Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rushing to Judgement

Yesterday, I read a story that said Rush Limbaugh was going to move to Costa Rica if the current Health Care Reform bill is passed through Congress and signed into law. As someone who generally prefers a dialogue to a demagogue, my first reaction was to pray for quick action.

But on second thought, I might have to moderate this feeling. Not because I want Rush to stick around (although compared to Glenn Back he seems to be a moderate, which is in and of itself something of an astonishing fact). But because I’m not sure it’s fair to the good people of Costa Rica.

Let’s take a moment to think about Costa Rica. It’s a lovely little place in the midst of Central America, bordered by the waves of the Atlantic on the east and the azure waters of the Pacific on the west, with lush rainforests and sandy beaches. The government is democratic and stable. The unemployment rate is below that of the United States. Current President Oscar Arias won a Nobel Peace Prize for halting civil wars in the region; the President-Elect is a woman. It ranks first in Latin America in international measures of democracy and press freedom; it ranks first in Latin America in the Life Satisfaction Index of the Inter-America Development Bank. It leads the world in first place in the “Happy Planet Index,” a measure of environmental sustainability of the New Economics Foundation. (By way of contrast, the USA is 150th.) It has set a national goal to be carbon neutral by 2021. And for what it’s worth, they also have universal health care.

It’s an enlightened liberal state that works. So it just seems wrong to ask them to take Rush into their midst.

Of course, if we don’t want to inflict Rush on Costa Rica, that means no health care bill this year. And that means lots of people still without health care coverage, which is a bad thing all around.

Gee, international relations are complicated. No wonder we leave it to people who get paid to do it well…you know, like Halliburton.

(Note: I wrote this note late last night after working a late evening shift in the ED. Today, there was a correction to the on-line article that said Mr. Limbaugh was only going to go to Costa Rica to get medical care if health care reform passes, but he would still reside in the USA. So he will forgo the best medical care in the world because he disagrees with how it’s paid for. That might be okay, because the only time the good people of Costa Rica would have to deal with Rush is when he was under anesthesia.)

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