Thursday, January 21, 2010

Die, Healthcare Reform, Die

To paraphrase a friend regarding the Mass. Senate election: "Last night at Ace Hardware I was in line behind Satan. He was there to buy a space heater." Several places in the blogosphere I've seen the Democrats' shrieking hissy-fits summed up best by the headline "Republicans Gain 41-59 Majority in Senate". The Dems are like six year old girls at a piano lesson who won't play any more after they hit one wrong note. Honestly now. If the Indians were Democrats, Custer would have won in a rout.

I'm cheerful about this because it means that health care reform is probably dead in the water. Why is that good? It's good for me, because I'm in medical school, and I plan to go into a high-earning specialty. To be blunt: I want to make lots of money, however I can, and I don't want any laws passed that mean I will make less money. End of story. And if your dad can't get that medical procedure he needs because my price is too high, then too goddamn bad for him. You can't say you're a capitalist and then bitch when the free market hurts you. You whiner.

Now, I can understand why maybe the foregoing passage might come across as less than persuasive that there is no need for reform in healthcare, but now that it looks dead thanks to the surrender monkeys currently running Congress, it's safer for me to be more direct. My motivation here is fourfold: 1) looking back over the blog, it's a little more colorless than I'd like it to be, and who gives a rat's ass if I scare off my 10 readers; 2) I'm so full of disgust with the moralizing that has gone on in this healthcare debate that my judgment is impaired; 3) conservatives have been really inconsistent in this debate (more below) and 4) if people just stared reality in the face, the world would be a better place. And here's reality: medicine is hard, it costs a lot, and you have to pay for it one way or another. If you can't, too bad.

One of the moral arguments that makes me puke is that human life is different, and since I'm going to be a doctor I should want to help people and not just make money. Yes, that's right! And then unicorns will come prancing from a magical fairy-land of rainbows!

Now, about that conservative inconsistency: do you know what the biggest medical entitlement program is in this country? Medicare. Why do Republicans not only avoid cutting it, but actively protect it? Because they know old people vote Republican, and that their constituents (the ones who pretend to be capitalists) won't call them on their hypocrisy. But if you're serious about keeping government out of healthcare, then where's the outcry to cut Medicare? For me, that's the next step. Medicare badly distorts the medical marketplace because the reimbursements are a joke. Here's what I don't know: what will happen to your mother's prescriptions once Medicare is gone. Here's what I do know: don't send her to me unless she has private insurance or can pay out of her pocket. Don't like the sound of that? Then boo hoo, and stop pretending to be a conservative, you pussy.

Wake up everyone. None of this is about morality or values. It's not about America. It's not about capitalism vs. socialism. It's about self-interest, and mostly, about our pockets. Most importantly, about my pocket.

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