America's Healthcare System and Life Expectancy
We've also got a huge infrastructure of lobbyists whose sole purpose in life is to get up each morning and make sure things stay just the way they are.
Lobbyists have given, a total to current members of Congress since 1989 of over $1 billion (51 percent to Republicans, for which the party is now disintegrating under the strain of such pro-lobbyist icons like Sarah Palin - who actually hired a lobbyist to win 20 million dollars worth of funding for a town whose population was only like. 50,000 people). Total lobbying expenditures since 1998 are now $20.6 billion.
In the first three months of this year, expenses for lobbying against healthcare - have reached an all time high - for the money we can track, lobbyists have already spent $15.5 million in just the first few months of 2009 trying to shut down the healthcare reform that is currently in-committee and soon to hit the floor.
While we're following the money - I found an interesting thing out about Obama. He's been pretty easy to track , money-wise - he had a fairly open campaign in 2008 that was largely funded by a huge number of small contributions from online donors and other similiar sources. This is a presidential first, for at least the last three decades. Note that Dean had the presidential candidate first.
Obama and Michelle had about 83,000.00 to burn down in loans they took out. How did it get paid down? Obama's first job was at a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store. As a college student at Occidental in Southern California, Obama returned home to Hawaii the summer after freshman year to sell island trinkets in a gift shop. Obama he had a summertime job at a deli counter in Hawaii -- making sandwiches. Way ? Subway.
Once in New York to attend Columbia, one summer Obama worked for a private company holding a contract to process health records of first responders (police, firefighters, etc.) .
Michelle Obama started a childcare service (the first lady got her career start in childcare ! ) and then during the summers of 1982, 1983 and 1985, she was employed at the Chicago-based American Medical Association as an assistant to the executive director. She was a typist and secretary, helping to prepare materials for the big AMA fall meetings.
I don't think this counts as lobbyist money. It really looks to me like Obama's up there without a whole lot of strings attached. I could be wrong about this. If I am let me know.
So, what are we getting for all of this cash? Well, these forces (apart from Obama and Michelle) are going to be the first to tell you we're getting older. They'll point out that life expectancy has soared since 1850, when the average white male living in Massachusetts could expect to live to the ripe old age of 38. By 1900, when nationwide statistics started to become available, life expectancy had already risen to 48 for white males, compared to 51 for white females. They'll skip the fact that the life expectancy was 32 and 35 for nonwhite males and females respectively. (Women generally live a couple years longer than men within most cultural groups.).
These patriotic men and women, working hard to keep freedome of choice - and preventing the advent of national healthcare under the flag "..harmful to business of all sizes, to the economy, and to American work" - will point out that as of 2003, white males had a life expectancy of 75 and females to live to be about 80.
They'll skip over the fact that nonwhites on average lived to be 69 and the females live to 76. The forces of patriotic justice and health in America want you to feel positive and good about the fact that you can go to a hospital, and ask them what a procedure costs - and just get a blank stare. Their advances in healthcare, have put us beyond such things as knowing how much something costs. They've championed the cause of effeciency - small government, and elite procedures in healthcare. Sick? Wounded? Coming home from the war? Come to America. Be healed. Oh wait.
We rank 48th in life expectancy. We're not even in the top ten. Or the top 20.
Our neighbor to the north, with almost no expenditures in healthcare lobbying - is ranked 12th.
Which brings me to the solution. Not being one to propose a problem, without a solution (I've been married for 15 years, remember?).
If as a country, we make the decision to allow a fleet of Vampires to fly in and bite us all on the neck, we'd boost our life expectancy to the triple digits and solve the problem. In fact, if we let vampires just feed on everyman? That would solve it. They'll turn the entire population a sickly pale white, a distinct coloration advantage to life expectancy. We could keep them in some place with an eerie name like say, Fall's Church, Virgina. Eternal life would be assured.
And, we'd all be safe from the threat of National Healthcare, which they'd probably see as competition . After all, National Healthcare boosted Canada's life expectancy figures 36 places over us with less money spent per person.
Of course, they'd have to feed on Americans, draining their blood until they turn blue. But then, think of the color contrast as the vampire lifts off to fly away and take its next victim. The blood red on their white skin would make a really patriotic color scheme.
Q: What do you get when you feed a Circus Entertainer to a Vampire?
A: Someone who learns to go straight for the juggler.