Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Confesson Tuesday: The healthcare and I

As Obama signs the last amendments of the health insurance bill into law, I read how insurers are already looking for taking advantage of flaws in its legalese to avoid providing new insurance coverage for sick children: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/29/health/policy/29health.html. I am sure that the insurance agencies we are all demonizing right now will fix the gap, as another article puts it in Washington Post. But this is not what I wanted to write about. Nor will I debate with anyone about pro-choice, pro-life or death panels –for the simple reason that if we assume that you do have a reasonable objection, I will not be able to answer it. I admit it : I did not read the law.
But the object of this post is not the healthcare law. I am aiming for a more basic belief: is healthcare a right or a privilege. Well at the most basic level it is a right – in the most primitive tribes any member had access to the healer. Now, granted that the particular healer did not provide the same level of healthcare as a heart transplant facility will but the difference is not one of principle but of grade. As members of a more developed socio-political group we do have access to the most sophisticated solutions. Now, somewhere on the historical path between that time when all members of the tribe had equal access to the healer and the 21th century healthcare systems in most developed countries in which all members do have equal access to the healers, something happened, something we call progress. Now, progress is a process rather than a state of being –a process characterizing those countries which are developing. And in these countries it does make somewhat sense, as much as the idea disturbs me or my very liberal readers, to consider healthcare a privilege. Social progress is very much an extension of the Darwinian evolutionist theory of survival of the fittest in the luckiest circumstances. This is why the ones that were sickly, i.e. unfit and unlucky to be rich enough to pay for healthcare were left out...
But it seems that at a point progress reached a threshold, the one beyond which we call some societies developed rather than developing... And it looks that beyond this threshold societies rediscovered their ability to sustain the sickly and the poor. Which is the human thing to do. And the Christian one.
Now, that the Christian faith is meant to support the weaklings is one thing I shall not contest. Or debate...
So what I am left to wonder is how comes that in a country which claims to be la crème de la crème,all these people shouting out their Christianity seem to be outraged at the idea of universal healthcare and welfare, in general because, well it may dig another tax hole in their pockets and threatens their chance to power

4 comments:

Paul said...

The politics of your country looks very strange to the rest of us. Universal health care would seem to be a basic necessity in a 'developed' country.

Ana said...

well, Paul, health insurance companies as well as medical providers do have an interest on keeping the system going as it is. So do people that have good health insurance plans through their employers or the young and healthy that would not like to pay for it…(you remember that at that age you tend to think you would always be young and healthy).Plus people fear change…as for politicians, well they get paid by all the above.
And of course there is the ideology that shapes our minds and souls –and here people fear government involvement more than the devil itself. And it is not that I also believe that too much involvement form the government is not healthy –but look, just because there is public education it does not mean that there is no place for private options, if you have the money to pay for them…

kiersty said...

You write very straight forward and unarguably. I am lucky to have been protected by the National Health Service in this country for most of my life. It has saved my life as I was treated for pre-cancerous cells over a three year period. I also get free dental care and all my babies were delivered by a midwife in my home. We are not poor. We pay for the privilige of being part of the NHS by our National Insurance contributions which start at the age of sixteen and are linked to our earnings. It is the norm here and although it is not perfect (they keep looking for back door ways to make it run more like a private company) it means I can see a doctor whenever I need one, day or night, call an ambulance out day or night (which I have had to do twice this year for my asthmatic daughter having an attack) and afford medicines that I would not be able to have even considered had I been an american citizen. I think it will work for you. It is one of the few areas where America has really been behind the rest of the world (with the exception of the environment, which is also a big WTF?) and as long as it is not abused it will help blur the class divide which restricts America from being seen as a united nation by the rest of the world. I really hope so.

Ana said...

oh, Kiersty - I know - and I am afraid that those persons that fear what the public option might bring (such as death panels and othe raberrations) are not visiting this blog. But thanks for sahring your story...