MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

January 13, 2010

Healthcare For All Is A Right Beyond Cost! – So What Else Is Too?

If we accept that total healthcare services – defined as any and all doctors and specialists, hospitals and medical centers, tests and diagnostics, procedures and treatments, medicine and medical equipment – is a basic fundamental "human right" that all people should have equal access to regardless of ability to pay even just something for…

Then what else is too?

If we say that in the name of health and well being medicine is not a product or service to be provided in return for compensation, nor should the level of care be based on what one can pay for…

Then in the same of health and well being what else is too?

Let's explore the application of this philosophy to some other aspects of common daily life.


Suppose you go into a supermarket, takes a shopping cart, and goes about filling it with all sorts of prime foods: Bundles of fruits and veggies, packages of steaks and chops (let's toss in a leg of lamb too), some salmon fillets and cans of tuna fish, gouda cheese, artisan's breads, yogurts, some cookie mixes, bags of pasta, cans of soup, etc etc etc etc.

Then you head for the door.

The "inventory control" alarm (let's call it for what it is, shoplifting alarm!) goes off and you are stopped by store security.

Security says "You have to go on line and pay for these before you can leave."

You reply "I can't. I have no money to afford these."

Security, probably now joined by store management, responds "Then you have to leave your cart here."

And you say "My family has the basic human right to good food! You can't deny use good quality food just because we're poor!"

Do you agree?
Should you just be allowed to walk out the door with all that food?
What about the other customers on line paying for their food?
The ones that carefully budget, clip coupons, cut back here to be able top buy there, etc – what of them and their rights?

(footnote: MasterPo knows food stamps, aid to dependents etc. does cover some basic food stuffs but definitely not everything you want.)

Automobile Safety

You're driving your car down the road, come to a stop sign or traffic light, and when you apply the brakes there's a terrible squealing sound, a rough vibration from the wheels, and the steering wheel pulls hard to one side. Not good. So you drive to the nearest repair shop.

The mechanic inspects the car and tells you the pads and rotors are in very bad shape and not safe to drive. They both need to be replaced immediately. He tells you he can do it today and the price will be $500.

You say "Yea, definitely. I need a safe car."

The mechanic asks "How will you be paying for the repairs?"

You respond "I can't. I don't have any money."

The mechanic says "Then I can't do the repair if you aren't going to pay for it."

And you say "I have the right to a safe car! I have to drive to work, drive my kids to school, my wife uses the car to go to do chores. You can't deny me a safe car just because I'm poor!"

Do you agree?
Should the mechanic just do the work out of shear safety concerns and not for compensation?

Heat in the Winter

You live in a house that uses oil heat.
It's the coldest days of the winter so far.
Temperatures are in the 30's during the day and the teens at night.
The oil tank is nearly empty so you call an oil company for a delivery.

The company asks "What credit card do you want to use to pay for the oil?"

You respond "I don't have a credit card."

The company then says "The driver will need to receive $500 cash deposit before the delivery and will return change for the unneeded amount."

You say "I don't have $500 cash or even $400 or $300."

The company replies "We can't deliver without a payment."

You retort back "My family has the right to heat in the winter! You can't deny us heat on the coldest days of the winter just because we are poor!"

Do you agree?
Should the oil company be required to deliver on a cold day without any expectation of payment for the heating oil?

(footnote: Most cities and states do have some kind of limited assistance program for paying for heating fuel (oil, gas, coal, wood, etc) in the winter but it is only a small, brief tide-you-over program, not an on going service in perpetuity!)

These are just the merest speck of examples MasterPo can think of where people just can't have all they want because they don't have the money to pay for it. But the argument can be made for safety and health the ability to pay (at least something – "skin in the game" as they say) should not factor into the receiving of the product or service. The need for safety and health transcends mere trifles like compensation for materials, skills and labor.

So if healthcare and medicine should be provided in unlimited total without the concern for payment:

1) Where does that philosophy end?
2) How "fair" is it to other who do pay for the same product and service?
3) Why should anyone even try to be able to afford these things if cost and payment don't matter, anyone can get everything they want for the asking?

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.


Anonymous said...

In case you haven't noticed but the 'lower' classes get free food (food stamps), free transportation (cabs paid for by the gov), free cell phones and pretty soon free health care. All paid for by the middle and higher classes like you and me.

Nice, huh?

Now, even the unions are going to get free health care. Thank Obama for me, will ya?

Our 'rights' are given to us by our creator. Look it up. It's in the constitution. NOT THE GOVERNMENT! The gov is supposed to protect us and they ain't doing a good job at that.

Obama just pledged $1 billion of our tax money to the poorest of the poor in Haiti. Where dat comin' from, bro?

moist wipes said...

Everything you could possibly need to know about your patient is right at your fingertips. In particular, going through old test results is much more efficient than going through paper and film. If you are at a large hospital, this will also include notes from other doctors which can be very useful when trying to assess a patient with multiple problems.

MasterPo said...

Anon - Oh come on You're "rich". You can afford just a little more tax to help the poor and the under class. Don't be so selfish with your income. We all stand together. ;-)

Moist - And having ease of access to patient records is worth the government taking over the WHOLE system, setting what we get and don't get, taxing and taxing again?

Like this couldn't be done privately without needing the entire government involved?!

Talk about destroying the villiage in order to save it...