The right wing blogosphere is in a sardonic mood about the democratic child health bill.

Apparantly the “poor child” who talked about how a health program was needed to pay for his care after a car accident wasn’t from a poor family,  but from a family who owned a $400 thousand dollar house in an affluent suburb, and sent the children to a private school that required $20 000 a year tuition…
My take on the matter was: umm…doesn’t automobile insurance cover these things? 

Nevertheless, as one without insurance, I am well aware that a single illness can knock out one’s life savings, no matter how rich you are. 

The whole point of Bush’s veto was that the child health bill was using tax money for the wealthy, but of course it’s not about child health as much as painting Republicans as hard hearted SOB’s who would allow children to die for lack of health care. 

Which of course is nonsense. No one is denied care at an emergency room without money. They give you a hard time, but by law you have to be treated.

But the dirty little secret that most docs in private practice (as opposed to HMO’s) know is that people know that they will get care, so figure that health insurance is a way to save money, and the doc’s bills are at the bottom of the pile.

When I worked for the IHS, Native Americans with card were given free medical care, but for non emergencies it was rationed.

Yet when I moved to the Oklahoma City Area of the IHS, we had many middle class people who “discovered” they met the criteria to get a card of eligibility…essentially siphoning off limited funding from those who actually lived a traditional life and whose cash income was low.

Finding one had a Cherokee grandmother was like winning the lottery for them. But when they found that they had to wait six weeks for their knee to be checked for minor pain they would get very annoyed. A lot of the “quality of life” procedures (where cheaper alternatives were available) just had to wait.

That is why I think that universal health care will be a winning issue for Democrats.

People won’t see the tax, they’ll just see the “free” part…and later, when rationing hits, they will get upset.

The real question is: who takes care of people? In traditional societies, it is the family.

But in modern societies, as families fall apart, more children are born out of wedlock, and more dual income famlies lack homemakers to stay home and care for children, the sick, the handicapped, and the elderly, the answer will be: The government.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind clinic and Fishmarket. 

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