It's been a long time since I've felt like blogging about anything here - basically life has been good to me for almost a year now, which I know is probably contrary to what most people are experiencing right now. However that's the way it is and hence my tea-times are more often than not bright happy affairs these days.
But there is one thing since America put on its "O" face that is really getting my goat up right now and that is health care reform. It just boggles my mind that here we are with the greatest opportunity since Independence just about to put free into freedom again and really get this nation back to something respectable again, and oh look, seems like we're gonna blow it. There is just no way that opposition to sweeping reform would stand even a cats chance in hell, were it not for the oodles of corporate money sloshing around in Washington and turning everyone's heads to mush and pockets to green.
Anyway it occurred to me today that there is one huge voting group that should be coming out en-mass in favor of radical health care reform and that's the religious right and every pro-lifer there is out there. Why? Well I'll tell you why...
America supposedly has the best health care in the world but the problem is almost no one has access to it. When you look at the average level of care it is, well just that, average. And when you look at what most people get then then it is decidedly below par. This shows up in many, many ways but one of them is our infant mortality rate. Look at any list and Team USA is way below the top, bringing up the rear behind a whole slew of pesky countries with "socialized" medicine. Wikipedia cites two sources (UN and the good old CIA) that put our infant mortality rate at 6.3 deaths per 1,000 live births - that's the number that die in the first year - and the New York times reported 2006 CDC figures of 6.8 deaths per 1,000 placing us at 29th in the world. According to that article there are no fewer than 22 countries with rates below 5.0% and many countries below 3.5%. So think about it, if America had one of these "best in the world" (in reality, not in our dreams) health care systems we could easily have 3% fewer deaths per 1,000 infants.
But what does that mean?
Well in 2008 the US recorded 4,247,000 births so our 29th-in-class infant mortality rate will cause about 289,000 infant deaths within the first year. That's a tragic number but we can do better. If our health care system could yield the results of those allegedly awful socialized medical systems the Europeans have and our mortality rate was more like 3.8% (which only puts us in 9th place ahead of France but behind the Czech Republic) then we'd see "only" 161,000 infant deaths. So improving our health care system could save 127,000 babies lives a year.
Isn't that staggering?
Every pro-lifer should be out campaning now. Screw Roe Vs Wade, this is an easy one to win if they put just 10% of the effort into it they do trying to stop abortions. And corporations are soul-less entities that are easy to target, there's no guilt or shame in shooting down a few mega-rich insurance and health-care companies. So what is keeping them?
But wait, there is more...
While it is true that the potential saving in infant lives is far, far fewer than the number of abortions per year, currently around 1.2 million, according the pro-lifer's very own statistics about 21% of all abortions are performed for financial reasons - because they cannot afford to have a baby. So guess what the number one cause of bankruptcy is in this country? Yes, medical bills. Do you think maybe more people could afford to have a baby if they weren't crippled with medical costs, or too afraid of being plunged into debt for the rest of their lives raising one? With average health-care coverage costs in the US of $4,700 per single person just who the heck do you think can afford healthcare even for themselves, let alone more kids. Its no wonder that over 50 million are un-insured now, and that US mortality rate to year 5 is more like 8 per 1,000 (sorry I lost the link).
So if pro-lifers really want to reduce abortion rates perhaps they should focus on making health-care more affordable. If 20% of those abortions didn't happen any more that would be, wow, another 240,000 babies... wow it would be a positive baby boom with an extra 260,000 or so new kids on the block each year. Think of all those souls they could save... and without the burden of health-care costs on their minds they might even grow up to be happy well adjusted souls that are less tempted by crime and drugs. Oh, the evil they could avert if only they would rally behind health-care reform.
But oh, I'm sorry, I forgot. It's "socialized", whatever that means, so it must be bad. Shudder the thought of anyone else telling them how to live their lives. That would be a completely alien concept to them that would be impossible to adopt, if anyone is going to do any healing or bossing around it can only be the big J-C and he wasn't a socialist at all was he.
Or was he... huh, what do you know, seems like he was dishing out free health care and healing all the frickin' time, never collected a dime of insurance premiums. Never denied any treatments, even foot massages were a-okay as I recall...
So, do you get why I'm p*ssed off by the whole thing and the lack of indignation, protestation and action by the whole "moral majority"
Grrrrr. Don't make me drink my tea in the dark again people!