Monday, May 04, 2009

Public health system collapsing

3.8 million people have lost their jobs and thus their health insurance at the exact same time that state and local budgets have collapsed due to the Depression of 2007 (started in December 2007). The result: public hospitals are overwhelmed and unable to provide critical care to patients, leading to people literally dying in the streets for lack of health care.

People, this is not sustainable. While the Rethugs might cry "socialism, socialism, socialism!", people will not willingly die in the streets just because Republican's ideology of selfishness and greed says that people ought to. Republicans might say that poor or unemployed people have a moral duty to just die quietly if they can't afford health care, but human beings do not "just die quietly". Republicans may believe that the U.S. now has such an effective prison state that the need to maintain social peace and public order via providing necessary services to the people is no longer necessary in order to maintain the State, but that system is already creaking under the weight of having 3% of the U.S. population on probation or in prison at any given time, and it's unclear that the U.S. police state would be in any way capable of handling an uprising by those who've been told that the solution to their health care problem is to go home and die.

There is, of course, a solution -- Medicare For All. Old people seem reasonably happy with Medicare, even though they grumble about how much it costs and how it won't cover some of the stuff they wish it would cover. The last time someone proposed eliminating Medicare a bunch of old people with canes and walkers attacked his limo as it left the Capitol and that was the end of that. But wait, I forget, "socialism, socialism, socialism!". Well, Medicare has been around since 1968 and as far as I can tell has not made America less free, but then, I'm a pragmatic realist who lives in the real world, rather than ideologue living in a fake made-up la-la land like the morons shouting "socialism, socialism, socialism!", so that probably makes a difference too...

-- Badtux the Health Care Penguin


  1. You know, as much as I hate to say it, it will be really ugly how this plays out if the flu is resurgent and more lethal in fall. And it may be too much to hope that the lesson would finally sink in at that point.

  2. Your lead-in sentence causes me once more to ask the no-brainer "What were they thinking?"

    I used to love (no, not really) to laugh at the concept of "the best and the brightest" - especially considering the fine wars they brought to the lower classes: Vietnam, Afghanistan and that real winner Iraq.

    But still - and I ask again - where were they planning to live when the shit hit the fans?

    Thanks for following this for us from your lofty perch in the west.

    3.8 million people have lost their jobs and thus their health insurance at the exact same time that state and local budgets have collapsed due to the Depression . . . leading to people literally dying in the streets for lack of health care.

  3. The public is not ready to extend Medicare to all. However, the public may be ready to lower the eligibility age for Medicare to age 60. With millions of jobs lost for a long time to our economy we have a choice of having either more chronically unemployed or more retired people. Lack of health care and the cost thereof is a huge barrier to retiring before age 65. Remove that barrier and more people retire. If more people will retire it will open up jobs to younger workers. It will also lower the costs for employers who provide health care to employees. In my opinion this would be an excellent form of permanent stimulus.

  4. I hear a lot that "the public isn't ready for Medicare For All". The problem is, that's not what the public opinion polls say. The public opinion polls say that the public likes the notion of Medicare For All just fine and is even willing to hike their own Medicare payroll tax to pay for it. It's the decision makers, the elites, who have decided that the public isn't ready -- not the public itself, which appears to be ready just fine.

    - Badtux the Health Care Penguin


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