From South of Left Field: Bandaids and Broomsticks by Jimmie Galbreath

Share

So much has been put out about Health Care it seems a difficult subject to open any new ground. From the south side of left field, however, something is clearly amiss in all the articles, speeches, announcements and memes, something vital.

To begin with, Health Care in America is first, foremost and always a ‘for profit’ undertaking. Turning that around, if the Medical Industry/Insurance/Hospital/etc. can’t make a profit treating you then they don’t want to treat you. How would you feel seeing someone sick and unwanted? How would you feel if it was someone you knew? When I lived in Mississippi with a wife and two small children, I was confronted by a ‘medical’ decision, delivered by the family physician we had used for nearly 15 years. Our life had taken a bad turn, we had lost our medical insurance, and we were no longer welcome. Please find another doctor. Offering to pay in advance for my children wasn’t good enough, go away. This aspect of medical care in America is real; it was real 20 some odd years ago, it is more real today.

Over the years the cost of anything and everything medical, including profits, has risen faster than either inflation or general income. Medical treatment just like the cost of college is becoming unaffordable to an ever growing portion of the American public. Medicare and Medicaid were created to provide government help to those without any other hope of medical treatment, but the numbers left out in the cold continue to grow, and the coverage has not kept up.

Then the ACA, Obamacare, was created as a vehicle for the government to help the uninsured by providing government payment toward the medical insurance premiums. The ACA didn’t stop there; it added financial penalties for those who didn’t sign up for an insurance policy. Of course, the insurance companies continued to demand ever larger premiums while arguing to be allowed to offer fewer services for the premiums. When they couldn’t get enough money, they quit offering policies. Please understand, this is what a business does. It doesn’t have anything to do with humanity and never will.

We Americans have been taught by business to believe no one does anything and everything better than business does. In truth, the only thing business does make is profit, everything else is secondary – period. We have also been taught by the same pundits that Government can’t tie its own shoelaces and business can improve on everything government does. Let me repeat myself; the only thing business does make is a profit. If you can’t pay for it, you can’t have it.

Now we come to the crux of the matter. Today America stands for the sick and dying only getting the care they can pay for themselves. PERIOD. This is America today. We do not believe a life is worth saving if it is American and poor. This is the message from Washington; this is the message from Wall Street, this is the America others see every day as our politicians quibble and dither and accomplish nothing of worth.

Americans will donate to overseas disasters, politicians spill our blood, dollars, and lives all over the world every day for various causes. We ship food all around the world, but a poor American isn’t worth a Bandaid here at home. The vital piece that is missing is a sense that all Americans are worth caring for. The broomstick? The broomstick should be used to sweep away the politicians struggling mightily every day to protect the medical industry rather than us. So far it only gets used to sweep the suffering under the rug. If this truly is America, it is no wonder we aren’t Great. Greatness begins with the people. Where is our Greatness now?

Jimmie Galbreath is a retired engineer originally from a small family owned dairy farm in Jefferson County, MS. He earned a B.S in petroleum engineering from MS State University, accumulating 20 years Nuclear experience at Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Station and Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Station. Along the way he worked as a roustabout on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, served 3 years active service as a Quartermaster Officer in the US Army, Supervised brick kilns first in MS and then in Atlanta GA and whatever else it took to skin the cat. He now lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Letters to Editor

  1. Susan Peel says:

    Fabulous summary – thank you.
    In most other countries health insurance covers everyone and is NOT FOR PROFIT>

    • Jimmie L Galbreath Jr. says:

      Thank You. I feel this says more about us as Americans, that we need to respond to the needs of each other rather than allowing fellow Americans to suffer and die unnoticed.

Write a Letter to the Editor on this Article

We encourage readers to offer their point of view on this article by submitting the following form. Editing is sometimes necessary and is done at the discretion of the editorial staff.