Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Health Care, Government, Trust

Gotta hand it to Michael Moore for knowing how to put it. I got a great e-mail from him today. Here's an excerpt:

And all of the media should start saying how much it costs to go to a doctor in these other top industrialized countries: Nothing. Zip. It's FREE. Don't patronize Americans by saying, "Well, it's not free -- they pay for it with taxes!" Yes, we know that. Just like we know that we drive down a city street for FREE -- even though we paid for that street with our taxes. The street is FREE, the book at the library is FREE, if your house catches on fire, the fire department will come and put it out for FREE, and if someone snatches your purse, the police officer will chase down the culprit and bring your purse back to you -- AND HE WON'T CHARGE YOU A DIME FROM THAT PURSE!

These are all free services, collectively socialized and paid for with our tax dollars. To argue that health care -- a life and death issue for many -- should not be considered in the same league is ludicrous and archaic. And trust me, once you add up what you pay for out-of-pocket in premiums, deductibles, co-pays, overpriced medicines, and treatments that aren't covered (not to mention all the other things we pay for like college education, day care and other services that many countries provide for at little or no cost), we, as Americans, are paying far more than the Canadians or Brits or French are paying in taxes. We just don't call these things taxes, but that's exactly what they are.

And when he was on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart had a zinger about how Americans are find about trusting the Government when it comes to killing people (Military), but not when it comes to Health Care.

It also occurs to me a similar comparison could be made about how Republicans stress that those "Evil" Corporations are in fact run by us, the people, since so many Americans own stock (never mind that the 50% level reached after 401k's took off is deceptive because something like 99% of the dollar value of all stock is owned by 1% of the people. That is, 49 out of that 50% own miniscule amounts of stock that has comparatively no voting power in the corporation). Whenever a Republican mentions that factoid (it resembled a fact), quickly point out that the same is true with our Government, although in that case we all have EQUAL say, not based on how much money we inherited.

Related: More Americans May Own Stock, But Many Live On Financial Edge by Froma Harrop

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