It seems like the nation is stuck in a rut. Congress can't settle on a healthcare bill that gives everyone (read: the insurance co.'s) what they want. Citizens are crying about "socialism" and "death panels" and other such red herrings.
And what do I think about it all? Well, I'm leaning past the left towards anarchy or revolution as the only solution to this madness.
I for one have never understood what the big deal about socialism is. I think that really, it's a combination of greed and ignorance that drives the fear. Because we already have several forms of "socialism" in place, and nobody bitches about public parks or fire trucks or busses or much needed (albeit inconvenient) highway maintenance. OR MEDICARE. Who pays for that? The government? And where do they get their money (this is the $1M question, folks)? TAXES! SOCIALISM! Sure, some bad things have been done in the name of communism over in China and USSR, but PEOPLE-- it's FREE UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE!
And the main reason people are opposed to it is either that they think that it will cost too much or that there will be some immaculate panel that determines who is fit to be a part of functioning society. Both of these assumptions are the result of misinformation spread by (presumably) the insurance companies (who are making a killing) and their lackeys. But furthermore it shows how little trust the american people have left in our government.
Seriously, these are BIG, legit fears. I mean hell, I don't want the government taking more of my money to fund some half-baked plan of theirs to "bail out" Wall Street. So by the same vein I can understand healthy non-smoking people not wanting the government taking their money to "bail out" someone with emphysema. And for sure, almost all of us have an elderly relative in assisted living or permanent healthcare etc., and we'd all sure hate to loose Nana or PepPep because the government's own Simon Cowell said so. And no doubt, all the smokers and alcoholics are shaking in their boots for fear they get a collapsed lung or something and are turned away because their own bad habits brought them to the ER.
But where can we draw the line? How can we make our government (and ourselves) accountable? To me, the obvious solution is a "fat tax" funding the new health care system. A higher (way high) sales tax on fatty and sugary foods, alcohol and tobacco. (And then, since we're on a roll, why don't we legalize the cultivation of cannabis, legalize and tax marijuana and use the revenue to fund our new GREEN *cough cough* hemp energy economy!) (And on that note, I'll bet if medical marijuana WERE to be legal, and we could all freely self medicate, the sleeping, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant pill manufacturers would go out of business! (along with those for glaucoma, seizures and everything else it's legally prescribable for)).
The life expectancy in America is 78.11 years, which doesn't seem too shabby, but we're #50 when all the countries are compared. (Canada is #8 at 81.23 years. Even with grizzly bears, moose, and lumberjacks felling trees. Hmmm.) Check out this page for some stats on just how bad America's health is (survey is a little outdated: 1992. But the point still stands)