Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On Universal Health Care in the United States

I am not quite sure how it happened, but somehow, the American Public has been brainwashed into believing that socialized healthcare is a “bad” thing.

You know what, I’m sure all that popular media is right. Socialized health care must be bad, especially in light of our current system and how remarkably well it works. We are most certainly on the right track. Socialized health care is clearly evil, and damnit, poor people really don’t DESERVE to be healthy anyhow.

Wait, not poor people. I mean, poor people qualify for Medicaid which in many states pays for just about EVERYTHING (I mean, everything unless you need something like a tooth filling or a pair of glasses that aren’t plastic taped together at the ends). So who exactly is it that we have decided don’t really DESERVE to be healthy?

That’s right. We’ve very clearly made our point in America on how we feel about the working poor, the working lower middle class, and the working middle class. We really don’t give a shit about them. If they get sick and can’t afford their co-pays, premiums, and deductibles that’s really too bad. They should have saved better. You know, taken advantage of that Health Savings Account we made available to them when we made their deductibles $2000.

You say their maximum out-of-pocket expenses are 1/3 of their income eh? That isn’t affordable? It is really all about budgeting. Perhaps they can’t really afford that cell phone. And maybe they really shouldn’t be driving that car. Plenty of public transportation around these parts. Maybe even they shouldn’t own a home, being of moderate means and unable to devote 1/3 of their income to health expenses. It is all about fiscal responsibility. My taxes shouldn’t pay for your health.

As American people who are touched by the injustice of the current health care system and how it DOES NOT WORK we need to SPEAK OUT about our needs and how they are not being met. Plenty of countries have made universal health a universal goal, with amazing results. Health care is not a “for-profit” endeavor, nor should it be. It is not ethical to approach it as such, and it is a burden on families and individuals as more and more of the inordinate costs of AMERICAN health care are pushed upon us.

Why are more people not outraged? Have we forgotten how to activate our anger rather than dispose of it in apathy?

The following site was brought to my attention recently. I am not sure if this is my answer to the health care situation in the United States but it is a start. And that is something.

I plan to speak at the Minnesota Legislature in Saint Paul in March about Health Care. I am going to do this, and in doing so I am depending on people (which means every single person who is affected by the shitty state of health care in the United States) to make their needs known as an echo of the story I have to tell to the legislators. My story is one story. But there are thousands.

We cannot be satisfied with band-aids. Health care should be, and needs to be, universal and affordable for people of all incomes and all health conditions. Health care must be transportable and must not be dependent on a job.

Remember, today, how to find your outrage. Focus this outrage and let’s make a difference that really freakin’ matters.

1 comment:

Christine said...

I agree that healthcare isn't nearly what it should be here and a lot of people get screwed, but I'm not sure what the solution is.

Healthcare as it is in the UK or Canada scares the crap out of me.

It's HARD to get a pump in the UK, and I like my pump.

I know people in Canada that bought their's out of pocket.

When I needed a neurology consult, I got one in 2 days here. I can often get into the doctor's office the next day if I need to. When I needed a CT scan, I got one that day.

My family in the UK has connections and they wait a LONG time to see a specialist.

When I was observing in the ICU there was a patient there who's family was paying out of pocket for him to be in the ICU here, because the one in Canada was full.

That scares me.

As they say- access, quality, affordability- pick any 2.