Boobs and broccoli


Yesterday, I listened to rantings from protesters outside of the Supreme Court building on the radio, and they sounded crazy.  “If we let Obama make us buy health insurance, where’s it going to end?  Next thing you know, he’ll make everyone buy a Chevy Volt.”  

 “Heh, crazy talk from the whacko fringe,” I thought. 

Today, I heard a similar thing on NPR, but sadly, it was Antonin Scalia making the argument. (Substitute broccoli for Chevy Volt, and it’s the same frothing, three-cornered hat, 'don't tread on me' stuff.)  Yes, that Scalia, the one who sits on the highest court in the land.  Not that I’ve ever been a fan of his, but still…  (I just spent a while on the internet trying to learn the name of that gesture that he used on the press, the one with curled fingers under the chin that suddenly become unfurled.  Since the gesture had no name, I decided not to write about it, but that’s the classy justice we’re dealing with.)  

I like it better when the lawyers dress the ridiculousness up in intelligent-sounding, confusing arguments, like “jurisprudence blah blah blah the courts recognize blah blah blah doctrine blah blah blah judicial extension of doctrine blah blah blah based on so and so v. so and so. It would be easier to stomach,  because our attention wanders with the mention of the word, “jurisprudence.” Broccoli, on the other hand, we understand.  We pay attention when Nina Totenberg’s report involves a common vegetable.

Because here's the deal: if you need broccoli and you don’t have it, you either go buy some, or do without.  Either way, it won’t lead to financial ruin for you, and it won’t create a strain on the other broccoli eaters.  People don’t show up in the emergency room because that was the only way they could obtain broccoli.

Health care, on the other hand, isn’t like that.  You get a terrible disease while uninsured, and ome combination of four things happen:  you receive sub-standard care, you suffer financial ruin, care providers lose money, and cost goes up for insured.  Why does trying to fix this problem promote such a vitriolic response?  

Not to mention preventative care.  Today, I went to the mammogram trailer, which by the way, was parked in front of a movie theater in Redmond.  The kindly woman flattened my boobs into a vast, single-cell-thick pancake through an excruciating maneuver that involves large pieces of Plexiglas, a vice, and a “gown” (nothing you’d wear to a ball).  Anyway, this procedure isn’t something one could access in the emergency room. “Emergency! I haven’t had a mammogram in 2 years!” 

Anyway, I’m not going to go into a long rant about the whole health care thing, because you guys already know all of that, but really, comparing the requirement to carry health insurance to buying broccoli?   It seems awkward.  

Comments

  1. Awkward, I agree. I also agree that the gown is nothing that you would wear to a ball. That reminds me, I need to buy some broccoli. Oh yeah, and that other thing too.

    Cheers!

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    Replies
    1. Get that broccoli, Debi. And that other thing...

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  2. The gesture you mention is the Italian "chin flick". It's a little less rude than "the finger" - more like an expression of contempt. :)

    As far as health care goes, having been in both the American system and the Canadian system...I prefer the Canadian system with all it's scars and imperfections.

    I don't understand why the government would want to fine people for not having insurance. That sounds weird to me.

    Not having insurance here in Canada isn't against the law and you definitely won't get a fine for it, but when the premiums are linked to your income, it seems more affordable and convenient to pay for the premium rather than risk being sent a huge bill.

    If you are low income (that means $22K and under) your premiums are ZERO and up to $30K they are graduated premiums.

    That makes sense to me, that when you are struggling to buy groceries, that the rest of us would help you out with taxes and higher premiums to ensure that everyone is covered. But, I suppose, there are people out there who don't want to help out those who can't afford healthcare.

    I suppose if you weren't used to the newly proposed system, you might have to enforce co-operation by mandatory membership.

    In 1954 in our province - premiums not paid caused difficulties in the system - and it was then that a 2% sales tax was implemented.

    Before our present system, there were 2 non-profit organizations to choose from for health insurance - but the poor and the elderly weren't covered....so in came our present system - the public medical system.

    The problem in the USA is difficult, but it needs an overhaul so that the insurance companies aren't "cherry picking" the healthiest and getting richer while leaving the sickest to the government - or emergency departments to absorb.

    I suppose I sound a tad socialist, but I am actually quite "Canadian conservative", which in the USA, I suppose would be interpreted as "socialist". :)

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  3. Yes, the particulars are complicated, and I'm not suggesting that the law that got passed is the best solution. It just seems crazy that people are opposed to trying to solve this problem, as if the status quo, with millions of people uninsured or under-insured is a good way.

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  4. It's definitely a start in the right direction. I just hate to see people without insurance...or as with the working poor...as you say, underinsured.

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