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March 16, 2017
Bullshit Decoding


Trying to find some logical rationale in the GOP's stand on health care

I’m going to pretend here that the GOP actually brainstorms about quality affordable health care and is not simply rejecting, as a vote-getting rage inducer, anything the Dems propose.

Has anybody in the Republican party thought of using health care based metrics rather than one-size-fits-all ideolgical metrics to determine whether the free-market is doing a better job than government on health care?

Ideological metrics are real attractive. Mainly because they allow avoidance of any research tasking, analyzing data and reflecting on how the status quo affects humans who are not ME. In a fraction of the time it took to complete this paragraph the ideological equation is mouth-farted and the discussion is over.

     the free market sorts everything out. Big Government screws it up.

Maybe they’re not aware that the evidence is already out there. Just clickity click.  We’re the only nation with a strong economy that doesn’t do universal health care and we rank near or at the bottom in fundamental quality metrics. We rule when it comes to what we can do but a massive failure when it comes to what we achieve as a nation.

So is the entire congressional Republican pack – minus Susan Collins – simply pathological self-serving predators satisfied to bring torment and calamity to tens of millions of American citizens out of reflexive ideological bias or personal enrichment? That conclusion is too easy and lazy but I can’t come up with anything to counter it.

Sweating her days away in the basement office in my brain, the non-cynical better angel in my skull bangs out rationales for why achieving legislative and cultural unity of purpose, despite vastly different world views, is possible, even probable if we bypass the TV wrestling mode of brainstorming. And why it’s believable that the majority of America’s legislators are truly seeking humane solutions for our society’s problems devoid of personal career-track motivations and biases. She believes in the goodness.

And though I increasingly feel the need to limit my exposure to homo sapiens in the wild, I’ve secretly installed a direct line to that basement office in my brain. She recently sent up a draft of a cogent analogy that might stick to the right wing lizard brain concerning the metrics used to evaluate our market-based health care paradigm.

On the stump they keep saying that America has the best health care in the world. And by a particular metric they’re right. If we evaluate our system according to knowledge base, innovation, education, research, tools, talent and effectiveness in the healing arts, we probably are #1. That metric screams USA! USA! USA!

If you add one more thing to that list – the availability of those items to all its citizens – then we’re in the bottom rung of the global big league standings.

So my secret angel advisor in the basement suggests framing the metrics thing like this: If America’s auto industry comprised only of Benz, Rolls, BMW it could be said that America makes the highest quality cars in the world but only a tiny slice of our population can afford one.

I say to her, “nice try but those in the remaining 99.5% who can afford a car can go out and buy a used one or a Hyndai.” While he’s still working on it, I came up with the 100% applicable analogy that anyone can understand. Here it is:

Health care. America has the best knowledge base in the world when it comes to innovation, education, research, tools, talent and effectiveness. We make the Benz, Rolls, BMW, Bentley, Lamberghini but only a tiny sliver of or population has access to that level of quality. Millions of Americans lack access to used health care or Hyundai health care. While not as comfy, sexy or mechanically stable as the new high end stuff, those cars can get on the road and go where you direct it. But those models in the health care realm might get you out of the garage but you’ll go broke from the ride to the hospital and the cost of a bottle of aspirin the hospital dispenses. A bed and a scalpel will put your home in foreclosure.

But everybody knows that already, yet we can’t seem to move off the market paradigm whose mission is to generate the highest quarterly profit specs. And the surest way to accomplish that mission is to keep raising the premiums while refusing to cover the cost of anybody’s health care. Or cover just enough to avoid a massive lawsuit.

To still be against universal coverage is to transparently not give a damn about the quality of life as an American. But it gets buckets of bucks in campaign donations to fund disinformation ads that lure American voters into filling the House and Senate with creatures that do not give a damn about whether those voters live, rot or die.

I’m yanking that phone out the basement office in my brain.

— Polar Levine, News Goo Dissection,  March 16, 2017

© Polar Levine 2017 content should not be reproduced elsewhere without prior permission

Polar Levine

working class college dropout who loves to learn, poke his biases and waste time looking around