U.S. Healthcare and the Swine Flu / H1N1

Epidemics inflict horrible, damaging and lasting effects on all aspects of society. In times like these, we need to think about the government’s role in society. Here’s the BBC link looking at the origins of the Swine flu http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8021947.stm
You’ll have to watch a commercial before, but the report is good.

In the interconnected world that we live in, it’s interesting how the U.S. corporate media machine remains true to its (insurance company and advertising revenue) corporate bias. Could the same be said for our policy makers and legislators?

Governments around the world are looking at how the swine flu could potentially inflict large casualties within its respective population and are moving swiftly to contain the danger and safeguard the population. There is a major difference between the U.S. and other countries. In almost all the developed countries, all citizens are covered with some type of either health insurance or healthcare. The U.S. remains one of the only first world, developed, industrial democracies that continues to deny its population healthcare. This type of policy allows insurance companies to continue to profit off the population and this type of policy can be devastating to the security and health of the United States.

The once prosperous world leader has continued its decline in healthcare, at the same time that costs have continued to rise at a much faster rate than the other developed countries. Even developing countries that have recently joined the top 30 per capita GDP nations, like Brunei and United Arab Emirates, have some type of universal healthcare to safeguard their citizens.

As I read in the morning paper that recent travelers to Mexico have been quarantined and monitored in other developed countries like Spain, I wonder if Americans realize that it is likely that citizens in other developed, first world democracies have their healthcare costs covered. People in these other countries still have the choice to supplement their health insurance with private company coverage, but their policy makers have realized the importance of keeping the country and population secure by insuring that all people are worthy of healthcare. (Oddly enough, in the United States, only older people and poor people, who may or may not be citizens, get healthcare. Guess which corporate lobby ‘helped’ this policy come to being.)

As our news pundits continue to ignore the importance of universal healthcare, and instead convince their viewers that they should continue to pay for high prices, and that they shouldn’t have to cover healthcare for others, remember that we shop in the same stores, walk down similar sidewalks and perhaps sit next to the uninsured in crowded theaters.

What would an epidemic do to the general population of the United States and how would it fare compared to other countries that have universal healthcare? The U.S. already does have a basic infrastructure that can deploy medicine and vaccines across the country. The federal health department has already declared a state of emergency and shipped flu medicine from its federal stockpile to the states. Which is more important: health insurance corporate profit or the health of the population?

Something to consider.

P.S. Also keep in mind that because of recent media conglomeration in the last 15 years, we have less diversity and choice within the realm of broadcast TV and radio stations. Because of this conglomeration, corporate monopolies and their ‘subsidiaries’ have grown (too large to fail?) so that in some cases, radio stations may be owned by a corporation that also sells health insurance.

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