Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"But Mom, All the Cool Countries Are Doing It.!!!" Part 1

Ok, so with all the hubbub over Obama's healthcare plan, I figured now is as good a time as any to discuss it. Regardless of how you feel about a universal health care system, you cannot deny that our system needs reform. Yes, I am a socialist through and through. I fully support a universal health care (See Wikipedia for basics) system. However, I still don't think the U.S. is ready for one yet. (This government is far too incompetent, as we saw with our last [cough] leader. He tried. Failed horribly-- but that's what we get for putting a frat boy on top and giving him the most idiotic groupies we could find to decide what he should do.)

Everyone is entitled to the same healthcare. Should a rich frat boy who partied his liver into hell be more entitled to a liver transplant than a poor little girl born with a genetic disorder, simply because he can pay for it? It is not her fault she was born into poverty, nor his that he was born into wealth. However, there is all too obviously an unequal distribution of wealth - so why shouldn't our government be responsible? You know that little word in the Constitution? The one that comes after "promote the general"? You know - "welfare"? The one that refers to the general well-being of all Americans-- regardless of creed, status, "race,", etc-- and is part of the basis of our entire government system? Yea, that one. Guess what? Being healthy is a welfare concern!I am not denying that there are problems with such a system - especially in a capitalist nation. However, it has been done, it can be done, and it can work.

Let's take a look at the facts, shall we?
- In ALL industrialized countries except for the US-- ALL of the best healthcare systems in the world (see Denmark, Sweden, hell even China.) are universal systems. And guess what? THEY WORK! [gasp!] China has the largest population in the world, yet they strive to provide health care to every single citizen and make the best use out of what they have. Why don't we?
- Medicare & Medicaid suck. (This includes the CHIP program, They cover a small percentage from a large population, and barely cover any procedures or medications (The prescription plan is VERY limited.)
- Insurance companies really only want healthy people - it's how they make their money! (Just like how banks want us in debt, these companies feed off of the money we put in, while minimizing the money they put out.) The same goes for hospitals - sick and dying people are a liability.
- Over 3 million Americans are currently without health insurance (and I will soon be among those numbers.) A vast majority of college graduates are without insurance.
- Many health issues Americans face (including obesity, heart disease, and certain cancers) can be avoided or at least reduced through prevention programs.
- Most insurance companies do not cover mental illness - which can be just as serious as physical illness, and can sometimes be treated with medical procedures.
- Lack of insurance costs the American people and the healthcare system much more than if those people were insured.

I truly believe that the system has lost sight of its priorities. Since when has healthcare been about the money? I really was under the impression that it was about caring for and treating those with physical and mental ailments, not about making $4 million a year so you can afford your 4th summer home in Greece. When the sick and dying are left in the middle of nowhere because hospitals decided a taxi to hell was cheaper than treating an uninsured person-- we have a problem. When the poor die from simple infections because they can't even afford to buy a few doses of penicillin - we have a problem. We as a people have a problem. This (for once) is not about "survival of the fittest" (being poor doesn't have a damn thing to do with genes, and even evolution can't save us from all sickness. In fact, it's what keeps us sick - mutation of bacteria into resistant super-bugs.) or charity work - it's about taking care of our own!

(Stay tuned for a continuation in Part 2.)

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