street CEOs health care reform may be a possibility. They finally proved the free market can’t succeed without some government regulation and helped drive the U.S. and world into the greatest financial disaster since the Great Depression.” BS. While there is plenty of blame to go around the genesis of this problem was created and allowed to fester by Congress’ insistence that Fanny and Freddie buy mortgages made to subprime borrowers. When the Wallstreet guys figured out what a… Read more »

twa
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twa

Wow this bothers me. First off all Joe did was get Obama to say what he really believes. Second I suspect this issue of people expecting care for free is more about income level and class than ‘rugged individualism”. I hate to disagree with Uwe, but this “deep-rooted anger” seems to be misplaced. Since when in America(!) do we look down our noses at those who wish to be free from government intrusion? We may argue about the appropriate level of the need for government in different areas of our lives, but lets be careful about the broad brush approach… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

Don’t mandate me into an grossly expensive, lobbyist controlled, morally bankrupt failing system.

Mark
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Mark

I do hope that this ‘capitalist collapse’ will help people realize that there is a valid role for government. Of course the economic collapse will also provide a whole new class of people who need health care but do not have coverage so this demand should also help drive reform. Deron rightly points out that people won’t buy insurance until they are sick. This is one form of ‘moral hazard’ and is a fundamental flaw in any voluntary insurance scheme. We must have universal coverage and it must be paid for by a universal tax. Everyone is covered (equally) and… Read more »

Deron S.
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I agree that it is socially irresponsible to expect life saving care without ever paying for coverage of some kind. It’s simply taking advantage of the good morals of fellow citizens. Along those same lines, we have to be careful as we make changes in terms of pre-existing conditions. If pre-existing conditions are covered under any circumstances, some will take advantage of that fact and not purchase coverage until they get sick.