Friday, October 16, 2009

Health Care as Business

In contemplating the circumstances we find ourselves in, as it relates to the controversy over health insurance and health care in this country, a thought, in the form of a question, occurred to me:

What is the real reason for the intense disdain shown to the idea of
universal health care and those promoting it?

On first glance the rationale seems simple and justified, "I don't want my tax dollars (or an increase in them) being used to pay for someone else's sickness". Setting aside the inherent lack of care in such a comment, there is a massive amount of disingenuousness that is prevalent amidst such commentary as well; the most obvious of which is the lack of consistency in the application of this principle. If we are to believe that those fighting so staunchly against this are doing so based on the fact that they do not want their tax dollars being funneled into the pockets (or perhaps "limbs" would be more apt here) of those in need, then why is there such an absence of outrage over equally socialistic programs that are very much existent in America? Where are the marches on Washington demanding that they tear down the fascism inherent in the armed forces? Where are the petitions to dismantle the postal service? Where are the calls for the destruction of the police and fire departments? Not a word, not a letter, not a picket sign, not a thing.

This incredible absence of consistency should cause one to seriously doubt the sincerity in their argumentation. Were this about the matter that they claim it is relevant to, we would see these challenges en masse. So, with the revelation that this is actually a smoke-screen for their real issue, we must move to decipher what the issue actually is. The appropriate methodology now would appear to be pinpointing the major difference between health care and the aforementioned accepted social programs. They are all geared toward the assistance of the citizens of the state, they all aid in providing necessities and other important goods to those living under the governmental authority, and they all help ensure the safety and livelihood of those covered.

The key differentiating factor then would appear to be the already existing private sector. That is, when constructing the original social programs, the government was not setting out to put something into practice that would be a potential challenger to an already existing private sector; a private sector which had complete control over the monetary and economic structure of this running system. This of course, is without mention of the insurance companies which are reliant on the capacities they have to restrict, deny, and elicit services under conditions thought up, dreamt up, and fathomed on their own money-making whims. This understood, we need to press the issue as they relate to these different circumstantial factors.
Are we willing to allow people, humans just like you or I, to fear illness and death (for reason of the inability to pay), to suffer losses of life or limb (also due to lack of monetary availability), and to fall victim to bankruptcy, relinquishment of savings and property, and subsequent starvation and homelessness because of a system that denies them an innate right to be cared for? When we already dispense all of these helpful (and arguably, necessary) social services, does it make sense to restrict the most necessary of them all (i.e. to be cared for when we're ill)? To deny this most obvious necessity, while giving us the capacity to freely distribute letters to one another and have a local library to freely borrow books, would seem to manifest as a complete travesty in the organization of our priorities. When we realize the emphasis here is not being made on principled grounds related to a care for liberty, but rather for the sake of sustaining an institution which disenfranchises the poor for monetary gain, we're better equipped to reorder these priorities in a way that properly respects life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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