Monday, April 23, 2012

Health Care, the Lack thereof, and how it Impacts Young Men

This may not be something solely affecting young men, but it does affect them and their health outcomes.

In a word, the health care system in America is insane. The resources are completely mis-allocated. From a wealth standpoint, there should be no problem providing health care to everybody. Yet there are literally tens of millions of people who are uninsured, and are one serious accident away from bankruptcy.

A lot of young men I talk to seem afflicted with a combination of youthful indiscretion and frankly far-right-wing beliefs. Many don't have any health insurance at all, because they don't think they'll need it. What will they do if they, God forbid, get in a serious accident and require hundreds of thousands of dollars in surgeries? This insane level of recklessness is only one side of the coin, though. The other is the far-right-wing belief that if you can't afford health care, you deserve to die.

Why do I call this far-right-wing and not simply right-wing? Because condemning people to death for a weakness is a far-right idea. They couch it by claiming that someone who cannot afford health care must not have their shit together, but that's basically saying the same thing. It's not even a true retort because in many cases, the people who can't afford health care are upstanding members of society, and do have their shit together. They got in an accident, or suffered cancer, and their insurance company decided to cut them off because it deemed the treatment too expensive. Such people have to declare bankruptcy to fund their treatment, and that's if they're lucky.

I guarantee you that VERY FEW young guys today can afford to treat themselves for cancer, or after an accident. Many are saddled with huge amounts of student loan debt to begin with. If they want to get married, buy a house, etc. they don't have the money to pay for extremely expensive medical care! Heck, it's doubtful they'd be able to afford it even if they lived in a trailer. Yet many adhere to insane far-right-wing ideologies that could condemn them to bankruptcy and ruination at a moment's notice.

Now is not the time for far-right-wing ideologies in youth. Young men are already being impacted by the harshness of these ideologies - in addition to the heavy student loan burden, their jobs are being taken away from them by less expensive H1-Bs. Snickering twits like Eric Cantor threaten to destroy their Social Security and Medicare guarantees. In a word, they're being screwed, and screwed badly.

Now I say that these ideologies are far-right wing, and not right-wing. Why am I making that distinction? Because I don't think that any decently sane conservative would support the current system, or a "You can't afford it? You die" system. A sane conservative would recognize that things like the Hippocratic Oath don't only apply to the rich, and set up a charity to guarantee health care to everyone.

It could be very simple. Have a means test. You can't afford insurance? Health insurance drops you because you're too expensive? You get care. Why hasn't something so simple been set up?

There is the argument that such a charity would make it more palatable for insurance companies to just drop people, but it's not like they aren't doing it anyway. No, the simple fact that such a charity doesn't even exist reveals a serious gap between conservative ideology and reality. Then they to normalize this absence with far-right justifications.

Then of course there's the triage argument of "oh we can't afford to treat everybody." That's obvious bullshit. Triage is only valid when there are literally not enough resources to treat everybody. Sorry to sound like a Leftist, but companies are making record profits, the richest have never been richer, and the wealth distribution disparity keeps widening. They have more than enough money to help people in need. I'm not advocating widespread redistribution of wealth, but I think there should be a minimum requirement, such as when a person needs health care.

When the health care act was signed in 2010, Republicans were in an uproar. All of them voted against it- both in the House and Senate. But even a cursory glance at the provision reveals how much safer health care will be, especially to young men, under the act. First, you don't have to buy separate insurance until you're 27. That helps a LOT and you can use the extra money to pay down student loan debt. Insurance companies can no longer drop you or refuse to take you up because of conditions that you have no control over. Yeah, you have to pay in. So what?

The Republicans just hate it because imposes a large number of regulations on insurance companies. They're not against forcing people to pay for something - see the huge military tax burden. In fact, a system similar to this was their idea. Somehow I don't think they really care about the young men they send to wars, nor do they care if a young man is ruined by college and medical expenses and lack of job opportunities. Fuck them, honestly. Not that the Dems are much better, but they at least pass things that help young men, despite their overbearing feminist tendencies.

1 comment:

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