Monday, November 08, 2010

My First Conversation with a Tea Partier

I was just at the barber shop and the talk became politics. The man I was speaking with believed in the tea party. Most of his anger was over the requirement that every American purchase health insurance. He believed that that took away the freedom of Americans.

Me: We take care of people when they come in to the hospital and our sick anyway. Shouldn't they have insurance so they pay for their own care, instead of us footing the bill?
Him: That's not freedom.

Me: Universal mandatory coverage was championed by Mitt Romney (a Republican) in the MA Health Insurance Plan.
Him: It was a mistake. He's not a leader in the Republican party.

Me: Should all kids have insurance? Should we leave kids dying on the streets because they have no health care?
Him: That is up to their parents. If their parents are taking care of the kid, their are other ways to take care of that. You can call the authorities. You cannot tell a parent to purchase health insurance for their child. That is not freedom.

Me: I'm a doctor and and worry about my patients. I just want everyone to be able to have good health care.
Him: What you liberals don't get is that socialism didn't work. The Nazis and Russians failed because they didn't allow Freedom. [Note: the Nazis were not socialists and the Russians were communists.]

So I guess he's calling me a Jewish Nazi? He was so angry, and just kept repeating, "Freedom." Is there a conversation to be had about shared American values, or should progressives just talk to the majority of Americans that believe in health for our communities and families?

He shook my hand at the end and said he had no hard feelings against me. I told him I believed in Freedom too.
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