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.

11 Responses to “Reagan was an asshole.”

  1. Mardé Says:

    Thanks very much for that excellent post, Minds. My daughter and her live-in partner are also members of that huge group of the uninsured. I’m lucky to have health insurance, such as it is, for having worked for a major corporation, and my wife is covered too. Plus thank god (or whomever) for Medicare! That has saved me thousands because my Hewlett Packard plan keeps going up in price and down in coverage. The HP plan does save me on drugs (medication) though. As far as I can figure out, that’s the main thing it saves me on, although come to think of it, I do have dental insurance through HP which does save me over half.

    Thanks again for that excellent and informative post. Reagan was indeed a total asshole!

  2. mindserased Says:

    Hey Marde, glad you enjoyed the post. You know me – I like to call out assholes whenever and wherever I can!

  3. Mardé Says:

    Hey, Minds! Guess what! Sarah Palin quoted from the asshole’s speech about Medicare you gave here! In the debate with Joe Biden she said in her closing remarksIt was Ronald Reagan who said that freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the same, or we’re going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free. But she was applying this to Obama who she said was raising the white flag of surrender in Iraq! You can’t make this stuff up! Talk about your lying assholes!

    Paul Krugman pointed this out here.

  4. Schools are ran by local government.

    Public transit is ran by city government.

    Public works people…same.

    Socialized healthcare would be national.
    It has failed everywhere tried.
    Hawaii had socialized state healthcare for several months before it collapsed.

    It just doesn’t work. Get over it.
    There are problems with all systems. Atleast this one creates wealth and keeps the liberty of being able to opt into a higher quality healthcare if necessary.

    To socialize healthcare would also severely limit the innovation in the sector.

    Keep all this in mind.

  5. Just call me Asshole, too. But, I'm in good company. Says:

    HOLY CRAP! ONE HOUR WAIT IN AN EMERGENCY ROOM?!?! Are you kidding? For one thing, at least we have emergency rooms in this country! And since most of you assholes take your kids to the emergency rooms with runny noses, which distorts the true average; that average does not accurately reflect the waiting time for a TRUE emergency. Try being carted into an emergency room on a gurney with EMTs pumping blood into your sorry carcass, and see if the doc tells you to get in line behind the snotty, runny nosed kid in the waiting room. Get a clue folks. And 230 days for a freakin’ heart?!? They don’t come from Wal-Mart for God’s sake! What would you suggest we do to bring down this average? Shoot the neighbor, put him on life support and take his heart? Get a life folks. Really.

  6. Minds Erased Says:

    Um, OK. Sounds like someone needs a doctor.

  7. hieronymous Says:

    agreed. reagan opened the door to all this right wing filth we have to endure today. he opened the door to the takeover of the media by the business criminal class, which contributes daily to the inexorable dumbing down of our people. remember when leftists used to use the media to wake people up? the Assholes learned from this and simply BOUGHT the media (after Asshole Reagan saw to the destruction of the fairness doctrine). this abject turd should be considered tied with The Monkey for worst president in US history. i can just hear the screeching from all you proudly-ignorant right-wing asshats now. well, all i can say is i hope you all die screaming. even though all this turd reagan and his neocon minions did was empty your wallets, lower your lifespans and send your jobs overseas, you still love to kiss his ass. pathetic fucking slaves.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    As an American expat living in Canada I can assure you from my frequent dealings with medical systems on both sides of the Canada-USA border over many years time, that Canada’s healthcare system is better run, hands down. That said, here in B.C. where I live if you earn over 20K/annum you will have to pay for your health coverage: $60/month. So its not unlike living in USA where you may pay a little over that, say $85/month for BCBS for example. Also: Ontario makes you pay no monthly co-pay unlike BC. All things considered Canada’s system is better than USA’s “free market” system with “minimal government” because if you do get sick, Canada’s system covers everything. Period. No fighting the claims department like in USA over every little service or thing that was done while you were being cared for. THIS is the key difference! No: you cannot perform medical care in a country as a for-profit business where you itemize and charge the patient for every little thing done for them. This is an abomination! Especially for the elderly and infirm, you simply cannot allow brutish free market predatory capitalism run amuck in a country, devastating people’s lives for robbing them of all their money, etc. America and the AMA is really in the wrong. What a revolting, arrogant organization.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    well said

  10. zam Says:

    Hey Minds, thanks for a brilliant post on Reagan, and how terrible he truly was for the USA. Somehow I ended up here at your blog after Googling about the Walker recall. Anyways, its GREAT to come across a blog entry like yours which exposes Reagan for the total neo-conservative asshole he truly was. His disingenuous masquerade of “get the government off the people’s backs” was in truth double speak for gutting decades of struggled for federal laws which helped people in so many ways. I was in college during the Reagan years, and still recall what a bitter, divisive asshole he was: he blatantly used the media to foist his hatred upon democrats, liberals, progressives, etc—anybody who was not a conservative republican was openly mocked and attacked. Reagan truly was the harbinger of the ongoing decline in USA today. 30 years and going, the trend of increasing volatility, civic polarization, extreme income inequality, rising unemployment up to 20% (50% in Detroit!), etc. It just keeps worsening. This is not to say gloom and doom is coming or is inevitable. What I am saying is this: never wait for “change” to come from the White House. It never will. The only place real change ever came from is from you, the grass roots. Fuck what the media says, do your own thing 🙂

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