Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

What the f*** is wrong with Americans?

Jerry Stratton, September 4, 2019

Have some fucking decency

Pretty sure decency also involves not assuming people have something “fucking wrong with them” just because they disagree with you on the best way of providing quality health care.

There is something obscenely wrong with you if you disagree with the left. You’re not a decent f***ing human being unless you support the Canadian health care system of long waits and no choices.

What the fuck is wrong with Americans who aren’t on board with free healthcare. I’m Canadian and I don’t care that I pay extra taxes so a little boy in Alberta can have open heart surgery, or an elderly man in Nova Scotia can get the heart medication he desperately needs. It’s called taking care of your people. I’m glad I pay so that people can have a good quality of life. It’s called being a decent fucking human being.

The left used to use Britain’s National Health Care as an example of caring for other people. But with two recent high profile examples of literally keeping patients—children—under armed guard to keep them from leaving the system, I’m not surprised they’ve given up that example. Before that they used to praise the Veterans Administration’s government-run health care. They turned on a dime, albeit a large one, when the immense corruption at the VA became public, and the veterans who died because of delayed medical treatment. I received political mailings for a few weeks claiming (correctly) that single payer would be just like VA-care before that reference went the way of the dodo.

Neither of those institutions did a good job “taking care of their people”. Despite the massive taxes required to pay for those government services. People who have to interact with the VA and the NHS have far from “a good quality of life”.

What the fuck is wrong with Americans is that we do not want armed guards forbidding us from choosing our doctor when the government-provided doctor fails us.

The VA and the NHS are exactly what happens with monopolistic health care. Corruption and long waits, refusing to allow challenges to the system. Now the only place remaining for the left to praise is Canada. It’s not a great choice, but the only other option would be admitting they’re wrong.

While the left thinks anyone who disagrees with the left has something the fuck wrong with them, I have never seen anyone on the right in the United States complain about British National Health Care, or Canadian Health, unless someone else has tried to force the same system on us. If other people want to try different systems, that’s their business. Most people don’t care if other people want to do something stupid. They care when other people try to convince them that stupid is smart and anything other than stupid is evil. We know that the next step is forcing stupid on everyone.

We’re even okay with other states trying different systems. If Massachusetts residents want a Canada-like system, more power to them. Just don’t try to force it on the rest of us. Let fifty systems bloom, and we’ll find the best. But of course, that’s exactly what the left doesn’t want. Because they know that the best system isn’t going to be the system that puts armed guards around children to keep their parents from seeking overseas health care. The best system is not going to be the system that makes people wait months and years before getting care until the patient dies and the bureaucrats fake the paperwork. The best system is not going to be a government-run monopoly that ties sick people up in red tape until they die.

Jokingly, I suggested that this Canadian is just angry that rich and well-connected Canadians can still go to the United States for better health care. And hopes that we will adopt a system as bad as theirs so that Canadian politicians and celebrities are stuck with the same slow care as every other Canadian.

But in all seriousness, that’s the problem with the left: instead of wanting to raise everyone up, with all the variations and choices that entails, they want to drag everyone down to the same low level. It’s better that everyone be the same in misery, than that everyone be better off. The OP accused me of cynicism. I’m not exactly going to disagree with that—I get pretty cynical when I hear about how government incompetence can be fixed by adding more government. But suppose, just hypothetically, that the poor in the United States get health care that is twice as good as the poor in Canada, and the rich get health care ten times as good as the poor in Canada.

Would the left still want to switch to a Canadian system? I am cynical enough to expect they would. President Obama famously said that it’s better to reduce income inequality even if the effort does nothing to decrease poverty, and so often when listening to leaders on the left talk about health care inequality it seems as though the same principle applies: better that everyone have to wait, for bad service, than that everyone get better service but some people better than others.

Better that everyone be forced to do what the left thinks is appropriate, than that people make their own decisions about what is or is not appropriate for themselves.

In other words, progressives don’t believe in progress. What the anachronistic left wants is the corruption and the power that comes with an old-fashioned monopolistic system.

I also posted a Canadian article about wait times. It convinced the OP to remove her post. You have to read the comments from Canadians in that article to see why. Some Canadians clearly don’t think people are getting the health care they so desperately need… and the Canadian who wrote the article seemed to take it as a matter of course that their system doesn’t do what it’s supposed to.

A Brantford, Ontario, man commented:

A median wait time of 29.7 weeks for orthopedic surgery in Ontario? Maybe in the GTA1 but it’s much higher in smaller communities. Try something like 18 months in most areas if you’re lucky.

And another Ontario man added:

Canadian health care is a joke! I waited 5 YEARS for an ankle replacement and have been waiting 2 ½ YEARS for a hip!!! The favorite excuse?… “your paperwork must have fallen through the cracks we just don’t understand what happened”.

Even a commenter who preferred the Canadian system recognized it’s out of control:

When I had Cancer 20 years ago, I was diagnosed and treated within 2 months. Now some of my friends who have cancer are waiting 3 months to be diagnosed and longer to be treated. I am willing to put in more resources to correct this for others.

Unfortunately, she can’t put in more resources to correct this for others. It it were a private system, she could band together with like-minded people, find a more competent provider, and help her friends get the care they so desperately need. But Canada’s system is run by the government, not by patients or their friends. The only way she can put in more resources is to force everyone else to put in more resources, too, through taxes.

At which point, nobody has any choice in the matter, and the money just gets sucked up into the same old system of corruption and incompetence that’s already failing her friends.

A Milton woman similarly asked,

Can we learn from other countries?… Or do we just keep throwing more money at the problem and hope that THIS TIME there will be a different result?

People learn; governments don’t. They don’t have to. There’s no competitor patients can choose if government bureaucrats don’t provide good care in a timely fashion. And the bureaucrats can always complain, no matter how much taxes they’re getting, that they don’t have enough. After all, it’s the government that is in charge of taxes, too. “No matter how much you bankrupt the country,” wrote Thomas Sowell in Do No Harm, “you can still say it wasn’t tried enough.”

What’s really cynical—or worse than cynical—is thinking there’s something wrong with people because they disagree with you. People can have differences of opinion about the best system without having something be “fucking wrong with” them.

“What the fuck is wrong with Americans?” To the left, what is wrong with Americans is that we’d rather everyone be variably better off than that everyone be equally miserable. We’d rather preserve the ability of our health care to get better, preserve all the messiness of progress, than lock in a sclerotic bureaucracy.

Americans aren’t even against paying for other people’s health care. There used to be a thriving culture of people doing just that until the government took over. And most people are happy with a government safety net as long as it’s a safety net.

A system where some people pay for other people’s health care doesn’t have to be a failure. It just has to happen in a country where it isn’t the only choice. Let people create health care communities, and some of them will create ones like Canada’s. And it will be better because no one will have to leave the country to get out of the systems that fail.

The ACA outlawed health sharing communities, except for a handful of Christian-based organizations. If there were one change that would improve our system today, it would be to make health sharing communities legal again.

Our system is insane—but it’s insane because we’ve added too much government already. We need to untie health care from health insurance. Not only would this help people who don’t have health insurance, it would make health insurance itself less expensive. Optional means competition. It is insane how hard it is to find prices when you’re trying to get health care outside of insurance.

And it’s insane that health insurance is tied to employers. You care a lot more about the quality of your insurance than your head of HR does. It should be just as advantageous to get private insurance directly as it is to get it through employers.

It’s also essential that we separate preexisting conditions from insurance. If people could get homeowners insurance after their house burnt down, homeowners insurance would also skyrocket, and quality would plummet. It’s basic math.

These are minor changes. They don’t require uprooting health insurance or putting yet another bureaucracy between patients and their doctor, as the ACA did with predictable results. Implementing these changes would make health care and health insurance a lot cheaper and more effective for everyone, rich and middle-class and poor alike.

We want freedom to choose and medical progress. That’s what the fuck is wrong with Americans.

From “No Tiers Left to Shed” in Mark Steyn’s amazing From Head To Toe:

I came in on Tuesday evening for my 6pm appointment. “There are no doctors after 5pm,” said the receptionist.

Really? I examined my official CLSC slip that says “Vous avez rendez-vous avec Dr…” Well, let’s call him, say, Dr Juan Tier.

Anyway, my little form says “Vous avez rendez-vous avec Dr Tier, November 14th, 6pm.”

“Oh,” said the receptionist. “Dr Tier cancelled all his appointments this afternoon. We left you a message.”

“No, you didn’t,” I said. She looked up my file on the computer, and had good news. “Your appointment wasn’t cancelled,” she said.

Terrific!

But she hadn’t finished. “It was at 9:30 this morning, monsieur.”

I invited the receptionist to examine my appointment form. It was definitely a “6,” not an upside down “9.” She called a number, and elicited further information. “No, your appointment was definitely at 9:30,” she said. “But, in any case, it was cancelled on October 26th. We left you a message.”

“No, you didn’t,” I started to say, but gave up. I could not see the doctor because a) there are no doctors after 5pm; b) my appointment had been cancelled; c) my appointment had been eight-and-a-half hours earlier; d) my appointment had been eight-and-a-half hours earlier but had been cancelled three weeks ago. We may not have a two-tier health system but we do have a four-tier explanation system. So when could I see the doctor?

December 12th. 6.50pm.

Two months ago, motoring along the campaign trail south of the border, I was suddenly crippled up in pain, and so pulled off the Interstate and into the nearest hospital. Ten minutes later, I was lying on a gurney and being put through the usual tests. Half an hour later, having diagnosed the reasons for my excruciating pain, the doctor mentioned to me that there was something on the EKG he didn’t like the look of and suggested I get another check when I got home. Back in Montreal the following week, I made an appointment to see the doctor here, asked if I could have an EKG, and, after securing his approval, was given on appointment on October 13.

That’s the one I’m still waiting to hear the results of. In the US, the doctor discusses your EKG with you half an hour after it’s done. In Canada, you get your EKG on October 13th and the doctor’s available to discuss it with you on December 12th at 6.50pm, assuming the no-doctors-after-5pm rule has been temporarily suspended that evening.

In response to 2019 in Photos: For photos, memes, and perhaps other quick notes sent from my mobile device or written on the fly during 2019.

  1. GTA: Greater Toronto Area.

  1. <- Collusion Network