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Peace - Gilbert Creutzberg


Entitlement for the Rich

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 2:45 PM


The time has long since gone when you’d go to a hospital and they’d ask you, “What’s wrong with you?” Now, the question is, “What insurance do you have?”

I still have to get used to the idea that people with money are somehow more entitled to medical care than people who are poor. When Bill Clinton took office as the president, he went on TV and showed a card in his hand. He asserted that with that card, everybody in these United States would be entitled to medical care. When I traveled to Cuba in 2000 I was told, again and again, “Medical care in Cuba is free.” That’s the way it should be. And why?

Because nobody is entitled to better medical care than the next person. After all, we’re all living in the same planet and we all have one thing in common: we’re all human beings.The idea that money in the bank will pay for something that is denied to a person who is penniless is not only absurd. It’s obscene.

What gets me is that Obama’s hard work to overhaul our medical insurance system on a bipartisan basis has been fought tooth and nail by the Republicans with the warning that it would cost too much.

I don’t understand the logic of this. We are involved in an expensive war which has caused death and destruction on both sides, fanned the bitterness between the USA and the Arab world, and has accomplished little if anything. There is, on the other hand, no money for hospitals, and we watch powerlessly as we see excellent hospitals such as St. Vincent’s in New York close. Unemployment would change drastically if we would finance the work force to provide medical care to anybody who needs it. To staff a hospital, thousands of people are needed, not only doctors and nurses, but also orderlies, porters, mechanics, parking lot attendants, you call it. Instead, the ones who benefit most are not the patients, but insurance companies, advertisers of pharmaceutical companies, and litigation lawyers.

Of course, paying for medical care is nothing if your name is Mitt Romney. It’s pocketmoney, small change. But if suddenly a catastrophic event, like an earthquake that would destroy entire cities, with all their banks, insurance companies, electrical power supplies and with all the paperwork of a colossal infra structure, what would he do?  Has Romney worked harder than I have and is he more entitled to medical care than I  or the next guy?? Is he smarter, wiser, does he have a better rap? Many people would not like to see him as our president. I don’t think I would enjoy having a cup of coffee with him, even if he paid for it. He’s good in dishing up statistics and distorting the facts, but that doesn’t entitle him more than me or anybody else for benefits that we are all entitled to as human beings and that are clearly the responsibility of the federal government – not of the states with their confusing patchwork of different laws. The idea that, somehow, one is entitled to medical care (and add: education, ) because one had the fortune to have parents who were well-to-do and the business instincts to amass a fortune and power, is ludricous. Nobody is entitled to anything more than the next person, even the derelict who has no place to sleep, because in your heart you know that there, for the grace of God, you could be that derelict.

I knew someone who recently died of AIDS. In the last year of his life he had run out of the money he had earned as a small business owner, close to a million. The last time I talked with him, he had nothing left of his savings. He was forced to sell his apartment and apply for Welfare. He died a pauper. He worked hard all his life.

Let’s look at how the rich became so rich. For one thing, they don’t pay taxes and if they do, it’s a pittance. They have lawyers who know all the loopholes. They make sure that their corporate headquarters are located somewhere where they don’t have to pay taxes, for instance, in Delaware, or, better yet, in Bermuda.

They outsource to a country where very poor people, making the equivalent of $50 per month, do assembly line work without benefits, without medical insurance, in non-union shops. No unemployment problem there! The rich make their millions, and it’s all legal. They don’t have to loose a second’s sleep over where the money came from. These are the United States of America! The land of freedom and free enterprise! No big government interference! No communism, no socialism.

Romney said he paid 15% in taxes and he showed the paperwork for the earnings of one year. As for the rest, Romney said, you have to trust my word. If Romney were living in the Netherlands, the country where I was born, he’d have to pay 50% of his income, if not more. He’s crying about 15%, crying about peanuts. What does he do with all the money he doesn’t need? Spend it on a campaign to buy the presidency of this country?

Bet he thinks he’s entitled to that, too.


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