Reagan was an asshole.
September 18, 2008
As if there was any doubt anyway, but remember that promotional piece that Reagan did to scare people away from socialized medicine?
In 1961, then private citizen Ronald Reagan partnered with the American Medical Association to record this 10 minute speech that was to become part of what was known as Operation Coffee Cup (OCC). OCC was a campaign conducted by the American Medical Association (AMA) in opposition to the Democrats’ plans to extend Social Security to include health insurance for the elderly, later known as Medicare. As part of the program, doctors’ wives would organize coffee meetings and play the Reagan recording to convince acquaintances to write letters to Congress opposing the program.
Reagan was merely a puppet for the money-grubbing AMA and its powerful spokespeople, who are now in bed with HMO execs and pharmaceuticals – all of whom have the most to lose with the installation of socialized medicine. (There ain’t no money to be made in that commie pinko health care plan – damn! We better scare people away and tell them that pretty soon, those G-men’ll be telling us all where to work and what to wear and what to do! Egad!!)
Why are we Americans so terrified of a concept that the rest of the free world embraces and utilizes, to the delight of its citizens?
OK, OK, so there have been a few horror stories about Canadians waiting for an operation that could’ve saved a life – but in this country, look at these numbers:
- The average wait time for a heart transplant is 230 days.
- The average waiting time for a lung is 1,068 days.
- The average waiting time for a liver is 796 days.
- The average waiting time for a kidney is 1,121 days.
- The average waiting time for a pancreas is 501 days.
Even the average wait time in the ER is about an hour. And remember – we’re talking average time – which means, certainly, people have waited much longer in some instances.
To borrow a line of thought from Michael Moore, there are so many other socialized programs in this country – have we all forgotten?
Take schools, for instance. Those places where we send our children to be babysat while we are at work all day? Those places are run on – GASP! – tax revenue and government stipends.
And what about public transit, if you’re lucky enough to live in an urban area that supports it (with – once again! – tax revenue, and also with small subscriber fees, like the T train in Boston).
Or public works people, picking up our garbage, or – if you live in a rural area like I do – the dumps and transfer stations, sorting through our cereal boxes and tin cans? In the small Maine town where I live, I get rid of all my trash for a buck a bag. Small price to pay for living in a clean house and for someone else to sort through, burn, and otherwise dispose of my bullshit.
And I’m assuming that assholes like Reagan didn’t and won’t use the post office. The last time I checked, the people down at the post office were employed by – GASP! – the United States government. And, for 42 cents, I can mail a letter to any damn place in this country that I choose. And for a more sizable (and, I think, reasonable) sum, I can essentially buy a plane ticket for a package and have it mailed to anywhere on this whole planet. Pretty efficient system, I would saying, considering that the USPS handles millions of pieces of mail every single day.
What assholes like Reagan forget is that when we are talking about health coverage, we’re talking about people’s lives – if you have your health, you have everything. Private enterprise, in this case, is literally killing hard-working folks who can’t afford health coverage, and it’s lining the pockets of HMO CEOs with the money of those people who either are so wealthy that they can afford the best health care this country can offer, or of those who are covered by some fly-by-night HMO and were denied the coverage that their premiums supposedly guaranteed for them.
I read on a bumper sticker recently: America’s health plan – DON’T GET SICK. As one of the many millions of uninsured American citizens, I say – never have truer words been spoken on this topic.