Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Enough is Enough

Years ago my mother was convinced that Medicare would turn the USA into a communist country. Now, at 91, she uses it gratefully. My recently deceased father-in-law was the same; swore Medicare would make us all communists, but then swore by it when it helped extend his life to 90.

I, on the other hand, spent one year with minimal health care. Fortunately, I was able to change jobs in 1984 to obtain adequate health insurance for my family. I had a disabled daughter and flimsy medical coverage that paid for little of her care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Luckily, I was able to find a job with a good private health care plan. Millions, however, are unable to obtain any health care and are sick or dying as a result. They would be well served to have a national health program as an option.

Where are the outcries about deaths caused by a society unwilling to see that everyone has health care? Where is the outrage about the needless suffering of so many fellow Americans?

Why aren’t the radicals out there screaming “murder” when a young uninsured woman dies of cancer? Or when a middle aged uninsured man dies of kidney disease? Where is the hype to stop “murdering” so many of our uninsured citizens? The private sector insurance business has failed these people miserably while some private insurance executives have rolled big time in the money we pay as premiums. It is time to try something different.

We spend more on health care now than any nation in the world, yet rank 37th out of 191 countries in health care according to the World Health Organization. Canadians outlive Americans by two years, despite all of the American criticisms about socialized medicine. True, we are better service providers and insurers for certain specialty diseases than any other country. But then, aren’t we smart enough to overhaul the system so it is accessible to all, yet retain our excellent specialty care? Aren’t we obligated to do just that if we are, as we claim, the most moral country on Earth?

The time is now to act outrageously indignant that any American anywhere would shout out against giving another American a fair chance at life saving health care. I am fed up with ignorant people rudely interrupting health care town hall meetings geared to helping tweak the President’s health care plan. Those of us in favor of the plan, including myself, are screaming back: “Haters, move out of the way. We want good health care now for all Americans. We will not be stopped by your ignorance.”


  1. Maleeper, that is well put -- your comment about how vocal opponents eventually leave their opposition behind is a predictable model for social progress. You can't expect 100% agreement on even the worthiest or most obviously needed reforms. If that were the model, nothing would ever get done -- the South would still be segregated, and so forth. Yet I've noticed that media types -- including those on the progressive side -- tend to adopt this "my god the sky is falling! somebody opposes reform!" attitude. If you give in to it, you will become weak and simply abandon your goals.

    Many citizens seem capable of learning only by positive experience; prior to that experience, their interpretation of people and events is largely shaped by ignorance, bias, and fear.

  2. Excellent post,maleeper. Yes, indeed, where is the outrage over the needless deaths by the purported "lifers"?
    Without real substance to back up their claims, the screamers will eventually burn out.
    I think Obama's meeting in New Hampshire was more representative of what the majority of Americans are really concerned about.

  3. Piggybacking onto what bloggingdino said with regard to the South and desegregation:

    Where are the churches, temples, mosques in this fight? We haven't heard [I haven't] a word from them. Yet they represent themselves as institutions that support justice and Christian or other religious attitudes toward the poor, the underprivileged, the underserved.

    And yet we hear or see no signs of any organized religion promoting health reform. Why are they on the sidelines if, for example, the Christian religions espouse the teachings of Christ:

    Jesus on Healthcare: "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers that you do unto me also"
    Matthew 25:31-46:

  4. I never expected that moth eaten, flyblown specter of Socialism to live as long as it has and terrify people the way it does, but the "I've got mine and screw you" mentality still rules undiminished.

    It doesn't hurt that IGMSY is on the corporate payroll though, because we'd all be aware that health insurance profits have risen over 400% during the Bush Corporatocracy, while health care costs have doubled and while the number of uninsured rose by 20%. The number of disallowed claims has risen by 15% and so have bankruptcies and the number of people dying from treatable illnesses.

    Can we count the blow to entrepreneurship of the millions of people who can't afford to start a business because they can't afford to lose what coverage they have?

    We might be more aware if those companies didn't spend some of their $14 billion annual profits shouting down the voice of the people.

    Wendell Potter, a former executive with health insurer Cigna who now works as the senior fellow on health care at the Center for Media and Democracy reported on the Rachel Maddow show Monday that such companies are indeed behind the campaign of lies and hooliganism.

    It's long past time to give up the Reaganite paranoia and realize that wolves don't have the best interests of sheep in mind.

  5. Shaw,

    That stuns me too. Jesus certainly wasn't the profit motive prophet and telling people to give up all they owned and go heal the sick doesn't seem to have anything to do with the phony "christian principles" people tell you our country is all about.

    Time was that Socialism was seen to be a Christian virtue and communities based on that used to be all over America.

  6. An excellent post that puts a human face on healthcare reform. Here is another. Some old and dear personal friends were driving to Jacksonville and visited me for the weekend. Their destination: The Mayo Clinic. She has a treatable cancer. Before they left Monday morning, the Mayo Clinic called on their cell phone. In turns of out, their insurance carrier had not approved the diagnostic tests that were scheduled. I am writing a post now about this experience. Look for it in a few days.

    The audacity of the liars like INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY (IBD) that posted this correction to an article alleging “end-of-life” counseling (which they characterize as: “Bye, bye, Grandma. Time for you to go”):

    Editor's Note: This version corrects the original editorial which implied that physicist Stephen Hawking, a professor at the University of Cambridge, did not live in the UK.”

    What the liars from IBD didn’t say in their correction notice was that this paragraph was ALSO removed from their editorial (note: the paragraph was captured by Daily Kos BEFORE the liars at IBD got a chance to delete it):

    People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.”

    Here is the truth according to Stephen Hawking in his own words:

    I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS," he told us. "I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived."

    There is a conspiracy of liars, and everyone on Wall Street is part of it. Figures!

  7. 8PUS, I'd like to put your above comment up as a post on my site. Is that okay with you?

  8. Of course ... unless you can wait for the full diatribe which will be finished in a day or two.

  9. What methods did Jesus use to heal the sick?

    How much did it cost him to use those methods?

  10. Oh, that guy! Always healing lepers, casting out devils, and raising the dead without a license -- no wonder the Romans (ever efficient bureaucrats) couldn't stand the man. I don't think he would get pre-authorization for any of his favorite procedures....

  11. No - whoa - just a minute - is this dude suggesting that Jesus lived with the poor and healed the sick only because it didn't cost him anything and would have told people to die and decrease the surplus population if in increased his taxes one Sheckel?? Please tell me I'm wrong and I misread this because I'm about to decide that American Christianity is a refuge for the criminally insane and pathologically dishonest wing of the stupidest people who ever lived party. . .

  12. Jesus did not give anyone medicine, nor perform surgery, nor operated a hospital or clinic, nor paid anyone else to do the same.

    He healed people simply by saying that they are healed.

    Are any of you implying that we should administer health care exactly the way Jesus did?

  13. I believe Capt. Fogg's point was that consistent Christians ought to consider health care a moral imperative and therefore should favor something like a universal access initiative; the point isn't that all doctors should go around doing stuff for free but rather that we ought not put the profit margins of big pharma and the insurance above all else. It's a straightforward point.

  14. Kind of reminds me of Evangelist Jim Bakker's last miracle: He took a blind man ... made him penniless.

  15. Jennifer,

    My how easily sickened and disgusted you are! It is not clear to me who this "you" is that you are addressing -- how do you presume to know what anyone else on this site does or does not believe by way of religion, unless they explicitly say one way or another? And who says you're the only one who gets to interpret Scripture?

    Or does religion consist, for you, simply in having exclusive access to a text that allows you to say whatever you want without facing any criticism from others for the interpretations you make, whether those interpretations be charitable or not? I should hope not. I have taught plenty of religious texts with great admiration and perhaps even some erudition over the years; do not presume to know more about the subject than I. Your post itself shows precious little of the charity enjoined by Christ himself, whose main teaching was simply "love one another."

    Perhaps you weren't even addressing me because I don't see any Bible quotes in my own posts over the last few days, and in fact I'm very friendly towards believers in general (having frequently defended religion here). But no matter -- if you cannot post anything better than undirected rants based on victim psychology, I will delete them. If you count yourself a Christian, kindly do not be so faint of heart as to be always playing the victim but simply and calmly stand up for what you believe in. Milton wrote of his contemporaries, "I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue...." -- i.e. one that was fearful of and hostile towards the views of others.

    And what exactly is your view on health care access? Couldn't tell from your post.

  16. Religion must be something like sunburn. Touch it and they scream notice it and they get angry.

    This is a country where selling the idea that this is a Christian country based on Christian principles is one of the largest commercial endeavors and yet we are a country that is based on "it's my money, I earned it and nobody has a claim on it."

    I find that disturbing and self contradictory and I'm sorry if you think that's an attack on Christianity, but it obviously isn't. What it is, is an attack on hypocrisy; the same kind of attack as Jesus was wont to make.

    Christianity, in any of it's multifarious forms, is not something you put on like makeup and if Jesus were still any part of it, it wouldn't be about bludgeoning people with one's attachment to money and security and tribalism and calling it religion.

    Jesus didn't hang around with smug respectable, middle class conservatives, now did he? He didn't tell you the Good Samaritan was a damned bleeding heart liberal, did he?

    I don't recall ever having attacked Christianity, only people who play it like a monopoly game. In fact I maintain I've never met a Christian. I have no interest in anyone's "faith" but only in what they do and what they force others to do or not do because of it.

    People who are comfortable with allowing sick people to die because it might be "socialism" to help them, aren't Christians. People who allow others to die because it might erode someone's God given mandate to make a profit aren't Christians and most of all people who try to tell me they need not, as a Christian, do anything for the poor and sick and helpless because we don't have magic powers and it would cost money aren't Christians or Jews or Muslims or Buddhists and for all I know Hindu either.

  17. Anger begets anger, violence begets violence. Even in the digital world of Cyberspace, one can sense the adrenaline rush of others and get caught up in our own adrenaline ... yes ... this too is what connects us, and we do this unaware of ourselves.

    What disturbs me the most right now is how this healthcare debate has poisoned the well of civil discourse and polarized the country. I can never forgive the corporations and their lobbyists who fomented civil disorder for cynical and base motives, but I do forgive those who got caught up in this ugly spectacle unaware of where this would lead us ... most especially our dear and loyal friends.

  18. I've yet to see a kind word turn away religious wrath but still I can't find a kind word for the idea that one can't discuss Christianity, Christian literature and Christian history and even Jesus unless one self-styles as a Christian. Would anyone say that I can't really understand the Shayt en Duad or the story of Ra and Isis without believing it's all true? What then of any discussion of dynastic Egyptian culture? Off limits?

    I'm sorry, I don't buy into this kind of special pleading by special people.

    I would dare to bet that I've read much more widely that the average Sunday school zealot and in a forum where people exchange opinions and criticize them, the idea that one party's opinions are off limits just because they are or they believe is out of place and of course as polarizing as it's possible to be.

  19. This is a country where selling the idea that this is a Christian country based on Christian principles is one of the largest commercial endeavors and yet we are a country that is based on "it's my money, I earned it and nobody has a claim on it."
    Explain why that attitude is wrong if it is factually correct.

    People who are comfortable with allowing sick people to die because it might be "socialism" to help them, aren't Christians.

    Refusing to use artificial means to extend one's life is not the same as killing them.

    A terminally ill person has the right to refuse life extending treatment. That is much different than a terminally ill person putting a pistol inside the mouth and pulling the trigger.

    "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you." Guess what movie that quote is from.
    people who try to tell me they need not, as a Christian, do anything for the poor and sick and helpless because we don't have magic powers and it would cost money aren't Christians or Jews or Muslims or Buddhists and for all I know Hindu either.
    What is stopping Jesus from using magic powers to give us magic powers? He is God, you know.

    Jesus never paid anyone's medical bills, nor gave anyone medicine, nor performed surgery, nor did X-rays or mammograms. You can hardly fault his followers for following His example.

  20. Michael,

    "Jesus never paid anyone's medical bills, nor gave anyone medicine ..."

    Yes, any sane person could and would fault that kind of statement. We don't live in a pre-tech world anymore. You seem to think it's good to replace rational thought with magical thinking. I sort of like magical thinking sometimes, but not when I'm on an operating table, if that's what you're getting at. My patience with this line of utterance is at an end and I'll bow out with this remark.

  21. Klopf, klopf, schei├če passiert.

  22. "What is stopping Jesus from using magic powers to give us magic powers? He is God, you know"

    No he isn't and neither is anyone else - and you're arguing with phantoms of your own creation which is probably why you make no sense at all.


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