An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Health Care’

America and Greed: A Health Care Story

There was a video that was posted on YouTube by a channel called ForaTV.  They are pretty good about posting some thoughtful videos.  Whether you agree with them or not, they are quite thoughtful.  A very recent video had the former governor of Michigan, and the host of Current TV’s “The War Room,” Jennifer Granholm talking about health care in America.

It’s not a mystery that America spends more money on healthcare.  The amount rounds out to roughly $8,000 per person.  This would be perfectly fine, if what we were getting for our money was worth what we spent.  This, however, is not the case.  Approximately 45,000 people die every year from a lack of health insurance, according to a study from Harvard University.  Over 50 million people in America don’t have health insurance.  One of the biggest causes of bankruptcy is health care costs.  These are real problems that are completely verifiable.

However, take a look at the video linked at the top.  After watching it, take a look down in the comments section.  You’ll find lovely little gems like this –

this women is horrible. i dont spend anywhere near 10000 per year. why should me and my family who have our own problems be paying for others? gottt damn.

truth! i’m sick of government punishing me with absurd taxes because i’m responsible enough to live healthy and save

i have an idea. lets let the nation that did as much testing on its populace as the soviets and nazis unbridled control of healthcare and every other system. what could go wrong.

Accuse us of taking the most radical comments we could find (and its true that there was a lot of genuinely intelligent conversation), but the fact is that there are a lot of people who think this way.  They believe that they shouldn’t be burdened with helping other people.  That because they are healthy, pardon the language, screw everybody else.

The level of greed displayed in that thinking is absolutely amazing.  But it isn’t a small thing.  All over the conservative arena, there are people who will fight tooth and nail to get out the view that they shouldn’t have to help other people, because it’s their money.

Never mind that if universal health care was implemented, they would be saving money.  Never mind that such a system would save everybody money in the long term.  That’s too hard a thing to consider.  The fact is that they are being told, day in and day out that all of this help for the poor is funding laziness and everything else.  Not helping families who desperately need it.

There are plenty of people in America who are working two jobs and who don’t go to the doctor because they know that they can’t afford it.  This is not a new phenomenon.  But the machines of conservative America are putting out every day that these people are just leeches, hoping that the government will hold their hand.  Totally ignoring the fact that these people don’t want anybody to hold their hand.  They are busting tail and working hard to stay alive.  They merely want, and desperately need, help.  Help that should be given because we are supposed to be a better people than what we want to be.

But the greater existential question comes to this – why?  Why do these people just so adamently refuse to believe that this is for a good cause?  Perhaps the answer comes from the fact that nobody wants to sacrifice.  Make people believe that they are going to have to sacrifice, and they will simply work against it.  It is a fact that even in times of hardship, nobody wants to give up some of their good for the betterment of others.

An irony of that statement, however, is that the bulk of the people against universal health care in America identify themselves as Christian.  Being against this is kind of odd, in that respect, because if you look at their holy book, the Bible, there is a passage where Jesus Christ, their savior, openly says how people should treat the poor.

Luke 3:11 “If you have two coats,” he replied, “give one to the poor. If you have extra food, give it away to those who are hungry.”

Helping the poor was a core tenant of the son of the God that they believe is what America is based around, and yet whenever somebody talks about universal health care, there is an argument that often comes up that these people are leeches, and that they shouldn’t have to pay so that they can be lazy.

There was a brilliant quote by Stephen Colbert about how America treats the least of its people –

If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus is just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.

But these quotes haven’t answered the question – why?  Why do these people seem so dead-set against helping the people who are the most hurt by the current health care system?  Perhaps the ultimate answer is that they don’t know.  Just like so many other people in this country, it is just easier to go with the flow, and not to question something, than it is to step up and fight for anything.

If that is the case, then the real question becomes – what has America come to?

Peace out,

Lefty

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Rick Santorum vs. Healthcare

In the world of stupid statements, this has got to be one of the best.  For real, this couldn’t be any more stupid.  When Ron Paul said that asinine quote about the churches and other people helping those without health insurance, that wasn’t nearly as stupid as Rick Santorum’s latest documented quote.  Get a load of this –

The answer is not what can we do to prevent deaths because of a lack of health insurance. There’s — I reject that number completely, that people die in America because of lack of health insurance.

Wow.  Just, wow.  That’s powerful stupid.  That’s like the kind of epic stupid that exists in books.  You hear people talk about other people this dumb, but you never actually see them.  Until now.

Basically, Santorum is arguing that nobody dies from medical causes.  Hear me out.  If nobody dies from not having health care coverage, that means that nobody dies from medical causes, because the only way that they could die from not having coverage is if they had a medical problem.  That’s Santorum’s argument.  And it’s stupid.  People die from medical problems all the time.

According researchers from Harvard, roughly 45,000 deaths a year can be attributed to lack of health care.  Over 2,000 veterans die each year from lack of health care.  That’s something interesting.  But the fact is that Santorum doesn’t stop at saying nobody dies from lack of health insurance.

He has always been quoted talking about how people without insurance need to stop whining about the high cost of medicine and advanced medical treatments and pay less on non-essential things like cable and cell phones.  Yes, because all poor people have these things.  He has also said that the insurance companies should deny coverage of people with pre-existing conditions.  Isn’t this guy a peach?

While he is talking about how gay sex is wrong and how straight sex is good, he will also never stop finding ways to make the poor out to be the enemy.  What a piece of human garbage.  Santorum goes on to say –

People die in America because people die in America. And people make poor decisions with respect to their health and their healthcare. And they don’t go to the emergency room or they don’t go to the doctor when they need to.  And it’s not the fault of the government for not providing some sort of universal benefit.

Yes, they don’t go to doctors when they need to.  Gee, I wonder why?  Could it be because going to the doctor is ungodly expensive?  Even seeing a family practitioner can be up at $100 a pop.  At an emergency room, they will treat you, but only to the point where you are no longer in mortal danger.  After that, they have satisfied their Hippocratic Oath and will kick you out, head-first.

And by the way, why is it that the government is required to do nothing?  Apparently Rick and Ron didn’t read this Constitution that they all love so much.  There is a claus in the First Amendment stating that all services that are deemed of national importance should be run by the government.  It’s the reason that Republicans can’t privitize the Postal Service.  But now we have more necessary services.  Medicine should be one of them.  Why it isn’t is simply beyond conception.

This man is so blind to the problems of the poor that he simply doesn’t care.  Rick Santorum doesn’t care about poor people.  It is clear that in his utopia, the poor would be living on the street or dead, with no tools available to help them, while the rich lived in golden paradises without taxes.  What a pity such a world couldn’t exist.

It’s time to shut Rick Santorum down.  It’s clear that he’ll say whatever his dim-witted base wants to hear.  Is sad, really, because most of his base is poor middle to senior-aged white people.  People who could use universal health care the most.

Peace out,

Lefty

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