Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Too much to write about

First and most disgusting, the American Medical Association comes out against the so-called "public option" in health care reform. As they should have taught you in history class, but probably did not, the AMA was once the most powerful lobby in Washington, and they are principally responsible for blocking meaningful health care reform from the time of Harry Truman on. They hired Ronald Reagan to to make a recording for the Ladies Auxiliary [sic] of the AMA in which he notoriously said that if they did not stop Medicare, "of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free."

Of course, what the AMA is concerned about, then as now, is not "freedom" or even medical care: it's protecting the incomes of its members, so they can keep their yachts and their horse farms. The American Medical Association is and always has been the enemy of public health.

In other News of the Weak, the WHO is finally raising the flu pandemic alert level to 6, which means that uh, er, well, it doesn't actually mean much of anything. Technically, it means that the mild, largely innocuous strain of flu that's gotten everybody so excited is now widespread around the globe. Excuse me, but one or more strains of flu is widespread around the globe every year, all the time. So what the heck is the point of this? As the MSNBC article notes:

Panic has already gripped Argentina, where so many people worried about swine flu flooded into hospitals this week that emergency health services have collapsed. Last month, a bus arriving in Argentina from Chile was stoned by people who thought a passenger on it had swine flu. Chile has the most swine flu cases in South America.

In Hong Kong, the government on Thursday ordered all kindergartens and primary schools closed for two weeks after a dozen students tested positive for swine flu.

In other words, if everybody would just shut up and ignore this, nothing bad would happen. The damage results exclusively from the overreaction. Pathetic.

Finally, clearly president Obama is failing to keep us safe and he is losing the War on Terrorism. We have now had five terrorist attacks on the homeland since he took office, including two attacks inside Christian churches (for some reason people seem to forget the guy who shot up a Unitarian church while a children's performance was going on), two police officers murdered in Pittsburgh, and yesterday's terrorist attack on the Holocaust Museum. These terrorists had all made violent threats before they acted, and two of them were openly associated with networks of violent extremists and had previously been convicted of terrorism. Yet they were let loose to roam our streets and commit even worse acts of terrorism. Such terrorism is incited by television and radio personalities with audiences in the millions, who operate openly every day, urging violence against American interests.

President Obama is surrendering America to its enemies. He needs to keep us safe by doing what George W. Bush did: task Joe Biden with sending the armed forces to grab these guys -- Randall Terry, William Luther Pierce, Hal Turner, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, the lot of 'em -- put adult diapers on them, dress them in orange jump suits, hood and shackle them, and fly them to Diego Garcia non-stop without legal recourse. Tell them they are in Syria and have guys who speak only Arabic torture them for a few days. Then send in a man who speaks English with an impeccable Oxford accent, dressed in the uniform of a colonel in the Bulgarian air force, and carrying a riding crop. Have him demand that they reveal the plans of their associates, and torture them some more until they give it up. I think Rush will enjoy this little fraternity prank.


kathy a. said...

if it is any consolation, my news radio reported the declaration of a pandemic with a clip from somebody saying, "this doesn't mean it's a harsh strain of the flu, only that it is widespread."

Cervantes said...

Right, so like, who gives a shit?

C. Corax said...

You are so awesome when you're on a tear. I'd love to slip incognito into one or you classes and watch you in action.

So the objection the AMA has to single payer is their pay? How much would it affect them really? I ask because I have a few friends who are medical professionals of one sort or another. Several have fled HMOs (horror stories abound) and are in private practice. That then produces stories about billing, another royal pain for them. As far as I know, every one of them now farms out the billing, even if it costs them more money than doing it for themselves.

It seems to me that removing the burden of slashing their way through the insurance reimbursement jungle would offset any pay cuts they may suffer. Knowing that they WILL get paid, even for indigent patients, would more than offset any loss in pay. Which all makes me wonder WHO are doctors who make up the AMA? Surgeons? CEOs of HMOs? It just doesn't make any sense to me, based on the people I know.

Cervantes said...

Many doctors are disgusted with the AMA. Physicians for a National Health Program includes many of them.