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Saturday, March 7, 2009

gezondheidszorg systeem

There's been much whining over a number of years from every ideological point of view over our what most would call the health care system here in the United States. The most common flanks from which our embattled system is attacked aren't too far askew from those that attack pretty much anything else in America that doesn't vigorously serve out heapings of helpings from it's largess to those who didn't earn it and don't deserve it. Just for fun, let's examine a few of the popular ways to either attack, or defend our nations health care system.

Blame: Someone is to blame. Someone is always to blame. But it's not me--can't be me. But, I'm gonna be mad, because man, I'm owed something. People blame law makers for not regulating health care to the point that you have to fill out three sheets of paper, which must be approved, routed through central files, forgotten, disapproved, appealed, and then re-signed just to gain access to the forms which must be filled out in triplicate and will eventually grant you access to the insurance forms that you don't need. Law makers blame other law makers because they're in the opposite party, which clearly is the party not regulating enough, or was it too much, shit I can't remember--probably both. Disenfranchised Americans (Disenfranchised, by the way, is a PC word that means, "The extremely loud bitchy people who are too lazy to take any initiative to make things better, other than to bitch very loudly and call themselves 'disenfranchised'.") blame insurance companies because they're huge, have all the money, and have never paid any claim ever. (All the disenfranchised people watch 'The Rain Maker' a lot.) Insurance companies blame lawyers for their incessant malpractice suits on behalf of everyone who hurt themselves trying to save their neighbor's cat from being swept down a storm drain (They should know better because man, it's gone.) and wasn't happy with the color of the Band-Aid they received. Lawyers blame their clients because clearly all these people independently figured out to sue their doctor over the mesotheleoma (or however the fuck you spell it) they may have had from having driven past that asbestos farm (Does asbestos come from a farm?) 10 years ago without seeing 75 lawyer adds on TV every 6 hours to possibly, dare I say possibly, plant that litigious idea in their heads. And, who do Doctors blame? All of the above! Plus, they hate that whinny bitch JD on Scrubs, but everyone hates him.

Let's compare. Ah yes, the only way to quantify the quality of something unquantifiable under the existing laws of God and nature is to compare it to something of someone else's (For the record, I have never compared my 'something' to the 'something' of someone else, but if I did, mine would be huge). Whatever side you're on, it doesn't matter, the easiest way to make your case for, or against our health care system is to compare it to that of someone else. Our system can either be, A: Clearly inferior and likened unto the middle ages compared to the health care system in Norway. The fact that Norwegians pay something like 110% of their income in taxes and have a habit of killing themselves at rate commensurate with the plague is of no matter. Or, B: A whole hell of a lot better than the health services available in Darfur, where the life expectancy is somewhere around 42.5 minutes.

Remember when? If the two methods described above prove insufficient to either deride, or glorify our health care, you can always support your argument by reminiscing. This is also the method of the true artist. At some time in our past, either in this universe, or a parallel one that you made up, the nation's standards of health care were far worse, or far better than they are now. Plus, as a bonus, you get to throw in the blame and comparisons available at the time, which just sweetens this to no end. You could say that while in 1690, as the American colonists were dying of starvation and rampant disease, their infant mortality rate was far better than that of the Indians that kept giving them pieces of corn. You would of course be wrong, but it's so far back that no one is really going to check your facts anyway, so go nuts.

Putting all that aside, let me tell you the real problem with health care in America: Rights, or the perception of them. The term 'rights to health care' have been prevalent in stump speeches by every politician at almost any level of government for at least ten years. “I'm going to secure the health care that you deserve.” “I'll see to it that every American will see their rights to quality health care come to fruition.” And that, ladies and gentleman, is the problem. People think health care is a right. It's not.

Health care is in collection of technologies developed and sold as a means of profit by an industry. There are lots of products and services today that fit that description--and you don't have an inalienable right to any of them. Do you have the right to an MRI? 20 years ago they didn't exist. What about an X-ray? Those weren't around until 1895. Did people have a right to them before that, or after? You have the right to health care in the same manner you have a right to eat organic food. You have the right to buy it. Which means you have the right to make your way through life, making choices that put you in a financial position to pay for health care; either buy paying for insurance, or just paying the doctor like they did in 1985. Or, you can spend your money on pornography; incidentally not a bad choice either.

So, you want health care? Obtain it the way you obtain a tube of toothpaste or a magnum condom: buy it with your money, and quit telling me it's my fault that an alcoholic can't have a fucking liver transplant because he can't hold a job.

©Raymond Smith- 2009

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