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America is Diseased: Mocking the Dying, Profiting off the Work of Uninsured Artists

Most of the things of beauty that enrich our lives -- guitars, harpsichords, hand-crafted pottery, paintings, beautiful music of all genres, etc. -- are created by artists and artisans who barely earn enough to live on. They do the work they do because they love it, but they earn so little at it that the idea of health insurance is a luxury that many don’t even bother thinking about.

Basically most of them just hope not to get sick, or to die fast when they do.

The rest of us, who buy their creations, or who listen to their music or watch their plays or drink from their mugs, don’t even do that. We just forget about their problems.

And then there are those who enjoy the fruits of these artists’ labor and turn around and laugh at them when they do get seriously ill.

There are others who are even more obscene still, though. They don’t laugh at the suffering of the poor. Rather, they actively work to keep them that way. I’m thinking here of the real scum -- the Wall Street bankers, huge pharmaceutical companies, insurance firms (including Blue Cross), and other giant industries that have lobbied hard to block real health care reform, such as expansion of Medicare to cover everyone -- and who then will, with no sense of shame, put something like fine baroque music on their telephone “hold” system to add a touch of class to the “customer experience.” Meanwhile, many of the musicians who perform that music can’t even afford health insurance.

It’s bad enough that we as a society close our eyes to the suffering of the tens of millions who are unable to get decent health care in this richest country in ther world. It’s worse yet that some obnoxious jerks are so blinded by their fears, their ignorance or their rank ideology of smug selfishness and greed that they can mock that suffering, but it’s purely evil that corporations and the wealthy can avail themselves of works of art and craftsmanship and pose as connoisseurs, and even use those creations to help generate profits for themselves, while actively working to block all efforts to make health care available to the creators of those things.

Enough! It’s time for us to do what the rest of the civilized modern world has done, and establish a system of Medicare for all Americans, cradle to grave, as is advocated by Physicians for a National Health Program.



story | by Dr. Radut