by Charles S. Garabedian
People who do statistical research and other kinds of research on healthcare issues in the United States have noticed something really odd. I am not totally sure of this, but I suspect this oddity is especially pervasive among ordinary Christian fundamentalists, conservative evangelicals, and right wing political folks. What have these researchers noticed? Here it comes, as best expressed in my own words:
I just love that there Affordable Care Act health insurance. My sister’s family has that for their health insurance, and it has been a real blessing for them. However, I gotta tell you, I hate that there left wing extremist Obamacare. We need to do all we can to get rid of that awful, evil thing.
News Flash!!! The Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are not two separate things. They are exactly the same thing. The Affordable Care Act is the abbreviated official name of the statute passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama. The term Obamacare is the highly informal nickname for the exact same Act.
Here is another widespread oddity that these same researchers are encountering among ordinary Americans all across the United States. Here it is as best expressed in my own words:
Well, you know what? I’m a political conservative. I have bedrock conservative principles straight out of the Bible. If you don’t work, then you can’t have any food. You know what else? I hate the very idea of socialized medicine and healthcare. It’s an evil, left wing, Jesus-hating plot to destroy America. Outside of that evil Obamacare, I am sure thankful to God that we don’t have any socialized medicine here in the United States.
I turned 65 years old a while back, and I’m proud to be on Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part C. It is truly a healthcare blessing. Recently, I had major surgery, and Medicare paid for nearly all of the cost. It was even better than the health insurance I had with my former employer, which cost me and my family $600 per month out of pocket and my employer more than $2000 per month. My monthly Medicare premiums are really small. Medicare Part A costs me nothing, and Part B costs me only about $135 per month. Part C costs me another $135 per month. Now that’s what I call real insurance!!! You could never get healthcare this cheap and this good from any socialized medicine program run by a government!!!
News Flash!!! Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D are classic socialized medicine and healthcare available through the federal government to all elderly Americans (age 65 and older). Medicaid is a similar socialized medicine and healthcare program for poor Americans and elderly poor people who cannot afford to pay for their healthcare out of pocket.
In my honest opinion, based on my own personal experience with it, Medicare is a blessing to all Americans—straight from the hand of Jesus. Medicare and Medicaid are both highly efficient and well run. Medicare and Medicaid cost increases do not occur because of programmatic inefficiency. They occur because the general cost of healthcare and prescription medicine in the United States are increasing at lunatic rates because of runaway corporate greed in the private healthcare insurance companies, big hospital corporations, and pharmaceutical corporations. They are playing a cruel extortion game with the American people. I call this game:
How much money could you scrape together and give me in exchange for your life? If you knew you were going to die tomorrow without this medicine our corporation makes, how much would you pay for a dose—$500, $1,000, $10,000? What say I sell you one dose of this lifesaving medication for $20,000? Yep!! That is our final price—$20,000 per dose sucker!!! We figure you will need about 20 does of this medication to save your life, so draw your life savings down $400,000 for us—and we will spare your life. What? You never saved that much? Well, we hope you have a nice funeral. Good-bye!!!
American conservatives and radical right Republicans would say the following in response to that:
Well, that’s just the way American capitalism works. American capitalism is a Holy principle. It would be wrong for us humans to interfere with its operation in any way.
First of all, American capitalism is not Holy in any way, form, or fashion. Yes, from reading the Bible, the economic system of the ancient Jewish people appears to have been a typical capitalist economic system. However, it is just a pattern of economic dealings that developed slowly over time—on its own—from the time of cave men on through to the time when ancient agriculture arrived in the Middle East. It is a creation solely by the hands of men and women. It developed naturally like that in ancient Israel and many other places around the world that never even heard of Yahweh or Jesus. The Bible simply describes this naturally developed system of exchange as it was operating daily in Biblical times. Nowhere. Nowhere in the Holy Bible does God ever say:
Thou shalt have an American-style capitalist economy because I—your High and Holy God—most like that one.
Furthermore, I would submit that $500, $800, $1000, or $20,000 for a dose of medicine is not the normal operation of American capitalism. It is something else that the Bible does explicitly preach against. We call it highway robbery. The Bible calls it two things:
(1) Cheating your customers with the weighing scales in the marketplace.
(2) Thou shalt not steal.
You ordinary Christian fundamentalists, conservative evangelicals, and right wing extremists need to wake up from your ignorance and the lies that pervade your conservative fantasy world. You need to start asking why your fundie preachers, FOX News, your favorite conservative pundits, and local conservative talk radio are feeding you so many lies and so much disinformation. People manufacture such lies and disinformation because they desperately want something. That something is usually a huge personal advantage a small number of greedy people get out of it—while slyly ripping off the average American citizen.
Greed is explicitly defined as a sin in the Bible. When are we Christians (you and me) going to start calling out the private sector American healthcare system for its runaway greed; its cheating with the scales in the American marketplace; and its clever game of theft from the American people? The time has finally come for the U.S. government to roll out the guillotine; start lopping off heads; and begin reining in the high costs charged by the private sector healthcare industry in the United States.
Responses to Comments
Hi Brian. It is good to hear from you and others at Bruce’s blog. I agree with you. Furthermore, the Medicare system is already in place with all of the “bugs” worked out over the past 47 years. Unlike Obamacare, which was poorly organized from the beginning and just trying to take first flight, this would make it easy and painless to implement Medicare for everyone. The individual cost per month of healthcare would go way down because all 326 million Americans would be participating. Taxes on the American people would increase some to better pay for it, but the thing most Americans do not understand about such taxes is that they are already paying more rip-off money to the private sector healthcare industry right now—than those increased taxes would ever amount to. Furthermore, with all Americans participating in Medicare, the American people and the U.S. Congress (together) would be able to issue the private sector healthcare industry a mafia-style offer they cannot refuse:
Bring the prices you charge to American citizens way, way, way down—or we will do it for you by law and regulation—and if you fail to comply, your corporate executives will be going to federal prison for long stretches. Federal prisons have no parole system. Therefore, if you are sent up for 10 or 15 years, you will serve the entire sentence before you get out.