Monday, February 01, 2010

Health Care Brouhaha....

From Keith Taylor:



Keith Taylor

Well, it’s over, or so it would seem. Even a compromise will leave us far behind virtually all other developed nations, each with a working national health care program. And, by every means of measure, all are much better off for having one.

Despite the claims, few of the objections started with the rank and file They were the result of a coordinated effort by powerful interests who have had a world of experience of swaying the opinion of a our nation.

Hence: “IT’S SOCIALISM” cried a teabagger, obviously elated to be on TV. He was so upset at the idea of having a national health care system in the land of the free he wanted to go back to the way America was in the beginning. I waited in vain for the reporter to ask if he wanted to explain to his wife why she wouldn’t be able to vote or own property? Or did he just want to buy a slave as people had in the beginning.

And so it went. The brouhaha over health care was filled with lies, exaggerations, half truths, urban legends, misunderstandings and, now and then, enough truth to keep the more strident talk show hosts from looking like utter fools – a formidable task by itself.

As a guy heading into his ninth decade, and after a eclectic background as a sailor, cryptographer, writer, political activist, and insurance salesman; I’ve picked up a stray idea or so. To start with, socialism doesn’t cause me to tremble as it does for those who claim it will be the end of all that’s good about the greatest nation on earth.

It’s been around since Daniel Boone bellyached about not having enough elbow room even after he’d traversed the Cumberland Gap. Early on someone noticed that a bit of control of people and business would be necessary if our thirteen disparate states were to comprise a nation. Adam Smith was tempered by John Maynard Keynes.

But the haves in our nation fought any sort of control tooth and nail. It was part of the cause for the greatest war in our history. But what is considered socialism has prevailed. And except for those who want to own other people, enslave women, or otherwise abuse the have-nots, it has been a pretty good deal.

But, the naysayers are claiming, health care is the most pernicious form of socialism. As always, there is enough truth in the claims to scare the bejabbers out of those who are afraid to look around the next corner.

It would ration care, but not as much as the insurance industry does today. Those folks with the red umbrellas, outstretched open hands and blue crosses not only ration health care with policy limits and exclusions, they get to decide who can get it in the first place.

But how does our current hodgepodge compare with the government provided health care of the other developed countries? It stinks! Their plan costs far less per person than in the U.S.A. By most measurable standards, the results are better too. Citizens of those countries live longer. Their babies have a much greater chance of surviving one year.

And ten percent of us are one illness away from bankruptcy. Our “health program,” is nothing more than a mélange of Medicare, individual policies, group policies, and one sparkling program – the program available for U.S. government employees, including military retirees, and their families. It does wonders for my wife and me.

The cost alone of this mess is reason enough to abolish the present system. When the deficits of one huge segment of our economy outstrips the rest, we are headed towards disaster. The math is so simple and so stark it can be seen through a tea bag.

And so it goes. We’ve had this much vaunted competition for decades now and it works – for the companies. They are not evil. They are simply doing what they have to do to make a profit and attract stockholders. They cut costs by eliminating the problem, those who get sick, or who are apt to.

It is time to recognize that it doesn’t work. Our congressional representatives need to stop imitating the teabaggers and shouting meaningless phrases. The health of our citizens and our nation is at stake. If we don’t put the country’s needs first, the problem will consume us.

//Keith Taylor is a retired Naval officer living in Chula Vista, Ca. He is also retired as an insurance broker. He can be reached at


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