Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Universal Health Care" is a universally bad idea...

So the other night, another cousin and I were having a discussion about our 2A rights. She informed me that she was more worried about the cost of our health care coverage than she was about being able to purchase an “assault rifle”.

Without going into a tirade about my right to own whatever means of defense I choose, I’m going to clarify a few things. First, there are a LIMITED number of true “assault rifles” available in America. With the exception of those sold to law enforcement and military, it is ILLEGAL to manufacture them in (or import them into) the United States…and has been since 1986. In order to legally own one, you have to fill out all sorts of forms, get fingerprinted at the local police station and have a form signed by the Chief stating that you aren’t a “threat to public safety”, and pay a ridiculous amount of taxes. The total cost is typically over $10k, and takes literally months before you can have one in your hands. If you have a spotless record. Your average gangbanger can’t go buy one at a gun show. It just doesn’t happen. Second, I’d like to add that our new president fully supports an outright ban on damned near every firearm except the muzzle-loaders our founding fathers used to free this nation 200 years ago, and has publicly stated this support on numerous occasions.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, back to the discussion at hand: The retardedly high cost of decent health care coverage in this nation. Of course it’s through the roof, and I know first-hand what the potential of not having it can mean.

When I was 12 years old, I made the foolish mistake of not listening to my father when he told me not to play with gasoline and fire. Being the rebellious little bastard that I’ve always been, it was less than a week later that I set my arm on fire in my driveway.

After seeing the ER doctor at the local hospital, my father was told that my right arm would have to be amputated to prevent infection. My entire right arm, from the armpit down to the base of my thumb, looked like a medium-rare steak. Much of my skin had melted off and dripped into the driveway, and the rest of it peeled away when they pulled back the bath towel my arm was wrapped in. Still, I think I would have rather died than knowingly allowed a man to amputate my arm, but the choice wasn’t in my hands.

Then, as fate would have it, a higher power intervened. My creator, working through the power of the almighty American Dollar, did not allow my dominant arm to be removed before I was able to learn to drive a stick shift, play a guitar, or do so many other things I’ve enjoyed doing since that time.

Money didn’t save my right arm from amputation. In fact, it was lack of money that saved it.

My father was “just another rat contractor welder” working inside Dow Chemical, but not “for” Dow Chemical. He made decent wages, but had no health insurance coverage to handle the cost of an amputation. Instead, I was sent down the road a bit, to a charity hospital. You know, one of those places that are more concerned with saving people’s lives than making that Lexus payment. In a week’s time, I was back at home…and my right arm is functioning just fine.

And this, my dear readers, is why I oppose “universal health care coverage”…or, as it is better-known, COMMUNIST MEDICINE.

When you get government involvement in anything, especially when it’s mandated, two things are assured. You’re going to get the worst possible service at the highest possible price. It’s going to happen. If you don’t believe me, go get your driver’s license renewed. That piece of plastic costs about thirty cents to print, and slightly less to mail. The entire process should take about five minutes, but routinely takes upwards of half an hour, per person.

When you apply this approach to medicine, it’s not going to be any different with regard to the level of service you’re getting. On top of this, you’re going to see some very bad things happen when you go to the doctor’s office.

One of these things is the amount of drugged-out people on our streets today. Ever notice how pharmaceuticals are advertised on prime-time television more than Chevrolets and McDonalds are? I can just imagine what it’s going to be like when the average working-class family of four gets to go see a doctor for free/cheap. Dad’s gonna get a prescription to make his pecker get hard, mom’s gonna get some hormone replacement therapy, Sally is going to get a pill because she is too fat to make the cheerleading squad, and Johnny’s gonna get doped up because he likes to act rambunctious during class. Never mind the fact that these pills are known to (respectively) make you go blind, get cancer, shit your pants, and kill yourself. Yes, this is just what America needs.

Better yet, advocates of socialized medicine think that you and I should pay for it. I don’t go see a doctor every time I get a headache, my back gets sore, or my stomach gets upset. When these things happen, I know the cause and I know the remedy…stop drinking until 3am and getting four hours of sleep before work, stop acting like I’m He-Man when I get there and have to install a 200lb bumper, and stop thinking hot wings are the only necessary ingredient in a balanced diet. I don’t need to have my company insurance plan pay a doctor to tell me these things, and you shouldn’t either. I don’t believe in B.S. maladies like “restless leg syndrome”. When I’m 65 years old and I can’t get my equipment to function, I think that’s God’s way of telling me that I’m too old to be gettin’ jiggy with it. When a woman gets old enough to experience menopause, them’s the breaks.

So it’s obvious I think one of the biggest causes of our outrageous health care costs are people abusing the system, and screwing it up for the rest of us. Another cause is the corporate greed found within the industry. I’m all for “stackin’ paper”, but it’s ridiculous to assume that the reason the cost of a prescription is so high is because of the costs associated with the research and development of that drug…especially when executives are making BILLIONS of dollars every year (that’s per person, not a combined total), and even more money is being spent on paying off doctors so they’ll prescribe so many of these needless prescriptions.

So what’s my remedy for this situation? For starters, let’s STOP arguing over who should pay for health care, and START examining why a hospital is going to charge you eight friggin’ dollars for a tablet of aspirin. Hospitals charge you eight bucks for an aspirin for the same reason dogs lick their own naughty parts. BECAUSE THEY CAN, AND THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP IT. Well, nothing except insisting that your elected representatives repeal the laws that allow them to do it.

No, I’m not talking about passing a law making it illegal to charge a certain amount for a tablet of aspirin. I’m talking about REPEALING laws that regulate the manner in which an individual and/or corporation is allowed to enter the health care industry or insurance industry. Imagine if every private business in America was REQUIRED BY LAW, PUNISHABLE WITH IMPRISONMENT FOR NON-COMPLIANCE, to become members of the local Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, and their respective trade association? Can you imagine the costs associated with this? Of course, the cost would be passed down to the consumer when he wants to buy a hamburger, get his roof repaired, or get a new car. On top of this, since these organizations are allowed to set their own rates, upon legal requirement they become able to force the less-profitable businesses out of the field…which equals less competition, and in effect, a limited monopoly on the industry.

This is already the case with both the health care industry AND the insurance…two industries that work hand in hand to ensure that you’re going to pay the highest prices possible for something that should be available to everyone. When this is socialized, you’ll see how these costs are distributed evenly amongst all people in this nation that work for a living…and you’ll soon see your “share” of the costs skyrocketing, because these two industries are going to bilk Uncle Sam for all he’ll allow them to. You’ll start seeing more instances of fraud. Worst of all, you’ll start seeing a drastic reduction in the quality of service provided, because doctors will no longer have an incentive to provide the best possible service. They’re going to get paid by our government for seeing someone, and the incentive to see a particular doctor vs. a different doctor stops being the quality of service and starts being the length of the line going into the office.

Unfortunately, our elected representatives have been bought and paid for by the American Medical Association, the insurance industry, and “Big Pharma”. Until we start demanding freedom to spend our money as we see fit, with whoever we choose for whatever reason, you’ll see the cost of health care rising continuously…and you’ll be paying this cost, regardless of whether you’re receiving the service.

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