Like gods, these corporations trade in human lives, granting continued life to some while condemning others to early deaths. Unlike gods, however, these government-created entities do not concern themselves with souls; they deal in hard cash and life or death is mandated by the bottom line.
A recent Speak Out letter from writer Susan Hug exposed the human cost of this country's failure to recognize health care as a basic human right. Her brother Steve died at age 49 because he lacked the care that may have prolonged his life and improved the quality of life for him and those who loved him. I'm sure that as he lay dying, Steve could have cared less whether the medical care he needed came from a free-market provider or from "socialized" medicine. He just needed help. How many other Steves will also die because, in the richest country in the world, that help was not available because they could not pay for it? What a shameful commentary on this "Christian" nation.
As Americans, we are either in this together or we are not. We look out for each other or we do not. Reactionary Republicans consider the taxpayers' purse to be bottomless when pursuing their unnecessary wars or bailing out their rich buddies on Wall Street or raiding the Social Security Trust Fund to give trillions in tax rebates to their corporate masters so American factories can be outsourced to China. But mention helping the poor or the sick and listen to the hysterical voices decrying the evils of socialism and impending bankruptcy. As long as President Obama panders to the obstructionist Republicans in Congress, nothing will change for those who voted for "change we can believe in."
When the NAFTA flu pandemic strikes, I recommend all infected Americans who lack affordable health care visit those Republicans who opposed national health care to thank them personally for saving America from the evils of "socialism."