Wednesday, March 30, 2011

health care

I was telling someone the other day that the reason why this country will never, ever have affordable health care is because for one thing, they are not focusing on the root cause of what prevents us from having it, and for the other thing, even if they did, the "culture" of our country is not conducive to it.

First part: the real cause of why health care is not affordable is because there is too much greed, selfishness and fraud going on in our country. People love to blame to big, faceless, evil corporations that have anything to do with health care, as driving up the costs. They blame the insurance companies, doctors, lawyers, etc. Yet those same folks are out there ripping off the system themselves, cheating on their income taxes, making false claims, etc. In other words, the rotten apples are all over the place, not on one side or the other. We live in a country whose slogan is "me first" and everyone is concerned mainly about their own entitlements.

Second part: The culture of this country is not conducive to making the change needed (i.e., getting rid of the selfishness, greed and fraud) to enable affordable health care for all. You can't do that in a "me first" environment.

In order to do this, you'd have to have a cultural mentality closer to that of Japan. We've seen the pictures and videos of the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami, and how they patiently wait in line and do not take more than what they need. Contrast that to the conditions in this country after Katrina (or any other disaster) in which there is rioting, looting, people pushing and shoving in line, tons of fraudulent insurance claims, fake charities being created, etc. I'm not saying that everyone in the respective countries is like that, but I think enough of them are so that my characterization is valid.

Heck, just look at how people stampede into stores, even to the point of crushing others to death on Black Friday - and that to save a few bucks on a television set that they don't need. Can you imagine their behavior in a real emergency? Like I said, there are lots of upright, compassionate people in this country who would do the noble and right thing, but unfortunately, also way too many who wouldn't.

And that's why we can't have affordable health care in this country. Our cultural mentality is way off the mark.

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