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Monday, July 20, 2009

What Do We Deserve

I am totally confused about all these going-ons about health care and what is the best path. And as usual, I try to simmer the topic down to the essentials to see if what we want is possible with what we have.

First, I think we need to consider what we deserve as citizens of the United States. There is nothing in the Constitution that I can find that says that we deserve health care. The Declaration of Independence does speak of Life, Liberty, a and Pursuit of Happiness but that document, grand as it is in ideas, did not get transferred to the Constitution. The Declaration is a reasoning and The Constitution is the law. However, if we believe what Jefferson wrote about Life and the Pursuit of Happiness and that decent health care would lead to Life and, to some degree, enable all men to pursue Happiness; quod erat demonstrandum, we deserve health care. The Constitution has this line in its Preamble “promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty. . .” If we conclude that health care falls under general welfare and that having health care would make us in some way free, gosh, I guess we have a legal right to health care.

Second, the rich have more money. Of course I didn’t come up with that epiphany, but they do, lots more. Now, when considering health care, do we all deserve the same health care that rich people can afford.? I think not and no law or tax regarding health care should prohibit the rich from having something better because they have more money. After all, that’s what the United Sates is all about really, having more money, so that one can have more Life, more Liberty, and more Happiness. And please don’t try to tell me money doesn’t by happiness when you know perfectly well that it does; it doesn’t by complete happiness, maybe. I would never expect to live as long as some rich dude simply because he can afford treatments that I can’t. So it goes. Obviously, it makes sense that we don’t deserve to have health care that matches the health care of the very rich.

Third, what can we afford to deserve? Ain’t that the problem, really? And ain’t another problem is that those who are lucky enough through money or work to have health care really don’t give a good goddamn about anyone else as long as they don’t lose what they have? Ah, communism, implied by The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution, meets economic Darwinism. Yes, it does, yes indeed. Those who have got something that will help them promote their posterity whether by gift of inheritance, work, or luck will hang onto that promotion to the detriment of others. It is a natural instinct to protect oneself. That I do know, but I don’t have the slightest clue about what we can afford to deserve. And I don’t have a clue because between the politicians, zealots, and lobbyists I can’t find much truth on which to base an educated decision. If I were a small businessman again, I would be worried about having to pay 8 percent more taxes to cover the costs of health care. As a consumer, I know that tax rate is going to be passed on to me. If I were one of the very wealthy, I sure would not want to pay more taxes. And if I were an economist, I would be worried about increasing the national debt. On the other hand, I do believe that we are getting screwed by the health care and insurance industries and I have an aversion to such unpleasantly forced intercourse. Therefore, I am in the I-don’t-know-whether-to-scratch-my-watch-or-wind-my-ass stage of confusion because I can’t get a clear picture of what we can afford to deserve.

Fourth, I can tell you what I think we deserve. We deserve news media that will report this issue free of spin, code words, fear elements but filled with facts and figures that you and I can understand. We deserve legislators that will make such important decisions free of obligation to industry or moneyed interests. We deserve a President who will point out the pitfalls of any and every plan without political motivation or with the next mid-term election in mind. I can’t conjure the truth out of this mess about health care, but it would seem to me that you can tell much by looking at who paid what to whom in the form of lobbying money and campaign contributions. Study up on that and you will know we will not get what we can afford to deserve. We will get only what will improve the pockets of politicians, health-care and insurance businesses who have rigged all this in the first place. Also, I do think we deserve as good a health care as federal employees and elected officials have, as long as we can afford it. If we can’t afford the taxes to pay for that style of care, we ought to unhitch the costs of it from our asses and shift it to the asses of those getting it. We deserve a national standard for health care that we can afford and that we can use as a base to compare what state and federal employees and retirees and industry are getting. If we could ever get that base established we could be on the way to making some sense out of this entire mess. Sadly, we ain’t going to get it because of entitlement. Right, we put people in office and entitle them to screw us at every turn in the road. Environment, taxes, health care energy, education, you name it; you’re getting screwed.

We deserve some order of fairness about all these messes, but we ain’t going to get it- not from any current elected official, at any level. It is not a political fashion to do anything for the good of the country; rather, it is the current fashion to do good for oneself, ones party and for the ones who paid the most to help you and your party get elected.

Here are a couple of links, for starters, for you to peruse and I will post any that folks send in:

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