Our Current Health Care System Is Evil and Barbaric

The nascent health care debate is a great example of how sometimes we become so set in the way things work that it's hard to see how we could possibly change. We have a health insurance system in this country that works for most, but far from all, of our citizens. It employs a lot of people and makes a lot of money and while it generally makes life difficult even for the people it eventually helps, we just accept it as the way it works. Here, for instance, is a disturbing story about how even people with health insurance can go bankrupt from their medical procedures, which sort of undermines the entire idea of health insurance to begin with.Even the most drastic of proposals floating around Capitol Hill right now accept the underlying system as the jumping off point for any change. Even the so-called "public option" is merely a iteration of what we already have, just run by the government instead of private companies. Here is what it seems that everyone is missing: We live in a so-called modern, humane society that constantly criticizes other countries for their violations of human rights, and yet we allow people to suffer or even die just because they don't have enough money, despite the fact that adequate medical care is usually easily available.You can talk all you want about the free market, but it's an invalid argument, as we are happy to toss free-market principles out the window whenever it suits us (think AIG), but not, apparently, when people's lives are at stake. Our representatives, all of us, and especially the health insurance and medical industries, are entirely complacent in a system that allows some of our fellow citizens to lead lives of excruciating pain or slow death because they can't afford medical care. How, at the end of the day, there is any difference between a person dying of cancer being refused care by a doctor or health insurance company and a CIA contractor waterboarding a suspected terrorist is beyond me. The latter scenario has everyone outraged, and it happens to mostly really bad people and doesn't kill them; the former scenario is generally accepted as "just the way it works," and happens to innocent, hardworking people on a daily basis. Is a system that leaves a good person in (treatable) pain really less objectionable than a pouring water into someone's nose or leaving them in a cold room with the lights on?So, we need to forget free-market solutions, forget the public option. Enough marginal change. If someone is sick, they should get treated. Let's accept that as our starting point and then figure out how to pay for it.This is, of course, totally naive and politically nonviable. It also happens to be the right thing to do, and I'm confident that with enough smart people in the room, we could find a way to treat everyone. It's really hard to argue that because something is too difficult to implement, we have to let people die, but that seems to be the point to which we've gotten ourselves.That image is the Hippocratic Oath, which says a lot about the importance of saving people's lives, and not very much at all about only saving the lives of people who have insurance.
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

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There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

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Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

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