…and we in the good ole USA don’t, encountering stories like the one about artist Tom Fowler that Cary Tennis tells in Salon makes us regret the corrupt political/commercial alliances that have given us our current situation.
Tom had died. He had gotten a toothache. He had gotten a toothache but had not gone to the dentist because he didn’t have health insurance to pay for the dentist. He lived with it. Then he got sick but thought he was OK. Then he collapsed and the emergency medical people came and they told him he should go right into the hospital. But after reviving he said he’d be OK and he went home and made himself some soup. He lasted a couple of more days like that. Then he got really, really sick and they put him in the hospital but by that point the infection that had begun in a tooth had spread massively throughout his body and despite the doctors’ best efforts Tom could not be saved.
He died because he didn’t go to the dentist and didn’t go to the doctor because he was trying to be an artist and didn’t have health insurance and didn’t think it would kill him.
The stupidity of our system is so obvious, yet we are unable to move in the direction that would cure our ills and save our society. We are herded into our corrals by Big Pharma and Monster Insurance Companies and other Corporate Entities which are, by the grace of the Supreme Court, participating citizens in our government… and by politicians whose major goals are 1.) get reelected, 2.) bow to your big donors, and 3.) pretend that you will fix things…soon. Decades go by and the attempts by the few naive and well intentioned amateurs to bring us up to the Rest Of The World Standard in Health Care that appear from time to time get chewed up and spit out and (as Republicans say) we’d better slow down… we’re moving too fast. What’s the Rush?
It has given us our season of distrust. We elected a man on the assumption that things would change. We gave a Congress the majority it needed to make that change. We heard promises and patter designed to keep us believing that something would change. But, in the long run, all we have been is screwed.
And my wife asks me if I didn’t wish we lived in Canada.