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Op-Ed: A top dog look at health care reform

By KJ Mullins     Mar 24, 2010 in Health
Health care reform is a hot topic these days but what does health mean? The dictionary says health is a noun, a thing, it's the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor.
Good health means soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment. Health care is the field concerned with the maintenance or restoration of the health of the body or mind. Finally reform means to the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory.
It's a simple concept that humans want to improve something that is broken. We send people to prison to reform them. Kids who screw up go to reform school. We reform school policies that don't work. Face it, we are a species of reformers.
There's a limit though for reform. People want to feel that they are in charge. It's part of being at the top of the food chain. We are the Alphas of the world. Being top dog sometimes has its faults. Top dogs don't like anyone else telling them what to do. They also tend to run in packs. If the lead dog says this is good food then the others wag their tails and agree, yep this food is tasty even if it's more rotten than Hamlet's Denmark.
Right now there is a mix in the US on health care reform. You have some who say it will lead to ruin, taking away money that the nation just doesn't have like the Tea Party. At one of their latest protests at Capital Hill in Washington DC last weekend they spat at members of Congress who walked by ready for work.
Others are saying it's about time like a group from Iowa reports WHO TV.
"For health care!" Supporters of health care reform toasted their success today. "It feels almost as great as election day because we really accomplished real change," says Jan Bauer. Organizing for America celebrated the historic signing of the health care reform bill. "Right now I'm pretty satisfied where we're at and I'm savoring the victory," she says.
What do top dogs have to do with health care reform? Well in the United States there are many top dogs that have been barking lately that health care in the States just ain't as bad as the cats living at the White House says it is. It is going to cost a ton of money to guarantee that 95% of Americans will be covered by insurance. Heck, the bill gives the mutts the same types of private insurance choices that members of Congress will have.
Oh sure, there are those who can't afford to go to the doc when they are sick but it's those mutts down the street so it's all good. Sure babies and mommas die more than they should but that's the law of nature, you know the rules of survival of the fittest and all. All dogs aren't created equal, doesn't the government know that insurance companies have to pay more out when there is pre-exisiting conditions? The laws of survival of the fittest are being denied by this bill that will prevent denials of care and coverage, including for pre-existing conditions.
Are the top dogs right? Will spending money to make sure that those sick pups get healthy take away from the rest of the pack? Did you hear that top dogs with income over $250,000 are going to be paying more in Medicare payroll tax and will pay a new Medicare tax on their investment income? They are saying that by 2019 the bill will bring in $20 billion in revenue but that's nine years away.
Could that money be used on something else that would be better for all, say like keeping the fighting dogs ready for when another pack is messing up? The US is only shelling out $680 billion for the military this year.
Because when all is said and done it's the money that is most important, right? Having the biggest pile of doggie treats means we're top dogs.
The thing is those treats are generally the wares of power, not the little pieces that help the little dogs. Education ($91,817 billion combined for Education, Training, Employment and Social Services), health care ($248,780 million), social services don't often work when looking at the big treat pile. They are the crumbs that are ignored, the ones that are left for the runts of the pack. sure having those crumbs around are great but they just aren't as important as the big bones on the top of the pile.
Of course that's the law of the land for dogs. Humans aren't dogs. Or are they?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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