Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Health Insurance Is Communism With Uncle Joe In Control

How does health insurance work? Well, it's communism. Yes, communism. But it is communism gone badly, as if Stalin were at the helm. A large community of people pool their resources (called premiums), and those premiums are used to pay for the medical care the people in that community need. Insurance companies, to satisfy investors, cull from the community those in the most need, protecting those who statistically need it least (they play the odds like a casino and the house always wins; that's what their number crunchers do for a living) and charging them just as much as they think the market will bear.

I can see an argument being made that health care, to some degree, is a right, albeit not one specifically delineated within our Constitution. But to me it's more about being a good American. We take care of each other. We cut the lawn of the widow next door, repair broken fences, and help those who need help when we can. We live in a civilized, industrialized major world power known as the US of A! What have we let happen with our country's health industry? We've let it buy its way into the halls of power, spending over $1.5 million every day of every year, gaining influence over our law-makers. We've let their multi-million dollar public relations firms scare us into believing that the shareholders of CIGNA and the CEO's of the insurance companies CARE more about our health and well being than we do ourselves. I say that because where the rubber meets the road, WE ARE OUR GOVERNMENT. For goodness sakes, we don't tell they guy down the street, making $9/hour that he's not entitled to the protections granted by soldiers, or judges because he doesn't contribute to the salaries of those soldiers or of judges, so why do some of us have the temerity to tell that same person that they don't have the right to the same kind of health care we have, because they haven't earned it? We damned sure don't take that route with the little old lady who we cut the lawn for out of the kindness of our heart, do we? 

We need a single payer system.  A system that puts the doctors in charge of what is prescribed in the way of medication and medical treatments; one that eliminates the hassles that every doctor and hospital has to deal with in terms of justifying to some desk jockey adjuster what was needed and why, when we all know that the moron at the desk doesn't understand a thing they're being told, but their job is to "adjust" the claim downward, or escalate it to someone who can.

We spend nearly 15% of our country's GDP on health related costs compared to France's 10% (2002 figures), and France is regularly touted as having one of the best health care systems in the world. Note that France has a health care system and we have a health care industry. We all know that there isn't any plan that is perfect, and every country out there, even France, Canada, Sweden and the U.K. have their own unique problems, but their problems pale in comparison to ours when it comes to who gets cared for and how vs. who does not get cared for at all.

The cost for a universal plan is minimal IF it's truly universal...if, unlike the insurance companies who cull the high risk applicants with rescissions or outright denials of coverage, this universal health system accepted everyone, and everyone contributed to the best of their ability (like we do to pay for judges, police, and soldiers), without the need for high priced PR firms, or the need to grease the palms of the power brokers to the tune of over half a billion dollars every year, we'd keep workers healthier and therefore more productive (increasing our GDP even more), and find that it's less expensive than what we currently have.

Our taxes pay for a lot of things: libraries, parks, police, fire, judges, politicians (ugh), soldiers, and more. The list could get pretty long. When was the last time you complained that the legal system was run by the government and not by a for profit corporation? The health of our bosses, the health of our employees, and the health of our neighbors is important, and it's important enough to tell the health insurance mega-corps with their Stalin-like CEO's at the helm, and their shareholders that our health isn't something to be treated like odds at the roulette wheel for their profit, but is necessary for a stronger, more united, happier and LESS STRESSED society. We Are Americans...we need to stop letting ourselves be used as pawns by the powerful, moneyed, amoral, greedy bastards that have been setting us one against the other for over 50 years. We're long overdue for this America. Now do something.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Climate Change: Human Dilemma & Moral Imperative

In order to address global climate change in terms of human population and how said population utilizes the environment and the natural resources that make up that environment, we first must ask ourselves under what principle we are choosing to act or not.  I am of the belief that the most paramount of any ethical consideration relating to the human race as a species is our indefinite survival as a species that continuously evolves and flourishes in terms of our intellectual growth.  Any act that opposes our survival as a species or risks our demise as a species would therefore be unethical, and would warrant swift action by those whose lives are being risked or by those who choose to protect the lives being endangered.  I further believe any principle must account for the fact that we humans are the most important species on the planet by virtue of our sentience, sapience and our evolutionarily advanced stage as it regards our intellectual capabilities.  The maintenance of, or the striving for, an ideal living environment for our species must be the most important aspect of any ethical considerations regarding our environment.  By accounting for an ideal living environment we are compelled to assess how any of our own actions will affect the biosphere in general, as well as more localized ecosystems specifically, and how those changes will in turn affect the human species. 
An ideal environment would be one in which all humans equally benefit from the natural resources of the environment, though not necessarily in the same ways, and one in which the continued survival of the species is optimized.  In order to optimize our continued survival as a species we need to make sure we are able to flourish technologically with an end goal in mind of galactic colonization since science already shows us that at some point the planet will be totally uninhabitable as a result of our sun’s expansion toward the end of its natural life.  I personally know a few people who already hold this ethical principle as their primary principle and I’m sure a lot more people share this belief without even knowing its evolutionary source or that the traditional phrase “women and children first” is evidence of having this belief.  The aforementioned phrase is evolutionarily significant in that it is a statement of relative value where adult males are valued less than either women or children.  Women, being limited in the number of children they can give birth to in a lifetime are more valuable than men when it comes to reproductive abilities. Children are granted a higher value because they have the potential to reproduce and generate more offspring by mere virtue of the longer, yet to be realized, expected lifespan.  Both of these speak to continuance of the species though the phrase has been couched in chivalric terms that romanticize and mask its true meaning.
The above principle requires at least a three part approach.  Part one requires governmental and social priorities on two equally important technologies.  One of these priorities must be the research and development of one or more methods of hyper luminous travel and the research and development of agricultural technologies such as self-sustaining food crops and their mechanized processing.  Part two requires the global distribution of these technologies as they become available.  We already have agricultural technologies that if distributed properly will reduce the need many cultures have of reproducing to gain additional farming assets in the form of field hands for the family.  As a result of these technologies being spread far and wide, the already declining global growth rate will almost immediately start declining precipitously until global population stabilizes substantially lower than the predicted 9.1 billion by 2050 following current trends.  Part three requires action to make it all happen.
The principle has already led to people taking action.  Unfortunately, the ability to affect change at a global level requires more than the relatively tiny number of people working toward the above goals.  The principle is motivating because it agrees with our genetic programming to reproduce and expand within the bounds of our own self-interest and it’s rational.  Problematic right now is that the global south has not reached a post-industrialized stage of development.  Rapid implementation of technologies already possessed by the post-industrial parts of the world within the pre-industrialized and transitional areas of the globe will not only result in a more rapid decline in the population growth rate, it serves the additional purpose of freeing up the people in those societies to start specializing in ways that will promote further technological advances needed to increase the likelihood of expansion to the stars.  The only thing that needs to be done at this point for realization of this plan is to get a few key people into a few key governmental and industrial positions where they have the power to more effectively persuade or coerce others into supporting the policy changes needed for speedy implementation.  It’s already in the works and will eventually happen.