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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Great Uninsured--decreasing the surplus population

Scrooge was approached by two men to give at Christmas. He asked if the debtors prison and the poor house was still in full vigor. Sadly they said it was. Then the poor should go there he said. Some would rather die sir they said. Then they should do it and decrease the surplus population he answered.

Strange times we live in. We are now evaluating if we really need to do something about health care--the very sustenance of existence. We are not talking about who should get a tax break but who should be cared for so they may survive their time on our planet. The stakes don't get much higher than that for the millions of the great uninsured.
I spoke with a woman who told me she had just lost her home in Florida. She is a realtor and has a nice home in the Chicago land area. Maybe in her fifties. We chatted about real estate and selling my two flat and somehow we started talking about doctors. That's when she dropped the bomb and said she was uninsured and that she couldn't afford to get sick.
She said she couldn't afford health insurance and worse no one would insure her because she has pre existing conditions. This is not a poor person. This is not someone who doesn't pay taxes and has a mortgage. She simply cannot get insurance. Depending on where you come down in this debate you may say it is this woman's own fault. She should have been working for a company instead of a straight commission job. She should make more so she can afford health care.

The truth is everyone could become this woman.
The argument against Universal Health Care is that it will knock down the quality of our health care. But to the millions of uninsured in this country, some health care is better than no health care. I suppose it comes down to your view of America. If we are a country that takes care of it's people then you believe that health care is a right. But if your view is that it is every man and woman for himself and take the more Darwinian approach of survival of the fittest--then we should stop all the pretense and just say good luck to people like this woman.

There are a lot of people finding themselves in the unemployment line now. Some will never be rehired and will lose their benefits. Some will get old outside the corporate safety net without health insurance. So if we decide to tell all these people they are own, then like Scrooge, we should also tell that if they are going to die, then they should do it, and decrease the surplus population.

Books by William Hazelgrove