Tonight I had the example of what is wrong with my country, what I see as the flagrant cruelty inherent in the current system.
There is a company, a Texas company, that is extremely profitable and doing a booming business. This company has a strict code of conduct, policies and procedures by which an employee must abide. An employee, for example, must come to work sick. If that employee is too sick to come to work, he/she will not be allowed to return to work without a doctor's note. Regardless of severity, regardless of cause, this employee who might be suffering from a cold, experiencing a stomach virus, etc. must go to a doctor.
This from a company does not provide any health insurance to its employees.
Not only does this employee that is earning just above poverty wages lose a day's pay, the employee has to pay top dollar, in the vicinity of $100, for a doctor's visit as well as any medication that might be prescribed.
All this Tea Party and shouting about Healthcare Reform has no credibility to me.
Because supposedly it's about big government spending, spending money we don't have, adding to a deficit that our children's children will have to pay. But I didn't see one of these guys out during the bush years when we were thrown into horrendous debt with an unjustified war. Why has this become the issue du jour NOW? Why after 8 years of unprecedented spending, infringement on our civil liberties and flagrant disregard for law is this particular issue suddenly worth freakin' out about?
But to Healthcare.
This is what I want to know. Why do we have health insurance? Why are we hanging onto this industry that exists to take money from people, take a cut and then disperse the remainder to those that actually do the work?
Health insurance is a middle man.
It provides no service.
It obviously does not attempt to negotiate some stellar deal for its consumers.
It instead, takes money from people and then attempts to keep the people from which it takes money from the services they need.
It makes no sense.
It makes no sense that we cling to this system looking upon it as a life preserver in a sea awash with fear when in actuality it is an anchor to which we are clinging.
This non-service middleman not only takes our money, it determines who will get service and who will be denied.
It determines how long they will allow you to use this non-service middleman, which correlates directly with your health.
If you are healthy, you get it.
If you are not, you don't.
And this is the system to which we cleave?
And we wonder why people think we are ridiculous?
Why other countries who LIVE the healthcare systems they have adopted are stunned by our swallowing of the misinformation perpetuated by those with the most to lose should we actually decide to do the right thing and get a single payer system.
The insurance companies and those heavily invested in them.
I have experienced nationalized healthcare as a citizen and as a non-citizen. The service is exemplary, the efficiency is top notch, the cost more than reasonable.
But nothing, NOTHING, can begin to describe the sheer relief, the burden lifting exhale that comes from knowing that you will pay either nothing or an amount completely and totally affordable. The stress one experiences here following an injury or a bout of illness is difficult to fathom.
Every day, you await the bills.
The bill from the doctor, the hospital, the anesthesiologist, radiologist, the lab, etc.
Add this to the office visits, the medications, all the additional stuff depending on what it is that you are suffering from.
We put this burden on SICK/ILL people!
People who are no where near 100%, people suffering, hurting, missing work, unable to do daily activities, enduring any number of other things that life throws at them.
I listened in stunned silence as well people shouted at a wheelchair bound woman asking if this woman had more rights than them?
I don't believe that we are like this. I believe that some people are like this. But I don't believe the majority of us are like this. If so, why do we step up so big time for those in crisis? Those in need?
No, I won't believe that people are like this now.
I think they are angry.
I get that.
I believe that they are angry that their party let them down.
That their party gave them no choices against Obama.
And that they were beaten.
And now bits and pieces of policy are twisted and morphed into scary images of government controlled everything with us wearing gray flannel accepting our lives of rationing and misery.
I listen to rush, hannity, savage, beck, etc.
And every single one of them is on the twist and shout bus.
Twist a story and shout it from your platform as much and as intensely as possible.
With each of these guys saying the same thing with their own particular spin, I can see how the average listener, with their anger and frustration at being marginalized and disregarded, begins to take this as gospel. I mean, if you hear one person say something, and then another but in a different way with a different perspective, and then another...you begin to believe it. You begin to believe that the country is on the verge of complete collapse. That your country has been hijacked. That the life that you have known will disappear. It is inevitable that people would begin to freak out.
I find it irresponsible. I am all for different perspectives being reflected in opinion. I don't want to just hear my point of view being regurgitated back at me. We are all different with different ideas. But there are certain things that we need to abide by. We need to abide by the truth. You cannot, for instance, say that Joe Wilson was right because Obama has a back room deal going on regarding amnesty for illegal immigrants which will allow the new citizens access to healthcare. That's the lamest justification I have heard. The guy screamed "You Lie" to the President of the United States.
It's not the same as booing.
You can boo an idea.
But something so personalized, so pointed and so incorrect, does no deserve to be justified. You detract from your argument by justifying bad behavior. Especially since the guy apologized and then turned around and said that he wasn't sorry.
In my opinion, it is time to do away with health insurance.
If you haven't read the Rolling Stone article "Sick and Wrong" by Matt Taibbi, you need to stop reading this and go read that.
It is a seven page gut wrencher.
I want to believe that it being a slow news period that every single smidge of news is exaggerated and blown into a weird distortion all for ratings.
I want to believe that Obama is playing the cool card. The no drama, unruffle-able, calm leader of the free world.
I want to believe that the democrats will break from history and unite with purpose and strength with one objective - to get this done. And to get it done properly.
But every single word in that article rang true to me. Every penny in the coffer of the representatives and senators from the entities fighting reform was a nail in the coffin of its demise. I believe we will not only get squat, I believe we will see the destruction of a brilliant opportunity squandered. Squandered and sullied.
No other president has been given this kind of an opportunity. The opportunity to completely change peoples' lives. To alleviate the family destroying, financially collapsing, stress inspiring thing that is our current healthcare system. The system that systematically purges the sickest of the sick in order to balloon their profit margin.
We cannot, WE CANNOT expect a for profit entity to care about anything other than PROFIT. It is ridiculous.
It is pathetic.
It makes me so angry that our vote for change, our vote for sweeping reform and a shift of our citizens consciousness away from the egocentric and to the external - to those that need a hand up - that as a community we all benefit when we raise others up - is being denied. There is nothing idealistic or unrealistic about it.
We came together and we said we insist on a change.
We are done with business as usual.
We voted them in, they didn't deliver and they were purged.
This can and will happen to you if you do not REPRESENT the people that placed you in this position.
Single payer was the only real chance we had at fixing our broken system.
And it was taken off the table before the fight even began.
"We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace: business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering," President Franklin Roosevelt told an audience in Madison Square Garden in 1936. "They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me and I welcome their hatred."
As he told his audience in 1936, "It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them."