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Friday, July 17, 2009


 

Overconsumption


Americans (and, no doubt, others) are certainly guilty of overconsumption. Food...electricity...water...gasoline...it's a long list. But health care?
Costs [of the proposed health care legislaton in Congress] over the long run would keep rising at an unsustainable pace. Part of the reason is that Obama and most Democrats have refused to accept a tax on high-cost health insurance plans as part of the overhaul. There's wide agreement among economists that such a tax would give businesses and individuals an incentive to become thriftier consumers of health care.
Yes, I know I run to the doctor every time I cough or cut my finger. Don't you?

Of course being a "thriftier consumer" of health care doesn't mean "shopping around for a less expensive doctor" or any of the other normal definitions of the word "thriftier." It means just one thing - doing without actual needed health care. Diagnose yourself using Wikipedia or "onlinedoctor.com" instead of visiting an actual medical professional. Taking aspirin instead of some prescription medicine which might actually solve your problem. Doing without a transplant because, heck, you're old and are going to die soon anyway. Nothing important.

While we're on the subject of language, why do we have to read headlines like "Bank of America earns $2.4B"? Did they really "earn" it? What hard work or brilliant innovation entitled them to "earn" that kind of money? Why not "stole"? And why does every discussion about firing workers or cutting wages refer to the "savings" that will be achieved? Somehow I don't think the workers involved will be "saving" anything. Quite the opposite.


Why stop here? There's more...

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