Friday, September 4, 2009

'Facts' from 'Friends'

Here are just a handful of the fascinating facts and insights about US public policy I've learned in recent days, and all of this from my circle of Facebook friends:

  • The notion that 'no one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick' is a silly, simplistic, bumper-sticker-esque non-answer to the USA's complex health care challenges. Note the implication that the two claims are taken to be full-blown legislative proposals; whereas we in the reality-based community would hesitate to call them anything more than goals or, better yet, principles, toward which any health care reform proposal worth supporting needs to aim.
  • The aforementioned principles are 'ludicrous' and 'bullshit,' the historical experience of dozens of other nations notwithstanding. Granted, the absoluteness of them does rankle a bit -- no one, ever? -- and one could quibble over the precise meaning of go broke. That said, I find it ludicrous to suggest that the USA cannot achieve comparable levels of death-by-affordability and bankruptcy-by-medical bills seen in exotic climes such as Canada, Britain, France, and Germany, but then again, as will be shown presently, I am a fellow-traveling dupe of sinister powers.
  • I will let this withering catalog of facts speak for itself, such as it can, quoting verbatim:
    [T]he whole welfare system (basically socialism) to try and give a hand up to the poor, when all it has done is created generations of people dependant upon it. The establishment of this was based on feelings for the poor, however if we just reviewed the facts, socialism doesn't work. Socialized medicine doesn't work (look at European countries) and Canada FACTS![sic]
  • From that same source, offered in response to my own paltry attempt to inject facts into the discussion (these facts, to be exact):
    [T]he WHO is basically the U.N. and I personally know several Canadians and have heard thier horror stories about thier system. Why does everyone come here for helathcare? Unsourced assertions? So you disagree and you think socialism works? Let's take a look at unemployment statistics for Europe over the past few years. I don't consider The WHO relevant facts, I'll rate them up there w/CNN [sic]
    Clearly I do not have the knack for reporting facts, since I sourced my claim (to more than the WHO, by the way). That's bad enough, but it pales beside my status as a hapless dupe of the collusion among the UN, OECD, WHO, CNN, and Canada's voting majority, who prey on -- no, puppetize -- water-carriers like myself to perpetuate their nefarious and apparently long-term scheme to inconvenience American health insurers.
  • 'Efficiency' is the single most important measure of health care -- the most efficient provider of health insurance is the best. To elevate ideas such as quality, affordability, access, portability, and so on is to cheapen and debase the very idea of sober, serious-minded public policy. I have yet to hear anyone directly answer my follow-up question, i.e., whether we should be applying 'efficiency' to other areas as well: should we, for example, patronize only the most efficient car makers, clothiers, grocers, restaurants, book publishers, sports franchises, recording artists? If, say, the television I want is $40 cheaper at Best Buy but I find that Target runs a more efficient business operation, which store should I choose?
  • Invoking preventable death and needless bankruptcy in the context of health care policy is despicable emotional manipulation; never mentioning these, pretending they do not happen, wishing them out of existence, or, if pressed, shooing them away like so many filthy swirling gnats, is sober and serious.
Wretched dupe though I am, you will have to trust me when I say I could go on in this fashion for much longer.

Yesterday, I tweeted that the contours of your ignorance should not set the boundaries of my experience. I was referring, mostly, to the appalling idiocies above and to dozens more I have not had the stomach to reproduce here. The people who need most to ingest my reply are manifestly not avid or careful readers, even of twitter feeds or Facebook statuses, so I am, as ever, pissing in the wind or throwing pearls before swine or something of the kind. If anyone chances to read that as a rebuke, please know you are right to do so.

All sarcasm and snarks aside, while I will grant that there is a kernel of a quasi-respectable argument lurking within the insipid layers of some of these claims, I say this as a friend: you are making an utter fool of yourself with statements like these, and you should be ashamed.

No comments: