I think it’s time for me to finally weigh in with my expert opinion on the health care issue. I’m comfortable calling myself an expert on the topic because it’s evident that a person doesn’t need to know anything about the facts of the proposed health care to be considered an authority. And actually, the crazier you sound and the more wildly you distort the facts, the better your chances are of getting your own show on Fox.
Specifically, I want to address the issue of whether the government should provide free/affordable health care. OF COURSE IT SHOULD. And not just health care insurance, our government should make adequate health care available to its citizens for free. It doesn’t have to be great– the waiting rooms can have hard seats and 20-year-old issues of Highlights– but it should get the job done.
There are two major complaints I hear about the health care issue. The first is that the U.S. can’t afford it. The government provides free education, free security, free legal services and even free room and board if you’re so inclined to rob a bank or have a few ounces of pot in your possession (though it’s only short-term housing if you molest a child). Why should health care be some sort of luxury?
The fact is, the United States is rich but we spend like a rapper after his first hit single. Our nation sends billions of dollars in aid to other countries each year, let’s start helping out the people at home. Perhaps some smaller examples of how we spend our money will put it into perspective. Early this year, our government spent over $300K to fly Air Force One low through New York City, scaring the crap out of everybody, for a stupid photo op. Apparently nobody at the Pentagon knows they could have accomplished the same thing with Photoshop for a total cost of about $500.
Even more recently, Los Angeles spent $1.4 million of taxpayer dollars on the Michael Jackson memorial. Concert promoter AEG donated the $90K it earned from the event to the city and do you think that money will offset the cost? Nope. It’s going toward a $620K memorial wall to fallen L.A. police officers. That’s not a typo. It’s a brass wall that costs over half a million dollars. A Facebook group dedicated to the officers costs nothing and would probably attract more visitors. If that’s not enough, perhaps the city could instead give $620K cash to the fallen officer’s families so they can afford the private health care insurance they probably lost when their husband/wife/parent died.
It seems like on the rare occasion when the government does make cuts, I’m the one who gets screwed. I recently reported for jury duty and during orientation I learned it was Juror Appreciation Week. I immediately reached under my seat hoping to feel a key but then I heard those unfortunate words, “Due to cutbacks…” You know what they gave us? A mechanical pencil. And they didn’t even give it to us until the end of the day because apparently they were afraid too many people would show up for jury duty to score that free fucking pencil.
The second complaint I hear a lot about the health care issue is sort of a variation on the first. It’s the ‘ol “Why should my money go toward other people’s health insurance? Maybe they should get jobs that pay better” argument. Anybody who feels that way should take it upon themselves to force people out of their cushy minimum wage jobs. Stop supporting establishments that pay their employees substandard wages and stop employing Juanita who cleans your house for six hours for 50 bucks. Force businesses to bump up their pay rates so their employees can afford to purchase their own health insurance without government assistance. Once that happens, you can wash that $20 Big Mac down with a $10 coke, satisfied with the knowledge that your tax dollars aren’t being spent to cover someone else’s health insurance.