Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dick Cheney's heart: how has he lasted so long?

The health care he denies others is the very thing that keeps him living.  Well over a million dollars has been spent on keeping Cheney's heart ticking.  He's got great government health insurance.  Cheney is a heartless man who, unless he gets a heart transplant, may literally soon BE heart-less. Oh, the ironic justice of it all... Reminds me of that song in The Mikado: My object all sublime, I shall achieve in time, To let the punishment fit the crime, the punishment fit the crime...

Oil baron, draft dodger, professional paranoid, and all-around Blue Meanie, Cheney’s miraculous longevity is nothing so much as the happy product of the heavily tax-subsidized and regulated American health-care system, exhibit A in the argument for intrusive and overarching government programs to ensure the public’s health. Though the free-marketeers would argue the exact opposite—that the invention of such sci-fi devices as the LVAD are the product of unfettered capitalism—this completely ignores the reality of how such inventions are tested, monitored, and reviewed. Devices are studied in hospitals propped up by Medicaid and Medicare dollars organized by doctors funded by federal grants. Patient safety is assured by government bean-counters spread throughout windowless Washington offices via a process that is noticeable only when it fails—when, for example, a pacemaker is found to be defective, or a medication proves toxic.

Cheney is alive today despite a lifetime spent trying to deprive the needy of basic human rights such as health care. Yet his continued survival shows both the impotency of his attempts and the potency of the American health-care system, a lumbering bureaucracy no doubt, but one that blindly cares for big-hearted Joes as well as heartless Dicks.