Healthy Mind and Body
I haven’t updated in a while but by no means have I not been writing. Recently I’ve been feeling quite good mentally and it has inspired me to start writing again. This is somewhat ironic because there are plenty of things to be worried about lately, mostly professionally, but there is no hurdle that cannot be overcome and I think that is a realization that is finally sinking in for me.
I was thinking recently about how you can frame a discussion to better come to resolutions between polarized parties. This can be political, religious, or other, whatever other might be. The main thing to take away from most discussions is that convenience trumps all things. A large portion of all debates breaks down to profit vs. humanity, or profit vs. altruism, whatever wording you wish to choose. Profit can be multiple things but as I’ve said before everything comes back to time which is the raw currency that all other things works to simulate or symbolize.
The automobile dominated because it was convenient in every sense of the word over the horse, in some ways it was also better because it took the demand off of horses to do incredible works for humanity. However as with all conveniences once it became widespread and popular it started to have problems of its own. There are safety concerns because people have nothing in their biological history to prepare them for the speeds they achieve and then you have the problem of complacency in driving, people start to feel safe and they let their guard down and this is the primary source of most car accidents. People start driving faster, checking their peripheral less often, and overall just creating a situation where they endanger the lives of everyone around them. I won’t go much further into this in particular because it would throw me into a rage, but the example of the automobile is beautiful. Cars took over in a grand way and quite fast because they provided speed and were more profitable to both the seller and the end user than the alternatives.
Lets look at Healthcare in this same vision. Much of the modern world has some kind of universal healthcare, and in most cases the systems work quite well. There is a pretty simple logic behind it, a healthy work force is an efficient one. It is cheaper to prevent serious illness than it is to cure it and it is easier to pay for healthcare in a system where everyone pools one large pot. If your nation is paying for healthcare there is also incentive for it to minimize pollutants or other sources of infection and disease for the population as well. There is room for corruption but the same is true for business, I would argue that it is much easier for business because of the many ways you can hide your activities as a smaller entity but that is something for another day.
The US is the most expensive healthcare system in the world, it does this while also being ranked 37th globally. In theory you can get the best healthcare of your life within the US but you will need an income far greater than that of anyone reading this post. Back in 2009 the #1 reason for foreclosing on your home was healthcare costs, as far as I’m aware this was true until the economy got so bad that actual unemployment became the #1 reason in 2012. Healthcare in the US is incredibly expensive and for the average American it is of no higher quality than any other industrialized nation. Anyone who thinks the US has a step up on Canada (a popular lie) can look no further than continued attempts to ban purchasing prescriptions from Canada.
That’s the reality of Capitalism in Medicine. It is so cost prohibitive to get medical help in the US that people are going elsewhere to get it done. All the while healthy people are convinced that they’ll be covered, the entire backlash against universal healthcare in the US is remarkable and it really begs the question of just who is willing to say who will die?
That’s the crux of the problem, when a person says that people should just get insurance what is your answer when they cannot afford it? I’m reminded of fantasy novels set in medieval times where the common people are left to die beneath the feet of the nobility, we have entered this stage but it is the common people telling their kin to die. Remarkable, beautiful in its twisted complexity.
If conservatives get to call universal health care “socialized medicine,” I get to call private health care “soulless vampires making money off human pain.” The problem with President Obama’s health care plan isn’t socialism, it’s capitalism. – Bill Maher
Capitalism is an interesting idea that has never actually worked out without remarkable restrictions. If you want to see what happens when you let capitalism run unchecked you can look no further than our own past, the Jungle is a good book for anyone to read when they have time. Alternatively you can look to Montana where they had such an incredible problem with corruption they had to put strict limitations on campaign finance (in other words, the exact fear people have with Citizens United actually happened a hundred years ago in Montana). That law has recently been overturned, so hooray for capitalism I suppose.
But I lost myself for too long here. When framing the argument of healthcare with people who are against it you need to ask them why. What is it that bothers them? Is it a perceived cost? If that is the case then note that the current system is already the most expensive in the world and is only ranked 37th. Is it a fear of death panels? Healthcare insurance already did this and called it “Pre-Existing Conditions”. Is it an issue of fear of not being treated? This is already a problem and won’t be resolved with the current system and wouldn’t be much impacted by a universal system.
In fact this particular fear is just and should lead to a different response, the nation should be starting a jobs program for doctors to get more men and women into the field. We always want to have enough doctors to support our population, anything less than optimal coverage threatens to make the nation extremely susceptible to outbreaks and other health problems. This is an exercise in population suicide otherwise.
Are they worried about the cost of prescriptions? Well rejoice because nations with universal healthcare can get the same drugs the average American does but at as much as 87% cheaper if not even more than that. Capitalism is to thank for that particular issue, the amount of money put into marketing alone is difficult to recoup without inflated prices.
If a news or radio show is telling them about the evils of universal or regulated healthcare you should ask them to listen to who the sponsors of that show are. In every case it will be a pharmaceutical company, without exception. This is a bit unfair because they are marketing on every channel short of Nickelodeon but the point remains.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you will get anywhere. The key is to get them to come to the conclusion on their own, you want to show them that they are on the horse and that you have the car. As I told a friend “Effectively your target has two friends, one of them is telling them they are perfect in every way, the other is saying they are nice but there are places they could improve. You are that latter person.”
Ask yourself if you were in their shoes mentally which person you would side with more. The one that is rubbing their back and telling them they are the greatest person in the greatest country in the world or the person who is telling them that there is always a new hill to climb and always a new challenge to overcome.
The brain enjoys a delicious snack and the more positive and reinforcing that snack the more readily it will eat it up, conflict is for lowly beasts, or so the brain would like to believe.
Now this is all as best as I understand it, I would hazard that every person should read this and then do research of their own. But vary your research, history is a game of balance as is the present. You want to look at at least a dozen different sources that don’t appear to share any affiliation and see where they agree, those layers of agreement are the truth usually and the rest is just fluff and pompous banter.
In the end you will be a better person for it and your life will be better. If anything sounds incredibly true it is likely not so, the more readily you are willing to accept something the more quickly you should research it and the more critical you should be of it. We are pattern making machines and the second we see Jesus in toast we are all too ready to accept it as a sign.
Hey! Wait-a-minute! That’s Elvis…
Sometimes…it’s just toast.