Saturday, August 8, 2009

I Want National Health Insurance and I am Willing to Pay For It

Our minds play special tricks on us all. We never, ever, think we should pay full price for something, particularly when we know if we are clever, or deceitful, of tricky or patient, we can eventually get it cheaper. In a manner of speaking, this is what our system of capitalism has wrought. There is a marketplace for everything and the system avers that everything within this system has a value of sorts. Value, most simply, is defined by what a person is willing to pay to obtain whatever is being sold. For shorthand sake, I will refer to this system as the “What’s in it for me?” system of values.

There is a point in time and place where this basic system begins to collide with other systems of value. There are some who claim, for example, that we are a Christian nation. Part of this Christian nation consists of a substantial number of Republicans. Taken at face value, it is my understanding that the Christian model serves to modify the capitalistic notion of “What’s in it for me?” with “What is it that I can do for my fellow man?” or “How can I be of service to others?” The question that I need to ask is this; Is it Republicans that are raising all the hell about providing basic medical care for the 45 million people in our society who have no insurance and cannot afford the most basic of medical services?

Another system of value that collides head on with basic capitalism is government. Representatives of various governmental entities are selected, directly or indirectly, by the people to effectuate policies that will benefit all people. As an example, corporate farmers are paid 80 billion dollars annually by our federal government to grow certain foodstuff so that Americans will not have to pay lower prices to obtain the same foodstuff from other nations. Another example is the insurance companies who are paid billions of dollars by the federal government each year so that they can sell medical insurance to Americans, provided these Americans are healthy enough in the first place to not have to use the insurance to pay for medical expenses. People who may actually require the receipt of costly health care are barred from participating in this wonderful shell game that exists for the benefit of the insurance industry under the artful guise that they have a pre-existing illness. This unique twist guarantees the insurance companies a fat profit which brings us right back to the “What’s in it for me?” system of values. A corollary activity of this particular example is that the fat profits from the insurance industry are used, in part, to support those in elected offices across our great nation. In short, this particular system feeds on itself.

There is another disturbing trend that has emerged from the morass these past few years in American society which, in fact, frightens the hell out of me. People refuse to think for themselves and let others think for them. A small handful of idiots are running around the country and are being given face time by the national media. These people claim that our president is a Kenyan. This goofiness has had a profound impact. A recent poll found that 28 percent of Republicans don’t believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States and another 30 percent are still “not sure. That’s nearly 6 out of 10 Republicans refusing to accept a basic truth. These same people apparently believe that it is all right for the insurance industry to continue to bleed Americans dry. We are not the healthiest nation in the world. We are not in the top twenty of such nations. There are three third world nations ahead of us in that regard. According to a Gallup poll released last summer, 6 in 10 Republicans said they thought that humans were created, in their present form, 10,000 years ago and only six percent of Republicans are scientists. While I respect the right of any individual to believe what he/she wants when it comes to religion, the disturbing trend is that these people are acting collectively in anything but Christ-like fashion when they adopt the “what’s in it for me?” actions being dictated to them by the likes of Limbaugh (Democrats and Obama are Nazis) and Glenn Beck.

The bottom line is that everyone in our country deserves to receive medical care irrespective of their ability to pay for it. I am my brother’s keeper and I am willing to pay for the privilege.

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