SICK of Health Care


Of talking about health care coverage reform?

Kaiser Family Foundation survey results.

Cuba is an island of officially starving people. We say "officially starving" because no one can live on what the Cuban government provides. Yet, infant mortality rates in Cuba are slightly lower than the U.S. Life expectancy is generally a little longer than in the U.S. Cuba has full blown socialized medicine, and a doctor there makes $15.00 a month.

Does this tell us that, even in a country where people are very poor, socialized medicine works?*

No. That is true, but it isn’t the point. The point is that when people receive good basic medical care, their lives are improved.

I’m sick and tired of writing about health care coverage reform. You are sick of reading about it. Most people are burnt out on the discussion, feeling it’s just too important to screw up and too complicated to understand. Support for reform remains high, but doubt is creeping in.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey  (link) revealed: 

As has been the case over the past ten months, a majority of the American people (56%) continue to believe that health reform is more important than ever despite the country's economic problems, and the public believes by a two to one margin (51% versus 23%) that the country will be better rather than worse off if Congress and the president enact health reform. More Americans think they and their family will be better off (39%) than worse off (21%) if legislation passes, with roughly a third (32%) believing it will make no difference for them or their family.

The study goes on to say that, while most Americans continue to believe that reform is important, the criticisms of Obama’s plan are making people nervous. A larger share of people are worried that congress and the White House will botch the job, leaving us with a plan that is neither fish nor fowl, not a good plan itself, and not even the bad system we’re used to.

That’s what I’m worried about, too. I’m deeply disappointed that the people who are supposed to be the best and brightest in the land can’t get together in the interest of the whole nation and do something about health care insurance.

Because the Republicans are hoping to "break Obama" with this issue, they are pulling out all the stops. Rush Limbaugh is running his mouth overtime, using emotional language to obscure the real problem, misreading health care data from other countries to try to claim that the average person will wait months to see a doctor.

For this reason, the Kaiser survey revealed a clear split along party lines. Seven in 10 Democrats favor reform; 6 in 10 Republicans oppose it.

What we really need is a national discussion about health care insurance, not name calling across the aisle. There are a handful of people who think poor people deserve to be sick, but most people realize that a just nation takes care of its people. Besides, it makes good sense from a public health perspective to take care of the underclass. When people live in poverty, with decreased opportunity for hygiene, and without appropriate medical care, they eventually become a floating pool of disease. This is what our underclass is now. This is why there are "TB gulags" in New York where homeless and poor people with drug resistant TB are "housed" behind chain link fences in old apartment buildings. If poor, often mentally ill people with drug resistant TB don’t stay on the medication, the form of TB will become common and deadly.

The middle class, more than anyone, is suffering as jobs disappear and what jobs there are cut back health coverage. In the meantime, houses and cars are worth less but the cost medical care continues to rise. More and more people become poor, and fewer and fewer have health coverage.


We need a discussion on what constitutes "health care," in a nation where some people spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to cheat aging and others can’t afford to have a haital hernia repaired. Instead of moving toward a solution, the nation is descending into cursing the poor and flogging obsolete philosophy. Like most people, I’m afraid that instead of fixing health care funding, this argument along party lines is going to result in something that is neither one thing nor the other, but an arrangement hammered out based on dogma.

Why can’t some solution be found?

It just makes sense that the "Most Powerful Country on Earth" should be able to give it’s people better medical care than one of the world’s poorest countries, where people are officially starving, and doctors make $15.00 a month.

Compare health funding plans here

A Cuban doctor treating Pakistani earthquake refugees in 2006
Photo from

*The fact that Cubans are living on fewer calories than Americans of itself explains why they are living slightly longer, and are generally more healthy.

These people all have government paid health care!
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