Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fresh Off The Campaign Trail, Governor Bill Breaks Out The "B" Word

In New Mexico we don't use the "B" word. "B" as in "billion". So when newly reinstalled Governor Bill Richardson says we're gonna spend $1 billion for "universal health care", it was hard to see which term scared off folks more: "universal health care" or "billion".

Because if we start throwing words like "billion" around, that means New Mexico is no longer some hick, podunk State where nothing governmental gets done right and we like it that way. You get what you pay for, and piddly state income tax or no, we're used to getting crappy service from our state government, laughing derisively whenever we have to deal with anything State o' New Mexico-related, and feeling satisfied that the State Government which governs worst governs best.

And saying the "B" word screws with that whole mindset.

Personally, I think the Governor would have been better off to say we're going to $999 million or so to achieve universal health care.

Needless to say, the term "universal health care" has it own connotation to many, one honed by years of psychological word association by doctors and health insurance lobbies. "Universal Health Care" = Socialism.

And, thanks to the Cold War, Socialism = 1984 = Trotsky = borscht = beets = having to eat nasty vegetables.

And dammit, we refuse to be forced to nasty vegetables.

We also tend to refuse acknowledgment that our health care system in this country is substandard, around 40th best in the world despite having more GDP than any country, and that our overall health is in decline (by any criteria) as medical decisions are made by insurance company drones sitting in cubicles far away from our doctor's offices and hospitals.

Better to just say "Michael Moore is a whack job", and leave things like welfare and other "socialistic" concepts to helping our corporations get tax incentives (not to mention revenue negative things like TIDDs, TIFs, etc.) than actually deal with the health crisis for the insured or uninsured.

I tend to give Bill Richardson grief for various reasons including the probable fact that he is short-timing New Mexico until he gets that juicy gig in the Hilbamawards Administration. Okay, more likely the Hilbama Administration.... But I'm with him on this one. The uninsured must be helped in this State, as must be the insured. Bringing the health crisis up and beginning to deal with it is important. Very important.

But, in closing, I'll ask this question: Governor Bill, are you willing to lose the Rail Runner to help pay for "universal health care"?

I'm guessing I won't be the only one asking that question this session.


Hunter said...

What is "universal" about health care coverage that ends at the state line? The problem with Bill's (and Arnold's) plan is it doesn't address portability. 21st Century health plans should be like 401-K plans, owned by and follow the individual.

Universal coverage needs to come from the national level. We already have a working model, it's called Medicare.

Anonymous said...

Universal coverage needs to come from the national level. We already have a working model, it's called Medicare.

YEP ... and anyone who has Medicare still needs to buy additional ins. because Medicare sucks. They are the worst about denying claims.
You think health ins. companies are bad ... wait til you have to deal with the gov. along with the masses.