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A Therapeutic Rant About the USA Health Reform

Updated on February 12, 2018

Here comes a rant about the current "debate" regarding health reform in the USA. I'm not a citizen of that mighty country, so some of you may feel inclined to tell me to shut up. By all means, don't restrain yourselves and carry on.

Ready, steady, rant!

I've left some comments in articles around this topic (here and in other sites), in turns expressing my fascination with the twists and turns of the politics around health reform, and stating my refusal to participate in any civilized conversation until the core issue stops being money and starts being ethics and morals and, fundamentally, human rights.

Oh. But wait. That won't happen because then we wouldn't even have a "debate". I mean, if morals and ethics and basic human rights were the core issue, then the USA would already have a public health system.

To put it simply, folks, I'm overwhelmed and disgusted that health, the well-being and care of human beings in the country with the highest GDP in the world is being argued about in terms of money.

The closest I've come to hear any morals in these, shall we say, lively discussions is when politicians or citizens without "rank" have stated that it ought to be possible for American citizens to be sick without going broke.

Still, even that statement is about money. For me to take any of these discourses seriously, someone would need to say, shout, declare and spit with all their might: "Human beings have a right to be taken care of when they are sick". A corollary along these lines would help, too: "especially when they live in the country with the highest GDP in the world."

But that would be about money, too, and I refuse to discuss health in those terms when we're speaking about ANY country in the First World. Please. It is shameful and I am deeply ashamed to breath the same air as the so-called leaders of the free world in this particular matter.

Money, money, money

My question is: Why a debate around health reform must turn around money. But reality bites. In the ass too, especially in the current economic climate. Especially after having thrown out the window an incredible amount of it to bail out some mighty motherfcker financial institutions and their masters who will NEVER ever have trouble getting health coverage.

So, money has a weight. So what? What the f*ck is wrong with America?

Of course a public health solution will cost money. So does education and public transportation and having paved streets and highways and a democratic government and sewer systems and food and gas and just about ANYthing costs money. Never you mind going to the moon and building missiles and going to frigging war. That does cost money to pay for 10 public health insurance systems twice over. Give me a break!

Still, most of the debate continues being about money as if this were the most insurmountable obstacle. I wonder, why not manufacture another 7 or 8 trillion dollars outta that bunker also known as the Federal Reserve? Been done once, why not twice? Because it's going to mean more taxes? OHHHH. So more taxes are digestible if it's to bail out some highway robbers but not to care for fellow citizens? Give me a break!

Of course I know that some Americans are as outraged as I am by the arguments used by right wingers, but what comes out for the public eye to examine and wonder about (and mind you, in the case of USA the public eye is the whole wide word) is that politics, the establishment, the status quo, the goddamned country, whatever that means, will not move on with this topic to reach a common sense conclusion.

Evidently, I'm speaking of my own common sense here. This is my rant and you can freely tell me off as much as you please. See if I care, though.

I don't know about money, but history does talk

How many times has a health reform been attempted and failed? And the bad news are this: When other administrations attempted it, Clinton's at any rate, the economic situation was a lot better than now, it was actually buoyant! So what was the excuse then? Money would have certainly played a smaller role in THAT context? But it didn't, it didn't! It was all about money then, too. Not how much it would cost the country but how much some lobbies stood to LOSE!

Which is exactly the same situation as today's. This is not about what cost it has for the country, it's about the potential loss it would cause to some! That appears to be the real deal breaker here. Excuse me while I puke.

Not that I'm done puking, but let me say this: Some 16 odd years ago the country at large could have afforded it. Which leads me to think money is equally relevant now as it was then and we're back to square one: Money is put ahead of a country's well-being. Which leads me to think that the USA is sick. Which makes sense. It's sick because a good portion of Americans can't afford treatment, they are seriously set back if they need any, or even go broke over something as minor as a broken leg.

To me, it is rather irrelevant that now half the country is eating dried goods because nobody can't even afford a steak. I don't care that half the country is unemployed. I don’t care that the financial system went downhill or that numerous businesses closed. That applies to so many other countries in the world that DO have a public health system. It is insulting, as a human being, that money would be put to the forefront of this particular debate.

Illegal aliens

To add insult to injury, I keep hearing about how much it would cost treating illegal aliens. I'm not even going to bother with the fact that they are already being treated to some extent, at least for a minimum of assistance. What makes me double my puking efforts is that the USA would accept these immigrants as cheap labor (many being in roles that no American would want anyway, same as here, Germany, UK or any other frigging First World country) but would refuse them a moral right to be treated if sick.

Seriously, but seriously folks. The "illegal alien" discourse is so very despicable, so very disgusting, so very pertinent to any excuses for DNA morphed into somewhat-past-monkey forms that I don't even want to rant more about it.


Now, free-speech it to me, dudes, but make no mistake to think that I care what you think, if you don't think this is a moral issue above anything else.

© 2009 Elena.


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    • profile image

      Mold Removal Tallahassee 

      8 years ago

      I couldn't agree more. Thanks,Wow, the comments alone are hubs!

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Madrid

      Thanks, Burning Brush :-) As we know, some sort of reform was achieved in the end, a half assed one, but definitely better than nothing, I guess!

    • burning bush profile image

      burning bush 

      8 years ago

      I couldn't agree more. Well said. Its no wonder that Madrid remains my favourite city from when I lived in Europe oh so many years ago. Its crowded with great people like you. I will stand by your rants anytime.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      It is not about money. It is about Liberty. Some of us simply see this for what it is—another in a long line of grabs for power by the federal government, another area in which they intrude in our lives. 1/6 of our entire economy centralized in the hands of politicians.

      You see, we never had kings here—we aren't used to authoritarian rule. We are a country of freedom. We don;t want our lived run by bureaucrats.

      The problem with our health care here is the government. Therefore many do not want more of it. It is the government that linked health insurance with employment—as a sop to labor unions, who were big supporters of FDR.

      It is government that restricts competition across state lines by insurance companies—and we know here in America that competition always drives down prices.

      It is government that created Medicare and Medicaid, which you can trace on a chart is the day from whence the health care problem started. It is about money in one sense: these two programs admit to $100B in fraudulent claims each year (15%). And they are unable to stop it. No private enterprise would tolerate this. $100B would buy a lot of health care for the poor.

      The health care bill, which I have read, includes dozens of liberties taken away from private citizens. There are 15 million citizens who earn $50,000 a year or more without insurance. They can afford it. They don't want it. They want the freedom to spend their money where they want to spend it. This bill would fine them $3800 each for not having insurance they don't want. In America, there are people who chafe at this intrusion in their affairs. And contrary to your other readers here, they are not crazy eyed radical nut jobs. I attended one of the "tea parties" and the people there were main street USA.

      It is about money because of malpractice insurance. Some surgeons here pay $200,000 a year for malpractice insurance because America is an extremely litigious society. People sue each other at the drop of a hat. The party in power here is in the pocket of Lawyers and thus, they refuse to have tort reform—which would save hundreds of billions of dollars that could be used for health care services.

      Health insurance should be decoupled from employment.

      Privatizing Medithis and Medithat would save $90B a year. Tort reform would save $60B a year. Opening up competition over state lines would save $50B a year. So the money part is the moral part. There's $200B a year that could used to provide health care for the poor without losing our freedom. That's a lot of health care. And it is immoral that instead of making these reforms, some want a BRAVE NEW WORLD—a book I highly recommend.

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Madrid

      Dolores, you're not kidding are you? Jeeez wheeez, I swear. I guess the woman was very proud of her detective skills...

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Elena, I was listening to a radio show (NPR) the other day concerning the health care debate when a woman called in to state that she knew for a fact that ILLEGAL ALIENS were being treated at her hospital. How did she know? Because an illegal alien who was hit by a car was brought into the hospital and treated. Boy was she pissed. That's what's wrong with Americans. I guess they should have let the poor soul bleed to death on the street.

      In America, to care about the common good means that you are a communist.

      In America, medical care is Big business.

      I think they've all gone crazy and it, frankly, scares me.

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Madrid

      Halliburton Healthcare! DUH! How come nobody thought of it before? Might Mom you better run and get a copyright on that! Laugh! I mean, one's gotta laugh at this or one would simply perish from horror.

      Guys, I shudder to think of privatizing some types of services, as the scenario painted by CWB is what could/would ensue. Actually, that IS what happens already with health, isn't it, so the rest isn't so far-fetched.

      The thing is, I am not against any company providing private services. I mean, wanna build a private hospital for those who can afford it, fine. Wanna offer people the chance to pay for their chosen insurance coverage, FINE. I don't see this unlike any other option, e.g. buying a cheaper or more expensive car, or not buying a car at all. Unlike cars, or any other good, however, health cannot have a frigging price tag that determines whether you live or die, whether you go broke or barely make it. Decent care should simply be a right. Health shouldn't be a goddamned commodity!

      If we would all agree that health is a right (and it should be so everywhere, but let's stick to first world countries for the sake of argument), then any other subsequent option for citizens to "upgrade" isn't a real issue. But not providing decent care to citizens of a first world country regardless of their social standing is simply criminal.

      And the worst crime is that agreement isn't reached because of what some stand to lose, not really because of how much it would cost to rectify this wrong. At least, that's how it looks from where I look.

      There you go, you made me rant again :-)

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      9 years ago from UK

      Halliburton Healthcare LOL! Nice one Mighty Mom! There are some things that are just much too important to put in the hands of private enterprise, and healthcare is one of them.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA


      Just when we thought our country might be able to once again head its head high (after the abysmal Bush years) now we've got the world looking at us over the healthcare debacle.

      Why aren't sensible, rationale and compassionate people like you here pushing policy?

      The basic problem is that yes, healthcare IS a moral issue. But we, as a nation, cannot seem to agree on whose "morals" prevail. And as we know,money talks. Those with the money do not see healthcare as a basic human right. It's all "I got mine, don't take mine away." God forbid they ever lose their jobs and find out how next to impossible it is to secure coverage at all, let alone be able to pay for it.

      CWB is right. Certain things just cannot (or should not) be privatized. Oh wait -- maybe it's time to bring in Halliburton. How do you like "Halliburton Healthcare" -- has a nice ring to it, doesn't it!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Good reality check for many of us! MM

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Imagine what it will be like when all the emergency services are privatized. I mean, anything less is evil, wicked, communist socialism right?

      Call 911 when your house is burning and you'll be asked for your fire and rescue policy number. Don't have it? Sorry, we can't help you.

      Your home is being invaded by thieves and rapists? What's your home security policy number please? Don't have it? Too bad, you're SOL.

      Your husband was carjacked, robbed and murdered? What's your criminal investigation policy number? Don't have it? What a shame. I guess you'll have to track down those perps yourself!

      Your daughter was kidnapped? What's your...

      Disaster capitalism. It's the latest phase and greed is still good.

      The goal is complete privatization, the mantra of the owners, buy or die.

      Read Shock Doctrine. I'll be happy to email a PDF version to anyone interested.

    • ledefensetech profile image


      9 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

      There are people who have a vested interest in keeping the cost of healthcare high. We put in so many barriers to entry concerning health, it's amazing we get any at all. It's not due to lack of will or money or anything else.

      You're right it's not America, we once understood this. Can you seriously look at all of the corruption around Washington and possibly think that these men and women, steeped in corruption as they are, can possibly put together something that is fair for all of us?

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Madrid

      Hi Aya and ledefensetech! I see you're both sending me to your own takes on the issue :-) Even without reading (and I will), right now let me say I respect whatever your take is, whether I agree or not I yet don't know.

      Money schmoney dumbamoney. I care not one bit whether I'm misled by my principles in this one. The fact remains, in my opinion: what prevents the richest-per-capita country in the world from providing for its citizens? All of them, I mean, the dumb, the smart, either political side, all of them? This is a big question mark for me, from where I stand. Which is not America, I admit.

      Many thanks for the visit!

    • ledefensetech profile image


      9 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

      Elena, like many you're focused on the wrong thing. It's not about money, it's about increasing access to health care. There is a very simple way to do that, but you'll never see it debated in Congress because there are too many people who make too much money off the current system. And no, it's not just the insurance companies. Doctors are complicit too:

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 

      9 years ago from The Ozarks

      Elena, what do you think money is? Do you really think that money has nothing to do with human rights? Money represents each person's right to make his own choices about his own life during the short period of time before death claims us all. Read my hub about The Role of Death in Life, and you'll understand that the right to decide what we do with our money has everything to do with how long we get to live and what the quality of that life is going to be.

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Madrid

      Candie, I did feel slightly better after ranting, but when I read the comments.... well, you could say I was back to square one, fuming all over the place! Maybe I'll have to vent again.... :-)

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      9 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Wow, the comments alone are hubs! You have hit a nerve with this one! Do you feel better, or shall I call a doctor? Love ya, my friend!

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Madrid

      Hello, Amanda -- You're right of course. That's what I meant when I said in this context money isn't important in terms of potential spend caused by a reform, it's ONLY really important in terms of how much SOME stand to lose (on not win). That's why a reform didn't past when the admin wasn't so short of it either. Immoral is the first and foremost thing on my mind, closely followed by criminal, despicalbe... and so on.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      9 years ago from UK

      Hi Elena, well I guess you already know what I think, since we have followed each other around many of these hubs. The problem is not only about money in the USA, but also about how politicians receive their funding. When politicians are funded by industry and business, of course they will spout their doctrines. That is the ultimate in corruption - to deliberately harm your fellow citizens in order to keep your own backside cushioned. I saw footage on the news of some of the senators speaking out against the reforms, and there was one woman standing behind the speaker who had the most smug and supercilious expression I've ever seen on a politician. Her whole look said 'I'm alright Jack, so the rest of you can wallow in slime for all I care!' These people are lower than the lowest of the low. And yes, I agree 100% with you Elena. Illegals are still human beings and deserve to receive healthcare in exactly the same way as any other citizen.

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Madrid

      Universal, I thought I was done ranting for a bit, this was really therapeutic, but upon reading all these personal accounts, I'm not so sure I'm done yet.

      Trooper, I will check out your hub. I understand why you'd want to tone it down, I tend to do the same on controversial matters because I really never aim to offend, just state my point of view, but this one, I just anted to say what I wanted to say.

      Suikki, good luck with your incursion into the medical field :-) I don't think doctors are all bad, it's the system they have to live in that probably jades them over time.

      Violet, I can't think of a spiritual message under so much right wing crap, but I hope a message is there somewhere :-)

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Madrid

      Hi, everyone, many thanks for the comments. I shudded to hear your personal stories, they really make me sick --no pun.

      Refusing treatment for cancer, 15K for a broken arm, 10K for gum surgery... arghhh

      I'm not saying there aren't issues in the national health setups in the countries that have them, of course there are, but it never gets down to the level of anything close to ripping people off this way, nor remotely similar to refusing treatment. What you all explain is immoral, which is really the rason why I ranted here.

    • VioletSun profile image


      9 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Elena: When I broke my elbow less than 10 years ago, my Cobra insurance ran out on the next day, (perfect "timing" huh) and I ended up with a $15,000 bill for a simple treatment of a cast and adjustments. When I needed a so called special brace, since I didn't have the money then to pay, they told me they couldn't provide me with one, unless I paid. Turned out to be a blessing, as I didn't need (went for a second opinion) one anyway. I was stunned at the mistreatment. I am blessed I am healthy, and do my best to stay this way though I have good insurance nowadays. It scares me to see that healthcare is simply a business for many, even some do unnecessary surgery for profit's sake.

      And as for immigrants, there is the recent case of a Peruvian who had an accident, and was left functioning at the level of a child, (he was a productive citizen, and soccer player), and the hospital deported him because they cared for him for 3 years and it was getting very expensive. I say, they should have released him to his family in the USA.

      I do believe there is a spiritual message in what is happening, but its not for this hub, so will keep my mouth shut. :)

    • Suiiki profile image


      9 years ago from City of the Newly Wed and Nearly Dead

      The nut jobs that Europe threw out...I'll have to remember that one.

      It's refreshing to see people who actually understand the real issue behind the health care system. People just don't realize the morality behind it, I guess, until they are sick themselves. Several of my friends and I have all been screwed by the elitist system the US has many times over. Since I am waiting for permanent residency here in Canada, Amy and I have been talking about looking in to making use of my dual citizenship and going to Australia for treatment of a serious health issue that keeps getting worse, since American doctors won't touch me now that I am no longer on my parents' insurance plan (Not that they helped to begin with, I've had this since I was 15 and never gotten more than a shrug of the shoulders and "hell if I know, I'm only a doctor.")

      Sucks to be sick and not get any help, and I shudder to think that I'm one of the lucky ones, since I can live with the health problems I have, as oppossed to the millions who die each week because American doctors won't treat them without cash in hand.

      I reccomend everyone watch the movie John Q. It's a brilliant social commentary about the American health care system as it stands now.

      And I hope the when I get into the medical field some day, I won't be one of the jaded, cynical ass holes who won't even hand out band aids unless you can pay.

    • trooper22 profile image


      9 years ago from Chicago

      I love this Elena! I wrote a hub recently but have not published it called "Stupid Americans". I toned it down a bit and published another hub on this subject. It makes me angry that I spent the bulk of my life defending people that have such a narrow and foolish vision of the world. Case in point, my wife recently returned from her home in Russia where she had what was quoted to be 10,000 dollars of "Cosmetic" surgery done to her teeth and gums. She needed this procedure to keep her teeth! In Russia she chose to see a private doctor and the entire cost was less than 1,000 dollars and she will now be able to live with her real teeth as opposed to dentures. It's insane here. My wife and I have been seriously considering moving to her country permanently and leaving he stolen land of the New World to the Nut Jobs that Europe threw out!

    • Universal Laws profile image

      Linda Joslin 

      9 years ago from UNIVERSE

      Brilliant hub, keep on ranting it works for me and is so much better than some of the right wing comments I have read on other hubs.

      I remember forty or so years ago when an uncle of mine who had emigrated to USA became sick with cancer of the throat and was refused treatment. He refused to leave the hospital and was I believe eventually given some sort of medication but it was all of the family in England that clubbed together and sent him money enough to begin the real treatment. Our families were by no means well off but sent everything they could, I was a young teenager at the time and could not understand how a doctor, nurse could refuse to treat a man who would die without their help.

      But this was their system. He survived many more years after treatment because of his family. He was a man who worked hard all his life.



    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Madrid

      Cheers, alekhouse. Come back as many times as you need to :-)

      G-Ma, i don't know that praying will take the USA from the pit it's fallen intowith this "debate", but each oof us must do what feels right, pray or rant, up for grabs! Besos!

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Madrid

      Hi Pam. Believe it or not, one strong motivator for me to rant out loud here was that I dearly respect what other folks, such as yourself, have been talking about for a while. I keep nodding to your own rants (well, what you call rants and I call touches of genius), and thinking, for pete's sake, it's not right to let her shout alone. It's just plain NOT right. Not that you're alone in your rants, fortunately I read other outraged commentary from Americans here and elsewhere. But still. It feels wrong to not position myself with all of this. Shutting up is sometimes a coward's way out, and by gob, I may not be American, but then I'm also NOT a coward.

      The situation in the USA is simply not comprehensible to me. You say it's on the brink of another civil war, and I say, it IS already in a civil war, "civil" being the keyword here. Maybe weapons aren't being fired (YET, as some day one of these idiots carrying guns to town halls is bound to get enthusiastic and there you go), but the hatred and the wish to eliminate "the enemy" is certainly present and accounted for. Really very sad, from where I stand.

      Thank you for your words here, and thank you for being a beacon of light and common sense that proves that there is a lot of worth in that country, even if some folks try to make it look otherwise.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      You hit right on the Head my dears...and whatever shall we do? I can't believe what our country has become and Money is the Root of all Evil...

      'They' are taking us from within, I have said it before and am saying it again..It was said a long time ago that is how the fall of the USA would happen, and frighteningly(a word?) I feel it happening..Pray I guess and pray hard...well do the right thing too, Honesty is the number one way...Thanks nice hub/rant my dear...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Sorry, I'm totally in sync here with all of you. I wrote a long comment and it disappeared. No time to write another now. But I'll be back

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      BTW--Our economic situation is going to get much worse here, and we have NO social safety net in place, and all these assholes screaming about how we mustn't have one because that would be 'socialism'. What that means is that each further collapse will create more desperate need and eventually violence. It's completely insane.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I'm right with you all the way on this. The rest of the world by and large thinks the U.S. has gone mad because the U.S. HAS gone mad. Today, in fact, a bunch of wack-jobs has descended on Washington D.C. with their Obama-as-Hitler signage and tea bags and guns and what have you, shouting, "You lie! You lie!" as a rallying cry against health care. Hopefully none of them falls and scrapes a knee and is subjected to the violence of a forced free bandaide or something.

      At this point, even if Obama's plan gets through Congress, it's nothing but at HUGE giveaway to the health insurance industry that caused the problem in the first place. People without insurance will be REQUIRED to buy private insurance, at which point I may well move to Toronto, if they're still letting us in at that point.

      On a more serious note, we are, as a nation, very much on the verge of another civil war and a potential fascist revolt. I believe this is happening because a certain virulent group of racists and right winger extremists is being funded and encouraged by corporate money--BIG money--and the Republican party. These are people who refuse to accept a black or liberal President, refuse to accord him any respect whatsoever, and have never gotten over losing the Civil War. It's very hard to people outside the U.S. to comprehend the level of hatred going in here or why it's happening---it isn't even that easy for us, the ones who live here and wish it would stop.

      Seriously, it frightens and disgusts me.

      Thanks for ranting and sharing. I hate to rant alone!

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Madrid

      I hear you Suiiki. I don't pretend to know a whole lot of all the intrincacies of the US programs, I just believe the current discourse is wrong, wrong, wrong if health of citizens is all about money.

    • Suiiki profile image


      9 years ago from City of the Newly Wed and Nearly Dead

      It is definitely a moral issue...The worst thing I have ever heard, while in a debate on this issue in the hubpages forums, was a response to a comment I made about a friend with severe scoliosis. "She could have started a charity." Why the ehll should she have to start a charity just to get the treatment required to stop her being crippled by age 25? The damage to her spine is already irreversible...had she been treated when she was diagnosed at age 5, or shortly thereafter, she would be in school to become a police officer right now, instead of sitting on her bum learning how to program computers because she can't do anything else without being able to walk 50 feet. We've got four years left before the doctors have said she will be completely wheel-chair bound. Oh, but, she could have held a dance or started a charity of her own to raise the money!

      And when I needed replacement hearing aides at age 12, my parents could have held a benefit for the cause when I was refused by both our medical insurance and the state Beaureau For Children With Medical Handicaps (BCMH from now on, since that is a bitch to type out)

      When my mum's friend had a grandchild with cancer, they could have asked for donations to pay for his treatment, rather than having to watch him die because they maxed out their insurance for him for the year!

      It makes me sick, what some people will say. Take the money out the equation, and people will see that what few programs the US does have, medicaid, medicare, BCMH, and the like, are grossly inadequate. They are tiny bandaids one a wound that requires stitches and a splint. (Pun intended)


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