Friday, December 11, 2009

Health you feel lucky?

Okay, here's something that I think we need to talk about in our country:

We're all going to die someday.

What? Should I say it again? Did you think you heard me wrong?

We're all going to die someday.

I wish I had better news, but it's a fact of life. Some Americans pretend it only happens to other people AND the unluckier ones at that. But if luck does have anything to do with it, you and everyone you know and love will die in their sleep peacefully at a very old age after a very rewarding and interesting life. Not of a terrble illness or in terrible pain.

But I have news for most of the people who seem to rally against basic health care in this country. That scenario doesn't usually happen. Along the way some of us will have accidents, illnesses and especially not after we've retired. Because that's how life is.

Car crashes, freak illnesses, falling off ladders, you name it....that's part of the human condition. Statistically speaking, it's a crap shoot that any of us avoid these things (knock on wood, right?) And yet the people who rail against a "public option" seem to to think that basic health care by itself is something that we can't improve upon or even treat as an element of a decent life. No one should go bankrupt because they couldn't avoid the accident or illness. It could be anyone of us, including these tea party idiots and their families.

But there's one thing no one wants to talk about and it's that IF we muddle through and come up with something better for our nation's health care system, someone, namely millionaire physicians and insurance executives, will have to make a little less money.

Will they have to sell their homes and country club memberships? No. (Okay, maybe the third home in the Caribbean.)

Will their kids have to do without private educations or go hungry? Probably not.

But they will have to settle for a little less. And that less still looks pretty damn wonderful compared to the average American's income and expectations. But it will take some sacrifice and alter the obscene excesses some Americans have been fortunate enough to think that what is the norm for them is the same for the rest of us. Uncovering that falsehood scares the hell out of them. (And their real estate agents and decorators, too, of course.)

So when your neighbor or cubicle mate says we just can't help the average people simply because they were unlucky enough to be in a car accident or to get sick, remind them that what is good enough for the unlucky among us is good enough for them.

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