We’re gonna get serious here for a minute. As you’ve no doubt noticed, this week’s theme on rockandrolljunkie.com is the terrible situation Supersuckers frontman Eddie Spaghetti finds himself in after getting diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. That’s bad enough. That just plain old fucking sucks. I remember when my dad was told he had tumours the size of fists in his colon, and went under the knife two days later. I remember hearing the news that a friend of mine, just barely on the wrong side of 30, had lung cancer. That’s some real shit to deal with. Know what’s realer than that? Having to pay for the goddamn treatment.
Living in Canada, we take our health care system for granted. Sure, we’ve got a doctor shortage, and maybe treatment options aren’t always all that they could be. Elective surgery? Go to Chile or wherever the fuck, pay your money and take your chances. When it comes to some life-threatening shit, though, Canada’s got your back. You’re not gonna go broke trying to fight cancer. In the States, though, you’re on your own, unless you’ve got health insurance. I’m not even going to go into the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare), and the complexities of government-subsidized private health insurance; suffice it to say that a) the US of A are still a long ways away from a single-payer healthcare system (universal health care), and b) there are still 10s of millions of uninsured Americans who have to go completely out of pocket for any form of care.
Family doctors are a dream these people can’t afford, and emergency room visits and fees are unavoidable hardships for even the most routine of problems. But if you’re caught in an unimaginable position, like Eddie Spaghetti is now, you’re fucked. Well and truly. Your options are essentially charity and/or debt. People take out loans for fucking chemo, and they beg on the Internet for pills. It’s fucking sad. Imagine telling someone you have cancer, and they answer: “should’ve thought of that while you were smoking a pack a day. That’ll be 10 grand for today.” We call those people douchebags, but that’s essentially what the government of the United States is at this point. They’re selling this lie of death panels and government control over health care decisions because they’re all in the pockets of insurance companies, and there’s actually a portion of the population that buys it and keeps re-electing these cocksmokers!
You know things are bad when the most popular show on TV is about a man pushed to produce industrial quantities of crystal meth because his insurance fucked him on treatment. I’m not even putting this out there as a value judgment. When middle class Americans are finally tired of being sold a Dream they have no hope in hell of realizing, they’ll catch up. But we need to realize how good we’ve got it, and instead of tearing down a system that’s fundamentally right, be grateful you’re being looked out for. Seek and destroy is no way to govern. – JP