Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fucko (Michael & Me)

When my parents became parents, they found out that parenting wasn't their cup of tea. I guess "don't knock it till you try it" isn't the best approach for all of life's endeavors. Anyways, part of their neglect included not really caring whether or not I brushed my teeth.

Thus I did not develop good oral hygiene habits. I carried this attitude with me well into young adulthood, as I partied my life away at bars followed by hitting up taco stands with the homies. There we combined carne asada and soda to sober up before heading home; and apparently it worked. No DUI's for so far (at least for me; I'll drink to that my incarcerated homies!).

Too drunk/tired/lazy to spend five minutes over a sink, I would then hit the sack without a second thought for my not-so-pearly whites. But I knew this carelessness would eventually have it's consequences. After ten years of neglecting my teeth, I finally decided it was time to go see a dentist.

I told him straight up: "look 'doc' I haven't been to a dentist in over a decade, and I haven't taken good care of my teeth. So I don't know what you're gonna find in there."

He was cool and had a sense of humor as he crossed his fingers before taking a look. "They look fine." A quick couple of X rays confirmed that I didn't have a single cavity.

"How could this be 'doc'?"

"Some people just have good teeth. I'll give you a cleaning and then see you in six months."

I'm no Eisenstein, nor no athlete, but apparently I was blessed with a decent set of chompers. Hey, I'll take what I can get. So once again, I pulled off another bit of dumbluck. But what if I now went around advocating that people neglect their teeth like I have? What if I told people that seeing dentists on a regular basis was just a bunch of bullshit invented by greedy dentists, and brushing your teeth on a daily basis is optional, cause hey, it worked for me right? I think we can all agree that would be some pretty poor advice.

Just because something works for one person doesn't mean it works for another. The more the circumstances are different the less relevant one person's experience is for another. The same is true for social engineering: just because something works in one country, doesn't mean it works in another. As an American living in Europe, I absolutely hate how much other Americans talk about Europe as if they had any fucking clue what it's like out here.

Europe Sucks! (Sort of)

First of all, Europe is a huge geographical area composed of many VERY DIFFERENT countries. So take all your sweeping generalizations that begin with "in Europe..." and throw them out the fucking window. For example, "in Europe people are thin." Oh yeah? Did you know that Italy has a higher obesity rate per capita than the U.S? Or "in Europe nobody's really poor." Oh really?? Been to Poland lately??

Seriously unless you've lived out here you need to shut the fuck up about what life is like in Europe. And no just cause you've been here on vacation doesn't count. Same as how if you had a great time going down to Cancun, that doesn't make you an expert on how wonderful life is in Mexico.

Amongst many stereotypes Americans presume are facts, they think Europe has a great "universal healthcare" system. Once again, it actually depends on what country you're talking about. England, for example, is full of nightmare stories about horrible conditions, ridiculously long waiting lists, and people having to get private care in other countries due to England's poor NHS system.

Upstagings of staged political media shoots are great when they work in my favor:

Now I admit, the country I live in, in Europe, has a great health care system. People come from surrounding European countries to this one, just to receive low-cost, high-quality care. But this country also has the right ingredients to make socialized medicine work (which America lacks) 1. it's much, much smaller 2. it has a homogenous population 3. it's people are nationalistic as fuck.

Why would those last two matter? Because the public is very focused on getting educated and getting serious careers even though they have enough social protection to not need to suceed, and because the public and doctors alike tend to make decisions based on what's best for the country as a whole.

Sound great? Well guess what, that's not what people are like in America. It is much harder to generalize Americans because America is so much bigger and has a much more diverse population in terms or culture, mentality, morality, national origin, etc. But in comparison to the country I currently live in, I would have to say that Americans are much more individualistic; they find ways to cut corners, and love to get more for less. It sounds bad, but it's the reason we are innovators. Necessity isn't the mother of invention, craftiness is.

If you gave a selfish, corner cutting population free medicine, they would rape the shit out it without a second thought. While some people would say "I don't care if life is free, I still want to get an education and go on to build a career even if it doesn't pay a whole lot more because taxes are so high", still there aren't enough people with that kind of mentality in the States. At least not enough to make a free medical system work. This greedy attitude is not limited to the public. It stretches out to politicians, doctors and insurance companies.

Sorry Weezy, maybe next post                            
So what does that mean? Are Americans are too morally corrupt to ever get decent healthcare? Are they doomed with no way out of the horrible state of health care? No. Just because socialist medicine is not the solution, doesn't mean there isn't any solution at all. The solution: deregulation.

Free Medicine, Change Syntax

Regulation is what gave us the mess we have today, and adding more regulation ontop of regulation is only going to, in medical terms: fuck your shit up son!

It's funny to me just how opinionated on the subject those who are in favor of recently enacted healthcare laws are, when they seem to have no clue about the history of medicine in the United States and how it lead to where we are now. (Yup! after getting political on your ass, I'm gonna get historical on your ass! ...because I hate you dear reader.)

It all began back in 1910. Some dipshit from the AMA named Flexner published a big ass report (known as the Flexner Report) about how medical schools in the U.S. and Canada were sub-par. It's really amazing that he was able to determine this seeing as how he wasn't even a fucking doctor himself! But that didn't matter, as far as politicians were concerned (also not doctors) it was high time they step in and give someone else the power to do some regulatin' round here: the AMA (yeah OK they're doctors, but greedy as fuck ones). They were granted the ability to certify/shut down medical schools.

So now that regulation was finally put into place we reached a golden era of enlightenment and medical advances beyond belief right? You must be new here. The AMA began to shut down schools left and right. So many schools closed (about half) that the remaining ones had to enforce old rules about only allowing men to sign up. Alternative medicine which used to be on par with traditional medicine was pretty much completely squashed which is a shame because I can personally testify to it's effectiveness.

Wacko, alternative medicine; finally a European stereotype I can agree with. 
the real me by erix!, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  erix! 

Schools were only allowed to graduate percentages. In other words, a school could only pass those who were, for example, in the top 20% regardless of how well the rest did. Also foreign doctors from developed countries were not given a license until they had practiced medicine for free for two years in the States. Since it's virtually impossible to afford to work for free for that long, it pretty much eliminated the relief foreign doctors could have provided to the doctor shortage the AMA artificially created. Oh and those trying to build new med schools? Shot down at practically every attempt.

So why was the AMA, a board of doctors, making it so hard for anyone else to join their little club? Simple: they were looking out for their own. By making it so tough for people to become doctors, they eliminated the competition meaning the lucky few could charge whatever the fuck they wanted to. And that's exactly what they did which, coupled with the high cost of mal-practice insurance thanks to frivolous law suits, gave us the insane prices for medical treatment we are blessed with today.

Had to Get That Last One in There, Didn't you

Think Uncle Sam was done fucking shit up with their stupid regulation? You must be new here. Now fast-forward to the early 1940's. There was some sort of war going on, and the government decided it would impose a salary cap on businesses. But as usual when the government tries to impose ridiculous overbearing rules the people find a way around it (ever heard of a speakeasy?).

Corporations thus pretty much invented medical insurance so that they could offer "benefits" on top of the salary cap when head hunting. And adding a third (greedy) party to the mix only made shit way worse. Now doctors started charging even more than their already exorbitant prices because they knew the insurance company would pay what the client couldn't, meaning that those with med insurance really weren't saving much at all if any, and those without it were, to put it medically: F'd in the A. Get it? FDA? Hello? Is this thing on? Rough crowd, rough crowd...

So if medical insurance is responsible for so much evil in the medical field, why is there all this hysteria about huge numbers of "uninsured Americans" when the real issue is that prices are way too fucking high? Simple: they made you terribly afraid of living without this corporate invented bullshit so that when they made a mandate forcing you to buy med insurance or be taxed, you were somehow in love with the idea. "Finally, we'll have medical insurance!" Yeah, too bad that doesn't mean you're any closer to decent health care.

It's all about greed. The med insurance companies are greedy, they shouldn't even exist (and they have already started raising their prices due to the new laws). The politicians are greedy, and have exploited the situation to impose another bullshit tax. And the people are greedy; they fell for it all like sheep because they were so excited by the word "free" that they allowed themselves to be totally conned.

What we need to do is deregulate and scrap the AMA. Also get rid of B.S. lawsuits by greedy lawyers and their clients. Doing so will mean there will be way more doctors, and thus prices will go down. We won't need medical insurance companies so they're prices will go down as well, if they're even still around. Sure you will have to pay for medical treatment, but it will be competitive and affordable. True capitalism at it's finest. Granted that means you got to get a job, do some saving, and have a bit of personal responsibility with decisions about your health; but I ask you, is that really so bad?

*Don't forget to check out my book!  

1 comment:

  1. this is so much more than i needed!!! but will all come in use thanks!!
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