Sweeney Todd School of Health Care

November 16th, 2009 by Gid

“There’s a hole in the world like a great black pit, and the vermin of the world inhabit it, and its morals aren’t worth what a pig would spit and it goes by the name of …”  Well, let’s face it, London has long since lost the title for the hypocritical epicenter of the earth.  While some might try to shift blame by citing British colonization, there comes a point in every child’s life when it must cease blaming the parents and accept responsibility for itself.

There was a time when I was thoroughly snowed.  I thought a Disney world was possible.  I thought an evil man who was shown the true nature of his ways would reform and adopt a policy of philanthropy or minimally, good will and abstention from malevolent acts.  I thought that, given a choice of doing what’s right could outweigh greed and self-aggrandizement.  Of course, I was only 7 and also believed in Santa Claus.  By the time I got to middle school, I was thoroughly disillusioned.  By the time I was through high school, I was disabused of any notion that the creators of Mr. Rogers were anything but exceedingly well-paid, mentally challenged, or both.

It was not until later that I began looking at the mass of corruption that comprises our government that the last lingering shred of hope gave way to cynicism.  Mr. Smith not only failed in his attempt at a filibuster, he never even made it to Washington in the first place, and to this day it remains a great black pit, where the rest of us are bought and sold like so much slave labor.  We pay billions in taxes to support senators, congressmen, and a veritable army of politicos and functionaries, who then sell themselves off to the highest bidders, corporations who have paid good money to have laws written to ensure that we buy only what they offer at prices they set.  Elected officials, of course, get substantially discounted prices in addition to the bribes — nice job, if you can get it.

This is just a sample of the latest villainy.  The US Chamber of Commerce is now raising funds to buy an economist.  The economist will, for a price, concoct a projection that will show the impending economic collapse of the world as we know it should any kind of public health care option be passed into law.  Not that they need to go to all the trouble.  The Dumbocrats have already grabbed their ankles and invited Repugnicans to strip any efficacy out of the bill, except for what will most benefit the private health insurance companies.  In case this should fail, we’ve got Dumbocrats sabotaging the bill from within by adding restrictive pro-life amendments, which all but strip women’s rights and overturn Roe v. Wade.  If that should fail, there’s the White House itself pushing for a trigger to nullify any kind of public option.  In case that should fail, we’ve got Lieberman threatening to kill any bill that contains a public option.  Just to hedge their bets, the big drug companies — who’ve been making all sorts of deals with the Obama Administration to maintain their monopoly and exorbitant pricing – are going to raise their prices in advance to cover the amounts they stand to lose should a health care bill threaten their profit margin.

This weekend, a free health clinic — for which MSNBC’s Countdown spearheaded a fundraiser — took place in New Orleans, LA.  A report was posted by Rich Stockwell, Countdown producer, that bore ample testimony to the deplorable state of affairs propagated by the failure of our elected officials to do anything to endanger the profit margin of the private insurers.  Approximately 1000 people attended.  83% were employed, but had no affordable health insurance; this included an RN who spent his days caring for those who could afford what he could not.  90% of the patients had two or more diagnoses, and 82% had a life-threatening condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or hypertension.  One woman was dismissed without a treatment plan, having been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.  She will soon be one of the 45000 people who die every year for lack of affordable health care.  No politicians were available to appear on Countdown to discuss the free health clinic, the implications of its findings, or their own culpability in the health crisis.

The worst, however, is yet to come.  What will happen when the health care reform bill fails and millions of people are mandated to pay exorbitant prices for health insurance they’re unable to afford?  What will happen when the public option fails and profits for private insurers drive more and more people toward bankruptcy?  What will happen during the next election when the same people who failed us buy their way back into office?  Cynicism will give way to a bleak acceptance of misanthropy.

Leave a Reply