Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The CIA's Bay of Pigs and the Pigs of US Health Care

The above song, Playa Girón, by Silvio Rodrigues of Cuba, reminds us of the great debt to the ordinary men and women of various skin colors who expelled the US invasion at the Bay of Pigs in 1962(?).

Were it not for those valiant and determined Cuban's efforts on that critical night, Cuba would not have a program of national health care today. Instead, it would have a chaotic health care "market" in which, as Angel Parra put it, in which the wealthiest few are well-pampered while the majority go hungry:
me gusta la democracia
porque permite apreciar
el arrollador avance
del que tiene libertad
para exprimir a unos cuantos
y aumentar su capital.
Or, in English:
I like democracy
because it helps to value
The overwhelming advances
of those who are at liberty
To exhalt a small few
and augment their capital.
It's precisely because Cuba and Brazil have national healthcare that the US should envy and emulate that I feel angry when I see a US doctor write in the New York times, as a generalization, that
In poor countries around the world, private commerce rules: residents pay cash for all health care, which generally means no health care at all.
In the article, Abigail Zugar, M.D. discussed in some detail the health care programs of wealthy countries, but then didn't and couldn't bother to address the differences between poor countries with 100% "market economies" and those that have chosen to take health care out of the free market and put in within the ambit of Government responsibility. By confusing what others are doing -- in Cuba and Brazil, for example -- she makes it harder for us to evaluate what we can do for ourselves.

Even among the developing countries we can find health care systems that treat the poor and middle class much more effectively and generously than the United States of America does.

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