Sunday, July 26, 2009

Club Med (iocre)

The thing that strikes me the most about the "debate" over health care reform is this: the degree to which we are impacted by any government policy seems to be inversely proportional to the degree to which we have any say in the matter. If you're the one person buying a new car this year, you can get it in any color- including many not found in nature. Looking for new carpet? You'll spend hours looking for just the right swatch of shag. The Wrigley company makes twenty-five different kinds of Orbit gum (for those days when you're feeling positively pomegranate and spearmint is for suckers.) We've got infinite possibilities when it comes to the most mundane facets of our lives; as consumers, that's when we feel most in control. Despite being one of the uninsured millions, I'm ambivalent about health care. On one side, a more egalitarian way to collective well-being certainly seems to be worth our time and treasure. Our "greatest country in the world" rhetoric becomes even more tiresome when confronted with the reality of grave inequalities in a system bordering on immoral. On the other side, Americans take such piss-poor care of themselves, who knows which variable in the equation bears culpability? Eight in ten Americans say they want the system fixed (or at least simplified). But our representatives are so beholden to the deep pockets of insurance and pharma, they have to be dragged kicking and screaming to even pretend to discuss reform.

With all due props to Obama for running on a platform of change, there are some machines against which one's rage is futile.

No comments: