Friday, August 14, 2009

Genocide in America

Please click on the graph for a clearer picture.

What is a genocide? Usually the matter is related to an ethnic conflict with active use of force by one group against another. According to the definitions in international law, however, a genocide can also be perpetrated by denying a group of people access to adequate living conditions, causing large-scale loss of life. Factors that decide these living conditions are obviously things like food, shelter, access to clean water, medicine and health care.

Contrary to what the debate in the American media would have you think, the issue known as “America’s health care crisis” is not merely some actuarial difficulty causing inflated prices;

Literally hundreds of thousands of Americans are dying because they are do not have access to health care.

A widely published and cited figure is one that states that between 20,000 and 30,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have access to health care. Indeed, both domestic and international studies repeatedly confirm that the number is in this range. A well-known study on this subject came out from “The Urban Institute” in 2008:

Studies such as this one are usually debated ad nauseam for their methodology (read about the exact methodology in the study by clicking on the link), but the basic premise is this: the study estimates how many uninsured Americans died because they received too little treatment or treatment too late as a direct result of not being insured.

Based on the numbers in this study, I have projected the estimated number of Americans that will have died from uninsurance when this decade is over. The average yearly increase of deaths is around 5%, but if anything, one would expect that number to be higher in the next 2 years.

Please take a look at the graph in the beginning of the article.

The numbers are simply staggering, and to say the least, frightening.

The number of Americans that can be expected to have died by the end of this decade as a direct result of not being insured is 287,000!

The death of close to 300,000 people must surely qualify as a genocide if something is intentionally behind it.

It has been suggested by some people on the right wing that a lot of people who don’t have health insurance are in this situation because they choose to take the risk of not buying insurance. We all know that this theory is pure garbage. I think it’s safe to say that people in general try to strive for a shot at surviving cancer. In other words, everybody wants health insurance.

So what is behind the lack of health insurance among almost 50 Million Americans? Since the days of Theodore Roosevelt, attempts at covering the uninsured have been made, and have failed every time. Every time it’s the same thing: the people who stand to gain from the continuation of the current system fiercely fight and prevent the uninsured from becoming insured through extortion, threats and lies.

These people are currently engaging in, and perpetuating, a genocide on the poorer elements of American society, commensurate with definitions of genocide from the “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” from 1948.

The lobbyists and extortioners should be brought to justice and charged with genocide. By the end of this decade, they will have the blood of close to 300,000 Americans on their hands.

Moreover, I advise that the winner-takes-all voting system should be destroyed.


Anonymous said...

"Educated in economics and finance" you may be, but you do not seem to know a lot about international human rights, specifically about genocide.

"What is a genocide? Usually the matter is related to an ethnic conflict with active use of force by one group against another. According to the definitions in international law, however, a genocide can also be perpetrated by denying a group of people access to adequate living conditions, causing large-scale loss of life. Factors that decide these living conditions are obviously things like food, shelter, access to clean water, medicine and health care."

Genocide can be committed through different means, including deliberate deprivation of resources needed for the group’s physical survival. However, simply denying health care does not necessarily constitute genocide. For something to be considered an act of genocide, the INTENTION is critical! These acts have to be "committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group".

I don't really think that the people that are dying because of the fact that they do not have access to health care do not constitute a homogeneous national, ethnical, racial or religious group, and the fact that they are denied health care certainly is not done with the intent to "destroy, in whole or in part" that group...

Jacob said...

Well, looking at the societal implications of the deprivation of health care in America, minorities are obviously hit the hardest. That's your group.

Intent to destroy: in a system where denying health care is one of the major parts of the business model, the intention is clear. Insurance companies are actually killing people at this point. When the movie "The Rain Maker" was made, it seemed like a distant dystopia. Now reality is worse.

What I'm trying to say with this is that what's going on in America is not on par with a developed society. It's not acceptable, it's criminal, and most of all, hundreds of thousands of people are dying.

For the record, I have studied international law and human rights.

Anonymous said...

The "Utopian Fallacy" is described as one where you compare something that is not perfect and then assume that, when laws are passed, we will have perfection.

Will passing a law bring this death rate from 300,000 to 0? This is a BIG assumption.

Here is an article about laws passed that have been estimated to kill more people than Urban Institute studies: The Law Most Likely to Kill You.

Giving blind trust that a law will create a utopia is not wise and could have dire consequences, usually hurting those it is meant to help.

Jacob said...

I agree with you on the blind trust. I believe that the American political system is for the most part incapable of coming up with solutions that work in the long term, which is why I advocate that it be changed fundamentally (the very reason for this blog).

I don't believe that the number will go to zero, but if it is made illegal to deny citizens health care, then I'm sure the number would drop by at least 95% rather soon. I have lived in several countries, and other than in the U.S., I have never heard of anyone dying because they were denied health care.

What are you saying about the FDA, that they are deliberately holding back drugs for the wrong reasons? Why? That has not been my wife's experience, who works in medical research.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is the top 10 dumbest things you have said so far. Nobody is denying health care to these individuals. It is simply a lack of supplying it. Did I deny you from getting a new car? Not only that but insurance isn't health care, it's insurance, just like auto insurance isn't driving a car, or getting it fixed.

Jacob said...

Health care is being denied by the insurance companies. People who work in doctor's offices spend most of their day battling it out with these people on the phone, and they often don't agree to pay until the doctor gets involved.

Moreover, on a societal level, I am making a clear distinction between something like car insurance, and most other goods and services on one hand, and health care on the other. I believe that it is highly immoral for a citizen to not be provided health care, and for that citizen to die as a result.

Allowing a citizen to die from something that is far within the realm of control is just as immoral as not protecting citizens from military aggression.

That's how I see it, and most of the world agrees with me.

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