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Gee guys, I've been working all day, then I get back home and see all these wonderful thoughtful comments. For all of you so full of compassion, I would just like to refer you to this website:
Very soon, ALL of the US's income will go to servicing the interest on its national debt. What happens then? Hyper inflation, most likely. Then you can kiss all your assets goodbye. Finally, we will be living the Socialist dream of total equality. Everyone equally destitute.
Free health care is great. Free food is great. Free housing is great. Oh, and I'll have a college education in Art History, to go. What? Pay back the student loan? That's not FAIR.
I know, I know, next you are going to say we should stop all that military spending. Look at the debt clock under "Largest Budget Items." Defense spending is dwarfed by Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, Income Security, Debt Interest, and Federal Pensions.
Not one of you who criticize me mention anything about these numbers. Probably because you don't know and don't care. But, you should.
Einstein said that the most powerful force in the universe is compound interest. THAT force is what will destroy the west. Not nuclear weapons, like we used to fear.
We need to stop the debt bomb. And like it or not, free health care is just one more match lighting the fuse.
@Daisy: "If we get a new president in the upcoming elections, I just might move to Great Britain (or Canada, or any of the Scandinavian countries)..."================OK, but I bet a lot of people will vote for Obama anyway.
I find self reliance is very important when I'm having a heart attack. And nothing beats the self reliance of shelling out for your own emergency room care.
@Southern Belle: I sympathize; my story is similar to yours. Scott, I sincerely apologize for my earlier rant, but then, if you've had to witness your dad suffer a stroke on top of a heart attack because he had no access to affordable preventive care (and he couldn't qualify for government assistance because the family wasn't considered "poor" enough), you'd probably rant too. (BTW, Dad wasn't obese, diabetic, nor a drinker; his bad genes left him predisposed to hypertension--had his condition been managed better, I wouldn't be venting right now.)@Tony: As a stroke survivor, my dad is actually a bigger drain on taxpayers now--thanks to having his home foreclosed, he's now considered poor enough to qualify for SSI--instead of being a healthy, productive taxpayer himself. There will be many more like my dad unless good medical care becomes available to all.
Oh great, Politics. Brits, you do pay for your Health care. Taxes. Everyone else too. You pay someone. You pay a doctor, an insurance company, the government, sometimes all three.
I don't want an insurance company, or the government telling me I can not have a procedure done. I want me and my doctor to make that decision. I think that's how most of us feel.
As far as caring, please keep that crap to yourself. The US has spent plenty of money on other nations as well as its own citizens for health care needs. Go look at our budgets for the last 10 years. Social security and Medicare take up a Huge portion of the US budget.
As far as government insurance and horror stories go, I personally have expienced the stupidity and incompetency of the US Medicare system. Trust me, you dont want these people in charge of your health care decisions.
Scott, you have the ability to moderate these comments... Y U NO MODERATE POLITICAL COMMENTS?!?!?!
Why couldn't you just keep resisting?! Enough with the politics already!
What? Someone disagrees with me on the internet?! This cannot stand! Perhaps my eloquence and wit, laced with a hint of sarcasm and vitriol, will change the mind of someone I will never meet in real life, and therefore somehow vindicate me!
This isn't Facebook, people. This is a webcomic, emphasis on "comic." I'm sure the artist who worked so hard to make this site would agree that insults and diatribes are not welcome here. *ahem* Awesome strip, as usual, Scott. Live long, and prosper.
Do you people really think you can change each others' opinions on health care through the comments section of a comic? Why did all of this even have to happen? Because instead of doing the sensible thing and reading the comic, commenting on the comic, and going on about your day like normal people, some of you felt the need jerk off about whose health care is superior over the internet and turn yet another innocuous piece of humor into the center of your political pissing contest.
Way to go, guys. Next time just stop and think, "is it really necessary for me to start a three day internet cockfight that no one cares about and will do absolutely nothing but make me feel smug for a while?"
After reading the first few comments I was going to apologise for kicking things off (though someone else would have if I hadn't). After reading all the comments I don't feel so guilty.
The message behind panel 4 is clearly that pay-at-the-pump health-care causes people to make poor decisions and endanger their own live, and perhaps the lives of others they are responsible for. So Scott started the political debate. Conscience resolved.
First off, I'm calling Internet Cockfight as my new band name. Still considering whether the Three Day portion is necessary.
Second, I find myself agreeing with Mullet Boss, even though I have "single payer" government-subsidized health care. It costs me very little to go see a doctor, but it's got to be pretty bad for me to want to hand around in a waiting room with a bunch of sick people.
I slashed my leg open a few years ago and pressured my wife into using her scrapbooking skills to patch it up, against her protestations that I should go to a clinic. Sure, I had to go a week later when it got infected, but it was worth the effort.
I'm an American ex-pat living in Australia, but I haven't noticed any significant cultural difference between myself and the native-born Aussies. It's a very small and strange percentage of the population that enjoy hanging around in doctor's offices enough to make a habit of it.
And, just to be clear, this is yet another great BI comic. And one which also makes me think that comic-Scott may actually be performing the same reality-check role for Mullet Boss that his wife plays for him, albeit less successfully and without the romantic component. Beneath the cynicism, there may yet be some tenderness for the man taste forgot.
I'm way too lazy to go look up the specific comic this refers to from a couple months ago, but I was just looking up some local market info and thought of you, Scott-- apparently you're not the only one who grew up on a fram and know how framers talk. What gets me is that they did it not only on the page TITLE, but in the page URL as well: http://www.localharvest.org/bluffton-framers-market-M13619
Looking at the comments, it may have been better if Mullet Boss croaked and the comment was about nearly lamenting a loss.
Er. The people who're complaining about the political debate spoiling their mood. You have the option to NOT read the comments, you know.
The main issues that most americans have with the healthcare thing is that it has proven inefficient, with absurdly long wait times for common procedures; and it has proven ineffective, as the various rich and leadership from foreign countries, including ones that have public healthcare, always seek treatment in US facilities, which are always rated above any others in the world.
If it wasn't for a fear of long lines to see relatively incompetent physicians, there would be great support for a tax-based system. However, that has become the apparent standard where they exist, so it is exceedingly unappealing.
Round two--What is wrong with the US healthcare system, in a nutshell:
1. Other countries spend less2. Other countries get better results
@James Hutchings - the US is not a First World country, it is a New World country.
@professor "We call it self-reliance."So how do you self-treat a heart attack?
Ammonite: "It never ceases to amaze me how otherwise intelligent people think that health care is free if the cost is added to their tax bills"In the UK we explicitly pay "National Insurance" which purports to pay for the NHS. We know full well it is not free. However, the reason we have an NHS is not because we are a socialist country, but because it is cost-effective nationally to keep people fit and in work and paying tax. That is the second, cynical, agenda why the NHS was set up. It SAVES the country money.
(Provided it doesn't get into giving out free sex changes, breast implant replacement, tattoo removal and useless treatments like crystal therapy and homoeopathy, which the NHS has taken to doing.)
Succeasfully avoided the bait! Great comic, Scott.
You are all right and all wrong. No one system will work for all.
I also thought that Ayn Rynd stuff was about: if you keep the talent happy they won't leave.
Self reliance; I thought meant using your brain to make the best informed decision. I didn't check Webster or the OED.
The entire reason this is a problem in America comes down to wording, in the end. Like we rename medical conditions to make them sound more serious, people against national healthcare (presumably because they have no hearts or chronic medical problems that they can't afford) simply took the positive sounding universal healthcare and called it socialized medicine. Socialism being an extremely dirty word here, being a strong proponent would be political suicide.
I think I may have the solution: let the right wing's precious private enterprise have private hospitals that charge $20000 for overnight observation and a CT scan, while the rest of us can use a public system so that we can all get the care we deserve without choozing between that and college or food.