Health Care and Education

Brian K. Sohn, PhD, Knoxville, TN.

I sent a letter to my rep, John Duncan Jr. about the American Health Care Act (AHCA). He voted for the AHCA, and wrote me a letter back talking about how AHCA is the best we can do considering the crisis of the ACA. He admitted Obamacare helped some, but he pointed out that in places like Knoxville we’re likely to have no insurers willing to participate in the “marketplace” next year. True point. But ACHA is awful in many ways (more so for women than men). And this should not be an either or argument. How about we address the whole, devastatingly complex health care system in the simplest way possible? Everybuddy in, nobuddy out*. I’ll pay for smokers (I know and love some of you). I’ll pay for motorcycle riders (I know and love some of you, too). I’ll pay for people that are overweight (yep, love you too). In return, I hope others will be willing to pay for this rock climber, skier, and runner.


Bouldering at Sheep’s Nose, CO, 2013

As Trump has noted, runners end up having to get knee replacements! And most of us drive on roads, that’s pretty risky behavior. Single payer. Medicare for all. You can compare away to other industrialized nations that have something like it. Say we aren’t like them, we couldn’t do it. Are we the most addicted populace? Are we the most obese populace? (Are we the most unhealthy populace?) I am not sure any of that would make a solid argument AGAINST single payer.

Trump’s in Australia paying compliments to their single payer health care system. He’s probably had to use it some while vacationing there. Trump, who thinks exercise is bad for you. He might not want to have preventative care provisions, but if we’re so unhealthy, we need them. Personal responsibility has to be part of the changes we make. We need health education overhauled. This is just one way talk of health care reform involves schools and schooling. The other way was illustrated in West Virginia (among other places) back when we got that stimulus under Obama, seems like eons ago. There they used some of their economic stimulus money to put health centers in schools. They took care of some basic needs of their students, some of whom, for whatever reason, didn’t get the care they needed when they needed it. What happened was no surprise to anyone who ever heard of Abraham Maslow. Test scores went up. Now I’ve said before and I’ll say again that test scores hide more than they reveal, are a shoddy proxy for learning, not the way to measure progress, etc etc. But in WV, they were perhaps a proxy for comfort, concentration, care. If your tooth aches you can’t focus. If you feel sick learning goes to the back burner. So let’s have everybuddy in, nobuddy out. Richest country on earth for what? To get richer? How about to get people healthy so they can contribute in their own unique ways?

*Thank for the phrasing, Hamish Gowans.

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