Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A little bit of frustration

There's a lot of talk concerning health care reform going on in the world right now. I'm happy about that. I like the discussion that is happening. I like that people are thinking in new ways. I think the cooperative effort that we're seeing is what is needed in this world.

I don't like the push back from the status quo.

Currently, the health care industry is spending around one and a half million dollars *per day* just in extra lobbying efforts against real health care reform. That's not counting the regular lobbying they do, or the direct to consumer marketing, or all the perks and schmoozing that they keep with in their little group (like a drug company sponsoring resort conferences for doctors, e.g). And then there's the huge waste in other areas of medicine, like the 25-30 cents on the dollar that insurance companies spend on administrative costs. I know there's plenty to complain about in government waste, but when the government medical plans spend 12-15% in administrative costs, I think we need to applaud them and try to get business to follow the government's model a bit closer. And for the sake of my blood pressure, I won't even start talking about executive pay and what utter BS that expenditure has become.

Why is it that some people feel their right to profits exceeds the US citizens' right to affordable, accessible health care? Why do we feel that free market capitalism is the be-all, end-all of quality and wonderfulness? Especially when of late, we have seen exactly how horribly it can fail.

There are just some areas that should not be left to self-indulgent, profiteering entrepreneurs. Some aspects of our economy are too important to let greed ruin them. Every once in a while, we realize that people have rights too. Not just the right to make a profit, but the right to a basic education, health care, safe housing, adequate food, and a clean environment. Those things aren't luxuries, although there are plenty in the US that appear to think they are. Unfortunately, in our current system, there are far too many people for whom those things are luxuries; ones they can't afford.

For those people, I'll do some kicking and screaming. I'll make my voice heard in support of them, help them make a louder noise, or any noise at all. I'm OK with being a thorn in someone's side for them. Because I have been one of them. I come from them. I know them, love them, and see them every day. Not just in the abstract, but as family and friends. I am them. Admit it, you know them too. We all do. So let's fight with them, and when they can't fight, let's fight for them. "There but for fortune, go you or go I" is a song lyric that I love. It's true. We can make all the noise we want about self-made people, or hard work, or any of the other euphemisms for "you get what you deserve." But none of that is true, and I think deep down we know it. The US is full of luck- good and ill. Some people get good luck that don't deserve it, and others that deserve better get crappy luck. But we all deserve these basics.

Remember two other phrases, if you could. "It rains on the deserving and the undeserving equally" and "A society is judged by how it treats the least among it." Let's start showing the world that US should be judged positively, eh?

Oh, and vote for Haymaker!

1 comment:

  1. I can't seem to get a link to post here, but MN Atheist Talk Radio recently had an interview with Pigliucci where he put forward some ideas on capitalism/socialism. Not all that enlightening, but still interesting. Try a search on Google.