January 14, 2006
A Tale of Two Countries
The failure of the government to provide decent health care for much of the population has reinforced the idea of the United States as two separate nations: one insured and increasingly comfortable, the other uninsured and increasingly miserable.

Every year scores of millions of Americans, like the Smith family, face the clash between health and poverty, knowing that if they treat their illnesses they will lack the money needed for housing, education and, sometimes, food.

Even the corporate owned media is regularly filled with accounts of the desperate choices people are forced to make over health care, of seniors who must do without medicine to see whose serious disease will get paid for — families struggling to decide who will be treated because their family cannot afford to treat everyone.

“There’s basically no safety net at all for medical care in the state I live in,” said Willie Jones, a worker working for a company that provides no health insurance. “Our state has a lot of people with disease who are unable to get treatment, just staying at home in bed with barely enough to eat. They are shut in and can’t work, and their disease and poverty have taken away their dignity.”

That the United States finds itself in this situation today is as remarkable as the country’s economic takeoff, benefiting only many government employees, the largest corporations, and those who work for them, and, paradoxically, is inseparably related to it.

You might think I quoted the above from a story from an independent media outfit in the United States.

Actually, I cheated. Let me say it again. I CHEATED, but only a little. The story is essentially unchanged. Recognize it as the real thing? You should.

The story above is actually a portion of one that appeared today in the New York Times about health care in China. I changed a few names and a few minor details to come up with the story above. Yes indeed. The best of times and the worst of times. A tale of two countries.



Posted by Buck Batard at January 14, 2006 07:15 AM
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Except that here I fear the "corporate owned media" are a little more savvy - and they don't report many such tales. But yours is a very good point.

Posted by: Carl Manaster on January 14, 2006 10:25 AM

Buck - thought you might enjoy this article from today's Billings Gazette - wasn't sure how to send it to you -

one of your blog readers

Posted by: on January 14, 2006 12:28 PM

As BAG News Notes points out, it's truly weird that the New York Times article makes not one mention of the comparison between the U.S. health care system and what is happening in China.†In their silence on the issue, The Times seems to tacitly accept that the capitalist model should be taken for granted. BAG News points out that it is just a matter of time before this "rural" health care problem (again, using the Times' context) spreads to China's entire (Western-style industrial) society.

Posted by: one world on January 14, 2006 2:02 PM

Thanks blog reader. Interesting article. Seems to me that Republicans once were fiscal conservatives and the Democrats believed in some social engineering to prevent the system from allowing the lowest on the ladder to get crushed. Both seemed to keep the system from getting too far out of whack, at least in the modern era.

Now it seems to me that they've both morphed into monsters. I wish we could get enough of the old time real Republicans and real Democrats to run things.

I'll be putting something up on that in the next day or two. Didn't get to my Emma Goldman piece that I wanted to do today because of a computer malfunction gone way wrong (thanks to routers made in China), but stay tuned.

I probably should post an email address for readers of this blog....just don't want to get on any more of these "send this to everyone you know" lists. I'll get around to that eventually.

Posted by: Buck on January 14, 2006 8:02 PM

Thanks, Blog Reader. I, too, appreciate the column, and although I don't share the professor's enthusiasm for Sen. McCain, I, too, am struggling to retain hope for a return to true American values.

Posted by: Joyful Alternative on January 15, 2006 5:17 PM

The big problem some of us have with McCain is the Keating Five scandal from many years ago.

Perhaps he is not the same man as he was then. Some people tell me "a leopard does not change his spots". I don't subscribe to that theory; I've changed my spots drastically over the years.

That being said, I would take McCain over some of the Democrats being floated around out there. However, we really need someone who will change the status quo. George Bush has done that in a big way — he has led us down the road on the way to hell.

Unfortuntely, we are probably going to be stuck with someone with some baggage. God help us if we get another George Bush clone.

Posted by: Buck on January 15, 2006 5:34 PM
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