Mar 23, 2010

And that's a bad thing?

If it weren't so scary it would be fun to see all the Republicans running around bemoaning the health care reform bill and predicting the end of the world. I heard one of them talking about how we are on our way to becoming like a European country.  He thinks that's a bad thing?  Considering that Europeans are way ahead of us on so many issues I had to go back and re-read his letter to make sure it said R and not D.  I don't know about you but I don't find that notion scary, I find it encouraging.

In European countries when you get sick you don't have to worry about how you will pay for it. How comforting that must be, to concentrate on healing and recovery instead of fighting with insurance companies or wondering how much of your life savings will be eaten up because you were unlucky enough to have an accident or God forbid a serious illness. European countries have true universal healthcare.  Not this cobbled togehter half ass attempt the Democrats are so proud of.  Don't get me wrong, I'll take it.  It's a step in the right direction and who knows maybe once people see that their lives won't end we can actually do this thing right.  

European countries figured out long before we did that global warming and environmental issues jeapordize our future.  They understood that real action was necessary and they took it.  Too bad we're so late to that party. Actually sort of shameful since we are the second biggest producers of CO2 emissions in the world.  We just can't seem to inconvenience ourselves by changing our lifestyles.  

In Europe they know that family and leisure time is what makes life worth living, not the endless pursuit of the mighty dollar or the latest and greatest gadget. Statutory minimum leave from work (otherwise known as vacation) is commonplace in Europe, typically 4 - 6 weeks.  You know how much we have here? NONE, as in ZERO. Hell, even Japan beats us, they have 18 days mandatory vacation and those crazy workaholics actually have a word for when someone works themselves to death.  Paid parental leaves are common, sometimes up to a year.

Go ahead and turn us into a European country. I dare you.

I always liked Jimmy Carter.  I thought he was a man of integrity.  I cast my first vote for him in 1980 at the age of 18.  I'd do it again.  In a 1979 speech about the energy crisis he said the following.

"One is a path I've warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure."

Looks like a prophetic genius now doesn't he?   Alas, we weren't ready to hear his message of self sacrifice and his forward thinking ideas of alternative sources of energy.  He lost the 1980 election to Reagan and we got eight more years of "give me mine, you go get your own".  About time we started getting our priorities straight if you ask me before I'm forced to move to Germany.


  1. It's the not-so-subtle undertone of every argument they make,regardless of the subject..The fear that 'we' (white Americans) risk becoming just like 'them' (insert race,creed,color,sexual preference,or national origin).
    ..A simple formula,designed to influence simple minds,whose critical thinking stops there.

  2. I've been doing a little happy dance every since the health bill passed. It is a good beginning.

  3. Amen, sistah!! :)

    Did I ever ask you if you'd seen the movie "Sicko" yet? I was ready to move to Canada or France or some other European country the minute the movie ended.

    We need universal healthcare, indeed. This is just a stepping stone--at least we're going in the right direction. :)

  4. Yup, yup, right, correct, I'm with you.....I keep hearing how law suits have been filed by states....blah, blah. You know what...would all of these naysayers rather keep health care as it is? If so, let's send them to an ER on a Saturday night around 11 with their bellyaching and see how they like the care they get when they say they have no insurance.

  5. What a great step ahead for your country.

    *tries to avoid boasting about Australia's health/welfare system* ;)

  6. well, i've lived in both belgium and france and i am always so happy to return to the states because i believe this is a better country to live in (my opinion, of course). off the top of my head i can list six people i know (either canadians or europeans) who've needed major medical procedures and have come to the u.s. for their medical care because it was either substandard in their country, or they would have to wait so long they could've died in the interim.
    i'm not anti-everyone-has-access-to-affordable-healthcare, but i do know europe and canada have their own set of problems when it comes this subject.

    that said - i love your blog and have linked it to mine. hope you don't mind.

  7. Sling - Amazing how easily some people can be whipped into a mindless, frenzy full of hatred. That's the scary part I was talking about.

    Mom - Yeah, me too. It won't take long for people to realize this is a good thing.

    MHP - I loved that movie. I honestly don't know how people get away with characterizing Michael Moore as a left wing nut. He doesn't need to sensationalize anything. Our system is broken. Period.

    Rosemary - I saw the Gov of VA interviewed about how he is fighting this reform. The interviewer asked him. "OK, suppose you succeed and there's no reform in VA. Somebody without health coverage is in a horrible accident and in the hospital for three months, who pays?" He couldn't answer, he hemmed and hawed, mumbled something about Medicaid and then said "Well, nobody said we don't need to fix the system, just not with this bill." What a buffoon.

    Foxy - I belong to an online community that has quite a few Canadians in it and they did the same thing. They offered their cogratulations. It's because you guys know how backwards we are in terms of this issue.

    ikw - I understand your point. My aunt came here when she was battling lung cancer to see doctors at the Univ. of Mich. We do have some of the best healthcare facilities in the world. But it's not really a question of the adequacy of the care, it's a question of access to the care. So many people are shut out of our system. The reason our overall success rate for healthcare is low is only because the uninsured bring our averages down.