National Health Care’s Meant To Keep You Alive Too, Asshats

caduceus

Rant time, boys and girls. Facebook’s pissed me off again, so you get to read me stew at the general idiocy of the world.

Right now, there’s a poll going around Facebook asking people if they are for or against Obama’s plan to instate a national health care system. Predictably, given the damned and doomed country I live in, the votes are roughly 53% against – meaning that most of Facebook, at this time, is vehemently opposed to the socialization of medical care.

As I’m pissed off, you can guess my position. While there is no such thing as a perfect health care system – the ratio of doctors to individuals in the country would have to be ten to one to ensure total, absolute coverage for any conceivable health concern – there is such thing as better coverage. As smarter approaches. There is, in fact, a difference between pragmatic welfare and ideological stupidity.

Let me illustrate:

Besides, anthrax comes from handling livestock.

Pretty romantic for a pissbag's worth of lies.

One of the most oft-touted arguments running through that hellhole of a Facebook conversation thread right now is that the American ideal was based upon the callused hands, sweat-stained brow and general hard work of the American Citizen. That we earn all the luxuries we get off the strengths of our backs and the iron of our wills. Poetic 1800s imagery – but nothing more.

The reality of America is far more cruel. It is the sweat of pain as a woman crippled in a car crash and saddled with the enormous cost of getting a new vehicle, wrestling with insurance and dealing with the entire upheaval of her previously mundane, ordinary and now absolutely idyllic in retrospect life chooses between survival and prosthetics. It is the suffering of a hard-working father and mother whose son has a crippling chronic illness that needs multi-hundred dollar treatments every month, thousands of dollars a year, to stave off death or derangement, being ground into bloody powder by the wheels of an unforgiving economy. It is a bright teenage girl with more brains and more steel in her core than anything the average bloody American can imagine, clawing her way out of the ghetto, only to be unfairly struck down with cancer, her only prospects now the meager subsidy of the welfare check while her life ticks away, because there’s no fucking cure for mutinous genetics.

spider-jerusalem-rage

That is the fucking reality. That is what the bloody Conservatives – the fucking “moral guardians” of this country are denying our fellow citizens. Think of how many car accidents we have a year – think of how many are struck down by the random bullet of life – think of the fact that if a crippling disease happens to “only” one out of a hundred thousand human beings, that’s over three hundred victims for that one disease during one year of this one country.

You arseholes. You mothercunting asshats. Do you have any fucking clue what is at stake here?! Do you really think that you’re something special – that life, for all of its ups and downs, will never toss that grenade at you? That you’ll never be one of the victims – never amongst the wreckages you annoyingly slow your cars down to observe? That for all of your bad days, it’ll never get that bad?

Guess what?

So did they.

For all the bitching about taxation, nobody on the “Right” side of the aisle will ever even admit that, to all the credible statisticians, to all the credible and useful and empirical indicators, the countries with health care, with social safety nets, with higher taxes and therefore an up to date public infrastructure lead longer lives, healthier lives, and even wealthier lives. Because we’ve all had injuries. We’ve all gotten sick at some point, or know somebody that has. We live amongst the ashes of martyrs to our American Way, and so blinded by its glory are we that we refuse to acknowledge them. We turn a blind eye to the suffering, assuring ourselves that it’s just a fringe minority, that there’s nothing on God’s Green Earth, no cast shadow, no dark twilight, that we can’t scare off with our national legend of will and strength.

We’re so damn invested in this myth that any suggestions that the body count might be outnumbering us is met with contempt – or, at best, nervous laughter as we disdain the growing urgency and the dull roar of steel, blood-slicked wheels as we stare directly into that glorious, growing light.

Capitalism is tool, not scripture. When we beat down the Iron Curtain and bankrupted the Stalinist dream of a total centralization of resource management, we merely proved that no man nor committee can, alone, successfully factor in the entirety of the complex economic engine. We didn’t prove that Capitalism was the end-all, be-all of economic systems, merely that it is a very reliable general tool – and has served us well for almost three centuries.

But the damned devil’s in the details again. Our empirical proof of the fallacy of Communism is a two-edged sword – for now we know how to examine our own pet system. And now we see that while the overall system is an upward-spiraling momentum, it is not perfect by itself. Like any machine, it needs oil – lubricants in the spots of high friction.

Really, what kind of half-assed engineer doesn’t grease up his gears on account of using lube being a sign of weakness and mechanical imperfection? The system is a tool. Not master. Never master. It is to be used and improved upon and discarded for an upgrade. Always and forever.

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~ by Gonzo Mehum on July 28, 2009.

11 Responses to “National Health Care’s Meant To Keep You Alive Too, Asshats”

  1. The Conservative argument, as I’ve heard it from those intelligent conservatives of my acquaintence, is that they work for companies that provide them health care, or they work hard enough to get their own insurance plan. That’s *if* they ever get sick/etc.

    There are, of course, a couple of fairly obvious holes in this model. Starting with the fact that I am nominally under a company healthcare plan and get denied coverage seemingly at random. Or the fact that getting my painfully ingrown wisdom tooth removed so I can eat something more solid than soup counts as “luxury” surgery and wasn’t covered. Or the fact that acupuncture is not covered in my plan, either, despite my acupuncturist being my second-most-frequently visited doctor.*

    I’m given to understand I’m one of the lucky ones. At least it only costs me fifty dollars to get an STD test or a cholestorol check. Per test.

    Also, on the subject of capitalism:

    “After the fall of Communism, do not be fooled into thinking capitalism is the only way.”
    – Pope John Paul II…yes, *that* John Paul II. Yes, St. John Paul of The Free Capitalist World who, with St. Ronald, saved us all from the evils of Socialism.

    *You may be ready to point out that, in your world, acupuncture is a wild superstition used only by the criminally insane because they aren’t smart enough to go to a Real Doctor. To this I say: Bring it, bitch.

  2. Ros, those conservatives can be politely but firmly told to get their heads out of their rectums. The working poor are often working part-time at multiple jobs, none of which offer benefits, and are often structured in such a way to avoid having to offer benefits. I heard on Ms. Maddow on Friday, I believe, that were someone working the new minimum wage to get the projected yearly salary, if they got insurance, they’d be living on less than $2,000 for the entire year after paying the premiums. That’s before any other bills would get paid, or co-pays, or uncovered procedures. That wouldn’t be enough to cover rent in a lot of places for a whole year, not to mention actual food.

    And that’s before they get dropped if they should develop actual sickness, because paying claims is unprofitable, despite that being what insurance is supposed to do.

  3. I’ve not yet heard what the alternative plan would be, either.

  4. That would be because there isn’t one, and significant conservatives and Republicans have said as much – they stand to gain more by being the party of NO and hoping it crashes in time for the midterms than by presenting any sort of real plan. (There was something, I think that was basically “Tax cuts and refunds” that might work if someone could afford the insurance in the first place.)

  5. That’s the thing, the ideal that you need to work your ass off to land a job that includes health insurance is usually held the most strongly by those who always had easy access to tools like higher education. I am convinced that the core flaw in the Conservative viewpoint is a total inability understand that not everyone is living the same life.

    That said, Roscoe’s second comment is true as well. Generalized health care is a great idea, but has the potential to be terrible. It needs to be done RIGHT, not just done, or the failure will destroy the concept entirely for most Americans. With so many people so eager to see it fail, just so they can level an “I told you so” at proponents it may have entered self-fulfilling prophecy territory.

  6. How would such a system work? What is Sane Health Care?

  7. The Canadians get close, for all their flaws. The actual numbers on their worst waitlist for treatments and surgery’s something like two to six weeks – extremely uncomfortable, yes, but while you’re waiting, the doctors are operating every damn day on everybody else ahead of you in line.

    Really, the only way to make that kind of system better is to hire more doctors.

  8. We could hire more doctors if there were enough spots in the medical schools to train everyone who applies to be a doctor, but the punishing contest keeps even good candidates from getting in because their excellent credentials aren’t exceptional.

  9. Playing Devil’s Advocate: The reason there aren’t more doctors is because there isn’t enough economic incentive to become one under the Canadian system.

  10. Rebuttal: Canadian doctors are paid a very decent chunk of change indeed, and given the implicit job security, is a better long-term deal than going private.

    Not to mention that the motive for becoming doctors, nurses and other health practitioners isn’t wholly money-driven, but at least partially altruistic.

    Also, again, in order to make any health care service good enough that everybody gets served in a timely manner, you’d need more doctors than /patients/. Not just one per person – even general practitioners have fields of expertise – but multiples.

  11. Thank you for such a sane and insightful article. If you look past the initial rage and the pictures he makes a quite valid point.

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