Archive for March, 2010

Discover America

March 22, 2010

Welcome to America, the land of Discovery. This week the Texas Bored of Education discovered Thomas Jefferson really wasn’t very important, Karl Rove discovered a way get fiction in the non-fiction section, and the Democrats discovered they had enough votes for healthcare. No deeming, no reconciliation, none of the “tricks” predicted. In this whirl of March madness I wish I had the over/under on healthcare passing. I’d be whistling a merry tune all the way to the bank (or credit union in my case).

Now, I’m waiting for the start of the “sky is going to fall from the weight of the socialist take-over we just experienced” cry. The dire predictions have been made, that the end is nigh has been proclaimed, and yet, lo and behold, the sun came up again this morning. Today we suddenly know what was in the bill voted on yesterday. There must be a lot of folks enrolled in the Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics classes who were up all last night because I’ve been assured that no one had read it. It is not as all encompassing as I, personally, would have liked. But it is a start… (I hear the chorus of my Republican friends – “That’s right – Just a start – toward socialism”)

The most upsetting thing about this bill is that it took so long and the need for it was so badly explained. Where is the great orator I voted for? Even I can explain the need. America is supposed to be #1, right? We are the best at anything we put our collective minds to. Then, if our healthcare is so good, how come we lose in infant mortality, maternal mortality and longevity (for both men and women)? The nations we are bested by all have some form of universal coverage.

Yes, we are better at treating cancer and we are ranked #1 in responsiveness. We should be good at the cancer in part because we declared war on cancer back in 1971. Back then a bill was signed by that other socialist president, Richard Nixon (remember him? He was all cozy with the Chi-coms and declared peace before pulling out of Vietnam making America a loser?). He poured millions of taxpayer dollars into research to discover the causes and develop treatments for cancer. Money I’m glad we spent because it has made us better at treating cancers than the rest of the world. We are #1! That we are responsive to our patients is also good, but Switzerland is #2 and they beat the pants off us in most of the other categories. And they do it for less with a government mandated private insurance coverage.

The World Health Organization ranks the U.S. at #37. We are the ONLY industrialized nation without a national healthcare program. Our babies have less chance of living to a year, their mothers have a greater chance of dying bringing them into the world and, once here, Americans have less time on the planet than those from other countries. How is that great healthcare? If we were so good wouldn’t we have better outcomes like, say living longer? Germany has had some form of universal care since Otto von Bismarck was in charge and they only came close to bankruptcy after trying to pay reparations to the French after WWI. They live longer and also have far fewer abortions than the U.S. Where are the Right to Life folks and why aren’t they behind this?

But today is a new day and we finally discovered something else – that having access to healthcare is a great thing for everyone. Let’s show the rest of the world the right way to do it and make America #1 in serving all its citizens. And for those who like to cite our founding documents, remember that we threw off British rule because that government was not providing for the “common good.” Isn’t it about time our own government did?

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