Monday, August 24, 2009

A Healthy Industry

What do you do for a living?

Doctor? Lawyer? Banker? Car Salesman?

CEO of a major pharmaceutical company?

It doesn't really matter.

Not really.

As you know, faithful readers, I am a musician, and these pages are dedicated to the life and lifestyle of the working musician. I write about the positive and the negative aspects of my occupation; the trials and tribulations; righteous treatment and minor indignities.

The good, the bad, and the ugly (cue the music.)

However, just like the majority of you all (from what I've observed, anyways,) the main thing on my mind these days is health care and how to overhaul this shaky-at-best industry. Hence the lag time since my last diatribe of demonstrative drivel.

I haven't had the heart or the muse by my side to say anything. It all seemed irrelevant.

Now, I don't want to bore you with the gory details of the 1000-plus page health care reform bill that is sitting at the crossroads of America's future. You can read it yourself if you want (hey,you'd have a leg up over virtually all of our so-called (non) representatives in government- kudos to you and your tenacity.)

Better brew a few pots o' joe. It's gonna take a while.

My intention here is not to convince you of anything within the bill. Personally, I'm in favor of "Death Panels". I think it makes life just a bit more spicy.

(For those of you who can't seem to find your sense of humor, that was a joke.)

Rather, as a living instrument of providing pleasure, entertainment, and a general diversion from your everyday worries and concerns, my purpose is to remind you that we are all in this together and nobody, I mean NOBODY, is better than anyone else.

Something that I've been hearing a lot of, lately, is the fact that some people think that what they do in life holds a level of importance that is higher than other peoples' paths. I assume you've been noticing it too.


"I do such and such and I've been doing it for so many years, and I work hard, and why should so and so deserve what I have because so and so only does such and such and that's hardly fair."

The American mantra. Our, gasp, religion if you will. Money money money. The solver of problems and the root of all evil. The purveyor of flat-screen t.v.'s and thirst quencher for the taxman.

The bounty that gave you "Cash for Clunkers". How cute. I love the pet names we give things. Right up there with the "Passenger's Bill of Rights".

So who's more "productive"? Better yet, who's worthy? That seems to be the question. Is it the brain surgeon? The Wall Street exec.? The garbage man? The gremlin who spends the day writing parking tickets?

Maybe it's the web designer. Or the librarian. Or the taxicab driver.

Or the person who volunteers at the food pantry.

Seems to me that they are all valuable in one way or another. They all do their job, presumably well, and they live their lives.

This certainly holds true with me. I'm a highly trained, highly skilled specialist. Sure, I can't repair your frontal lobe (nor would you want me to), but you probably can't play a shuffle worthy of the price of admission (which is becoming free in more and more places.) Sounds trivial? Sure, on some level, I suppose, but it's a valid point. I've worked long and hard to be able to do what I do. I do it at a high level, and that cannot be trivialized.

My point is that we should all be able to go to the doctor (or dentist or shrink or marriage counselor.) There are too many resources in our once-great country for anybody to be left behind (another cute title; another bureaucratic failure.)

None of us should have to be concerned about life-long bankruptcy should something bad happen to us. None of us should be concerned that we had a cold once as a child and now, as an adult, we have pneumonia and it's suddenly a pre-existing condition.

There should be no fear of getting sick because of the cost (you're scared enough, now that your coughing blood.) The premise is un-Christian, un-Jewish, un-Muslim, un-Buddhist, and unkind. This kind of attitude will inevitably lead to people just dying in the streets. You think I'm kidding? This is where we're headed. Who lives and who dies? There will be no "Death Panels" deciding fates like this. It will be your senators, congressmen, governors, and presidents deciding these things.

Indirectly, of course, but that will be the result nonetheless.

And then there will be a revolution, violent and ugly. It most certainly WILL be televised too.

The only solution to all of this, of course, is to eliminate the pairing of "health" with "industry". Our health is not a commodity to be bought and sold. It certainly is not to be compromised for the benefit of someones profit. That's a conflict of interest. The rub, if you will. If the "industry" is concerned about turning a profit above all else, then your health, and your health care, is compromised. It doesn't matter what the wording of the bill or law is. If profit comes first, then you and your family do not.


So the single-payer, government run system is the only choice we have. We cannot, in good conscience, "reward" and "penalize" people based on their so-called contributions to society. Everyone is different, we all make different choices. The American way (allegedly) urges us to do our best and be our best. We teach our children that "if you put your mind to it, you can do anything and be anything you want to be."

Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and all that.

So it goes...

1 comment:

  1. After attending a speech by Dennis Kucinich, who was promoting both his bill for single payer and the current bill (but only because it contained an amendment he co authored, one which lifted the restriction on allowing individual states to opt into single payer)..I was convinced more than ever about a basic idea: health care and quality education are Civil Rights, not consumer goods. That is the short of what you just wrote, Mike. And you can call it what you want (I call it messin wit da kid, h/t Jr Wells) but it is the only thing that works, and that has been proven time and again.
    But the 800 BILLION dollars the corpse (literally) uses for "management" will not be given up, because it's a simple matter of following the profits. And that money buys house and senate votes.
    The harnessing of the theocracy by the plutocracy that started with Ronnie's "Morning in 'merika" in 1980 has proceeded to rip apart almost every idea of social safety nets..... I am including Willie C here as well. Their program was to obliterate the New Deal..and look where we are.

    As I said yesterday..actually Mike, as Kurt Von once said.."You cannot reason or negotiate with people who operate on "bad chemicals and faulty wiring."

    I came here (glad I did too) through FB..I suppose it's good for sumpin' after all.