I started this post to say I’d just checked my Walk to Rivendell mileage sheet. I actually only have the last two 150-ish mile bits of Aragorn’s journey to complete for all the outward-bound stuff. I’ll finish that this /year/! But then I got dragged in another direction, which may be largely preaching to the choir. Perhaps I’ll put it behind a cut tag, to spare the masses.
As a derisive socialist feminist atheist, I would like to say with no irony what-so-ever, God bless these people: Progressive Religious Groups Line Up Behind Obama On Health Care: “Members [will be arguing] the moral and religious imperative of providing “inclusive, accessible” health care coverage and the need for a civil discourse about the issue, says Jim Wallis of the progressive Christian group Sojourners, one of the coalition sponsors. (Hat-tip to suricattus for the link.)
And while I’m on the topic of praising those who believe different things than I do without being *morons*, let me also mention I am an American conservative shitheel, a self-titled piece by someone who went on to say “”This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US department of energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the national weather service of the national oceanographic and atmospheric administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the national aeronautics and space administration…” (hat-tip to A Bodenstown Perspective for the link.)
And since I seem to be doing a bit of political link salad here, a look at how We’ve Been Trapped Inside a Bad Health Care System So Long, We Don’t Even Know How Much We’re Missing. (hat-tip to my dad for the link.)
The Daily Kos had a story recently about losing health insurance by going to the hairdresser.
There’s another article somebody linked to recently that I didn’t bookmark, apparently, the gist of which is “Face it, folks, you as taxpayers are already paying for the uninsured, because somebody has to pay those bills. You just aren’t actively aware of it.” The numbers the article had suggested that without a nationalized health care plan, tax payers were paying something like double the costs for emergency care than they would be for a health care plan that would permit people the opportunity for preventative care instead of post-trauma care. Wish I had the article.
I’m currently living in a country which has socialized health care. The Irish, by and large, cannot grasp why Americans would move to Ireland. If we cite health care as one of the reasons, it’s not unlike dropping into Swahili as if we expected it to be their native tongue. This is because they feel their health care system is *crap*, and really, as far as I can tell, compared to many European countries, it is.
But compared to having no health care in America, it’s golden. I mean, we decided to move to Ireland for lots of reasons, including the adventure of it, but health care was one of the reasons. I’m a full time writer. That’s not a job that comes with insurance (Rachel Caine discussed this recently). Ted’s a chef. The insurance we were offered through his company in Anchorage was more than we could afford: the co-pay was so high we wouldn’t have been able to pay the mortgage, much less the other bills. This is literally inconceivable to the Irish. They cannot imagine losing their homes over medical bills. They cannot imagine being effectively dumped back in the street the moment the bleeding’s stopped because they have no health care insurance. They think it only reasonable that when Ted broke his arm, he paid nothing to have it set and checked up on, and just flat-out can’t grasp that our former housemate Shaun had ended up with, I forget now, eighteen or something thousand dollars in medical bills after *he* broke /his/ arm badly in college. They’re quite certain America has the best health care in the world, which is probably true, if you can afford it. I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to move *back* to America, because without some kind of guaranteed health care, we can’t afford the possibility of catastrophe. I find that frustrating and sad.
My parents were trying to remember when the whole question of *needing* health insurance came into play. It’s a scam, of course; the whole system is a scam, based on conflated prices, over-worked (though God knows I won’t say over-paid, because I know too many of them) doctors, skyrocketing malpractice suits, and sales of outrageously priced and frequently unnecessary prescription drugs. Based on the insurance companies being for-profit, taking money in while trying not to let any go out. It’s a desperate situation for people just trying to *live*: it means living in fear, even if it’s not a constant nagging worry, that if something disastrous happens your life is going to be destroyed. There *needs* to be some other solution, and I’m terribly afraid that the goddamned government is going to manage, once more, to throw it all away. To create a ‘new, improved’ system which is not at all improved. Laura Anne had a quote on Twitter: “Why haven’t Congressfolk opposed to a public option given up their own taxpayer-subsidized healthcare? Hypocrisy? Ya think?”
*sigh* I’m already late for the afternoon word wars, so I need to stop ranting and go do some work, but God, this is so frustrating. America’s supposed to be a nation of the brightest and the best, and yet this is the best we can do? The pinnacle of our achievements is an attitude of “I’ve got mine, screw you if you haven’t got yours”? How forward thinking, generous and kind we are as a nation, then.
(And what really infuriates me is that Americans [and perhaps I should just make that 'humans', rather than Americans in specific, but] are, as a rule, generous and kind people. You only have to look at what happened in the Katrina aftermath, or the Indonesian tsunami, or, hell, innumerable online fundraisers for people who’ve gotten into a bad spot, to see how ready and willing dozens, hundreds, thousands, *millions* of people can be to offer help to those who need it. But not if it’s a by-God tax, apparently, because then you’re infringing on my *rights* and my *choice* to spend money generously. *Fuckers*. That’s all I’ve got left at the end of the day: *fuckers*.)
(x-posted from the essential kit)