Being sick

There was a time when a good old-fashioned bout of vomiting was a sign that you were having a good, no, an awesome night. That time was called college. Unfortunately, that is clearly no longer true for me.

Yesterday and for a good portion of today, I've been pretty sick in the stomach. Things came out of my stomach that I thought had been put away days ago.

All this while, there have been two things that came to mind. One, I am very lucky to have a loving girlfriend that was willing to take care of me.

Second, I am also extremely fortunate to have health care, courtesy of my employer. The US is currently the only developed nation to not have a universal health care system. This puts us behind many countries that we typically consider to be mildly retarded/backwards, including Canada, Russia, New Zealand, China, Poland, Mexico, and Argentina[1]. Our system currently leaves an estimated 17% of the population uninsured[2]. That translates to roughly 50m people without coverage. While I'm in no position to go off on a discussion of the pros and cons of our current health care system, I will say a few things.

One, health care costs have been going up at about 7% a year. That means that they'll double in a little over a decade, leaving people without health insurance doubly screwed.

Two, I think it would be incredibly frightening to be in a position where you feel deathly ill, aren't sure if your appendix is about to explode, but feel incapable of calling a doctor because you know you won't be able to afford it.

Lastly, according to the Kaiser Foundation, it would cost about $110 billion[3] to provide health care coverage for those that currently are not being covered. The war in Iraq has currently cost us $360 billion[4] and is projected to hit $1-2 trillion[4] before we are done.

So, yeah. That's about it.

[3] The estimate is actually $69 billion, but I've scaled the number up to account for the 7% growth in expense and the growing number of people that are uninsured.


  1. megan said...

    Rather than hesitate when they feel that appendix about to rupture, more and more people are heading to the ER, where they WILL receive the best medical care in the world, subsidized by our dwindling tax dollars.

    Add to the war irony the further stat that VA hospitals around the nation are being completely swamped by vets coming home with all kinds of problems, many psychological. At the VA two blocks from my workplace the situation is comparable to Vietnam.

    Also, try garlic for your stomach.  


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