In all this hoopla about economic stimulus, we've managed to let health care fall to the wayside. Which is really annoying to me, since it should be a priority. It is important for the economy, too, since the number one cause of bankruptcy in America is medical bills. And many of these people actually have health insurance.
This was brought again to my attention when our Netflix movie showed up yesterday. It was Sicko. Of course, one must take Michael Moore movies with a grain of salt. Much like you have to realize that half of what Sean Hannity says is misconstrued propaganda. And Moore's antics are often over the top and he does leave out details (including the fact that France's overly-generous programs have led the country into bankruptcy).
But what Sicko does do is bring to light the rather sickening priorities we have in this country. I have written about this before, especially about the SCHIP program. To tell the truth, we do have enough money to provide universal health care. But we'd have to cut pork barrel programs, stop funding other countries' military programs and repeal the tax breaks we give Big Oil and take away the subsidies we provide to rather profitable Big Ag companies.
And arguments about waiting and sub-par care? I did that in New York. Even now, with my health insurance, if I want to see my doctor, I have to make an appointment a month in advance. My son's well check requires two months. Our health care is 37th in the world. (Cuba is 39th). Not bad, I suppose, but we've been told that our health insurance system provides us the best. We have the highest rate of infant mortality among developed nations.
Priorities need to change. Universal health care will not take this country down a path to “dreaded” socialism and then communism. We already apply socialist principles in this country. What do you think our mail system is? Besides, our corporate welfare system is socialist in nature. All those nice corporate folks are benefiting from socialist principles on top of capitalism.
What I thought was interesting is Britain's health care. The doctors are content to make $200,000 a year (in America, greed often shuns such a “modest” amount). And they get bonuses. For improving the number of patients with good health. If you have a large number of patients whose cholesterol drops, you get a bonus. What do doctors get bonuses for in America? Quite honestly, for denying treatment.
Even at Gitmo the health care is state of the art and free (after being subjected to questionable “interrogation methods” Al-Qaeda operatives can get fixed up). And prisoners get free, socialized health care at taxpayer expense as well.
Don't the rest of us deserve as much as terrorists and prisoners?
Tags: American health care, bankruptcy America, corporate welfare, universal health care,
SCHIP, economic stimulus