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FDChief

Back in October of last year I posted something (http://firedirectioncenter.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-fun-is-having-lots-to-do-and-not.html) that posited that:

"...the GOP in it's present incarnation offers only two things:

1. Stooging for open oligarchy, and
2. Comfort for white nationalism, Christian theocracy, and fear of the "others" (whether those others are gay, or brown, or Muslim)

And that's really it. There's no "hope" there. There's nothing aspirational. There's no vision of a future United States that isn't a polluted, plutocratic, conservative-Christian feudality. That's it; if you white (male, Christian) you right. If you brown...well, fuck off. And you lib'ruls, homos, uppity wimmens, nigras, beaners, immigrants of all stripes, Muslims, atheists...aaaaand I might as well stop here because I'm just depressing myself."

And the horrible punch line of this tasteless joke was that:

"But this toxic stew of corporate-fondling, hate, narrowmindedness, bigotry, and weath-whoring is embraced by damn near four out of ten Americans."

For this, by the way, I was told I was being close-minded, meanspirited, and hateful.

But...when you really come right down to it, what else is there? Where is the "GOP vision" of the United States that doesn't look like Homestead, PA in the Frick Era (complete with fouled water and reeking air..)?

And where is the horror and outrage from the Great American Public that anyone should want to return us to the tenor of those times?

Doug K

" if I was capable of truly understanding my condition I’d have become a doctor myself."
exactly so. I wrote about this in 2007 (see link from my name).
How is it that society spends six to ten years training doctors to provide health care, then rewards them handsomely for their expertise: yet consumers who may not have completed high school are supposed to be able to 'direct' their own health care ?
The market fairy can't do that.

We have insurance. My wife has had several MRIs for back pain recently. So far we are $900 out of pocket for MRIs alone. At some point the deductible limit will kick in, I hope. We did not realize until the bill came that we'd be responsible for these costs. Luckily I could save the money by spending a weekend doing car maintenance.. stopped working on my cars some decades ago in great relief that I could now afford mechanics, but no longer. Bah.

FDChief

The GOP religious fervor on "markets" is perhaps best illustrated in their insistence on medicine as a "market" despite the fact that none - zero, zip, nada - of the criteria required for a genuine "market" is present in the practice of medicine.

In the place of a "rational consumer" you have a sick, or injured, person. Probably frightened. Often in pain. Completely or largely ignorant of the types, let alone the cost versus benefits, of the potential treatments available. Unaware of the possible risks compared to the potential gains of each. Utterly reliant on the experience of the "producer" of these treatments. Unlikely, or unwilling, to weigh the costs and, if so, unable to assess the relative value of those costs to the treatments purchased.

And the "producers"? Unfettered by the need to compete with one another, what restrains doctors and hospitals from setting whatever cost they choose? How do you "comparison-shop" hip replacements? "Well, gee, Dr. Smith seems like he offers a quality product, but he's only offering a 15-year warranty compared to Dr. Jones' 10-year warranty for half the cost! Who cares that those replacement hips are made in Uzbekistan?"

The notion that a "free market" will make medicine more affordable could only appeal to a fool or a Republican but I repeat myself...

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