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May 5, 2017

Make Healthcare Unaffordable Again

Here in Italy, we get a tax break if we spend more than €250 per year on health and medicine. Many people don't reach that minimum amount. Drugs are free or carry a small token fee. I pay less than €20 per month (€=$) for my four essential medicines. Some exams or hospital procedures have a small fee. In other words, healthcare is virtually free (totally free for the poor), hospital stays, longterm care, geriatric, emergency, mental health, doctor visits (office or home), drugs, all of it. We only pay for dentistry and optometry by choice, but the prices are reasonable. A couple weeks ago, my wife paid €120 for surgery on her foot at a private clinic. My dentist pulled my tooth; when I grabbed my wallet, he waved his hand, "Forget it."

America, there is another way, a better way! It's universal public coverage; it's not so hard--see Europe, copy us. We have insurance companies, but they don't get rich on the suffering of the sick, and they don't own politicians whose job it is to let them. The United States system is perverted by the lust for profit. Italians are aghast that poor people are not covered in the "richest country on earth." They have heard that if you can't pay the thousands of dollars charged for practically everything, that you're screwed, and they ask me: What do normal people do if they get sick? Well, I say, before the ACA, they'd sell everything they owned and/or declare bankruptcy  or would just not treat their conditions and eventually die. What kind of cruel government lets its citizens die? Indeed.

Social Security, the vote for women, emancipation, universal public education: historical improvements have been made in people's lives because that is the primary function of government. What selfish evil has gotten into these rich white men that they not only look out for their own pockets (and those of their sponsors), but that they get into government in order to deny the purpose of govenment. Our nation is being destroyed from the inside like pine beetles killing an entire forest. Gutting Medicaid to shift enormous sums to the wealthy is an obsenity. You wouldn't think so, but rich white men seem to have always been able to look at themselves in the mirror unashamed no matter how much blood's on their hands. And laugh and brag and toast.

As do their Russian colleagues. The weakened U.S. again slides backwards in the ratings of civilized countries. My heart is there, but my body may have to remain abroad forever, just to stay alive. Resist. Peace.

Happy trials, Martin

Mutt: So what grows up while growing down?
Jeff:  A goose.
Mutt:  You heard it already. Okay, two banks with different rates have a conflict of interest.
Jeff:  As do I with them. I fired my masseuse today. She rubbed me the wrong way.
Mutt:  Oh, that's good, that's rich!
Jeff:  Down boy. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too. 
Mutt:  What is a zebra? 
Jeff:  26 sizes larger than "A" bra.
Mutt:  Why does it seem you've heard all these before?
Jeff:  Duh. The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
Mutt:  I hate math even in jokes.
Jeff:  What do you get if you cross a bullet and a tree with no leaves? 
Mutt:  A cross?
Jeff:  No, you mug, a cartridge in a bare tree.
Mutt:  There were two ships. One had red paint, one had blue paint. They collided. At last report, the survivors were marooned.
Jeff:  Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive."
Mutt:  Oh, I know a bar joke. Shakespeare walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a beer. "I can't serve you." says the bartender. "You're Bard!" Get it?
Jeff:  A neutron walks into a bar. "I'd like a beer" he says. The bartender promptly serves up a beer. "How much will that be?" asks the neutron. "For you?" replies the bartender, "no charge."
Mutt:  You're shooting over my head. This mushroom walks into a bar and starts hitting on this woman. She, of course, turns him down. Not willing to give up, he pleads with her, "C'mon lady, I'm a fun guy."
Jeff:  That's does it. I'm going to the racetrack.
Mutt:  Hold on, I'm coming (Sam and Dave).