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Opinion

Opinion

Quality health care for all

October 9, 2009

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Republicans have the same right to quality health care as anyone else, and you can quote me on that. Even people who are crazed stark raving berserk by the thought of a president with three vowels in his last name deserve to be treated with kindness and dignity, and shot with tranquilizer darts by game wardens and wrapped in quilts and taken to refuge.

What has come along to change my mind? Fall, magnificent fall, in all its grandeur, when the maples are blazing with glory, like young romantic poets dying as they are writing their best stuff. John Keats died at 25, Shelley at 29. Stephen Crane was 28. Franz Schubert was 31, and Mozart was just a young married guy with a couple of little boys, neither of whom did much in their lives. One of them had musical talent but was crushed by the burden of his father’s fame. (Great men probably shouldn’t have children, so keep that in mind if you are young and wildly brilliant: Use a condom.)

The maple trees stand in the yards of we stolid Midwesterners and they cry out for unbridled passion and heartbreaking beauty and fabulous golden yellows and blazing reds, and they tell us to quit our jobs and fly away in pursuit of hopeless romance and a life of dance and poetry and spending your life creating masterpieces that the world will ignore, and of course we don’t listen to the bad advice of trees, we go right ahead fixing our children’s lunches and arranging little enriching experiences for them and asking them what they want to be for Halloween, and then the rain falls and the wind blows and romanticism is gone, a heap of rotting leaves on the ground. Sic transit gloria mundi, pal.

That is what fall means in St. Paul, Minn. It’s maple trees telling us about mortality and that life is short and can’t be put on Pause and each of us is as fragile and forgettable as a maple tree. We go racing past them fighting our petty battles for power and parking spaces, and then we die (arghh) and people glance at the obit and if you’re young, like Keats and Shelley, they feel a little twinge, and if you aren’t they don’t, and then they go back to telling their kids about the importance of correct spelling and grammar, which every good parent should do.

In the great contest of autumn — Art and Adventure vs. Parenthood, Hitting the Road In Search Of The True You vs. Attending Parent-Teacher Conferences & Hearing About How We Need To Work On Sharing — Republicans vote neither. They’re mostly about maximizing profit in the short run. They are the folks who buy a healthy company and then sink it under an enormous debt load that goes to pay them a vast profit even though the company is sinking, and the creditors get shafted.

They are the ones who are dead-set against government regulation and do not mind manufacturing hamburger patties contaminated by E. coli, and if someone becomes terribly ill from eating one — a young woman in Minnesota almost died from a Cargill hamburger and will likely never walk again — nonetheless Republicans remain staunchly opposed to G-men snooping around the slaughterhouse, and so I should never eat another Big Mac or Whopper or any other ground meat other than that ground from whole sirloin by a butcher as I watch. Never.

We are back to the 19th century so far as meat is concerned. This has been accomplished by those incredibly rude men who occupy first class on the airplane and elbow themselves ahead of elderly women in line as they yammer into dangly cell phones. They have nothing to do with art and even less to do with bringing up children. They are a danger to society and an embarrassment to their children. Nonetheless, if one of them falls down with a heart attack, he should be cared for, same as anyone else.

Comments

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

Republican RINO's are bad for business = make questionable business decisions.

How in the world do they get their banking friends to authorize outrageous loans to buy companies that are not worth the money? You know hostile mergers,high dollar buyouts and other tricky deals. These newly owned companies suddenly leave the country and put millions,over the years, out of work. Why would any financial institution support such a reckless business deal?

Bad business people or what?

This is a huge part the problem:

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Home Loan Scandal http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

  2. The Bush/Cheney Home Loan Scandal http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

  3. What did Bush and Henry Paulson do with the bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

  4. Why did the RINO Lie About Social Security? http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0505orr.html

And hmmmmmmmmmmm "They are the ones who are dead-set against government regulation and do not mind manufacturing hamburger patties contaminated by E. coli, and if someone becomes terribly ill from eating one — a young woman in Minnesota almost died from a Cargill hamburger and will likely never walk again — nonetheless Republicans remain staunchly opposed to G-men snooping around the slaughterhouse, and so I should never eat another Big Mac or Whopper or any other ground meat other than that ground from whole sirloin by a butcher as I watch. Never."

Better buy local meat or locally produced Central Soy Tofu.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

Paying More, Getting Less

How much is the sick U.S. health care system costing you?

By Joel A. Harrison Paying through the Taxman

The U.S. health care system is typically characterized as a largely private-sector system, so it may come as a surprise that more than 60% of the $2 trillion annual U.S. health care bill is paid through taxes, according to a 2002 analysis published in Health Affairs by Harvard Medical School associate professors Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein.

Tax dollars pay for Medicare and Medicaid, for the Veterans Administration and the Indian Health Service. Tax dollars pay for health coverage for federal, state, and municipal government employees and their families, as well as for many employees of private companies working on government contracts.

Less visible but no less important, the tax deduction for employer-paid health insurance, along with other health care-related tax deductions, also represents a form of government spending on health care.

It makes little difference whether the government gives taxpayers (or their employers) a deduction for their health care spending, on the one hand, or collects their taxes then pays for their health care, either directly or via a voucher, on the other.

Moreover, tax dollars also pay for critical elements of the health care system apart from direct care—Medicare funds much of the expensive equipment hospitals use, for instance, along with all medical residencies.

All told, then, tax dollars already pay for at least $1.2 trillion in annual U.S. health care expenses. Since federal, state, and local governments collected approximately $3.5 trillion in taxes of all kinds—income, sales, property, corporate—in 2006, that means that more than one third of the aggregate tax revenues collected in the United States that year went to pay for health care.

More on this matter: http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 2 months ago

Are you surprised that Garrison Keillor and his National Public Radio show are subsidized with my and your tax dollars? What a scam.

Oh, and Garrison, you forgot "affordable" in your little moveon.org press release. It's "quality, affordable health care for all," remember?

Unbelievable.

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