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The Greatest Shakedown October 5, 2009

Posted by monty in politics.
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I’m not an economist or a Constitutional scholar, so I don’t profess to know all the ins and outs of the current health care reform  debate.  That’s the main reason why I don’t really talk about it much; I don’t have the knowledge base to speak about it authoritatively.  But the more I read about it, and the more I hear it debated on TV, the more frustrated I get.  It seems to me that the ability to receive quality heath care shouldn’t be predicated upon whether or not you can afford it.  That’s really the crux of the matter.  Under the current system, health care is so insanely expensive to procure that you either have to be wealthy or have some of the cost defrayed by an employer.  If you don’t fall into either of those categories, you’re screwed, and that seems fundamentally wrong to me.

I’ve lived with asthma for most of my life, my dad has diabetes, and my mom is battling cancer yet again.  An inability to receive health care would certainly be catastrophic to my parents, and it would make my daily life a lot more interesting (and wheezy).  Where’s the logic in a system that says, in effect, “It’s a good thing you have jobs that help you pay for health care, otherwise you’d be screwed”?  Why is that in any way acceptable?  Why aren’t people rioting in the streets over this?

And yet people are essentially lining up to preserve a system that has been proven to be inefficient at best and immoral at worst.  Most of the people crying “Socialism” seem to base their problems with health care reform on a fear of big government.  Okay, but where’s the sense in simply sticking with a system that doesn’t work for so many without even exploring the efficacy of another way?  Or, simply put, what if expanding government’s role in health care actually makes things better?  Is the thought of big government so toxic that it justifies keeping millions of people uninsured and allowing costs to skyrocket even further, making health care even more unattainable?

Using a supposed fear of big government as an excuse to maintain the status quo seems inexcusable to me.  “I’m sorry you have cancer and can’t afford treatment, but the government is just too big as it is.”

But what do I know?  Even though it’s a month old, I’ll defer to an article by the always-dependable Matt Taibbi to set the record straight on how Congress has managed to fuck up virtually every facet of health care reform.

Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone, 9/3/09): Sick and Wrong: How Congress Is Screwing Up Health Care Reform – and Why it May Take a Revolt to Fix It

*****

Current listening:

PJ rid

PJ Harvey – Rid of Me

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