Monday, August 25, 2008

the $700billion question

Yes, we know, Michelle Obama was brilliant, moving, elegant; basically everything you'd want in a first lady. Barak's video entrance was charming, the kids were cute. If they'd had the family dog in denver (or better yet live via teleconference from Alaska) it would have been perfect. Beyond perfect.

But here's the real deal.

The war in Iraq/Afghanistan has cost the American taxpayer $70 billion dollars and some experts are now saying we should look at $1 trillion to cover George and Dicky's little kegger on the beach. That doesn't count the amount of euro's and pound's sterling thrown into the kitty. It also doesn't take into account the amount of money spent to blow things up over the ocean just to see how well they spread mercury into our tuna steaks.

Well, here in New Mexico I had to tell an uninsured woman that to definitively diagnose her with Multiple Sclerosis, she needed to have a $6000 MRI. This was so that I could see whether she just had a cold or a chronic degenerative disease which would slowly incapacitate her, burden her family (if she had one) and eventually lead to her early death. Thirty minutes later I had to search the Wal-mart $4 drug list to see if there was something that I could give a single mom, who was going to school full time and working, with bronchitis and what is likely untreated asthma. The woman who was in tears because even with the sliding scale co-pay at our non-profit clinic was not sure she could afford to be treated and still cover the groceries for her and her two year old.

So folks, where are we going to go this year? More of the same? Putting up 8 foot fences around Mexico? Blowing up our freinds and neighbors? Or will we wait till those freinds and neighbors are us.

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