Monday, August 3, 2009

Healthcare rant

Setting aside any concerns I have about "national health insurance," "single-payer insurance" (nice euphemism) or "socialized medicine," I want to address a gripe I have with my fellow Americans. Maybe
"nationalized" health care is the answer. I'll leave that to the experts. But irrespective of the answer to that question, I'm convinced that my fellow Americans turned into a bunch of crybaby sponges.

I understand that there are some significant gaps in health coverage in this country. I get it. I also think that people are too quick to ignore that we have the best health care services and technology in the world. Improving access to those services and/or technology shouldn't require a complete overhaul of the system. It would certainly be supremely foolish to take steps that would tear that down.

Nevertheless, what I tend to hear people say isn't that they can't get the health care they need, but that it's "expensive." Well, folks, the best things in life are expensive. That's just the way things are.

A dear friend of mine was complaining this past Friday how much he resents that hospitals and doctors "screw you in the ***" to provide treatment. He didn't seem to answer how the doctors and nurses are supposed to be paid, how the medical equipment is supposed to be purchased and maintained, or how the ulitilites are supposed to be paid by the hospital or clinic without there being a charge. There is a lot of overhead in healthcare, and the better the care the more it's going to cost. The better the automobile, the more it's going to cost. What's the difference?

I'd suspect that my disgruntled friend, if he stopped and thought about it, would rather get the best care at a higher cost than lousy care at bargain basement rates. Perhaps not. Perhaps he wants limited care that doesn't cost him a thing. I know I'd rather have top-notch care. I only have one body, one life.

My biggest gripe with Americans is that there is developing an attitude among them that they are entitled to health care at someone else's expense. I've heard people bitch and complain about having to pay for visits to their doctors' offices who have $1,200 TVs and who do Vegas a few times a year. You really think you have money in your pocket to entertain yourself but that money should not be used for your most basic need, i.e. your own health? Really? Sorry, but I don't want to pay for your health care if you don't care enough to pay for your own.

No one (or more accurately, very few) complains about having to buy food (especially when they eat out) or having to pay for housing. But your medical care is just as basic as those things. Why wouldn't you pay to take care of yourself? You pay to stuff your face at the local buffet, so why not kick in $50 for your doctor's visit?

You're not owed a thing. Reexamine how you prioritize your spending and then we can talk about whether I should chip in to help pay your medical bills. It's time to grow up.


lawyerchik said...

I got here from Pink Dot - GREAT post!! :)

Anonymous said...

I also got here through Pink Dot. Here are my comments: The vast majority do not own $1200 TV or go to Las Vegas a few times a year or go out to eat that much. At least I know I don't. I know it is costing my employer double what he paid four years ago for my health care coverage. If he were not able to pay that, I certainly would not be able to pay it. I wouldn't be able to pay it now so I would go without health ins. coverage. I am 63 and that certainly frightens me if I were not to have health coverage before I would be eligible for Medicare at age 65 (for which I have been paying into for most of my adult life). What I most resent is the fact that there are people living in the US that got here illegally and I don't understand why we don't understand the word "illegal". What don't we get about the meaning of the word "illegal". Illegal is illegal and if you are here in the US illegally, then you don't deserve any benefits INCLUDING EMERGENCY ROOM CARE and you certainly do not deserve Social Security if you live here in the US illegally and then go back to Mexico or wherever you originally came from and then collect SS.

So, after all of the above being said, I am for a BIG change in health care here in the US. Thank you for considering my comments.


ourboy said...

Thank you lawyerchik and Karen. It's nice to finally have comments.

While I certainly have my own opinions, I do not pretend to be an expert in healthcare matters (or anything other than simply being me.) I am not against reform. If this country can find away to provide more, or even *gasp* universal, healthcare for our citizens without ruining what DOES work in our system, I'm interested in hearing about it.

My rant, if you will, is more about the sense of entitlement that some people seem to have. SOME (and nothing I've said is intended as any sort of universal statement) people want something without making sacrifices to get it. This is a massive problem in our society and explains the housing market collapse and the billions and billions in credit card debt we have.

When someone tells me that universal healthcare is the only answer, I'll listen. What I next want to hear from him/her, though, is what he/she is willing to give up or chip in to get it. I don't care if someone has a nice TV or goes to Vegas, but if you need health insurance coverage YOUR money should go in the kitty -- even if we're talking a widow's mite -- before my money does. Why? Because I'm already paying for my healthcare and co-pays and stuff that's not covered. No one has stepped forward to relieve me of that obligation and I would not want them to do so.

That's all this is about. Let's have reform...with sacrifice. We can't just print more money to make sure everyone gets insurance. We're going to have to dig deep and actually finance this reform with real money.

Again, thanks for the thoughts.

Burkulater said...

Good post...well put.