Friday, July 17, 2009

If I had a rocket launcher. . .

I think I've already mentioned I watch way too much CNN than is good for any one person. It's kind of like junk food for the inquisitive mind and just as bad for you in the long run.

The worst thing about CNN is the commercials. Especially right now when the U.S. is making baby steps towards something most other nations started a half-century ago - public health care. All those ads warning people not to let the government get between you and your doctor - I guess there's only room for the insurance companies in that space not that they are quick to admit that. The only people that have direct access to their doctors right now are those that a rich enough to buy the services directly. Sadly, the vast majority of Americans are not that lucky.

Think about that. The biggest argument against a public plan is that it removes choice and yet the only people who have a choice are those rich enough to buy health care no matter where they live. I don't even need to dig out my Orwell to tell you that that is creepy and scary and wrong.

Even worse are the commercials talking about how horrible the Canuck system is. Like the lady who says she would have died of brain cancer if she didn't go to the states for treatment. Did anyone ask how she paid for her American health care? I fully admit that the American system is the best in the world - if you have the money to pay for it. If you're rich, they'll treat you for illnesses that haven't even been invented yet.

I am not rich. I am not poor either. I guess I'm somewhere in the middle (though that middle keeps sliding closer to the bottom it seems - but that's another rant). As such, I'll stick with the Canuck system. Why? Five years ago I was diagnosed with a giant aneurysm up near the back of my brain. It was treated. I went back to work. Last spring, I changed jobs. Not too long afterwards, I wound up back in the hospital after suffering a pretty massive series of seizures. I recovered, went on dilantin and went back to work. At no time did I have to worry about losing coverage. At no time did I have to worry about not getting the treatments needed because an insurance company cited 'pre-existing conditions' or used other lawyer speak to keep them from spending money on my health. At no time did I have to worry about anything other than getting better. For some reason, I doubt my story would make it into the commercials.

And now I'm sitting through commercials warning people that Congress is trying to create a tax on "simple pleasures we enjoy like juice drinks and soda". Why shouldn't they tax something that is turning out to be almost as dangerous in the long term as tobacco or alcohol? Take a tour around the American Beverage Association website and tell me that these people are not just as scary as the tobacco companies.

So, if I had a rocket launcher, I'd probably aim it at my tv.


John Mutford said...

I do check CNN daily but only do so online. I at least don't get the commercials, but even then, I agree that too much isn't good for me. Depressing. Usually one sided. And I was ready to build my own rocket launcher when Larry King partook in that assanine Twitter challenge with Ashton Kutcher.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

ALthough I avoid CNN like a plague-infested rat, I did manage to hear that Canadian woman who made the commercial of which you speak, on As It Happens tonight.

It was disturbing.

Remi said...

You heard that too? Funny how she never really mentioned the cost involved in going american in the commercial despite the fact she wanted to offer up "her experience".

What irked me most was that she was so unwilling to find any fault with the American system. Yes, they will patch you up in the emergency room. They won't do much more though.

I'm well aware of the many faults of the Canuck system. I still think it serves the average citizen far better than the american one.

John - I keep waiting for Kutcher's 15 minutes to finally end. And Larry King's, for that matter. Sure, King gave a good interview on The Hour but he is well past his best by date.

Monica said...

didnt it turn out to be some benign thing, too? strange how they fail to mention that their infant mortality rate is as poor as some third world countries because people can't afford prenatal care.