A Nurse With Attitude

Where Dark Cynical Humor, Nursing Issues, and Politics Seem to Merge

Health care is a fundamental right?

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I had a discussion with a surgeon today about healthcare as a fundamental right in America.  Yes we have the best, highest quality health care on the planet.  People from everywhere else come here to get care.  The problem that I have, is that someone else usually has to pay for this care.  We all pay more taxes for this right.  Just a little note,  our US Constitution, and our fore fathers never intended for the government to have such far reaching abilities.

In the insurance world, if your neighbor has cancer, then everyone else has an increase in premiums to pay for his malady.  If I crash my car, then I have to pay higher premiums.  Eventually,  if I crash my car enough,  the insurance company will tell me to straighten up my driving habits or they will no longer pay for my repairs.  This is the basis for the new laws in New York that is getting a lot of media time.  The mayor is seeing the cost of caring for diabetics and obesity and has outlawed “Big Gulp” sized soft drinks.

In the health care world, the people who pay the bill will eventually try to tell you how to live your life.  No more fizzy drinks, no alcohol, no fatty fried foods, etc.  They government will not want to pay more money for your bad habits.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have  a problem with the government providing for the people.  But everything that the government  gives, it will also take something away.  It’s usually a hard won freedom and the sense of individuality.  This removing of freedoms is what I stress about.

An example that I frequently use to argue this point is to compare my experience living in Montana vs. Oregon.  In Montana, there were a lot of freedoms.  You could travel any road and do practically anything you wanted.  This freedom was not without danger.  I would occasionally come across a  sign saying “warning, road is not maintained in the Winter,”  or “hike at your own risk.”  If you went down this road and got stuck, and if you were not prepared, you were very likely going to die.  As a result, people developed a sense of personal responsibility.  Everyone carried road flares, a tool box, blankets, emergency supplies.

In Oregon, the state spends millions each year on rescuing travelers in peril.   Because Oregonians know that the state has millions in tax dollars to effect a rescue, they will go out in the worst weather without any emergency preparations.  Just like with the state attempting to alter your diet, to prevent having to spend money on saving idiots, they will restrict your travel.  The state will close streets and highways in the name of safety.  Although, I am fully prepared, have a 4×4 truck, snow chains and a host of emergency supplies, I am still restricted from travel.  They restrict my freedom to “keep me safe.”   Just like a helicopter parent with a new child, the state is working to prevent me from getting harmed.  But how is the child ever expected to develop anything of a personal responsibly?  Is this child ever to grow into an adult and allowed to go outside?   I raise my children a little differently.  I feel that you can tell them all day long about that hot stove.  they play carelessly and they never really learn the dangers until they actually touch it.  After that, the parents wouldn’t even need the child gate.  The child would stay far away from that stove.

Because the state is taking this corrective action, the very process has altered the mindset of the public in Oregon.  People are allowed to be stupid and to do stupid things because they know that the parent will always jump in to rescue them.  This system actually encourages people to make bad decisions because the state removes the consequences of those decisions.  When someone commits a crime, no matter the severity, they are guaranteed to have opportunity for parole in one third of their sentence or seven years, whichever comes first.  But that’s a whole nother post all together.

Anyhow, bad decisions are not only allowed in the socialist states, but they are encouraged.  The state will allow people to be idiots and at the same time, remove freedoms, choices and free will of the public.  I don’t know about you, but I’m happy to live dangerously and free… and be damned if I get myself hurt or in trouble.

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