Thursday, October 29, 2009

What about H1N1?

I am really starting to like the New York Times letters to the editor. They are so rife with misconceptions that it's like taking candy from a baby. Here are a few backward comments and one excellent one (who'd thunk it) from today.
I’ve been amazed at the photos of people — Democrats and Republicans — standing in long lines waiting for vaccines. Yet I have not read one complaint that the vaccines are free.

It appears that when a health issue directly and imminently affects individuals and their families, they quickly forget their objections to government-provided health care. No doubt, it is because they are suddenly able to imagine themselves, or worse, their child, lying in a hospital bed, clinging for life. The moral obligation of vaccinating the population as a national endeavor becomes obvious.

It is a shame that these same people are unable to imagine themselves, or someone they love, in a similar hospital bed, trying to overcome cancer, or heart disease or even just a broken ankle, and embrace the same moral obligation to provide all our citizens with national health care.

Duane Nelsen
Chicago, Oct. 25, 2009
I must applaud Mr. Nelsen for exposing what free health care for all means: long lines and waiting times. I wonder if he has considered the true cost of this "free" vaccine for a lawyer who makes $200 an hour and waits 2 hours in line to get a shot? Or how about for the average American making roughly $20 an hour? Oh and let's not forget the most important point mistakenly articulated in this article, there isn't enough vaccine to go around! Now that's a real bargain.

A moment of sanity. Thank god.
In August, a presidential panel estimated that up to 90,000 Americans could die from the H1N1 virus. Yet millions of Americans are still unable to obtain the vaccine because there has not been enough produced. Why is no one holding the Obama administration accountable for this looming public health disaster?

For months, the administration and Congress have been focused on the overhaul of the health care system. While reform of the health care system is certainly an important long-term problem, the lives of tens of thousands of Americans actually hang in the balance today.

How can we trust our government to handle a large, complex, long-term problem like the entire American health care system when it seems so inept at handling a single disease in a single year?

David F. Eisner
Westport, Conn., Oct. 25, 2009
Yeah, you would think this would give one pause to overhaul one sixth of the economy. Also, let's not forget that a Democrat is in office so we can't blame this on Republican incompetence (we were told that Katrina happened because Bush and his stooges were idiots). I am not so partisan. I think government incompetence is prevalent in both parties.

The letter below exemplifies what happens when government rations instead of the free market.
The one group nobody seems to consider is in the epicenter of the H1N1 virus. Ask yourself, who is exposed to it every day? Who touches the items of ill people all the time?

Where does the epidemic hit the hardest? In schools. Who is most at risk? The teachers.

And if teachers get sick, who will teach the children? Why aren’t teachers in the first group to get the vaccine?

Emily Farrell
Media, Pa., Oct. 26, 2009

The writer is a high school teacher.
I can't wait for a politician to come along and claim that they are the ones most important to society and should get the shot first. Or how about police and firemen, airline pilots, community organizers, etc. The voices from every direction will fight each other and plead with government to get the scarce resource. And if I didn't know any better, I might even call them special interests.


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