What Has Government Ever Done For You?
We left Chicago for St. Louis and traveled a smooth federal highway built by a Republican President; none other than the war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower. We stopped at a state-run rest stop in Illinois where clean public restrooms waited in an air-conditioned area that also contained historical displays and informational presentations. In the evenings, the rest area is patrolled by armed security.
We flew out of St. Louis for Florida on a plane that is required by law to be so up-to-the-minute maintained and air-worthy that plane crashes have become a rarity in this country. We flew in safety, guided by federal employees of the FAA, who make sure air traffic flows as smoothly as possible. We landed in Orlando and drove home, where street lights shone on the roadways and police cruised, protecting and serving.
It has become popular in the United States among a certain set of elitist blowhards to badmouth the government's involvement in anything. They cite past failures of the government and point to those failures (Social Security is one of their favorite targets) as examples of what government will do to health care. These same blowhards are the loudest and proudest supporters of "our men and women in uniform," conveniently forgetting that the military is a very well-run government institution. The military also has its own health care system, and while not perfect, I grew up under it and much prefer it to what we have currently.
Are these blowhards disguised as libertarians who rant and rave about the "Stalinization" of our country really concerned about you and me? Do they understand what it is like to pay thousands of dollars for an emergency visit to the hospital when a child falls on a bicycle? We do, and we had health insurance at the time our son rode face-first into a stone mailbox. You pay through the nose for something you hope not to ever have to use, and when it comes time to use it, you find the coverage is abysmal at best. Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh don't understand this. They talk up "the world's greatest health care" and extol the wonders of our amazing medicine, but they are multimillionaires living outside of reality. They can demand and afford the best treatment money can buy while pointing to the "shame and inequality" of the government-run systems in Canada, Britain, or, (God-forbid!) France. But we are not those countries, and I would imagine we can learn from mistakes they might have made.
What has government ever done for me? Plenty. And well. And I'm willing to give government a shot at reforming our pathetically broken and under-performing health care system, which is currently run by insurance companies. Am I a socialist because I am willing to take that risk? Gimme a break. But if you want to put it in socialist terms; under the current system, the proletariat are using the emergency room as their primary physician while the aristocrats fly to Rochester for a second opinion.
The operative word here is "affordable," and that's all government would seek to do in reforming health care. Don't worry, Sean and Rush. You'll still be able to find all the prescription drugs and cosmetic surgeries your fat wallets can afford.
Labels: army doctor, Chicago, Eisenhower, health care, health insurance, Interstate highway system, orlando, public works, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, social security, St. Louis, united states military