Surveys tell us that the majority of Americans want a public option … as many as 72% of us by some counts. Yet the congressmen from Pfizer, Humana, Blue Cross and Hoffman-La Roche are deaf to the cries of constituents who don’t parrot the healthcare industry’s propaganda machine. They insist on framing the debate as a referendum on affordable healthcare. Affordable. Not free healthcare. Not universal healthcare. Not what every other industrialized country on the planet provides its citizens. Billions for banks and bombs, but straight-up, unlimited, government-funded healthcare? In these United States? Fuggedaboutit.
If the police or fire departments tried to charge us directly for their services, we’d be outraged, and if they caused injury or death by limiting or withholding those services for failure to pay, the backlash against them would be biblical. But healthcare, it seems, whatever the Constitution might say about our right to life, is a pay to play proposition in the land of the free. The reason, we’re told, is that American doctors, nurses, researchers and technicians are first and foremost in pursuit of a certain standard of living. Remove the prospect of upscale houses and luxury cars and they’ll flee their professions in pursuit of riches elsewhere. That, we’re told, is just the way it is. And we accept it. I’m appalled.
When did human life become a commodity? When did it become acceptable to allow wholesale suffering among people who can’t afford medical attention? How is it in the public interest for giant corporations to prey – literally prey – on the most vulnerable among us? And by what supernatural means have those same corporations convinced 28% of people surveyed to defend the status quo?