RANGER AGAINST WAR: Triage, Homestyle <

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Triage, Homestyle

There's something screwy around here
--Elmer Fudd


We here at Ranger are not survivalists, but some people who are better-qualified to be economic cassandras are sure sounding like them.

Marketwatch.com has recently offered several pieces on coupon-clipping, keeping in mind that these are readers for whom coupons usually mean interest on their securities. Their audience is not largely composed of food stamp recipients -- those who have about $100 to spend at their grocer each month.

Next we saw a review for the book,
Patients Beyond Borders: Everybody's Guide to Affordable, World-class Medical Tourism, described as "the first comprehensive guide for Americans facing long-term financial insecurity due to challenging medical conditions." The name riffs on Doctors Without Borders [Medicins Sans Frontieres], the group that provides urgent medical care abroad to victims of war and disaster.

Medical tourism used to be for the privileged. The plastic surgery trip to Mexico or South America was a popular jaunt, as the participant came back glowing and looking so much better without having to 'fess up to the actual work done. Ditto cosmetic dentistry. But these were discretionary expenses, not medical necessities. This author speaks to those who must travel for needed care.

The New York Times ran a piece some months ago about a medical charity caravan of health care professional which tours the West Virginia countryside once a moth, providing urgent medical care to residents who would otherwise go unserved. They could not treat all with need, and had to turn away many patients each time.

This is back in the U.S.A., where it seems we are ripe for our own version of Doctors Without Borders. Meanwhile, billions of dollars are sunk into a desert folly, which creates more patients daily to be tended, or not, by our already stressed health care system.

That ain't right, to quote one of our presidential candidates.

Looking through some old milblogs this morning, which are often so eloquent and direct, and found the following soldier's statement:

We are an isolationist, myopic country with tremendous arrogance and a complete misunderstanding of the depth of what we are involved in. We are not global citizens, but we are global consumers. The fact is that we do actually look down on the rest of the world. The rest of the world gazes back at us in amazement, wondering what in the hell we are thinking about to feel so self-righteous (billandbobsadventure, 12/17/07).

It's probably not our health care system.


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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

one of my daughters is going to be spending this summer working out of a clinic equipped RV on the rez. they will be traveling to the more remote areas bringing medical services to folks that would otherwise be faced with distances they cannot overcome.

yep, that's our america.

Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 10:30:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Her devotion to cause is commendable, but what a sad state of affairs.

Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 10:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys said...

If the economy continues, it will be more than necessary medical tourism. The word "expatriot" will be more common---those trying to survive on Social Security alone cannot do so in most parts of the U.S. This is why my step mom lives in Mexico. And let me tell you, the "cash and carry" medical life there is far more affordable than insured life here. I paid for her chemo and surgery for breast cancer without second mortgaging my house. Yes, it kept us broke---but more importantly, it kept her ALIVE. But the US doesn't seem to care if the old and poor die....

Monday, April 7, 2008 at 11:03:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Sad commentary, but I believe you are right. As people balance the things that they need against their limited resources, they will find other countries provide for those needs in a better way than the U.S.

I believe we will be seeing more older expatriates, further altering this country's demographic.

Monday, April 7, 2008 at 12:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys said...

Even some younger ones are discussing it, Lisa. A friend I spoke to by phone this weekend was saying that for their own health and that of their children, they are actually wondering about life in England. America's government needs to stop watching B-grade westerns about the tough individual and start thinking about what a society actually NEEDS. Maybe we should send them some philosophy tomes---about how the solitary man (that great individualist) is actually a beast! Because yes, folks, DOGS live better than some citizens in this country.

Monday, April 7, 2008 at 1:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

True enough, labrys.

Then there is nasty little bit of conservative liberation theology which steels them to the hard realities of ubiquitous need by laying everything at god's feet.

In other words, if you are poor, well, it just wasn't in the cards for your life to be otherwise. You haven't worked hard enough, you are not a good enough capitalist.

And buck up, there is some nobility in the suffering servant model anyway. And the meek shall inherit the earth. . . Like Monty Python sang, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, " even whilst being crucified.

Monday, April 7, 2008 at 2:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys said...

The meek shall inherit the earth, eh? Damn, that pie in the sky shit still works? I am firmly with Mordred in "Camelot" when he sings "It's not the earth the meek inherit, its the DIRT!" You know what four letter word follows on, right?

Monday, April 7, 2008 at 6:25:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Shameless realist, y'are, labrys.

They must've written, "Doesn't play well with others" on your report card. Put on your rose-colored glasses and pop a bit of Soma like a good girl, all will be well.

Monday, April 7, 2008 at 6:29:00 PM GMT-5  

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