Muppets and Medicaid

As we do every year around Christmas time, we sat down as a family to watch “The Muppet Christmas Carol”. This is one of my favorite family traditions that helps us remember what Christmas is really all about. As I’ve gotten older and as different things are happening in my life, I have taken something new from the story each time I watch it. This year I couldn’t help but find some similarities between specific current events and the story Mr. Dickens told so well.

As we do every year around Christmas time, we sat down as a family to watch “The Muppet Christmas Carol”. This is one of my favorite family traditions that helps us remember what Christmas is really all about. As I’ve gotten older and as different things are happening in my life, I have taken something new from the story each time I watch it. This year I couldn’t help but find some similarities between specific current events and the story Mr. Dickens told so well.

There are a few scenes that particularly stood out to me that I want to discuss here. The first being the encounter between a poor rabbit boy (remember, this is the Muppet version) and Ebenezer Scrooge. The boy comes to Scrooge’s place of business singing carols asking “a penny for the song.” Scrooge, who has just professed his distaste for Christmas to his nephew becomes enraged toward the boy and ends up throwing a Christmas wreath at him as the boy runs away. This scene stood out to me more this year because my two year old son voiced the observation that Scrooge “made a bad choice.”

Watching this I was reminded of an issue that was discussed extensively (but without resolution) this year in the Utah Legislature. This past year in the Utah legislature there have been several attempts to expand Medicaid in various forms. The main concern for the lack of action on the issue was that the legislature didn’t want to pay for the estimated $78 million per year to cover the expansion, even though Utah’s tax dollars are helping pay for the expansion in other states by not opting to expand in our own. What concerns me about this response is that Utah will have a $560 million surplus in the budget next year. 360 people have died because they didn’t have insurance coverage but would have had it under the expanded Medicaid. To see this number, and then to see our legislators say we won’t help these people don’t have the money to help these people is downright infuriating, especially coming from people who claim to be pro-life. This is similar to the story of Scrooge (Republican Legislators), a man who has a surplus of money, looking at a poor beggar boy (people in the coverage gap), and turning him away while throwing a Christmas wreath at him as he flees.

At the end of it all, it should be easy for us as a compassionate people to see the Legislature’s actions for what they really are. As my two year old son simply put it, they “made a bad choice.”

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  • commented 2015-12-19 22:07:59 -0800
    After reading your op-ed It reminds me of the old saying that you can’t eat money. Insurance is not health care and health care is not insurance. Insurance (medicade) does not equate to life saving treatments either especially when it comes to government insurance. There are lots of studies that have shown extremely poor outcomes for medicade patients. Even when compared to no insurance at all. All of the socialized medical systems in the world have major issues that no one seems able to overcome. When Pres. Obama kept repeating that the medical system was broken and his program was was the only way to fix it. The system was broken because of government involvement not the lack thereof. But this is a subject for a different day. I just want to use a couple of quick examples to show the absurdity of thinking that Medicade expansion would improve anything except government paychecks.
    There was this constant barrage of how wasteful private insurance bureaucracy was, they aren’t doctors and they are just an expense. They belong to those greedy insurance companies and we should bypass these middle men and have the government administer everything. Anyone who beleives that a government bureaucracy would be more efficient is off their perverbial rocker. One only has to look to the VA to see how wonderful the government can run medicine. Vets were dying left and right because they were put on waiting lists that weren’t even the official waiting lists. The bureaucrats did get their bonuses though. This is something that we can expect, especially for medicade expansion patients. Canada health care went bankrupt and needed emergency legislation during our health care debates. It was amazing how fast everyone quit mentioning Canada’s heath care. Then President Obama had to lie and I mean lie(total fabrication) about every aspect of his program from how much it would save to being able to keep your doctor and your plan. He also started insulting doctors claiming they cut off feet to get extra money. Telling old people that instead of getting care they should get something for the pain, then go home and get end of life counseling. And this coming from people who are pro choice(except when it comes to your doctor or your chosen plan). That is very reassuring. Medicade expansion guarantees more people will have insurance. It guarantees worse outcomes for the health and the well being of the patients. It also guarantees that fewer and fewer people will get to see a doctor and get the much needed medical attention that they deserve. Medicade is the number one denier of claims. At this point you have no choice, there is only death, a surcease from pain.

    There is a big disagreement on the best distribution of health care. On one side complete faith in a government that uses force, and doesn’t care about the results of their decisions and the other side that is constantly adjusting to natural law to supply the most services for less. Neither is perfect and they both have flaws. But to equate one side with Scrooge is absurd just because we don’t buy into the IRS/government knows best about my health care. The legislature taking its time to get something RIGHT, that is about life and death is not the same as being Scrooge. I would hope that before you call names maybe take a look at the other side and ask maybe they are well intentioned as well as me we just disagree on how to best serve others. See the article on this website about “Love Thy Neighbor: Even if They Are Republican”.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2015-12-16 04:34:24 -0800
    I wrote this short piece on Muppets and Medicaid. Check it out!
  • published this page in Blog 2015-12-16 04:33:20 -0800

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