Why isn’t “Health Care for All” sexy?
We’ve got hundreds of thousands of people wearing those Lance Armstrong armbands, and tens of thousands I’m sure wearing those knock-offs, and I started wondering, “Why isn’t there one for the uninsured?”
If people can get behind supporting cancer victims, or donating money to Jerry’s kids, or walking for breast cancer, or basket-weaving to fight Prader-Willi’s, why not the uninsured? And where’s the celebrity spokesman? I started to think that it must just be that celebrities have insurance, and therefore don’t have any experience with being uninsured, but that’s completely untrue; almost all of them started out uninsured trying to make it big in LA or New York, I bet. Have they forgotten so quickly?
If people can so easily get behind some awful disease with no cure in sight (HIV, any number of rare genetic disorders, most cancers), why isn’t there more support for something that most other industrialized countries *have* been able to cure? (I’m using ‘cure’ liberally here, don’t get in a commenting tizzy.)
Is it that people think the uninsured don’t deserve insurance, or that it’s their fault they don’t have it? (There’s plenty of people that way about HIV, but it’s still supported.)
Or is it maybe that it’s easier to support something that we don’t entirely understand and know how to fix? That it’s something still beyond our grasp, beyond our means, that is dropped on unlucky individuals? There’s plenty of diseases out there that *are* 100% preventable; why aren’t we knocking those down quickly? (I’m thinking lead poisoning as an example.)
Maybe it’s that those diseases primarily affect the disenfranchised, impoverished, and the minorities? You don’t see a whole lot of funding out there for sarcoidosis, primarily affecting black people, or liver cancer, which is huge in Asia because of hepatitis.
So line right up celebrities and PR firms. Let’s make pre-existing conditions and 18,000 deaths a year the sexiest thing since testicular cancer.
On a side note: studying for the boards brings an insanely huge number of interesting ideas into one’s mind. My head is like an 8 year-old desperately trying to stall from having to go to bed. Boards studying is right up there with showering as far as number and quality of ideas go. I’m starting to think the great inventors and thinkers of all-time either a) took a lot of showers or b) studied for Step One for their entire lives.