I thought I’d post some of my thoughts for you. Feel free to a) laugh, b) scoff, or c) call me and/or meet me for coffee and tell me all the reasons I’m painfully deluded (if you’re my dad). OR (I dare to dream) d) realize I’m brilliant, come around to my way of thinking, and vote against the Tea Party today.
I just lost half my readers. Shake it off.
I started thinking about this in September, when I visited my friend Michael in Savannah. Michael introduced me to some of his friends, all of whom are medical students. We had dinner and ended up in deep discussion about medicine and insurance companies and hospital practices, etc. It was encouraging to meet all these idealistic doctors-in-training. They all have such good hearts. They aren’t in it for the money (there isn’t that much actually); they truly want to help people and make them well. It was only in discussion with them that I realized how utterly bound they are by the iron fist of the insurance companies. Everything they do has to be documented. It’s actually part of their training to learn how to do billing. I had no idea; did you, Reader?
A couple of weeks ago I read a news article about whooping cough killing 10 babies in California. Six of them were under three months old. I was furious. I kept thinking, if Noah were too young to be vaccinated and some other kid whose parents had decided not to vaccinate came in contact with him and he contracted the disease, I WOULD KILL SOMEBODY. No, seriously. You’d find my rotting corpse in a maximum security prison somewhere because I’d be all LEMME KILL SOMEBODY ELSE. WHO ELSE CAN I KILL. It’s just so completely unfair. And it made me think of all the kids who are suffering from some completely preventable disease because their parents didn’t want to vaccinate.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was just so upset. I was like, why wouldn’t you immunize your child? Lance reminded me of the autism link. It’s a very real concern. And although most medical professionals, including the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the World Health Organization agree that the link is unfounded, many parents still argue that vaccinations caused their child’s autism. I respect that, I really do. Most doctors argue that teething does not cause fever. But they weren’t up all night with me when Noah cut his first two teeth. I think parents know more about their own child than the WHO and the AAP. BUT. All the major cases linking autism with vaccines are actually prior to 2001, when vaccines no longer contained mercury. Meaning even the slight chance that mercury-based vaccines were the cause of autism is no longer a reasonable argument against vaccinating. And the fact remains there is no hard evidence to support the vaccination-autism link.
And y’all, I gotta be honest. Even if there were a link, I’d still rather my son be alive with autism than dead from whooping cough. Just sayin’.
Now let me just say this, although I hope it’s obvious. I am in no way advocating rushing your 2-month old off to the doctor and getting him all shot up without doing your research. Not sure if you can tell from all the links I just pushed in your face, Reader, but I’m a huge proponent of doing research. I don’t think it’s right to just shrug and go along with whatever. In fact, even though we came up against a lot of opposition from friends and family, because of all the research I did before Noah was born we decided not to circumcise him, and I could not be prouder of our decision to leave him intact. (I’m sure his teenage self is going to really appreciate me telling you that. Do me a solid, y’all: if you ever see him, don’t mention to him that you are aware of the condition of his penis.) All that is to say, please find out what is happening to your kid and make informed decisions. That is all.
Back to the point. Somewhere in my fuming I remembered all my good friends who have children. It occurred to me that several of them are either vaccinating their children on a slower schedule than recommended and only getting what they consider to be the absolute essential vaccines, or not vaccinating their children at all. I realized my thinking was wrong because these friends of mine love their children dearly. They aren’t what I was picturing with the news articles about whooping cough, these dumb-ass parents who wanted to be hippie and cool and oops! their kid died. These are parents who are doing what they honestly believe is best for their child and who would be DESTROYED if anything ever happened to them. And it changed my perspective of the parents who hadn’t trusted vaccinations and therefore their children had died. They had just cause for not wanting to vaccinate. They had just cause for not trusting that medicine or the research that indicates no link between autism and vaccines.
So, new question. Why do many parents, especially today, believe that what is best for their child is to keep them away from those needles? Why is there currently such a huge mistrust of the medical community? Think about it. Our generation has seen a huge surge in home births or all-natural hospital births, circumcision rates are lower than ever, more moms are breastfeeding advocates (even though doctor’s offices continually hand out formula propaganda), and now this: vaccinations are on the downward slope.
I have the answer for you, Reader. INSURANCE COMPANIES. Insurance companies have been given too much power. They are the ones holding all the reigns. And people are afraid if they have their baby at the hospital, they might be forced to have an unnecessary C-Section. And why would a doctor, who went to school for 12 years to learn how to help people, do something like that? I honestly believe it’s because the insurance company is deciding when and how much they get paid. And doctors, in the end, have to feed their families too.
Please don’t misunderstand me; I’m not excusing corrupt doctors. But I believe that when the insurance companies became the controlling force behind the medical profession, that’s when bad hospital practices, unnecessary surgeries, and general corruption in the medical and pharmaceutical fields began to peak. Insurance companies screw the medical community just like they screw sick people, y’all. I had never thought about it until that night in Savannah.
And Obama wanted to change that. Yep, bringing it back to the election. You knew I’d get there dint ya? Tea-Partiers are trying to convince Americans that health care for everyone is a bad thing. That taking some of the power away from the insurance companies is a bad thing. That you, hard-working tax-payer, are going to be fucked financially because you’ll be paying for health care for children whose parents can’t afford it. That we, as Americans, will be fucked because we’ll be putting health care in the hands of the government and our health care will be so shitty then. Like how Canada, with their subsidized medicine, has shitty health care. Oh wait, they rank 30th on the World Health Organization’s list of countries’ health ratings… and America ranks 37th? WTF? Can that be right? (I’m employing the use of sarcasm, Reader. I know you don’t see that side of me very often, since I’m usually so gentle and kind when I rant.) And France and Italy have grabbed the first two spots on the list. BOTH COUNTRIES HAVE UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE, Y’ALL.
Tea-Partiers want to keep things the way the are. I don’t understand that. They want to avoid giving the government control of medicine in favor of letting the insurance companies keep it. Lord, have mercy on us if things continue the way they currently exist! Who knows what deadly disease will come back next.
In other news, I watched this and laughed my ass off. You should watch it too. (Thanks, thisisfyf!)
Please vote. Since I’m in favor of being honest, here’s my dirty confession: this whole post is written to assuage my guilt at not registering on time. I hope you can forgive me. Unless you are, in fact, a Tea-Partier, in which case you can buy me a drink later. ((sigh))