In our daily lives, government has one primary purpose and one secondary purpose: To provide the essential services we need while staying the fuck out of the way in everything else. Apparently, they’ve forgotten that.
The current debacle reminds me a lot of the way the IMF/World Bank colonize third world countries: First they provide debt, then they impose heartless financial policy that transfers the wealth from the poorest to the wealthiest. They force slashing of social spending while taxes increase, even if only effectively — the marginal rate may not increase, but the return on investment for the taxpayer always decreases dramatically. Take, for example, most of the African continent where socialized medicine has been replaced by the for-profit model, in which one-third (or more) of those who seek urgent medical care die before their families can raise the funds needed to save their lives.
This whole “Obamacare” thing just fucking reeks of that. With a simple enough rework of the tax code, the US could provide universal health care and actually save money in the process. I don’t know the current numbers, but in the not so distant past it was 35% of all health care premium dollars that the insurance companies got to keep for themselves without justification. That’s a pretty incredible profit margin — your local grocer, for example, gets by on low single digits. All the health insurers have (had) to do to stay out of hot water is (was) to prove that 65% of all premium dollars are (were) paid out in claims. The rest is (was) unquestioned. And that 35% is/was on top of our grossly inflated costs of care, so the more it costs to provide medical services overall, the more profit for the insurance carriers. An obviously and egregiously broken system.
The issue for the GOP isn’t health care at all. It’s the drive to privatize all public spending so the government does nothing directly. The fat cats want to rake the profit out of everything the government does, and that wee slice of health care (or at any rate the medical services industry) that the government would provide under the ACA is coveted. The rich fucks who own the government covet it.
Let’s face reality for just a moment: Darn few of us are going to get through this life without a significant (significantly costly) medical crisis. Most of us are not going to be in perfect health and then just suddenly and cheaply die. The way things are now, the way they will remain under “Oh-blah-blah care”, most of us are going to go into the hole leaving our estates to medical service providers rather than our heirs. Quite a number of us will be bankrupted but survive, with all of our accumulated wealth transferred to the medical services industry, the thing we like to call “the health care system”. There is no caring at all in that system. Its sole purpose is to bleed us dry, whether we walk away or not.
My favorite analogy is mandatory car insurance. The simple solution that guarantees 100% participation is a state run program that puts the premium charge right in the cost of fuel: The more miles you drive (increasing your risk exposure), and the heavier your vehicle (increasing the damage it can be expected to do), the more fuel required to accomplish those highway miles so the greater the price paid in fuel surcharge premiums. Simple, obvious, and effective. But nooooooo…. that would make private automobile liability coverage obsolete and so take profits away from that industry. So fuck you and I, we get to absorb the risk of meeting an uninsured motorist on the highway despite the fact that the law makes insurance mandatory. (I don’t know about you, but I carry more than the mandated minimum in liability coverage and also buy uninsured motorist coverage. It’s the only rational response to our broken system, and it costs me year in and year out. I fucking hate it.) If instead it were included as a fuel surcharge and so universal, we’d all be covered, cheaper, and the risk of uninsured/underinsured drivers wouldn’t even exist.
It’s the same with health care. Tick up the tax rate a bit, make sure everyone pays appropriately, and we all save money. See the Physicians For A National Health Program web site for details, if you’d like. Not only do we save money, we get a system in which there’s no cashier’s window at any hospital in the land. No bills coming in for weeks and months after each visit to the physician. It’s already paid for, and you’ve already paid your share. And if you earn more than the average, you’ve paid more than the average, but ya know what? Fuck you for whining, bitch. It takes ALL of us to make a society worth living in.
That’s what the GOP is opposed to. They like the idea that a few thrive in a competitive economy, while all thrive in a cooperative economy. They like knowing that poor people suffer, and that every member of the middle class is working his or her ass off to make the ruling elite richer in order that they, individually, don’t join the underclass in suffering. If you dig that kind of world, support those assholes who’ve just shut down the government. Otherwise, do the other thing. And fuck you if you don’t.
I don’t, personally, give a fuck who runs the country. I say fuck Kennedy: The government that can’t do anything for me isn’t worth supporting in the first place. I’m doing my share, and then some — because the investment bankers of Wall Street aren’t doing theirs. So howzabout a break for those of us who aren’t independently wealthy? Howzabout a little compassion for those of us who don’t hide our money in offshore tax havens? Howzabout a little give a fuck?
Shame on you, GOP.