Health Care In the Meantime

The people who bring medical and dental care to the rural poor are saints. Recent articles have described big tents set up twice a year, and the caravans of poor people with problems arriving by hundreds, hurting, desperate. For the most part, these folks are proudly independent. But a toothache will bring them in.

These are people who have no medical care at all. Usually they go it alone, but when illness strikes, even something so mundane as a toothache, their pain compels them to seek relief. For some, that means pulling their own teeth with a pair of pliers. These are US American citizens, the ones who should be served by the national health care we, the last among modern nations, don’t have.

Republicans recoil from national health care in horror, screaming “Socialism!”—apparently ignorant of the fact that national health care is not socialism. Instead, it’s the most economical way to provide health care, even when we must pay for the very poor.

Perhaps the fact that best tells us how effective it is is that no nation that enacted national health care has ever given it up.

Who knows how long it will be before Republicans wake up and realize that health care is a right, that no one deserves to be denied whatever will save their life or bring them back to health. Penicillin was invented long ago. What would you say about the morals of someone who would deny an inexpensive injection that will completely cure an otherwise fatal disease? Obviously, such persons are amoral. Denial is murder, bringing death to someone for no reason.

If you agree, then you must also agree that the only thing preventing the provision of even the most modern and expensive treatment can be that the cost is too expensive even for the nation. But that’s ridiculous when a single military plane can cost billions.

There can be no moral reason to deny any person health care, which means national health care is imperative. But Republicans deny it, and seem compelled to do so for the foreseeable future, so the question becomes, What can we do about it until then?

What we can do is to greatly expand these Big Tent programs. They cost money and they are an imperfect system, but like national health care, the cost is far lower than our present corrupt corporate system.

Corrupt? You bet. There is no other way to describe the Congressional sellout to thousands of Big Med and Big Pharma lobbyists when they passed laws that favor and protect only the bigwigs of the industry, not us. The Pharma industry are the only ones allowed to set prices for their wares; bargaining for better prices is disallowed. It cannot be denied that this is corruption.

Then there is the Med Insurance program, which peddles the most expensive and least effective medical care in the modern world, and leaves millions with no health care at all. Call it the Med Execs benefit program. Med insurance provides zero health care and should go riding into the sunset, thus reducing our medical costs by at least a third.

Big Tents and national health care are cheap compared to what we have.

Now, why should we do this tent thing? Isn’t it just dollars down the drain? No. Aside from the moral compulsion to keep our own citizens healthy, there is good reason to believe that such programs make sense economically as well. Illness and pain will bring any of us up short. We come to a complete halt until we are well again. If we have a job, we won’t be able to go to work. If that goes on long enough, our employer will be compelled to replace us. The ill person will need help, which often means unemployment benefits and other government assistance, and most likely further medical care. A healthy employed populace will be contributing to government revenue.

Big Tent health care ain’t nearly enough, but for those brought low by bad teeth, by an unrelenting stomach pain, by cataracts, or any number of other conditions, being able to see a real doctor, even twice a year, can be the difference between being able to function normally and not.

Until Republicans come to their senses about national health care we should support and encourage these Big Tent health providers.

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Published in: on 2017/08/02 at 3:14 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My brother-in-law has just had ten consecutive days of radio-treatment for prostate cancer. He has private health care to top up the National system. It would have cost $16,000 Au but it will only cost him $600. I don’t have private cover. The same treatment would cost me nothing, but I wouldn’t be able to choose my own doctor nor choose which hospital it would be in. I don’t understand why America can’t work it out – somehow.

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  2. We can’t work it out because Republicans think the national care that every other modern nation has is (horrors) “Socialism”.

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  3. Sometimes I think Doctors Without Borders should set up here. Not only would it help people, it would drive home the point of how out of touch our healthcare “system” is.

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