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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Someone Else's Idea!: On Socialized Healthcare

Stolen from a conversation on An eloquent response to a dumbass response to this article about health insurance providers:

Insurance companies have to take in at least as much as they pay out. There is no free lunch, and medical costs are going up. If you don't like your policy, cancel it.

/has spent over $300,000 on medical bills.


Cagey B: Priceless. The person who had three hundred grand to shell out on medical bills telling us about "no free lunch".

We in the United States live in a system where we have no problem letting the government police our cities, fight our fires, keep our planes from falling out of the sky, build our gigantic freeways, prosecute our wars, and countless other things that profoundly affect our day-to-day lives and, you know, keep us from dying.

But when it comes to medical care? We seriously believe that you judge a person's right to treatment for serious illnesses based on their bank account. We have no problem with the premise of "No money? Well then you can die."

How fortunate for you that you could shell out that sum on needed medical services (unless it was cosmetic surgery, in which case you can go DIAF right now). If you hadn't that sum of money, by your very own admission, you wouldn't be allowed access to those services. Hopefully someone would come and tell you "no free lunch" as your tumor grows.

You understand that there are vital services in this country that are done by the government because either there is no way to turn a profit and do a satisfactory job, or because profit should not be the main motivating factor in providing services, right? Unless you're truly one of those assholes who thinks the police should privatized, you understand that you are part of a larger society, right?

So, unless you want what is in effect a system where the poor can go die because of the fact they are poor, there must be at the very least some sort of government intervention here. Perhaps preventing someone in the insurance industry from effectively not serving the people who are in actual need of the services that they have agreed to pay for every month, perhaps that would be a good start.

You may very well want a system in which poor people die simply by dint of the fact that they weren't rich enough. And before anyone else chimes in on this one, medical services, especially to people who, you know, get sick, are not some frivolous consumer good that can be done without. No one is saying that everyone gets to drive a Mercedes, or gets to have a 50" television. But the right to not suffer and die simply because of class should be one that we recognize. If you are one of those people, I'm done talking to you. You will not be reached, and refuse to live up to any of the responsibilities (and yes, as a member and beneficiary of society you do have them) to your State. Go move to Somalia, rugged individual.

For the rest of the conservative types, surely you recognize that there are at least some essential government services, necessary to life and limb. Medical care is one of those things that we need to have if our lives aren't to be cut shorter in the face of the resources to do otherwise.

If you're concerned about government intrusion, as this administration has shown you to rightly be, why not do something about it? Instead of being intractably against it, why not be a part of the planning process?

Are you concerned about cost overruns? You should be, taxpayer resources are vitally important and should be treated with respect. There are ways to make financial workings transparent, with proper oversight, to make sure waste and fraud don't occur. I can think of many Republicans who would be very good at functioning within a health care system and ensuring that money goes where it should.

Are you concerned about the quality of care? Again, get involved. Set standards. Hold doctors and administrators accountable. Keep up the oversight. Make sure that patients get the quality of care they deserve. It can be done. There are areas for compromise here. There are ways to harness the power of existing companies within an existing framework, even.

But man. What is currently going on, and the growing number of people's lives who are negatively affected and ruined by this situation, it is not acceptable by any standards. ANYONE'S standards. I sincerely hope that in time, our Republican and conservative friends can see this.

New List!: Best Modern Westerns

For no reason other than I like making random lists of unimportant shit, and in no particular order, here is a list of some of my favorite Westerns of the new millennium:

- Seraphim Falls
- The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
- The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
- 3:10 to Yuma
- Brokeback Mountain
- Down in the Valley*
- Dear Wendy**
- The Proposition
- No Country For Old Men

* Desert landscapes, horses, guns, shootouts with law enforcement and a cowboy. Can't think of any other qualifiers.
**A western-ish mining town, guns, cowboy-ish folk in a shootout reminiscent of the OK Coral. Close enough, right?