Posts Tagged Public option

What would make you happy?

Would you be happy if:

  • You did not worry about being laid off from your job?
  • You knew you could afford the cost of health care for your family?
  • You could be paid to go to college?
  • My sister was recently telling me about an Oprah segment about Denmark, the happiest people in the world. Denmark ranked top on the list of happiest countries in a study by sociologists at the University of Leicester. Oprah wanted to find out why the Danes are such happy people. Here’s what she learned.

    For the past 30 years, scientific researchers and survey results have all reached the same conclusion—Danes are consistently happier than the rest of the world.

    Homelessness, poverty and unemployment are also extremely rare in this nation of 5.5 million people. If you lose your job, Nanna says the government continues to pay up to 90 percent of your salary for four years. And not to worry…healthcare is free for everyone.

    Women typically get six to 12 months in paid maternity leave. And, when it’s time to go to college, citizens get paid to go the universities.

    On the map of happiness, the U.S. is 23rd, below Switzerland, Austria, all the Scandinavian countries, below Canada – you know, below all those socialist countries.

    Socialism. That ugly word that means taking money from the rich and giving to the poor. The word that causes great frowns and lines in the faces of Republicans. They’re definitely not happy if you start talking about healthcare for everyone. Outrageous thought, isn’t it? Healthcare for everyone?

    It all depends on your priorities. As a society we deem certain things important enough that we require all members of society to help support them financially. Things like schools, highways, police, firefighters. And things like General Motors and banks too big to fail.

    But not healthcare for everyone. We draw the line there.

    The Leicester study said, “Further analysis showed that a nation’s level of happiness was most closely associated with health levels (correlation of .62), followed by wealth (.52), and then provision of education”

    In the U.S. we make wealth a priority. And we take care of education, K through 12 anyway. But we are shamefully unwilling to address the healthcare needs of ALL American citizens. It is unfathomable to me that we have such a discriminatory system that provides the best healthcare for our elected leaders and for government workers, but it’s a crap shoot for everyone else, many with high premiums and deductibles, an unbelievable number with no insurance at all, and even the well-insured driven to bankruptcy–the double jeopardy of being struck by a catastophic illness in the U.S.

    As I listen to the debate over healthcare and whether or not there will be a public option, I try to imagine what our country would be like if we adopted the policies and attitudes of Denmark. What a different country it would be. It sounds like a place I’d like to live. Then I look around at all those frowning conservative Republicans, and I realize, we have no chance of being the happiest country in the world.

    If you haven’t already seen it, Jon Stewart took a look at life in Sweden, another one of those “happy” countries.

    The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
    The Stockholm Syndrome Pt. 1
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Political Humor Health Care Crisis
    The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
    The Stockholm Syndrome Pt. 2
    Daily Show
    Full Episodes
    Political Humor Health Care Crisis



    A Primer on Government Role

    This recent discussion (if you can call it that) about government run health insurance (the liars call it “government run health care”) has involved a process of deep denial on the part of the Party of  ‘No.’

    I asked Brewski yesterday, which government run services he would like to live without.  Nobody seems to want to answer that question.  The hypocrisy is unyielding.

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    Single-Payer Health Care – It’s Working in Australia


    Political acceptance is very high. The conservatives have (totally) made their peace with the system as proposing to remove it is electoral suicide. The support of the populace is almost total.

    There is so much misinformation floating around about the satisfaction with health care in U.K., Canada, France, Australia, etc. When I talk to people I know who live in those places or are from there, I hear a much different story than what we hear in our own media.

    I don’t know a lot of Australians, just a handful. But those I know say they are definitely happy with both the health care they receive and the cost to them. One of them posted a link to this TPM article that provides a pretty good explanation of how the system works. What I wonder is why are we trying to re-invent the wheel? Read the rest of this entry »

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