Friday, February 26, 2010

Nothing to Smile About

Y’all ever heard of the movie Smile Pinki? It’s a documentary about kids in poor countries that are born with cleft palate. What a horrific affliction. These kids are often shunned by family members, destined to live a life of shame. GAWD…I watched that movie and thought how fucked up life can be sometimes. But there’s a group called the Smile Train that travels the world in search of kids with cleft palate in an attempt to get them the vital operation they need. It’s a simple procedure and it only costs $250. That’s a great deal considering what the alternative is. Flash forward to yesterday…

In an attempt to draw attention to the plight of Nevada families against rising healthcare costs, Senator Harry Reid told the story of the Jesus Gutierrez family at yesterday's healthcare summit. Gutierrez is the owner of Fresh Mex Restaurant here in the RNO. His daughter was born with a cleft palate and his insurance company decided not to cover the cost of the needed surgery. The result? The Gutierrez family had to pay…wait for it…wait for it…$90,000 for the surgery!!! Aye caramba!!! That’s TWENTY-SIX THOUSAND percent over what the Smile Train people need to fix cleft palates in other countries.

Here’s the crux of the biscuit…cleft palate surgery in India, or Mexico, or Nigeria costs $250. In the United States of America, Inc. it costs $90,000. From the pharmaceutical companies to the hospitals from the doctors to the insurance companies, someone…every step of the way is sucking profit from the health woes of Americans. Now, rich Americans can probably afford to pay that much but what about middle-class America? Nope. Heck-fire, you know the poor can’t afford that kind of scratch.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this is no way for a Christian nation to behave toward its citizens. But then again, The United States of America, Inc. isn’t really a Christian nation. We just say we are and hope nobody notices. Fuckin’-A…JZeus must be spinning in His grave.