Point/Counterpoint: Debate rages around health care

By Dr. Ed Hollilday/The Rev. James Hull

Point: Ed Holiday
“Regarding expansion of Obamacare in our state, I do not support making rash decisions based on limited details that might affect Mississippi negatively. Unlike Washington, we will live within our means and focus on decisions that will impact Mississippi in a positive light.”
Speaker Philip Gunn on blocking the Medicaid expansion bill during the legislative session.

We have financial wisdom in our speaker. Remember before the law was passed, we were promised that a family’s medical insurance premiums would go down by more than $2,000. Well, mine has gone up by over $2,000. The federal government said that small businesses would profit by having exchanges, either state or federal, providing many plans from which employers could choose. Two weeks ago we were informed that these exchanges will now only provide one plan from which to choose. And this is the same federal government that claimed there would be no new taxes on the middle class or low-income citizens in this law. But if any citizen doesn’t buy insurance next year by the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court we now know they will be taxed regardless of their income.
The victims of this health care law are growing daily, but the unintended consequences are the lost jobs that cannot be measured. Just take last month, our unemployment rate nationally goes down. How? It’s not because of the miniscule 88,000 jobs added, it goes down because 496,000 people have stopped looking for work. Why? Just ask any small business owner in Northeast Mississippi who has almost 50 employees, “Are you hiring?” No, because the new health care law will drastically undermine their ability to stay in business.

Counterpoint: James Hull
This whole Obamacare conversation has been so demonized on one side and deified on the other side, I don’t know what to make of it all.
But this is what do I know:
• I know there is nearly one-third more invisible faces than those who are already on Medicaid, who need basic health care. They get sick and they stay sick for a long time. And then when they can’t get any sicker they go to the emergency room and get health care, for which I and other taxpayers have to foot the bill.
• I know that those who have no health care safety net cost taxpayers much to treat their illnesses than the safety net would cost to prevent.
• I know that Mississippi lawmakers have placed us in the position of finding 100 percent of state money to treat these people, rather than receive 100 percent of federal funds to do it.
• I know that there are some people who simply care more about political agendas than they do the poor, the sick, the elderly and the young. They keep the conversation political only as a camouflage for the real reason for opposing Medicaid: disregard and disdain for “the others.” Obamacare for “the others” by any other name would still be an excuse to say “no” to the sick and sickly.
It’s amazing to me how those who hold Obamacare in such high disregard are the same people who hold up their Christian faith as the foundation of their lives.
Well, my faith is in Jesus Christ, the Son of the True and Living God. And my faith would never allow me to advocate anything contrary to the teachings of Jesus, who said “when I was sick, you cared for me.”
My Christian faith will always supersede my political views.
And if my political views conflict with, or are not in line with, my Christian moral imperatives, I must choose my God over my politics.
Dr. Ed Holliday is a Tupelo dentist who has written two successful books. Contact him at ed@teaparty.ms. Rev. James Hull is an award-wining journalist and a political consultant. You may contact him at hullmultimediams@aol.com.