Friday, September 18, 2009

Disturbing Things: Awards and Healthcare

Did you watch the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards on September 13? Even if you didn't, you have probably heard about Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for Best Female Video to announce that Beyoncé had made one of the best videos of all times. Yes, that was disturbing to a lot of people. West later apologized to Swift, and Beyoncé graciously allowed Swift to finish her speech during her acceptance for Video of the Year. I guess West was correct about Beyoncé having one of the best videos of all time. He just wasn’t willing to wait and see if she won the big one.

Equally disturbing was a statement made by that British chap, Russell Brand, who hosted the show. He implied that the US leaves people on the streets to die. He said that Britain did not do that since they had free healthcare. FREE healthcare?!? How can this be? Does the motherland have healthcare growing wild on trees in such abundance that there is plenty for everyone. I can visualize the barker near the grove yelling, “Get your free healthcare here. You pick it; you keep it.” I say we need to introduce that tree variety here in the US. Perhaps it can replace all those American Chestnut trees lost to blight in the Smoky Mountains. But wait! I have always heard that money doesn’t grow on trees. So, since healthcare has a certain equivalent monetary value, perhaps it doesn’t grow on trees either. I know! It’s probably a root plant like potatoes and carrots. Everyone knows that that’s how money grows since everyone is always saying that money is the root of all evil. (Actually, the Bible says it is the love of money that is the root of all evil, but what’s a couple of extra words between friends.)

Before I go further, let me clarify something. There may be a few Brits getting free healthcare. For those whose income is such that they never pay taxes, healthcare, for them, is free. But still, the cost of the care has to be paid. It’s just that other people pay for it. So, while a few are getting their healthcare at no cost to them, others end up paying many times over what their own healthcare would have cost. Those in the middle may end up paying about the same as what their care would have cost. But in the end, the healthcare must be paid for. You’ve heard it said that There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (pronounced TANSTAAFL for all you acronymic types out there). Well, There Ain’t No Such Thing As Free Healthcare (TANSTAFH).

Government may have the power to do a lot of things, but as yet they have not been able to rescind the laws of physics or the laws of economics. But not to worry, they are working on it!

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