Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Great Healthcare Debate

I was going to write this as an addendum to another post, but since NYC Educator put up this great post today (In Which I Face Down the Grim Socialist Machine), comparing his experiences in emergency rooms in the US and the dreaded Canadian single payer system (MUST READ), I'll put my 2 cents in here.

We went into the city to meet a group of friends at the Metropolitan Museum yesterday afternoon. Someone should have sent us to an emergency room for leaving a beautiful Rockaway on a sunny afternoon, but traffic was smooth and we made it in about 40 minutes and I found a parking spot on 86th street off 5th Ave. Not bad.

We met up with our friends, did some museum stuff and then on to the main event - dinner a few blocks away - $35 restaurant week, 3 course delicious dinner.

One couple, a former teacher and a former cop, started talking about all the anti-Obama health care emails they were getting, especially from other teachers. "He has to be stopped," our friend said. "Before the government takes over our health care."

This is not some town hall meeting where people are riled by right wing agitators. These are people from Brooklyn.

My wife, who works in health care, got that look in her eye. She works with all the scuz ball thieving insurance companies and says flat out, medicare is the most efficient and easiest to work with. Thus her support for a single payer system.

The former cop has medicare and his wife will have it fairly soon. So we ask, gently, do they want to give that up? "No, of course not," they say. "Did you know that is a government program?" They didn't. Obama has screwed up big time if they don't.

Did we change their minds? I doubt it.

My take on this? Real health care reform is basically dead. Obama waffled in trying to be a centrist and satisfy all parties and he will end up with tiny changes that will do little good and keep costing a fortune. Now, in the face of the right wing town hall attacks, there are attempts to mobilize that same spirit that he had in the campaign. But I can say as an educator who watched Obama accept the corporate driven ed reform agenda hook, line and sinker - the one area he didn't have to waffle on because he had the teacher unions sucking up – the thrill is gone. I'll just move to Canada or France when I get sick.


We got on the line that suggests paying $20. Now I get museumitis after less than an hour and I figure an hour in the museum is worth about 3 bucks. When I hand over $6 and say "two" I get that "cheap bastard" look of disgust. But she hands me two little blue pins.

We go past the security guard who glares at us. The pins look like everyone else's but I'm sure it has an invisible dye that broadcasts "THESE PEOPLE ARE CHEAP."

Well, to make a long story short, the temple of Dendur was ok. Lots of space for such a small temple. I was looking for the Nile to flood while we were standing there.

When I used to take my classes to the MET in the 70's, I think I took them out to pretty much that very spot that the part of the MET houses it when it was still an open field and kids could roll around on it. Then we were off to the great playground across the street on 85th St, where my kids got to mix with all the kids there with their nannies, while I joined them on the benches. Once in a while it felt nice to be nanny for a day. Except they had one and I had 25.


caroline said...

Re health care and people who don't get it (sorry it's off topic) -- the older generation in my family includes economic conservative Republicans. They were all anti-"socialized medicine" as per the party line. But then my late Uncle Bill, as dyed-in-the-wool as they come, married an Englishwoman, and he and my aunt (living in California) dealt with seeing her elderly parents (living in Kent, England) through their declining years in the British health-care system. Meanwhile, after Uncle Bill retired, his wife, still under 65, had to hold a job here in the U.S. ENTIRELY due to the need for health insurance. Well, he got the point about which health care system was working and conveyed it to the family, so they become freakish pro-"socialized medicine" Republicans. A little direct experience goes a long way!

ed notes online said...

You're right about the direct experienve Carolyn. Obama should send the entire town hall teabagger crowd on a junket to Canada.