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Where sloganeering trumps dialogue


Anyone encountered the latest Facebook meme about healthcare? If you believe this, you’re supposed to post it as your status:

No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick.

An unfortunate number of my contacts have done so. Now, I realize the left doesn’t have a lock on bumpersticker politics. God knows I proudly wore my “My President is Charlton Heston” sticker through two administrations, one of them Republican. But the health care debate lends itself especially badly to pithy one-liners.

I mean, let’s try: nobody should be forced to pay more to get less. Or…nobody should accept a lower standard of care in order to insure illegal aliens.

And if you’re thinking, “but Weasel — the bill doesn’t insure illegal aliens!” you don’t read the same sites I do. In which case you’re probably not even here, because god knows I mostly preach to the choir. Obama is still talking about “47 million uninsured” and thus he damn well IS intending to cover illegal aliens, because they’re wrapped into that number.

If you haven’t read the various analyses of who makes up the uninsured, you really should. Or cut to Michael Ramirez’ excellent take (I really, really owe that man a fan letter). By his math:

18 million could afford to buy their own insurance but choose not to
12.6 million are illegal aliens
9.4 million are between jobs and only temporarily uninsured
8.4 million are 18-25 and don’t think it’s worth the cost for them
8 million are kids who are covered but haven’t been signed up
3.5 are eligible but haven’t signed themselves up
(adds up to more than 47 because the groups overlap)

And for this you’re going to jettison the most robust, innovative healthcare system EVAH? Fuck off and die, I’m thinking.

Oh, and don’t even ask. I mostly use Facebook to keep an eye on those paste-eating nose-pickers from High School…mostly to make sure nobody publishes any snapshots of my glorious mullet.


Comment from BuckNutty
Time: September 7, 2009, 8:41 pm

Please Weasel; on ladies it’s called a fe-mullet

Comment from Skandia
Time: September 7, 2009, 8:47 pm

I also have a facebook ‘friend’ (of a relative) who posted that comment.

My response was:

I don’t think anyone should ever be hungry. So just go to WalMart, fill up the cart, and have someone else pay for it. That would be great.

I think they all ignore me.
(love your site)

Comment from armybrat
Time: September 7, 2009, 8:54 pm

So….I make my living in healthcare. Let me assure any squishy folks out there NOBODY in America goes without necessary healthcare. All you have to do is walk into any emergency dept in any hospital with any complaint and you will be treated. Don’t like the way you’re treated? Well you have the right to deny discharge. Can’t understand English….we’ll provide you an interpreter no matter how obscure your language/dialect…oh, did I mention that we can’t put you out the door ’till we’ve satisfied your language issues. Family member in the turd world has a brain tumor? No worries! Bring them to the US, get them into an ER…..we can’t discharge them to any place with treatment standards less then the BEST hospital in the US….oh, and can’t charge them, or their family, for ANY treatment (well actually we can charge them….try collecting from a foreign/turd world nation).

We have the best health care in the world for a reason…American citizens demand it and pay for it. Unfortunately, we’re forced to pay for everybody else, too.

Comment from Phineas Fogg
Time: September 7, 2009, 9:18 pm

Everyone who posted that in their status I replied ” Everyone should have a new wide screen lcd tv with a bluray player and a Xbox 360 in the back of their suv! But I don’t want to pay for that either! “

Comment from iamfelix
Time: September 7, 2009, 9:36 pm


Comment from JuliaM
Time: September 8, 2009, 1:03 pm

That’s politics for the Web 2.0* generation, I suppose. A catchy soundbite to disengage your brain…

But you need look no further than the NHS to see what socialised medicine leads to. Why rush to make our mistake?

* A term I despise, by the way.

Comment from JuliaM
Time: September 8, 2009, 1:06 pm

And don’t get me started on denying the pensioners with macular degeneration the proper treatment until they are blind in one eye already.

They’ve paid into the system all their lives, with no idea it was really a Ponzi scheme.

And when it counts, some of them have still got the goods that the younger generation lack. So NICE can take a hike…

Comment from JuliaM
Time: September 8, 2009, 1:22 pm

“Oh, and don’t even ask. I mostly use Facebook to keep an eye on those paste-eating nose-pickers from High School…”

On a lighter note, we may get lucky, and the Facebook Generation will all be Darwin Award winners… 😉

Comment from weirdsister
Time: September 8, 2009, 2:40 pm

The best one (and my personal favorite) I’ve seen so far on Facebook is “…thinks that no one should die because of zombies if they cannot afford a shotgun, or even just a machete, and no one should be mandatorily [sic] turned into a vampire if they get bit by one–or a werewolf for that matter. If you agree, post this as your status for the… rest of the day.”

Comment from Andrea Harris
Time: September 8, 2009, 2:54 pm

It’s official: I am the only person on the internet without a Facebook account. Well, I was one of the last members of humanity to buy an answering machine (me and some guy in the mountains of Papua New Guinea) when they were the necessary life accessory, so I’m just being true to form.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 8, 2009, 3:53 pm

OHMIGOD, weirdsister. Is it too late for me to steal that? I LOVE IT!

No, you are not the last, Andrea. Mere mention of the word “Facebook” makes Uncle B’s head spin around in 360 degrees while obscenities spew forth. Which is pretty impressive, so I say “Facebook” a real lot.

Comment from Bob
Time: September 8, 2009, 4:20 pm

What armybrat said times infinity! A guy come into the clinic last week. He flashes his OHP card like it’s a platinum Visa. He says, “Now, I know the gubberments paying you good money to take care of me, and I expect to be treated like anybody else!”

Somedays, I just want to go back to computer science.

Comment from surly ermine
Time: September 8, 2009, 5:56 pm

Ask not how you can buy healthcare, ask how your country can buy healthcare for you.

Give me your poor, your tired, hell I’ll even take the huddled masses, just make sure they’re legal.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: September 8, 2009, 6:10 pm

My favourite epithet on the matter was from P. J. O’Rourke (PBUH): “if you think healthcare’s expensive now, wait until it’s free.”

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: September 8, 2009, 8:01 pm

I have a question for Armybrat–and possibly for Bob as well.

The people who use emergency rooms as a primary physician’s office–who pays for them? (And, Bob–what is OHP?)

How would that change if they had health insurance?

And, um. . .after discharge, how do they fill their prescriptions for maintenance drugs such as blood pressure and diabetes medications? Who does followup. . .you know, like a yearly physical, all that stuff that folks with insurance take for granted?

Comment from armybrat
Time: September 8, 2009, 8:41 pm

those of us with insurance pay for the ED as PCP users. The hospital charges higher prices to those of us who pay to cover those expenses. Your insurance negotiates a rate with the hospitals and doctors, who put that in their “cost of doing business.” Many receive their drugs either free or low cost from the pharm companies themselves thru their charity care programs. And Walmart and Target pharmacies have a staggering number of drugs (last I saw they encompass ~80% of the most prescribed drugs) for $4/month, $10/3months- or roughly the price of a couple of 2 liter bottles of soda. Most of these people do not engage in regular healthcare…they operate in crisis mode, showing up for care only when they are sick. But that said, many physician offices provide low cost or no cost care on a sliding fee scale. Or there is the public health clinics available in almost every city in America…and should you think the care there inferior, I use the public health clinic where I live.

Comment from Bob
Time: September 9, 2009, 11:17 am

Can’t hark my cry, I’m sorry. That would be “Oregon Health Plan”. It’s one of our Medicade varients.

Comment from Shifty1
Time: September 12, 2009, 8:31 am

Further ammo to shoot at the mouth-breathers who buh-leeve Barry Boy when he said that the bill doesn’t provide free health care to “illegals”….
Yesterday some Senate Committee on whatsitwhoosits got busy drafting a “minor change” to the bill currently being pushed. Seems like they’d always MEANT to exclude the illegal horde, but didn’t really think they needed to ACTUALLY use language that excluded them. Ace posted this yesterday.

Comment from Sordy
Time: October 11, 2009, 1:13 pm

OK then, There are people like me. Doctors are such a waste of money or time.
First wife – Diagnosis; River Fungus… Died October 9, 2001 with fully metastasized cancer.
Second wife – Diagnosis; Migraines… Died February 17 2009 with a massive brain tumor.
Yep, I have a lot of faith in the medical profession. Enough faith to consider the third medical option viable… The trusty 9mm. I have no insurance and no desire to ever see a doctor again!

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