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Monday, September 7, 2009

Universal Healthcare: it takes a village...

Editorial by Her Royal Highness Princess Cat... gee New York Times, when are you gonna hire me? After reading all the squabbling about healthcare reform...I couldn't just sit on the sideline anymore!

I support universal healthcare for two simple reasons: every human being should be entitled to basic healthcare (it really ought to be a basic human right) and healthcare should not be a for profit industry (human lives are not commodities).

I remember watching a documentary in China about a five year old boy who was mauled by dogs and sustained a serious injury to his throat. His parents did not have enough money to send him to a hospital so the country clinic was only able to clean up his wound but was unable to properly sew it up. When he ate, food wound fall out of his throat, and he was slowly starving to death. One day he overheard his parents argue over how to raise enough money to send him to a hospital, so he told his parents that it was okay to let him die... this from a five year old, I was crying buckets. Eventually after going to a local hospital which still was not able to properly treat the boy (and left him mute after surgery), a local tv station broadcasted his story, and viewers donated enough money to send him to a proper hospital to be treated and his vocal chord was restored.

The kindness of the common folks who helped the boy to receive proper treatment really moved me especially considering people in China make very little. So if we can all just pitch in a little in our communal healthcare piggy bank, everybody would be able to get their teeth cleaned, gashes properly sewn up, and hopefully also get preventive care to prevent major illnesses. I am not entirely naive, and I know there are details to be worked out, like how to prevent people from abusing the system, but I just can't see any other way around it.

Right now, private charities play a huge role in providing healthcare to underprivileged people worldwide. So before we have a universal healthcare system, let's follow the spirit of the kind people who helped the little boy in China and contribute to these worthy organizations:

Medicins Sans Frontieres or Doctors without Borders, truly an inspirational group of physicians.
Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps They were in LA treating underprivileged people... if you see some of the pictures from their visit, you'd think they were treating people from Third World countries. It truly highlighted the need for universal healthcare in America.
Lighthouse International They help people see!


Pei said...

Sentimentality aside, a well designed universal healthcare system benefits everyone in a society because preventative care, even if it includes advantage-takers, is cheaper than the insane amount of catastrophic care we pay for in the United States. For example:

-allowing everyone to see an affordable doctor would cut way down on the number of ER visits we see for basic, easily treatable conditions.

-making catastrophic care available decreases the number of people bankrupted by health problems.

-a healthier society is a more productive, more pleasant society. I'm sick of paying for homeless people to sleep on the streets. I want them to get healthy and get jobs so my streets don't smell like pee. I also want to see fewer fat people around. They hurt my eyes.

So yes, both selfishly and unselfishly, I'm all for UHC.

Cat said...

Yay! We should start our own movement: Cute Asian chicks for UHC!