Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I have to admit being fueled in my latest fury against the way we do health care in this country by a piece I read today. (It's a misnomer to even call it that. It's not about health care, it's about wealth care.) This was exactly the point "Sarah Proud and Tall" made in this piece on the blog Balloon Juice, which I just ran across today. The article, and this is what caught my eye, fetchingly entitled "How long before we can leave David Brooks out on a hillside to die?" We don't need to go into the whole thing. You can read it yourself. But I did want to quote this little snippet simply because it pithily puts the problem with our so-called health care system right out there.

Context: she is repulsed by a Brooks column that appeared in the NYT on July 14 entitled "Death and Budgets." She takes great exception to his assertion that the fiscal crisis is being driven by health care costs and that the health care costs are being driven by the huge sums being spent on people in the final year of their lives. But let me let her speak for herself:
Furthermore, he [Brooks] argues, the reason for these soaring costs is that very old and very sick people insist on clinging on to their miserable lives, when they ought to be civic-minded enough to kick off. It’s not the insurance companies, which reap huge profits by serving as useless, greed-driven middlemen. It’s not the drug companies, which are making out like bandits with virtually no government regulation. It’s not the whole corrupt, overpriced system of medicine for profit, which delivers the 37th best health care in the world, according to the WHO, at more than twice the cost of the best (France). No. It’s all about us greedy geezers. We’re the ones who are placing an untenable burden on the younger, heartier citizenry, with our selfish desire to live a little longer.
There it is. It's not the fault of the people whose fault it is; it's the fault of the people who are sick. Brilliant.
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