22 July 2009

Death as a Rorschach Test

After a post at Slate I realize, once again, that Paul's death is a kind of Rorschach Test.

Usually people who are in favor of healthcare reform get it, immediately - how the U.S. healthcare system failed him in a far bigger way than misdiagnosing his appendicitis.

Physicians almost always get it immediately.

People who are afraid of change, and who don't understand that our health care system is a kind of ever widening net of dysfunction - not so much. For them it's all about misdiagnosis - if they've gotten past the point where it must have been Paul's fault, because the U.S. healthcare system is the best in the world (maybe needs a slight tune-up, but nothing major) - that being the case because we're the best.

And once a group starts thinking it's the best despite all evidence to the contrary, that's the beginning of the end, whether it's a sports team, an automaker, an army or an entire nation.

The United States does a lousy job of protecting what it claims is its most precious asset - its people.

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