ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.
“The love of money is the root of all evil.” — The Apostle Paul
It’s been said as a joke for some time now that the United States of America’s version of health insurance for the not so well to do is GoFundMe.
It’s not a joke.
The latest to join the growing network of common everyday folks who are going into severe debt through no fault of their own is our neighbor Darlene Lohroff, one of the hardest working local citizens I’ve ever known.
My wife and I have noticed in the last week or more that she hasn’t been around. We’ve joked for a long time that if you hear a lawn mower, weed wacker or outdoor household tool running, it’s probably her. With that underground lawn sprinkler, she has spent a lot of time cutting the grass at her house.
But she also has been spotted many times welcoming nieces, nephews and other Lohroff clan members to her swimming pool in hot days just like these.
But lately things have been quiet and the work that’s being done around her home has been taken up by relatives. So you might say that in our neighborhood, Darlene is conspicuous by her absence.
Today we learned through Facebook that she’s been hospitalized with a physical ailment that has required a second surgery. We hear tell Darlene is reluctant to have the second procedure done, despite the pain she is enduring, because of the massive expense. Thus, the Go Fund Me.
So here we go again — another sordid example of the world’s richest country saddling the not so rich with a health care system they cannot afford. And to quote the infamous Deep Throat from the Watergate caper, “Follow the money.”
It has been stated here quite often that America’s health care is the costliest on the planet, yet it doesn’t have the best outcomes. And far too many honest, hard-working people go bankrupt as a result of this unfair system that is defended not just by right-wing conservatives, but also moderate neoliberal Democrats.
When Joseph R. Biden was running for president a couple of years ago, he was asked what he would do if both houses of Congress approved a Medicare for All bill and it arrived on his desk. He replied that he would veto it.
The infamous Koch Brothers, eager to prove just how costly this “socialist” universal health care project is, funded a study to come to that conclusion. Imagine their disappointment when the study confirmed that over 10 years it would save the people and the government a heck of lot of money.
So why do we have to put up with such a system that doesn’t work for us? Refer once again to Deep Throat’s explanation.
We collectively do not solve problems, and politicians beholden to rich corporate donors are the reason. We live under a political system of legalized bribery. And politicians work for the rich and status quo, because the wealthy are doing quite well, thank you.
Our politicians have done nothing in too long a time to deal with health care costs, systemic racism, gun violence and deaths, climate change and many other serious issues. Too many of them do the bidding of the insurance, health providers, gun lobby, prison industry, fossil fuel industry, banks and credit card companies. They don’t do the bidding of the people, except for emotional and dog whistle issues such as abortion, LGBTQ issues, Black Lives Matter and even banning children’s books.
So when I examined the slate of candidates for state offices for 2022, I saw virtually no one talking about problems that really matter. And I’ve said it many times, but I’ll say it again, the purpose of government is to solve problems and be a fair referee.
I hope it’s not too late to help Darlene Lohroff, a good person and a good neighbor. Our system has let her down, and too many of us have to use this corrupt system to lend a hand.