Health care and social injusticeA while back I went to the doctor for a physical, motivated not by any pressing health care needs, but because the D.O.T. told me I had to. I needed a health card in order to legally drive my lumber truck.
By: Greg Hull, Lake County News Chronicle
A while back I went to the doctor for a physical, motivated not by any pressing health care needs, but because the D.O.T. told me I had to. I needed a health card in order to legally drive my lumber truck.
Upon arrival at the clinic, I was handed a tightly spaced, two-page questionnaire to fill out about my health history. I dutifully checked all the appropriate responses. They were all “No.” I hadn’t had any of the diseases or conditions they asked about. Other than an overnight hospital stay after surgery on a broken bone 15 years ago, I haven’t been hospitalized. I’ve never used drugs. I rarely smoke (the occasional cigar) and chew about a can of snuff every two months.
When my name was called, I went with the nurse to be weighed and measured. My blood pressure was taken, as was my temperature. A light was flashed in my eyes, and I correctly read all the letters on the chart. I peed in a bottle. I was offered information on a tobacco use cessation program. Then I was sent into a room to await the doctor.
After 15 minutes, during which I perused an eight month old copy of People Magazine, the doc came in and introduced herself. She sat down on a short stool, put on her glasses, and began to read over the health questionnaire I had just recently filled out, and the physical details the nurse had just gathered.
She finally looked at me over the top of her glasses and asked “Is this all accurate? Are you telling the truth here?”
Yes, I assured her, I was not hiding any vital, or for that matter trivial, health information.
“My Goodness,” she replied. “Are you ever boring.”
I can’t remember the last time I had a woman tell me I was boring, and I took it as a compliment.
So I‘m healthy. In addition to coming from healthy stock (those of my forbearers who avoided the temptations of alcohol, tobacco and lewd women lived productive lives well into their 90s). I live a fairly healthy lifestyle. Plenty of exercise, fresh air and adequate rest. Shele is an excellent cook, who inflicts on me a balanced diet replete with fresh fruit and vegetables, and limited grease.
With those things considered, why would I need, or want, government mandated health insurance?
The current bills in Congress that are intended to “reform” health care for all of us contain conditions, mandates and requirements for both the people purchasing the coverage and the companies offering it. Buried in the 2000 pages of legalese and convoluted prose is a limit on how much variance in cost a company can charge people they are covering. To put it another way, the new legislation would remove all incentive for healthy living and all benefit of good genes. Everybody gets charged essentially the same.
Another important fact about our health care system (but one apparently overlooked) is that five percent of the population uses more than 50 percent of our resources, and incurs more than 50 percent of the expenses.
So what does “Health Care Reform” mean? As it is currently being proposed, we are going to take the total amount of money spent every year on health care, divide it by the total population and that is what we each will be charged for health insurance. Health insurance will be mandated for everyone, just as auto insurance is mandated for all drivers. That is what current proposed legislation boils down to. Using 2007 figures, that comes to just about $7,500 per person per year. That’s $30,000 for a family of four. How would you like that to come out of your payroll deductions?
This proposed “reform” is bad for a simple reason: it removes personal responsibility from personal decisions.
If I decide to eat at McDonalds 14 meals a week, chew three cans of tobacco a day and never exercise, everyone else will be forced to pay for a portion of my self-induced health problems. I am no longer responsible for the consequences of my actions. You are. And while you have no ability or capacity to influence or modify my poor decisions you are held responsible for them. Authority without responsibility is tyranny. Responsibility without authority is slavery. The current proposals for health care reform make slaves of the majority of us, leaving us powerless before a tyranny of the few who choose to be irresponsible.
Now before I get lambasted with angry emails, I know well that not all sick people have been irresponsible. I am not saying that.
But too much of our health issues do stem from poor choices. Too many folks who have made bad decisions use too much of the system. No reform instituted by anyone will be a just system until the reality of that fact is accounted for.
No matter how boring it, or we, might be.
Greg Hull owns and operates Hull’s Sawmill. He has his current health card ready to show any State Trooper who stops him while driving his lumber truck. Hopefully, they will find him boring too.