Location: New York, New York

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Day No One of Importance Died

A front page story from the May 16 NY Times tells the story of three individuals who had heart attacks and how their class standing in our so called classless society dictated the quality of care they received. Surprise surprise! The upper class guy (NY architect) got the best care. The lower class woman (NY maid) got the poorest care. The middle class guy (Con Ed wonk) got so-so care. Is this news? The fact that Dick Cheney is alive and my uncle Reino has been dead for thirty years is enough evidence for me that health care is better for the rich and powerful than for the working class and good.

If there had been no front page story about the three heart attack victims there would still have been evidence in the Times that this situation of health care inequality is in effect. According to the Times of May 16 no one of importance died! On the obituary page there was not a single obituary. How could this be with people from all walks of life dropping dead every day? Obviously death does take a holiday, at least for the people of merit as decided by the obituary editor of the NY Times.

If there is really anything of interest in the front page story about the heart attack victims and the lack of notable deaths on the obituary page, it is the question: Is there a trend here? Is the chasm between rich and poor regarding health care getting worse. Has it always been this way? Of course it is getting worse. Have we ever had a day when no one of importance died? I doubt it. I read the NY Times obituaries every day and have done so for years. I can not remember a day when no obituaries appeared. Could it be it will become a common occurrence? I doubt it. The Times will just have to lower its standards of what merits an obituary. Looking on the bright side there may be one benefit from the scandalous situation in American health care: People other than the rich and famous might someday get a nice obituary in the NY Times.


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