And They Say We Don’t Need Universal Health Care in the US

Before proceeding to read my rantings, read this.

Are you sickened? I am.  Faced with the ailments of aging and a life with no health insurance, this guy figured that the only way he could get the care he needed would be by becoming a criminal.  After all, in this country, convicted murderers, child molesters, rapists, and bank robbers are entitled to free health care while paying their debts to society.  Law-abiding and tax paying citizens are not.

I can’t really be the only one who finds something wrong with that, can I?

I know I’m not.  The list of “bleeding heart liberals” who have been screaming for universal health care in the US has been growing longer and longer since long before I was born and will likely continue long after I’ve shuffled loose this mortal coil.  Most recently it was a chosen cause of filmmaker Michael Moore (note I didn’t say “leftist filmmaker”) in his brilliant documentary Sicko, and he makes a much better case there than I will here, I’m sure.

Still, long after Sicko and long after the recent health care “reform” bill passed (aptly described by comedian Bill Maher as a “giant blow job for the insurance companies), the United States remains the only Western industrialized nation without free universal health care coverage for its citizens.  Why is that?  Because, as Moore points out in Sicko as well as Capitalism: A Love Story (another fantastic film, by the way), for some reason in our society we deem it acceptable – nay, expected – that the health care system be run for profit.  Imagine if we felt the same way about the police or the fire department or the army?  Would you put up with a police department that told you they’d send out an officer for the low cost of $49.95 when you called to report that your home had been burgled?  Would you provide the fireman with your debit card information before he would turn on the hose to put out your house fire?  Should we all be watching the mail for a bill from the Navy SEALs for capturing and killing Osama Bin Laden?  Of course not.  But we’ll gladly pay whatever amount the triage nurse or administrator at the ER demands in order to get our asthmatic child seen by a doctor before she stops breathing completely.

Some things in this world are just wrong and this is surely one of them.

If you’re in your teens or twenties, you’re probably not too worried about all this.  You more likely than not are covered by your parents’ health insurance or are relatively healthy.  As we get older, though, stuff starts not working so well on us.  The causes of this are a subject for an entirely different post, but are very likely related to our shitty eating habits.  See the disturbing and riveting documentary Food, Inc. for more details on that. I promise you’ll never look at a Big Mac,  a Chicken McNugget, or an ear of corn the same way again.  Systems start to fail, age-related illnesses start to set in, and injury becomes more likely.  I am an excellent example of this myself.  At the age of thirty three I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes(which was once referred to as “adult onset: diabetes, but is now seen in ever incrrasing numbers of  cases in children), largely because for most of those thirty three years I subsisted on a diet of fast food, meat and potatoes, Coca-Cola, and candy bars.  I’ve spent most of the last ten years trying to clean up my eating act, but still suffered a minor stroke last December (Merry Christmas!).  Needless to say, life is a bit scary these days, because I never know when that next stroke may happen or if the Tums I took after lunch won’t really do anything to stop the myocardial infarction that I mistook for heartburn.  At least I have a decent job and, therefore, health insurance.

I guess if I lose it I could become a bank robber.



  1. tsonoda148 · June 24, 2011

    Oh my gosh, Mike, this was some powerful stuff. It’s like you wrote down MY thoughts. Wow. Good post. Your “Would you provide the fireman with your debit card information before he would turn on the hose to put out your house fire?…” statement and the rest are spot-on. Yes, thank goodness we have jobs. I am thankful every day for that. And if we lose them for some (not gonna happen!) reason, I’ll drive the getaway car.
    So glad you started blogging. You have something to say!

  2. awkwardsilence82 · June 24, 2011

    Great post. Completely agreed. When I was unemployed, I was scared to death of getting sick or requiring medical attention. Keep up the great work.

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