You lie, I hope!

When something does not fit our preconceptions, we discount it, try to ignore it, pretend that it is wrong.  When a white Southerner shouts, “You lie!”, he is trying to convince himself and others that what he sees ain’t so.  Many people want to believe that the system isn’t broken, that average people are not being smashed flat by the wealthy, that a sick little girl can go to the doctor.  But what is the truth is the opposite of those wishes, an ugly, twisted truth that decent people don’t want to believe can happen here.

The crisis in health care is indeed a crisis, because it is destroying our trust in our system, in our belief of equality.  This crisis threatens the financial stability of state governments, the future of large companies with retirement plans, the very health of our children.  People are literally dying because they do not believe that they can afford the health care that they need, or because they fear the financial burden that befall them if they seek that care.

State governments across the country are seeing the health care benefits that they extend to their employees bankrupting the public coffers.  General Motors collapsed because of the cost of health care for its retirees, not because its cars were not as popular as another automakers.  A rapidly increasing number of Americans have no health care provider beyond the local Emergency Room or fire department paramedic.

And all of this for what?  To make sure that the wealthy continue to get wealthier.  The health insurance industry will always be profitable, right up until the time that the health care system collapses, because the companies involved will always consider their shareholders first, last, and always.  No matter how many people it takes to process claims, handle the accounting, or wash the windows, the insurance companies will charge enough to show a profit.  Nor do they have any incentive to keep their operations as slim and efficient as possible, because people who want assured access to health care will have to pay those companies the premiums the companies set.

These are hard truths, that strike at the very core of our beliefs about equality and justice.  Discounting them, calling them lies, makes it easier to pretend that they are not truths.  But it does not change the fact that there are children all over the country who cannot go to the doctor.


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One Response to “You lie, I hope!”

  1. Corey Says:

    Yes, the concept you speak of near the beginning of this post is known as cognitive dissonance. It plagues the globe and is forever-afflicting. I really enjoyed this post, thank you.

    We are all cognitive misers.


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