Sunday, September 16, 2007

What has happened to America?

Sometimes I just get depressed. Life gets to be too much. I can't deal with it anymore.

I take out medication prescribed to me from years back and take it and then I feel better after awhile...but the problems haven't really gone away so I'm not exactly feeling good either.

This time I think what drove me over the edge was watching Michael Moore's 'Sicko'.

I just had surgery recently and because surgery wasn't included in my health insurance I paid 1300 euros or so for it. It was a simple procedure to remove a fibroid growing on my cervix. After this, I had been contemplating upgrading my insurance to cover surgeries but had not got around to it yet.

So this issue of health insurance had been on my mind for over a month.

I think the worst revelation in Mr. Moore's documentary was the way health insurance companies have begun to operate as of late. They have become so profit oriented that they do their very best to bar a policy holder from getting the medicare they need.

Mr. Moore talks about the American government using scare tactics to keep its citizens in line, but I have to be frank. Mr. Moore's documentary scared me a lot more than Mr. Bush ever did with his talk of terrorism.

I personally have never run into trouble with my health insurance companies yet. For almost all of my childhood, my family was covered by an American health insurance company and whenever we have needed treatment, I believe we got the treatment we needed. Granted we lived in the Philippines mostly, but when we were in Davis, California my sister ended up in the hospital once because they thought she might have a brain tumor. It ended up being a pseudo-tumor but there were no problems as far as receiving treatment. She got the treatment she needed and got very good treatment in fact.

But this was back in 1979...

I had suspected all along that things may have changed a lot in America since then...and it was horrifying in a way to see this documentary which was suggestive of how far America had degenerated.

When I first heard about those mass power outages in places like New York, it was unbelievable because this was something that was supposed to happen in countries like the Philippines not in America. Power failure indeed is a part of life there and you just have to live with it and it's no big deal. But in America this wasn't supposed to happen.

Then there was hurricane Katrina. The levees broke and flooded the city. This again was something that you didn't expect in America. Things were supposed to work there. Not only did New Orleans get reduced to looking like some third world country with bad infrastructure, but I have read that the government did not do enough to reconstruct the city.

Clearly something was wrong.

Other telltale signs of things going awry were comments of MBA students.

I can still remember how callous and calculating they were to the point that they did not care that large numbers of people died because of decisions they made. Although one does not run businesses well by being sympathetic, I felt they had crossed the line where they had reached this pinnacle of selfish ruthlessness were they had no respect for other human beings.

Making money had become so important that indirectly murdering babies was nothing to them.

I think what I found most disturbing about Mr. Moore's documentary was that he confirmed my worst fears about what had happened to America.

While good American citizens who were trying to live normal lives died because their insurance companies were too profit focused and denied them treatment to medicare, less than 1% of the ruling class waged wars on foreign soil in an attempt to increase their wealth even more...getting more poor Americans killed there in the process.

I worked in film documentaries myself for some time so granted that Mr. Moore exaggerates certain elements in his film to press his point, it still saddens me that things have come to this.

I see more evidence to support what he claims than otherwise...and that is just depressing.

My thoughts go back to my childhood, when I lived in this perfect little community made by Ford and Rockefeller Foundation. The streets were so clean you could walk bare footed. The lawns were perfectly manicured. Every tile was in place. Any dust was always swept clean. We had our own water tower so that we could safely drink tap water. If a typhoon came and there was a power failure, we had generators that kicked in and gave us electricity. Everything worked.

This was during the years from 1965-1981.

I have never been back to that place since my father died of cancer, but a friend of mine did go back quite recently.

He told me that this perfect place of our childhood was not the same anymore. He found broken tiles that had not been replaced and there was mold growing in the tennis court. The whole compound had this tired worn look about it, and somehow this makes me think of what has happened to America itself.

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