the healthcare crisis
we all, as americans, enjoy the right to public education, and, coincidentally and generally, also enjoy basic fire and police protection. they're some of the bennies we get for being citizens and paying taxes. (and, it should also be noted here, even non-citizen residents are "covered" to some extent in this, and, for instance, nobody thinks the police shouldn't arrest someone for robbing a non-citizen. right?)
anyway, in addition to the aforementioned big 3, we also have legislated over the years that everyone should have access to a national postal service, and even made sure that POTS (plain old telephone service) should be ubiquitous, too. everybody pays for stamps and their phone bill, but everyone can drop letters in the mail and call their aunt martha if they want. (it's how we roll). we leave it up to the USPS and the phone utilities how they spread their costs so that everyone is on the same level playing field.
so now we come to healthcare.
backing up a bit, i should describe how my dental insurance works. cleanings and checkups are covered, as are basic necessities like fillings, and then even a small portion of everything else, too, but, basically, if i want my sons to have dental-colored fillings instead of metal-colored ones, i pay extra. ($162 extra on the last one). works well enough for me, and nobody goes without fillings when they need them.
i sincerely believe current healthcare proposals being floated in congress are fundamentally flawed. instead of figuring out how to make sure everyone can get the medical equivalent of dental fillings when they need them, these proposals are being written to try to tackle the overwhelming problem of how to make sure everybody gets the equivalent of dental-colored dental fillings, and braces, and whitening, too, while they're at it. (braces run close to $5000 these days, by the way, or $3500 if you have insurance, and nobody is helping anybody pay for that).
look, i understand that everyone wants their statin prescriptions filled for their high cholesterol. but, seriously, there are people in this country who lack eyeglasses and basic medical care for broken bones and the like. oh, sure, lots of folks go get those bones set at the emergency room, but, see, that's the problem. emergency rooms are expensive. bone setting shouldn't be. but we're getting coerced into paying for the expensive version of things, without even contemplating what it means to live 200 miles from the nearest emergency room with an x-ray machine and a plaster shop.
i say, let's get back to sanity. let's agree that big money prescription drug regimens for chronic conditions that are most often the result of bad lifestyle choices AREN'T the first thing we need to cover, if ever.
we need to get basic medical care to ALL our citizens.
too bad that's not what they're debating in congress.