Friday, July 25, 2014
Death and Politics
You know what number I'm going to miss hearing about? The number of "Americans who died because they didn't have access to health care". That number was touted all the time during the debate over the Affordable Care Act. An internet search shows numbers quoted that were all over the map--but about 45-thousand seemed to be the most popular one used by advocates. For the next year or so those same politicians and groups might quote that figure as the "number of lives saved" by the implementation of the ACA--making the assumption that all of the people who "would have died" actually went to the doctor, were properly diagnosed, followed their treatment protocol properly and were "completely healed" of their malady. But eventually, that figure will no longer be used for political purposes--and I'll miss that. Of course, there was never any mention of the number of Americans who died every year despite access to health care. That number is about 2.5-MILLION annually. Kind of dwarves the other number doesn't it? And remember, those were people who had health insurance or Medicaid or Medicare and somehow, they still died. Since death numbers are a very successful political tool, the Left will now have to adopt some new "frightening figures" to quote in support of their growth of Government agenda. My prediction is they will select on of two options: One would be "deaths caused by income inequality". A federal grant will fund a study at some state university that compares the life expectancy for those living in the top 1 or 2% and those in the rest of the income brackets. Then the Liberal think tanks will extrapolate fromt that the "number of people who die because the rich don't pay enough in taxes". That of course ignores the fact that the rich tend not to engage in behaviors that lead to early death--like drug use, committing crimes involving weapons, drunk driving, smoking and imitating stunts they see on MTV "reality shows". The second option will likely be "deaths caused by Global Climate Change". Because this is a "worldwide crisis", that number will be huge--perhaps billions! The anti-business groups will add up everyone killed by heat, cold, floods, tornadoes, droughts, mudslides, lightning strikes, wildfires and earthquakes (those are all "caused by fracking" now--and fracking leads to the release of carbon dioxide so it counts!). And then they will claim that is the "death toll" from Climate Change and that's how many lives we can "save" by paying three times as much to heat and light our homes. The number that Liberals should really rally behind is the 41-thousand Americans who die from illegal drug use every year. That is nearly the same number that died from "lack of health insurance" and that warranted a trillion dollar government program and thousands of pages of new regulations that may or may not be constitutional. Of course, "saving" all of those lives would likely result in too many minorities going to prison--and there are no big corporations to tax or over-regulate in order to "fix" the problem--so I doubt I'll be seeing any "concern" over that "epidemic" anytime soon.