Saturday, July 25, 2009

Reform Rx - Health Civil Rights

Rush’s recap of his worst of the week was droning on in my car this Saturday in order for me to get that all important “the right is wrong” perspective. I was astounded to hear him blabbing on and on about how no one is leaving this country for health care somewhere else. This was a new twist on the old “we have the best health care in the world” argument.

Usually this case is made from the opposite point of travel initiation. It goes like this: People come to this country for health care because we have the best in the world. The thin evidence given is that this distant royal prince or foreign head-of-state or celebrity star came here for his or her heart bypass, kidney transplant, et cetera, et cetera, ad nausea rather than subject themselves to the normal care or lack-of-care in their own country.

Both of these earth shattering fault lines of unreason are a good example of the tone deafness of the right to their own disjointed arguments. Their cited examples verify that care access affordability is one of the core problems with the current systemic failure of for-profit health care.

We do have a system that has the best in the world gleaming high tech locations, excellent first class accommodations, superbly trained specialists, rapid medical service capabilities to deliver targeted care to those who can afford nothing but the best when their gurney is wheeled off their private jet. But of course those who are not leaving this country for health care that irrational Rush cites are those who can neither afford to travel to do so or afford the first class health treatment at home in their own country. They are economically trapped.

One can claim we have the finest health care in the world but it is reserved for our country's wealthy and some selected paying guests. We simultaneously have an extremely strained system serving the middle class that is on track to shove them down the economic ladder with shrinking health care services. And our poor are treated like they are panhandlers to avoid eye contact with when one doesn’t want to part with a buck. Those millions are invisible to Rush and the radio blabbers as they hype up the middle’s illusions about evil socialist fantasies in a selfish bid to keep exclusive access for the right wing élites to the upper stratosphere of private care while avoiding taxes that might share the economic benefits they have gained from this country.

A fundamental issue that needs to take the high ground as we continue to discuss health care costs is one of civil rights. Just like race discrimination in the past, we have exclusive country club health care for those with the means that excludes the rabble. It even is reasonable that added expenditure for government provided health care, even beyond the President’s wish for budget neutrality, is morally justified. A little reconstruction expense would not hurt to also address past wrongs. Further violation of health civil rights will only lead to future greater and more dangerous rifts in this country’s fabric.

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