More Thoughts On “Health Care Reform”

So now the senate bill has a plan to allow people between 55 and 64 to buy into Medicare, but no public option.

Lovely. Mandatory insurance without the Public Option to make the health insurance companies behave, according to the Senate. And it looks like the house (Pelosi, et al) is ready to blink.

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Now I got a couple of friends who are hoping that they pass some sort of bill. They’ve got enough health problems to keep them from getting any sort of coverage from the health insurance companies at present, and they’d love to be able to get insurance no matter what. They’d get cheaper prices at the doctors, and if anything major were to happen they wouldn’t have to worry about being in hock forever…or having to suffer with some physical problem or sickness, knowing that they wouldn’t be bankrupted or have treatment stopped mid-stream because the doctors needed payment.

There’s just one problem I keep running into on this: I hate feudalism.

I hate seeing my government privatized, handed off to businesses and people whose aim is to profit off of the need for certain services seen as necessary for society to operate. Services such as transport (roads…we had a set of private systems known as Railroads, but we so hated them that we made the government responsible for everything but the actual building of automobile-bearing roads), justice, protection (yeah; we hate the police, but we also expect them to take care of the crap people of society), and other things without which we would suffer the government to provide. Not only that, but I can imagine travel when private companies control the roads – piss off some low-level employee at the company who owns the roads going out of your town (or for that matter, the roads going through said town) and good luck going to visit your family the next county down.

And privatize the police? Forget it. Once the police become profit-making, they’ll learn to worship the rich and oppress the poor. As it is now, things are bad enough for the poor because the police have to deal with the parts of society that we don’t WANT to deal with; imagine now the additional burden of the “good parts of society” owning the means of controlling the population. You think the poor hate the police now…

I’ve gone into whether America was becoming Feudal before. I had assumed, of course, that citizenship would remain a government-decided, profit-independent process. Once everyone’s forced to get health insurance through private insurance companies (and I’m sure the punishment won’t remain just “5% of income”), we’re going to see something I hadn’t seen before: privatized citizenship.

In other words, whether we have rights in the United States will be determined by private companies.

They won’t have to privatize the air, just our right to be connected to the ground through our feet (/shoes/hands/wheels/other ways). And since few other countries are willing to take on excess Americans (they have enough troubles of their own), most of us will be stuck with having to satisfy people who’ve suddenly been given the right over our lives by dint of owning shares of companies. Privatized citizenship.

Feudalism.

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