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Sunday, August 31, 2008

We Have Never Had Uninsured Citizens; America Will Always Have Universal Health Insurance

We Have Never Had Uninsured Citizens; America Will Always Have Universal Health Insurance
Image © Austin Cline
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I don't suppose anything says "you're on your own" quite like "your primary source of health care will be emergency room of whichever hospital lets you in." How many Republicans are willing to openly admit, though, that their political party and political leaders are consciously and deliberately consigning large numbers of fellow Americans to the most expensive, least effecient, and often times worst form of primary health care this nation has to offer?

Not too many, I suspect, which is probably why the Republican Party is getting so good at Doublethink. The above position is, after all, adopted by the same people who have decided that if you can get to an emergency room for health care, then you aren't really "uninsured." So all Americans have always had universal health insurance, right?

There's a grain of truth to this and liberal critics of the America's current health care system have often pointed out that America does have a form of "universal health coverage," namely hospital emergency rooms, but this is always stated as a form of criticism. It's a bad thing that Americans who need health care must wait until their condition gets so desperate that they have to go to the emergency room rather than seeing a primary care physician early on.

It's bad for them because their health deteriorates and they may not get completely better; it's bad for everyone else because emergency rooms receive far more business than they should from people who can't pay, thus driving up everyone's costs far more than otherwise would happen. Republicans have derided universal health insurance as "socialized medicine," which means that they are touting the existence of a form of socialized medicine in America. For some reason, though, they don't care that it's probably the worst possible form of socialized medicine that could possibly exist.

What liberals say ironically as a form of criticism, conservatives are adopting as a badge of honor. At this rate it may soon become impossible to parody or satarize conservative Republicans because there may be no position too ridiculous or too immoral for them to decide to adopt explicitly. Then where will I be? An even worse scenario is the possibility that some Republicans might actually be trolling through satirical critiques for new policy ideas! Consider my sermon from last week: what enterprising young conservtive wouldn't be able to add that one to this one and come up with the idea of defining homelessness out of existence because "so long as you have a bridge to sleep under, you can't really be homeless"?

I don't suppose they really need me, though — their own lack of empathy, human decency, and basic morality will surely suffice. So, I guess it's safe for me to come up with other suggestions, secure in the knowledge that none are so heinous that some Republican policy wonk probably isn't trying to figure out how to implement it already:

  • There is no war. So long as there's someone we're not bombing, peace reigns.

  • There is no poverty. So long as you can sell your organs or sexual favors on the black market, you have access to plenty of funds.

  • There is no unemployment. So long as anyone can collect cans by the side of the road, everyone has a job.

  • There is no crack down on civil liberties. John McCain was a POW and knows what it's like to live without freedom.

  • There is no global warming. So long as Canada is too weak to resist an invasion, we'll always have a temperate climate.

  • There is no hunger. So long as we have soup kitchens and edible weeds, people will always have enough to eat. And John McCain was a POW, so he knows what it's like to miss a meal occasionally.

Does anyone want to take bets on which we'll see first from some conservative "think" tank?

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We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.