This seems pretty obvious. I’ve written about health and wellness from time to time, but I continually get frustrated when I read and listen to people who have no idea what they are talking about. Once again, people are talking about health care and once again the conservatives are telling us that a capitalist system of health care provides the best health care for the country. I disagree, and I will explain why this can never be true.
In a capitalist system you get what you pay for. This seems to be a fair way to divvy up goods when money is somehow related to work. If you spend 10 hours in the fields and you are paid $30/hour you should certainly be entitled to $300.00 worth of food. That makes sense, you did the work and you eat the food. If someone else is working as a CEO of a bra manufacturing company, and he works 10 hours and is paid $30/hour he should certainly be able to trade some of that money for food, right?
But, in a capitalist society we also value work differently. So, since we value bras more than food the CEO at the bra company makes about $100,000 per day and the farm worker makes about $100 for the same ten hour day. That makes sense, right. So, this means that the farm worker can buy enough food in one day to feed his family about 35 meals if he is very careful. The bra maker could buy about 35,000 meals with his one day of work. So, since we value bras more than food this makes sense so far, right?
But, the bra maker can’t eat all of those meals, even if he tried really hard, and we all know some of these people who have tried. So, the bra maker will have money left over to do other things. He might decide to make more money buy purchasing other companies that make other important things like tassels or garters. He could also purchase a couple of places to live in various locations near each of his companies. After a couple of days of work the farm worker will have enough money to pay for food for the whole week and he will then use the money to pay for a place to live, perhaps he’ll rent a room or maybe a trailer in a migrant workers camp. And, hopefully before the week is out he will have a bit of money left over to save for a rainy day. On most days the CEO has already paid for food, housing and essentials in the first hour of work. He can save the extra money by loaning it out to those who might need some extra cash, like the farm worker. In this way he gets his money back, and a bit extra for doing no work at all.
So, now we came to health. Both the farm worker and the bra maker are people and they will both eventually die. But, before they die they will most likely get sick multiple times. As they get older they will get sick more and more often. Each time they get sick they will want to be healed so they can enjoy their healthy lives.
The farmer in a capitalist society will go to the doctor and ask to be healed. The doctor will see him if he has the $100, one day’s pay, the doctor charges just to look at him. If he pays for that then he will need to pay another $100, another day’s pay, to buy the drugs to heal him. If the doctor doesn’t succeed in healing him then he will need to go to another doctor and another until he is healed. If the bra maker is sick he pays the same amount, $100, 0.1% of a day’s pay for the bra maker job, 0.0001% of a day’s income including other sources, for the doctor to look at him. This seems fair, right?
However, in the real capitalist world market forces control the prices of goods and services. And, doctors only want to work as much as they really need to. So, the doctor can raise the price of his services. The farm worker may decide that a $1000 is a bit high so he will go to church and pray to God. After all He works miracles and miracles are free. The bra maker can barely notice the difference in cost, and he wants to get well at “all cost.” This is because if you don’t have health you don’t have anything. In fact, the doctor and the drug companies and the HMOs and the hospitals can all ask for an increase and the bra maker will still pay the price for quite some time before he is willing to give up and go to church.
This is the reason why market forces will never cure the health care problem. The wealthy will pay whatever it costs in order to be healed, but the poor can only pay so much before they are forced to go without. Therefore the capitalist society rations health care based on wealth. The higher your income the better your health care will be. And the Republicans were afraid of rationing health care in England? Its actually ironic that the Christian Fundamentalists that live in trailers voted to have ration away their health care to the wealthy. They voted to give tax cuts to the wealthy. They voted to give their pension funds to Ken Lay and Enron. They voted for higher oil prices so Exxon could make record profits this year. Who owns Enron and Exxon? The wealthy! They sure love the wealthy, don’t they? But, they’re Christian and money isn’t everything, your health is. But don’t worry, if you pray to God He’ll work that miracle and you’ll be cured for free.
Politics, Health Care, Drugs, Terrorism, Education, Truth