Monday, July 27, 2009

Potfalls and Pitholes

Let me explain it in the simplest possible terms. If you are healthy, you don't have healthcare problems. Is that clear? I tried to make it as simple as I could. So the problem isn't healthcare costs, it's getting sick in the first place. Now, we can't, it seems, prevent earthquakes. We can't stop hurricanes. Uh, tornadoes, tornadoes are wild by definition -- not controllable. Um, gigantic floods -- beyond remedy. The economy, it has a mind of its own. These things are so vast or chaotic that all we can do is try to get out of the way, and clean up afterwards. Am I wrong? But health really is a much more rational process.

Again, allow me to be obvious. If I hack at my arm with a serrated butchers knife, I should expect a health problem. If I eat jagged shards of razor sharp glass -- problematic. Um, if I inject prussic acid into my bloodstream, or deposit a bolus of Drāno® into any of my several nasal cavities I might expect some upset to the homeostatic equilibrium of my overall metabolic healthful functioning. See how that works? These very clear examples should be helpful in clarifying behaviors that work against one's health, thus increasing the need of, the demand for, and therefore the cost of healthcare. Get it? The preceding were some examples of things that are within one's control, that one may do, that would most likely result in a need for healthcare.

Not all causes are so clear cut, however. Because the body is such a sophisticated machine that Evolution randomly designed, and because there are so many backup systems and failsafes that randomness haphazardly Evolved, attributing a single, simple and direct cause to some health problem is not always possible. There are a number of factors at play, with any of these so-common degenerative diseases. Was it all that alcohol that you consumed in mass quantities? Was it all that animal flesh? All those donuts? Living under the powerlines, or by the freeway? Yes, it was.

You must eat dead things? Fine, eat dead things. Just don't make a meal of it. Or a feast, or an endless calender of feasts, day after day, as if it were a good and godly thing to do. Abundance is not permission for gluttony. Love your cakes and pastries? Wonderful. Indulge, occasionally. The insulin spike that follows is no worse than a sudden passionate rage, or banging your knee, or any other upset to unbalance your equilibrium. Alcohol? Well, yes, I suppose so -- that glass of wine, or a beer, or whatever degrading poison you need to slurp into your slack bowels so that you don't have to face the full horror of your mediocrity and decadence. Far be if from me to judge. I would never dream of pointing out how disgusting your vile conduct is.

Just be aware that it adds up. It's not just the years you lose -- it's the sickness, the misery, the pain, the grief to family. You did that. You did it on purpose. You may live to only 80 instead of 82. Big deal? But all those years before, when you could have been vibrant, you were decrepit. It's not just the number of the years. It's the vitality.

This is why I have such a profound contempt for the whole healthcare debate. Because it's based on a false premise. Doctors don't make you well. They give you drugs and cut into your body. Yes, set bones and remove bullets and so on, but those are injuries, not illnesses. Life gives you injuries. You make yourself ill.

Of course I'm wrong. It's not that simple. Didn't I just go on about how complex it was? But there's no real mystery about, say, diabetes. It's insulin resistance, and it's curable through diet. High blood pressure? Cholesterol issues? It's in my family. But strangely, I don't have these issues. Go figure. Why, it's almost as if I'm doing something right, and have been for my entire adult life.

So the deal is, I take care of myself, and have no medical problems, and you don't take care of yourself, and have medical problems, and our collective tax dollars will go to you. That's the deal. I'm just pointing this out, because Obama is supposing that healthcare costs are a major factor in the economic travail we're currently enjoying. To my way of thinking, it's like throwing yourself into a deep pit, and hoping for rescue by filling the pit up with money. That's what I think of our healthcare system. There will always be potholes. Why are there so many pits? And even if there are pits, filling them with money isn't the way to fix the problem, first of the pits, second of your being in them. You fell into the pit because you're so fat and out of shape. You made the pit because you broke through the Earth's crust.

I kid. It's not you --that's just a manner of speaking. Then again, while you certainly don't have to be perfect, or even excellent, a move toward a sane lifestyle would be terrific, eh? Moderation in all those things that you really do know aren't so very good for you. Does a giant plate of spaghetti really seem like a sensible meal? Honestly now, does it? A heaping bowl of rice? Does it really seem sensible to eat day after day a big thick bloody piece of cow meat? Honestly, does it? Honestly?

The answer depends on your common sense. Doesn't it always. It's not that healthcare is bad. It's good. It's just that it starts with the individual. Duh? I just don't see the sense in subsidizing illness, in an attempt to cure the economy. That's nuts. It's sort of like electing a lawyer as president, who talks about healthcare reform, but makes sure to be absolutely silent on the topic of MALPRACTICE, which adds tens of billions of dollars to the cost of healthcare, one third of which goes into the pockets of non-healthcare-providing ... LAWYERS. Is Mr. Obama, Esq., unaware of these counterproductive costs? Somebody should tell him about it. It's only common sense. Because you can fill a lot of potholes with tens of billions of dollars. Even some pits.


1 comment:

paul said...

thanks. that was great.