85% Of People Say The Health Care Systen In This Country Needs To Be Destroyed. Today We Let The Other 15% Have A Say.

That 85% number comes from a poll published in Saturday's New York Times:

85 percent of respondents said the health care system needed to be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt

Fuck yeah. Now we're talking. We must be about ready to steamroll the last few remaining pathetic bastards defending the status quo and finally make some progress towards joining the rest of the civilized world in ensuring our citizens don't have to worry about losing their house to foreclosure if they have the rudeness to become ill. Right?


Not necessarily. Would you have guessed that only 15% of people support the present system? I'm betting not. The right wing is very skillful at the construction of Potemkin villages to make it appear they are far more numerous than they really are. You can do that kind of thing when you control Fox News, The Murdoch newspaper publishing empire, and pretty much the entirety of the AM radio dial. It also helps to shout a lot. There is another level to right wing media though. Publications like the National Review, founded by William F. Buckley to be the flagship of intellectual conservatism. In other words, to serve the people who actually benefit from right wing ideology, as opposed to the white trash mindset that Bill O'Reilly is paid big bucks to whip into a frenzy to think they are better off shunning those dreaded liberals and their sense of fairness.

The National Review recently took its best shot at defending the system that is bankrupting us both individually and as a nation, which isn't really surprising, since our bankruptcy is by and large their reader's profit. Gather round folks, and get ready to listen to the extinction cry of those who build their mansions with our blood money.

I wrote back in December of 2007 that our heathcare *cough* system produces fewer doctors, fewer nurses, and fewer hospital beds per capita than the average country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which any human would interpret as a sign of trouble. Remember though, that right wing conservatives, while having opposable thumbs, rudimentary tool-using and speech capability, and binocular vision, are not fully human:

One gets a better measure of how much countries spend by looking at the real resources used; and by that measure, the U.S. system is pretty good. For example, we use fewer doctors than the average developed country to produce the same or better outcomes. We also use fewer nurses and fewer hospital beds, make fewer physician visits, and spend fewer days in the hospital.

So, next time you go to the ER and get yourself stacked up in the hall waiting to see a doctor for 6 hours, the next time you're lying in your own urine in a hospital bed desperately pressing a call button that the nurse handling a crisis at the other end of the hall can't hear, just remember, it's a sign that the U.S. system is pretty good! I bet the editor of The National Review checks to see which hospital in his area has the fewest doctors and nurses per patient whenever he needs care. I bet he also picks an insurance plan for himself that boots him out of the hospital as soon as possible, because hitting the street in a post-op state where you can barely stand up would definitely be sign you are in a health care system that is pretty good.

By the way, many of you may have shot a beverage out of your nose when you saw the National Review assert the U.S. system produces "the same or better outcomes," as that flies in the face of every single fucking piece of evidence on the planet. We'll get to that, but first:

Other countries are far more aggressive than we are at disguising and shifting costs — for example, by using the power of government purchase to artificially suppress the incomes of doctors, nurses, and hospital personnel. This makes their aggregate outlays look smaller when all that has really happened is that part of the cost has been shifted from one group (patients and taxpayers) to another (health-care providers). This is equivalent to taxing doctors, nurses, or some other group so that others may pay less for their care.

Soooooo.....other countries have their health care workers in oppressive chains, paying them slave wages so other people can get recreational coronary bypasses. Except....um.....as we just saw, the U.S. has fewer healthcare workers per capita than other countries in our peer group. So....when you pay people less to do something, you get more people who are willing to do it?

My God, The National Review just turned the basic tenet of Economics 101 on its head. I bet they'll win a goddamn Nobel Prize or something. Or else they're just full of shit.

The National Review also comes up with a little outside the box thinking to explain why health outcomes in the U.S. just never seem to measure up to the rest of the industrialized world:

Critics point to the fact that U.S. life expectancy is in the middle of the pack among developed countries, and that our infant-mortality rate is among the highest. But are these the right measures? Within the U.S., life expectancy at birth varies greatly between racial and ethnic groups, from state to state, and across counties....

All too often, the heterogeneous population of the United States is compared with the homogeneous populations of European countries. A state such as Utah compares favorably with almost any developed country. Texas, with its high minority population, tends to compare unfavorably. But these outcomes have almost nothing to do with the doctors and hospitals in the two states.

Uh-huh. Now those of you out there who aren't white won't need me to translate that for you. The honkies amongst you though, may not be used to the thin veneer of subtlety applied here to what they are actually saying, which is:

All those brown and black people shouldn't really count. Because they're not real Americans.

Which is bad enough. The buttwipe who wrote this article though, a near-human by the name of John C. Goodman, also happens to have his facts wrong. Let's take a look at the "homogeneous populations" of a few European countries:

17% of the population of France isn't white.

Germany? 18 percent.

Netherlands. 20 percent. That's one in five.

All those countries beat the living piss out of the United States, whose minority population is 26%, in almost any way you wanna measure their people's health. John C. Goodman evidently feels that somewhere between a minority population of 20 to 26 percent, there is a point that will trigger the collapse of a country's health care system.

Or he happily wallows in the mud if ignorance.

Or he's just a racist.

So there you are my friends. Everything is just fine. We really need fewer doctors and nurses, and if we wanted more we could always just pay them starvation wages like the Europeans do in some fantasy world. And people who aren't white really don't need medical care anyway. That's the position of the publication that considers itself the pillar of serious conservative thought in this country.

That's seriously the best they can do. If this fight is fought on just the facts, we will win in a landslide.

Let's make sure the fight is fought on just the facts.

Thanks to some asshole who can't write or form a coherent argument named Chip for sending that article my way, even though he was just trying to be a dick.
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85% Of People Say The Health Care Systen In This Country Needs To Be Destroyed. Today We Let The Other 15% Have A Say.
85% Of People Say The Health Care Systen In This Country Needs To Be Destroyed. Today We Let The Other 15% Have A Say.
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