|Patiently waiting sick people in Mataquintos, Managuay
By Hunter B. Knob
At first glance, you would say there is nothing the United States could learn from a South American banana republic like Managuay. Income equality in the military dictatorship, according to data collected by the United Nations Development Programme, is comparable to that in Third World countries like Cambodia and Uganda. Education, or the lack of it, leads to an outrageously high number of school dropouts and teen pregnancies. The military junta, headed by general Jamón, in 2010 spent more money on golden shoulder pads for their army uniforms than on infrastructure. I hear you think: that’s just like the US, what’s there to learn?
Not so fast.
Surprisingly, when it comes to health care the Managuay generals have made more decisions in line with the ideas of the Founding Fathers than the current regime in Washington. They’re all about that one principle that the Obama administration seems to deem just a little bit less important than others: freedom.
Take Obamacare’s much-criticised individual mandate. In Managuay’s parliament, proposing a law that requires every citizen to purchase health insurance would mean political suicide. Admittedly, it would mean actual suicide, since the military junta prefers its members of parliament to play cards instead of interfering in the business of government – but still.
Administrative obligations are looked down upon by most Managuayans, be it government officals or factory workers. Naturally, the main reason is the country’s widespread illiteracy – 80% – but there’s also an ideological component. Government shouldn’t do what the people are perfectly capable of doing. Moreover, health care is regarded as something between doctors and patients. The central government chips in and makes sure every important treatment is available to most, but the rest is left to the free market.
On paper, it works out like this: if you’re ill, you go to a doctor. The doctor cures you, and you pay. Plain and simple. Of course, reality may be different sometimes – you go to a doctor, but he has no time, or you go to a doctor and he won’t cure you before he’s slept with your wife, or he tries to cure you but hits an artery in the process, forcing you to take a horse carriage for an emergency treatment in a hospital three hours away – but that’s reality and you can fix that.
What it boils down to is the fact that Managuayans have the freedom to live and the freedom to suffer horrible pains. In four words: freedom at its purest. That is the ideological blueprint. Isn’t it ironic that in the so-called land of the free the administration holds a completely different ideology?
Let’s now wait and see how many Supreme Court justices have been on vacation to Managuay – or still need to go.