This article is one of a series of editorial articles that express personal
opinions and views. They are written with no pretensions to be error free. I
will gladly correct substantial errors of fact. My opinions can change,
depending upon my awareness and understanding of changes in factual
information. It is my intent to remain focused on specific public issues,
regarding the personalities involved. For all I know, all the characters are
saints, concerning their private lives and other public business...
Changes may be requested by e-mailing the details to firstname.lastname@example.org
I have lived most of my adult life without health insurance, as a consequence of conscious choice, so, as a matter of basic survival, I have more than a passing interest and understanding of the self-serving health care industry. For most of my life, I chose not to support the U.S. model, to the best of my ability and circumstances, and I still refuse to support it, to the best of my ability and circumstances.
From my perspective, like most insurance business, too much of the multi-faceted U.S. health care industry thrives by promoting universal fear of an infinite number of known and unknown dangers, while offering salvation at a price higher than the market can bear. The fostering of "everyone's" natural fear of the unknown, death, injury, and disease, coupled with the health and insurance industries's promises of "security" and a long, healthy, and happy life, makes it easier to harness, control, and direct workers to attain that which "leaders" aspire to. Horses work for carrots, but most folk work for security and immortality.
"Everyone" wants to live forever, happy and free from concerns regarding the consequences of the malicious and "accidental" acts of God and man. Most folk will sell into slavery, themselves and family members, along with you and your's, in an effort to attain the offered fantasies that defy the natural order of things, at the cost of the rest of the Earth.
Whether the current public debate of the health-issue-of-the-day is about a new private hospital in Schoolcraft County, or the research and marketing of new medical technology, or another facet of the national obsession with offering security from the vagaries of life, it is driven, to a great degree, by little more than the mercenary self-interest of those seeking wealth and power, with little to no concern about the destructive consequences to be borne by current and future generations.
As a well respected and influential community doctor told me at a past county board meeting, "I will do anything to bring the new hospital to Schoolcraft County."; which I understood to mean the promotion of lying, cheating, and stealing. I haven't been disappointed.
For those that seek a perspective more rational and candid than most of that offered by the empty "talking heads" of the commercial television and radio networks, as they promote, as news, various extremes of the health care issue, you might seek a little more relevant detail from the following P.B.S. television program offerings, and browse the rest of the inciteful journalism, of P.B.S. and N.P.R. Many of the programs concern topics of which predators, in health related industries, politics, and elsewhere, prefer you remain ignorant. Of particular worth, to me, is the Bill Moyers candid interview with Wendell Potter, a recent past top Public Relations executive of Cigna Health Insurance (Inc.) and witness at health insurance related congressional hearings.
Wendell Potter on Profits Before Patients
The Reach of Talk Radio
Health Care Reform on the Table
Bill Moyer's Journal
N.P.R. National Public Radio
P.B.S. TV - Public Broadcasting Service
As I consider the reasons for the misery of others I know held hostage to a mercenary health system, I find myself thinking about why the Mayor of Manistique, retired cop Dave Peterson, has a no-deductible "Cadillac" health insurance plan that costs some $30,000 a year in premiums, paid for by the taxpayers of the burg I live in; substantially more than twice as much as my wife and I live on, each year. I am also prompted to wonder why the mayor considers his tax paid "Cadillac" health insurance plan as an inviolable right of retirement from public employment. I am then prompted to wonder for whom he made or makes $millions, as the equivalent of a jet-setting corporate executive compensated with a similar health insurance perk, earned by the production of wealth; not its consumption.
I am then prompted to wonder why others with the responsibility to ensure fair and equitable public policy and law care about neither. I haven't the slightest idea how many other current or retired city and county employees have a health insurance plan similar to Peterson's.
It does not come as a surprise that I do not remember hearing public discussion of such business during Manistique City Council budget review sessions that I have attended. The process escapes me, completely, whereby $30,000 per year of city taxes purchases a luxury health insurance plan for a retired city employee masquerading as one with the best interest of the city at heart; but, as I watched him trade his soul for free meals purchased with E911 money, I expect anything.
The reader might consider the costs of health related nonsense, and other public business, in the City of Manistique and Schoolcraft County, in the light of the demographics shown at: