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Essays

I am resigned to living with 1950s medicine because I have no health insurance, but it seems that even people who do have it often can’t benefit from our modern technology because of the unemotional, bottom-line philosophy of the insurance companies and HMOs. I have always seen the insurance business as the most powerful scam in the world. More post-WWII financial dynasties were created either directly or indirectly through the insurance industry, which basically means they generate incredibly unconscionable profits.

Insurance is basically legalized extortion—create fear; offer protection; then make that protection a legal or corporate requirement (auto insurance, property insurance, mortgage and credit insurance, extended warranties, etc.). The cost of (fear-required) health insurance far outstrips the actual cost of medical care, even in this day of elaborate and expensive testing and treatment. Were this money pooled and spent to assure all US citizens the same high level of medical care, we would not only save billions, but we would be a much happier and healthier society. As a bonus, we would probably have enough left over to save millions of Third World citizens from needless suffering and death. Unfortunately, the stranglehold Corporate America has on politics now makes any such plan an impossibility (as the Clintons found out rather brutally). To make things worse, that stranglehold now extends to the press, so the influence on public opinion is now complete.

One of the things I regret is that I and millions of other “Counterculture” folks became complacent after Vietnam and the Civil Rights and Freeze movements, believing we had done our jobs and that the insanity could not happen again. Wrong! Little did we know that while we were being absorbed into “legitimate” society and “mainstream” politics, the corporate schemers were quietly chuckling in the background, piling up huge coffers and laying the foundation for the takeover of all “democratic” societies (which essentially rule all other societies through international financial manipulation). And now, most of us have become too old and tired, or too integrated into the system itself, to do much about it. Today, the screeching protesters are little more than a minor distraction to the power brokers, who continue to oil the “squeaky wheel” of the Common Citizen with cheap, foreign-produced TVs, computers, PDAs, and DVD players, while their banks offer extended auto financing and subsidized mortgages, all to create an illusion of freedom and convince the Prozac-imbued public to accept their metaphorical nose ring, attached to which is the Hummer-pulled chain of financial slavery.

And now we have international terrorism, which is essentially a revolt against this corporate power mongering as it seeks to maintain class and religious warfare in order to foment more and more violence, which leads to a steady flow of money in the corporate piggy bank through the sale of weapons and technologies needed to support the unrest it generates. And, in the end, what does all this accomplish? More fear! And what do we do about fear? We buy insurance in the form of military might, thereby completing the circle of the great snake that feeds on its own tail.

Apparently, however, this universal coverage does not include preventative medicine, such as understanding, empathy, negotiation, benevolence, or, perhaps, a philosophical MRI to discover what is really wrong!

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