Friday, August 14, 2009

Improved Health Care Reform Plan Being Created by Pitchfork Wielding Mobs

Why are some people expressing so much irrational anger at the health care reform town halls being held around the country?

I'd say it's because working together to reform health care is hard work and we are lazy. It's a lot more fun to dream up some evil Bogeyman and then yell with other people in a crowd. Sort of like going to a sporting event.

Watching Faux News, listening to Rush (the talk radio guy not the band) and getting a few made up emails about death panels and the conspiracy to take away Medicare is like the pre-game warm up. We should get a keg of beer for the party at the house, tail gate before the town hall and paint our faces.

We spend a greater percentage of our GDP on health care than any nation in the world with the exception of East Timor yet the U.S. quality of health care is 24th out of industrialized nations (Japan is number 1). Insurance companies take their cut with excessive administration costs while denying claims and cherry picking who will be covered to maximize profits. Pharmaceutical companies are allowed to spend huge sums to advertise prescription drugs targeted at the uninformed, with the intent of getting the patient to lobby the Doctor to prescribe something they may not need and often times with a scary list of possible side effects. We ration health care based on a persons ability to buy insurance, pay for care directly or their employers ability/willingness to provide them with a insurance. We have sick people who don't get preventative health care and end up with catastrophic illnesses that cost society much more than simple solutions that would work early on. Health care costs impact businesses ability to compete in a global market.

Forget all that - it's too hard to think about and change is scary. Lets leave things as they are and if anyone wants to change anything we'll yell about socialism and big government.

On the other hand we could open up our minds a bit, become informed and offer solutions.

From the Seattle Times article about Congressman Rick Larsen's health care reform town hall event in Everett -

"The event at Memorial Stadium in Everett began with the singing of the national anthem.

Get it?

We are all Americans who love this country.

Common ground."