The other day a dude I work with, I'll call him "Mac," started a conversation about taxes that led into health care and he asked if I would be in favor of socialized health care. He let me know that he was against both taxes and socialized health care a few minutes later.
But I replied, we already have socialized health care.
A HMO is a form of socialized health care. Do you really believe that you can see a doctor and get your meds filled for such a cheap price without it being socialized even a little bit? Try it without it! Go on I dare You! I, double dog dare You!
Some including Mac would argue that it is privatized health care not socialized. We are both right!
Years ago, I had Kaiser, when it was still good. I could get a prescription filled at its pharmacy for $5.00. Yeah! Today it's still $5.00 dollars to get a prescription filled but well the hospital is not as good. So why, so cheap? Could it be that it's because we all pay a certain amount for our health care plans? Could it be that the drug companies give a discount because of the amount of medications purchased?
Is that not what we are after with Universal or Socialized Health care?
Now, for all the right wingers, fiscal conservatives and partisans, I'm telling ya now save the rhetoric and the Bee Ess cause I ain't got the patience for it.
My man, Mac, then asked, well do you want higher taxes? I answered, No, of course not! But informed him that we already pay higher taxes!
He asked me how?
I tried to explain but he quickly muddied the water with partisan rhetoric.
First, I am not a Republican! I am also not a Democrat! I am a Black Dude! Neither party has always acted in my or my peoples best interests! I know enough history to know that the Democrats were the racist, obstructionist, segregationist party that denied the rights of Black folks up until 1964 and some would say beyond, depending on who you ask. We were Republican until the 1964. Some still are. My Grandmother was! (RIP) They too sold us out when it was convienient! Abraham Lincoln, The first Patron saint of the GOP, was not looking to end Slavery, his interests were in keeping a Unified country, however that was achieved so be it! He talked of deporting us! The Republicans also have more than their fair share of Racist, fascist policies and deeds too. So my politics are with my people first, then the working and middle class then America's! I am all for helping America rise but not if my people don't rise!
America looks to it's own interests and hurts my people. Black People! Whenever someone, not the Nation of Islam, points that out then we get called racist! No, there isn't a major city in America, where you can't find a China town, A Greek town, A lil something. Where's little Afrika? It ain't the Ghetto! I am not a racist and will never be. I believe in the Brotherhood of Man. I will never avocate turning anyone away who needs help. Black folks throughout history have always shared! To our detriment!
Whenever Black folks say they are gonna do something for Black Folks like build businesses and create jobs in the Black Community, it's frowned upon even though everyone else does it. Black folks are the only ones expected to be Universal. So that's where my politics sit! Don't like it, Tough! I love Jesus and tried to be Universal until I realized the only one trying was me. Fool me once..
But I digress.....
So back to Mac, socialized medicine and higher taxes. King/Harbor Hospital in Watts, South Central Los Angeles, is a county hospital. Up until about five years ago it was one of the best trauma centers in the nation. The Trauma center was closed, as were several others, in the immediate metro area. The hospital was almost closed. Poor healthcare! They couldn't keep enough nurses. Hospitals like Kaiser paid more!
So when a non insured person gets the flu or a cold and can't go to the doctor for treatment they go to the emergency room. They will not be turned away. The city will end up footing the bill, not for treating illness ,when it was the flu or a cold, but for pneumonia or bronchitis. It could have been prevented if medical care was affordable. Is that a tax? Yes! It may not be called a tax but it's a tax. That same money could have been put into a clinic that served the uninsured and save the taxpayer much more money.
This is an argument that has already been proven and won so many times that it's pointless to argue it again.
If half the people in city don't have any health insurance then we are doing something wrong! Let's fix it! Come to the table with your ideas.
Now is it wrong for a health care company to make a profit? No! Of course not! But it is wrong for profit to be the major motivating factor! That's where they lose me. Some people would actually defend a system where half didn't have health insurance, and another thirty percent has it, but can not afford to go to the doctor, just so twenty percent can remain well insured and the shareholders make a profit!
That's wrong! What I don't hear is ways to fix it! How many people work full time jobs but have no health care? How many have health care but their kids are on medical cal? ( State assistance)
See we already foot the bill! I say, we spend the money smarter and more effectively.
In Watts and Compton where King/Harbor is the majority of the population is working class, the education level ranges from those who have no diploma to high school diploma/some college. The racial makeup of Compton and Watts is increasingly Hispanic. Why do I mention the racial makeup? It's been used to muddy the water again. Prop 187, remember? Are we giving public serves to illegal aliens? Should they be able to walk into a hospital and get free health care on our dime? Then we don't talk about affordable health care we are talking about immigration then. That's not the issue! Immigration is not the issue! It's just a smoke screen!
Bill Smith, makes $30 K a year, doing construction. He pays $1750 a month for a two bed room, 1 bath and he has two kids. His wife makes $25 K and none have health insurance. The company doesn't offer it and they can't afford it anyway!
Let's talk about what happens if Bill, his family, go untreated then an illness morphs into a stronger pathogen? How much money will that cost? Who will carry Bill? A small few would just put the foot to Bill but again Bill declares bankruptcy or defaults on a loan then who foots the Bill? We do! That's the point! Get it! The healthcare and drug special interest lobbies don't care about the taxpayer! They privatized the profit and socialized the loss!
What's the solution? Go to any emergency room in the inner city on a Friday night. It will be filled to the brim with the poor and the uninsured. It will be overwhelmingly minority!
So, here's what I would suggest we do. One implement some form of universal health care. Two, send doctors into Mexico to treat those who would come North before they do. Build clinics here and in Mexico. Have new residents work in the clinics with MD's and abroad. Supply all the clinics. Is it the absolute best plan? Heck No! but it's a start and it's better than what we got now.
We can use socialized models that work from Canada, France, Germany, Cuba and tweak them but hey these are not third world countries here.
Will it lower my quality of health care? It shouldn't! If you got nothing now what have you got to lose? If the taxpayer is already footing the bill anyway then I think the taxpayer would like it to be spend better by having that money reinvested into clinics and hospitals. What's the benefit?
Hospitals and clinics! Better relations with Mexico and possibly one less reason for illegals to head North!
Just a thought! But just so this gets said. One of the reasons it wouldn't work is because of the drug, insurance companies and partisan hacks who would let first Xenophobia, and most of all Greed! Greed being the main motivating factor. These special interest lobby millions every year to keep the status Quo. Which leads to only a few folks getting good health care and the rest with nothing. These special interests, the insurance lobbies and drug companies, want to privatize the wealth from the current system and socialized the risk or failures. The bill from the uninsured on the backs of the taxpayer.
Time for Change! If they preachin Stat Quo, they gots to go!
BE Mindful! BE Prayerful! BE Careful!