Saturday, October 24, 2009

healthcare reform? why? the old way is working out just fine!

how are you feeling? pretty good?

excellent. see to it you stay that way.

if you don't, the u.s. healthcare industry has lots of ways to make you feel even worse.

let's review a few, just for fun.

did you know that over 60% of the bankruptcies in this country are healthcare-related? which is to say, if you or someone in your family gets whacked with the sickness stick, there's a very real chance you'll go bankrupt. this is true -- even if you have health insurance!

i know, hilarious, right?

no, seriously: almost 80% of the folks who go bankrupt for health reasons had health insurance.

check out the business model. your customers pay you for a product that you promise to deliver "someday" when they need it most. they pay you and pay you and pay you. for years, or longer. one day they come in to your store and say, "hi, i need that product i've been paying for."

and at that point, you get to say, "mmm, maybe. or maybe i'll just deliver part of that product. or maybe i won't deliver any of it at all. i'll let you know what i decide, um, later."

is that brilliant, or what? you get the money and they get screwed. you get to invest the cash and get fabulously wealthy. and even if you make stupid, irresponsible business decisions, the government will bail you out. not to worry, though, you can still pay yourself huge bonuses.

and best of all, lots of your loyal customers actually like this arrangement. they don't don't want to change a thing! they like bankruptcy. and they call people who want a more equitable deal "socialists" or "commies" or "hitler".

truly an ingenious, uniquely american model. so tres free-market.

still, any health insurance is better than no health insurance. that's what forty-seven million americans have. zero health coverage. that's a lot of people walking around uncovered -- most of whom have no business walking around that way, if you know what i mean, and i think you do. this uncoveredness can lead to a chill, and all the bad things that invariably follow.

like death.

did you know 45,000 americans die every year because they lack health insurance? 45,000!

remember how exorcised everyone got when 2,400 americans died at pearl harbor, or when 3,000 died on 9/11? those events were appallingly bad, but check my math here: 45,000 is a lot more that 2,400 or 3,000. in fact, it's a lot more than 2,400 + 3,000.

to recap, that's 45,000 per year.

but if you put your ear to the wind, you'll hear a decided lack of howling outrage over the 45,000.

why is that, do you suppose?

because that's the way we roll. we're americans, by god, and we're fiercely independent. we pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. and we defend those who screw us over, generation after generation because, well, that's just what we do, no matter how cliched and foolish it makes us.

don't ask why, because asking why is just plain unamerican.

there's not a thing wrong with the way we do things. if people get sick, they can go to the emergency room, where they can join the countless millions too lazy to, um, stay healthy.

swine flu, anyone?

1 comment:

Fish & Bicycles said...

What you describe, along wars of choice and an obsession with gun ownership, are the sickest manifestations of the me-first American ethos married with capitalism.

And you describe so well just how deeply engrained this ethos is, an ethos many embrace even though the system is dangerous to our wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. The cost of the embrace is the loss of our humanity.

I really don't think I'm exaggerating, and when you consider just how bad this problem is, it really isn't radical to embrace something like socialism.