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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

“An Eye for an I” or “Hey Brother, Can You Spare Another Kidney?”

If the recent government shut down over the Affordable Care Act has taught us anything it’s that poor people, workers with crumby jobs, and those with preexisting conditions don’t deserve medical care except when they want to donate an organ to a rich guy. The forces of proto-fascism have been working 24 hours a day, seven days a week—coincidentally the same schedule as Fox News—to “educate” the American public on the horrors of allowing everyone into the health care tent. I’m surprised that the Heritage Foundation or the American Enterprise Institute* hasn’t floated a plan for a sort of quid pro quo health care system which offers medical services to the poor only in exchange for usable body parts. You heard it here first.

From listening to many people chiming in on this debate it seems like the most common medical condition suffered in America is an acute lack of empathy (try reading a book). The simple solution to the health care debate, according to many conservatives, is for everyone in the underclass to simply make more money. If poor people are serious about getting any kind of medical care other than that offered at the emergency room then they need to straighten up, fly right, and get a good job that offers adequate health insurance. This is actually a really good solution but unfortunately we can’t afford to send all of our poor and lower class citizens to live in Europe where everyone—even people who work at McDonald’s—has health care.

I would be the first to admit that ACA isn’t the greatest health care plan ever devised but at least it’spart of an evolution in which we have finally acknowledged that our current system is a disaster that is getting worse with every passing day. We should have adopted a single payer system used in countries with successful programs, but the Republicans didn’t want to help shape the best health care system for our country because they were too focused on trying to destroy Obama. Make no mistake, their only priority during the entire process was to make Obama a one term president. Reinventing our horribly flawed health care system wasn’t a part of their strategy nor is it now. For Republicans now to claim that they weren’t included in the plan is yet another lie in their litany of lies to the American people, just as they now blame the current government shut down on liberals.

But as I said, ACA is simply an evolution and not the solution to our health care system. What we have now is a travesty and something absolutely had to be done. Obama ran two successful presidential campaigns on this issue and then he had the fortitude to actually see ACA through to the end of the legislative process. What we need to do is to eliminate the insurance companies from our system. The billions earned by insurers don’t treat a single patient which is why we pay more and receive less for health care than any country in the world.

Now we just need to convince Republicans to change this system to a single payer plan. If they think this is their idea—and Obama opposes it—they would be more likely to support it. I’d vote Republican to adopt this type of a medical program. Of course, to do this Republicans would have to stop using the word “progressive” as a pejorative but maybe they can change. Maybe that instead of throwing a temper tantrum because they lost they can devise a real solution to our health care system. I won’t hold my breath and I would suggest that none of you hold yours for too long as conservatives could take this as a sign of death giving them the green light to harvest your organs.


*Without a doubt, my least favorite euphemism in all of the English language is to call these organizations “think tanks,” as if they are doing true investigation. A better name would be “propaganda mills” because they always begin with a conclusion and then work their way backwards to fulfill their prophecies. The liberal versions are equally as mendacious and misleading.

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree any more with this piece! ACA is a huge step forward, but sill just a step. Let's hope that the Tedcruzian party distraction has already hit its apex and we can talk sense about things like single payer system in the near term.

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