Tuesday, September 01, 2009

That thing you wanted, what was it? Oh yeah, information with which to make informed judgements about the world.

I know I'm a couple days behind the curve, and that noone actually reads this blog, but if you happen past here by mistake, on your way to the porno or your facebook page, stop and read this article by T.R. Reid in the Washington Post. He debunks the five most prevalent American myths about health care in other countries in three pages of lucid, matter-of-fact prose.

Reading it, one might be tempted to lose heart. After all, if the American People really are so wholly ignorant of the rest of the world and how they do shit there (even, and especially, shit they do better than we do, which is not only possible but, in many cases, actually the case), then we must truly be fucked and the Republic, god bless her, truly slipping down the slippery slope, past Empire and into a disgruntled senescence, like an Alzheimer's patient with a gun warning them damn liberals to keep their filthy government hands off his Medicare.

Or, on the flip side, you could take heart in the fact that our problems, in this case at least, are solvable. It's been done before. After all, when the mechanic opens the hood to fix your car, he doesn't have to go back and start from first principles. The shop manual has been written. The solution to the problem already exists.

And so it does in the case of health care reform. Sure, the crazies can come out and squawk all they want, and at the end of the day, the rest of us will scratch our heads and wonder how you get so goddamned stupid, but after that, when the squawkers have gone home to refresh the tinfoil and the grownups are left to roll up their sleeves and actually fix the problem (after all, most of the people who seem to think we don't have a problem, i.e. old white people, are on Medicare, so they already have single-payer, government run health insurance), all we have to do is study the health outcomes in other industrialized countries, find the ones we want to emulate, and then do what they did to make it happen, maybe with our own little twist thrown in to make it ours.

I'm not saying it'll be entirely simple and straightforward, but it's a solvable problem, which, if you have to have problems, are the best kind to have.

So chin up, everybody. Stiff upper lip and all that. The crazy always gets extra thick in the summertime. And if you're still feeling all pearl-clutchedy, then read this.

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