I just received an email forward and I have to get a reply out. All forwarded emails I receive are usually forwarded to the great circular receptacle in the sky, but this time the email subject line tricked me into delaying my flick of the delete button. Basically, the email suggested that Obama and Congress were trying to do something evil by instituting health care reform and that people should start a revolt to prevent it. Why we don’t need to revolt against the current horrible state of health care in this country is not addressed.
I’m simply stunned by the amount of uninformed opinions on the health care debate that I’ve heard from folks…usually the very people who would benefit most from any reform. Even worse, several of them have demonstrated a basic lack of civics knowledge. Yes, taxpayers will have to pay for any government health care initiatives. Here’s a little secret for you, tax payers pay for everything the government does. Where else do you think the money comes from? How can I take your opinion on health care reform seriously if you don’t even understand that?
Here’s the email reply I started to type before I thought better of engaging in an email forward based thread:
Yes, I’m sure the 47 Million people in this country who have no health insurance would be horrified if they were able to take care of themselves or their children. That would be horrible! Unpaid medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in this country, but I’m sure those hard working people aren’t interested in government coming to their aid.
The government should not be involved with health care, which is why I think Medicare should be stopped immediately! Why are we paying for all of these senior citizens to get treatment? I mean, the huge corporations that run Health Care are out there looking out for our best interests. Those CEOs flying around the world in private jets are our defenders, not those Representatives (ha!) in congress. I mean, I’m sure that when the health insurance companies use rescission techniques to stop people from getting cancer treatment because they made a typo on their application, they are really looking out for our best interests. The guy who couldn’t get cancer treatments because he didn’t mention his acne treatments on his application? That guy deserved it! The huge health insurance corporations and their lobbyists have our best interests at heart, not Obama and the government!
The large health care companies in this country have huge departments whose sole purpose is to deny hard working people who paid their premiums the health care they deserve. Why are we so worried about Obama and congress, but we don’t worry about them?
The healthcare debate in this country is very important and very complex. I’m not sure if a single payer system is the right thing to do. We should have that discussion intelligently and with consideration for all arguments. Beware of anyone who tries to simplify it down to "just trust the mega corporations, they love us!" There are lots of great articles on sites like nytimes.com (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/), New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/08/29/050829fa_fact) and many other sites. Here’s a quote from the New Yorker article:
Americans spend $5,267 per capita on health care every year, almost two and half times the industrialized world’s median of $2,193; the extra spending comes to hundreds of billions of dollars a year. What does that extra spending buy us? Americans have fewer doctors per capita than most Western countries. We go to the doctor less than people in other Western countries. We get admitted to the hospital less frequently than people in other Western countries. We are less satisfied with our health care than our counterparts in other countries. American life expectancy is lower than the Western average. Childhood-immunization rates in the United States are lower than average. Infant-mortality rates are in the nineteenth percentile of industrialized nations. Doctors here perform more high-end medical procedures, such as coronary angioplasties, than in other countries, but most of the wealthier Western countries have more CT scanners than the United States does, and Switzerland, Japan, Austria, and Finland all have more MRI machines per capita. Nor is our system more efficient. The United States spends more than a thousand dollars per capita per year—or close to four hundred billion dollars—on health-care-related paperwork and administration, whereas Canada, for example, spends only about three hundred dollars per capita. And, of course, every other country in the industrialized world insures all its citizens; despite those extra hundreds of billions of dollars we spend each year, we leave forty-five million people without any insurance.
Those huge health insurance companies want to protect their profits, so we’re going to here a lot of crazy talk as this debate continues. I think it’s important to make sure that we not let them dominate the conversation. Let’s hear logical arguments for both sides and approach things with an open mind. If you have a link to an informative article in favor of the status quo, please post it in my comments, I’d love to read it. The scare mongering and uninformed braying of people against their own self-interest and the best interest of most hard working people I have zero interest in.