Saturday, March 27, 2010

Health Care: Time to Facebook Reality

Facebook recently surpassed Google as the most visited website in the world.

Accordingly, I am now using Facebook to gather all my information.

For instance, check out this nugget of wisdom about health care reform, which originated from God-knows-where:

"This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the U.S. Department of Energy.

"I then took a shower in the clean water provided by a municipal water utility.

"After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC-regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service determined the weather was going to be like, using satellites designed, built, and launched by NASA.

"I watched this while eating my breakfast of U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"At the appropriate time, as regulated by the U.S. Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to drop my kids off at the public school, and to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank.

"After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to various law enforcement agencies.

"And then I log on to the Internet -- which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration -- and post on and Fox News forums about how Socialism in medicine is bad because the government can't do anything right."

I could not have said it better myself.

Of course, conservatives reading the above are likely to miss the point, which is that we rely on the government all the time to protect our rights.

"Rights," in our society, are defined as that which we've decided all people should have, regardless of personal income. Things like roads, safety, and education fall into this category.
A hundred years ago, no one would have dreamed that access to doctors and hospitals would be a "right." You expected half your kids to die of typhoid, smallpox, or massive goiters induced by witchcraft, and you more or less accepted that, even if you were lucky enough to find a doctor, there was not a damn thing he could do about it, anyway.

Nowadays, if a man shows up at the emergency room with third degree burns, they treat him, even if he's broke. We've already decided that health care is a right.

Yet there are plenty of people who are not "broke," and still can't afford to hire their own oncologists. How do we pay for them?

The same way we should pay for all our other rights: by taxing the hell out of Google and Facebook.

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