Like a Pig Through a Snake.

CharlieQ at Across the Great Divide has a little fun with my medical odyssey.

Deportation Can Solve Our Health Care Crisis.

Illegal aliens are supposed to be overrunning our health care system,
swamping the nation’s emergency rooms with their sick kids,
tuberculosis and organ transplants. [The typically hysterical linked
article references a “report” in the American Journal of Physicians and
Surgeons, the obscure (9 total Google hits, including one in Russian) publication of a fringe organization the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons.]

But I think I know the real reason medical costs are out of control. It’s because of people like David

Strom and my friend, Bob.


Illegal aliens, my  foot.

This is a bi-partisan problem that could be solved if we deport the right people, and I know just where to start.

I can take a joke, and he uses my example to illustrate an important point. The problems with our health care system isn’t a result of any influx of immigrants. Or at least it’s not that simple.

If my experience “in the system” taught me anything (other than ‘be careful on crutches’) it’s that we depend on immigrants to fill the jobs taking care of us. Our generation is like a demographic pig going through a snake, and we’re getting older and less healthy by the day. We’re retiring, and there are not enough people in the country  to take the jobs, especially the less desirable jobs we’re leaving behind. I heard a scholarly fellow on MPR (I wish I could attribute this, but it’s just one of those things floating around in my addled brain) extend the theory that in 20 years we’ll be begging immigrants to come to our country. There won’t be enough people around to do the work! As our economy cools and the Mexican (for example) economy improves, there will be less incentive to leave Mexico for work. Plus the vaunted Latin American population explosion is slowing down and slowing down quickly. Fewer people competing for jobs in Mexico. We’re just not going to have enough workers to keep the gears turning. Already the roofing industry, health care, and agriculture depend heavily on immigrant labor just to get the job done.

The lower rung jobs at the hospital I was in were largely held by Tibetans. Don’t ask me why Tibetans happen to land at that particular hospital, but there they are. The aids at the rehab center I was in were mostly Africans. In most cases the people that I dealt with did there jobs with competence, hard work and a cheerful attitude. The remarkable thing about that is that they’re working the lowest paying jobs in the building. Of course I also encountered immigrant RNs and doctors, a trend that is lamented by many, but applauded from my perspective. We, the boomers, are going to need these people to set our bones, to sample our blood, to sooth us in our dementia, and to wipe our butts.

I understand that the influx of immigrants has caused some problems, the wage structure of the meat packing industry has really gone down the tubes. But economies are dynamic systems and they seek equilibrium, they adjust themselves to the needs of the times. If we’re lucky.

One thought on “Like a Pig Through a Snake.

  1. bahaa i like the tags.  admit it, you wrote this whole thing just so google searches for “meat packing” landed here.  what’s next, log jamming?  you’re a perv, bob-o.

    in any case, what i really meant to say was, wtf?  i miss a couple entries and you’ve broken a hip?  any second now you’re going to stand up and one of your arms is gonna fall off.  it’s just a flesh wound!

    get better already, man.  stop working our immigrant labor to death.

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