Monday, June 20, 2011

We already have socialized medicine in America

It's called "Federal Prison". And one man was in such pain that he robbed a bank just to be sent to prison, because that was the only way he could get health care.

America. Where prison, shower-room rapes and all, looks good compared to the alternative. U S A! U S A! U S A! Fuck yeah!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin


  1. That is a really bad excellent attitude ya got there penguin.

  2. Too bad people don't realize how shitty prison health care is. I used to work as a prison nurse in Florida and I got to see it first-hand.

    The place I worked, Charlotte Correctional Institution, was what they called a "sick prison," for inmates who were too ill in their bodies or minds to work on the gangs who would clear weeds from snake-infested ditches in the sub-tropical humidity and do the other slave labour the system demands as part of its retribution. Whenever a crim anywhere in the Florida prison archipelago would attempt suicide, they'd be sent to Charlotte C.I. for observation. Lots of HIV+ inmates, too.

    Nurses were needed to hand out the meds, which is where I fit in. The state was privatizing the place, so all the government employee nurses were leaving, and they needed nursing agency fill-ins like me until the crappy for-profit bastards took over.

    The staff doctors at the prison were a sad lot, mostly immigrants with a poor command of English who weren't talented enough to set up shingles for their own practices or get privileges to work as hospital staff. Prisoners with simple medical problems like chronically injured backs had to wait for a week to be seen even by these sawbones. The prison was reluctant to send anyone to the nearby hospital in Punta Gorda (where I also worked sometimes) because they'd have to detail two guards to stay with the inmate at all times. Two guards, times three 8-hour shifts a day, bit into the manpower budget too much, so hospitalization was rare.

    And we nurses were cruel. We'd make prisoners grovel and beg even for something as simple as a Tylenol, because it was the standard belief (not entirely unjustified) that all inmates were drug-seeking scoundrels who were trying to game us somehow. I'm sorry to say I fell in with the scornful groupthink there. Looking back on my attitude, I was an unnecessarily mean bastard.

    But that's the nature of prison medicine. Instead of respecting the patients, as we try to do in hospitals, inmates are despised by medical staff. Admittedly, I only saw the low quality of care at one prison, in one state, but I'd bet even money it's just about as bad everywhere in the U.S. It's not "socialized" medicine behind the barbed wire; more like "Sovokized."

  3. USA! We're always able to invent the worst possible motivation for people and industry, like it's our subliminal wish to create the worst imaginable hellhole of a country.

    For profit health insurance... for profit prisons... for profit courtrooms... for profit branches of government... WASF.

  4. Bukko, here in California the prison health care system is under court decree as a menace to public safety, it's so bad. Half the prisoners get out with drug-resistant TB or with AIDS that they picked up behind bars.

    Which is why, if you're gonna go for that free prison health care, it's important to do a *Federal* crime like rob a national bank. But even so, *bad* health care like you describe, Bukko, is still better than *no* health care. Note that *SINGLE MEN DO NOT QUALIFY FOR MEDICAID*. They are explicitly SINGLED OUT as not covered by the law that created Medicaid. So single men who can't afford private insurance get *NO* health care in states that don't have their own supplement to Medicaid to cover them.

    This is going to change in two years when Obamneycare comes into play, expanding Medicaid to cover single men and creating health care subsidies allowing those just above the new (higher) Medicaid cut-off to buy private insurance on the exchange for only an arm and a leg, rather than an arm, a leg, a kidney, and an eye. But right now, even the shitty prison health care you describe is more than most single males in America get. Which is why single males have such trouble getting to Medicare age...

    - Badtux the Health Care Penguin

  5. Doesn't really matter because he old robbed $1 he was charged with larceny not bank robbery. Between that, his lack of a record and his story about why he did it, he will be lucky if he does any time outside of waiting for trial.


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