The Hill-Burton Act (The Act hereinafter) signed into law by President Harry S (N.B. No period after S) Truman on August 13, 1946, was nothing short of monumental in every sense of the word. It was game changing, historically critical and more relevant now and today than at any time. It reinforced the notion of the criticality of hospitals in cities and states. Not universal healthcare, not elective surgery, not Obamacare cardboard plan insurance policies, no. It addressed the fundamental and unsexy fact that people need and may indeed have a right to available hospitals in the case of epidemics, pestilence, war, terror and combinations thereof. See the relevance now?
The Act came in response to the country’s post-Depression, post-WWII realization and awareness of the need for hospital beds, with some areas having no hospitals at all. Period. The Act led to the Surgeon General’s establishment of hospital bed to patient ratios determining as a benchmark standard that 4.5 hospital beds were needed per 1,000 in population. And this was the basis, the capstone. The goal. Its necessity, its essentialness and quiddity.
The Act, known formally as the Hospital Survey and Construction Act, started as a Truman initiative and in 1997, sadly, this type of direct, community-based federal health care construction financing came to an end. But here’s the gist of today’s sermon, patriots. How are we today in terms of ratios and the like? How do we rank among the world?
What’s our ratio today? Not good. Try 2.7/1000 beds per thousand population according to the OECD. We’re 32nd out of 40 countries. Look.
And how do other countries fare?
South Korean 12+
Ireland beats us with a 2.9. Turkey’s at 2.75.
Let me stop.
Here’s the simple takeaway. It’s time, America, to abandon those idiotic kneejerks when it comes to governmental involvement and intervention anent healthcare, specifically now when we’re facing COVID19. Let’s get neoteric and new-fangled, patriots. I know what happens whenever we talk this health stuff, some folks lapse into a Bernie coma and start spouting the most incomprehensible drivel as to their ideas of socialism and Marxism. Shelve it. Stow it. Pay attention and focus.
Not if but when this country needs millions of hospital beds for patients on ventilators or the latest plague, pestilence, epidemic, pandemic, whatever, we’re going to also need doctors and nurses and techs and labs and the administrative personnel and structure to support it. That simple. That plain. So what are we doing? We’re arguing about whether the appellation China Virus is Sinophobic or xenophobic. Fox News is taking the opposite tack and going wall-to-wall with #ChinaDidIt coverage. Newbie YouTube conspiracist tyros are cleaning off the kitchen table and screaming into the green light that it’s Bill Gates’s fault while boys barely old enough to shave are lauding the virtues of quinine and anti-malarial elixirs with the points missed completely and altogether. Fear sluts and pity slatterns howl into Facebook echo chambers how they just can’t believe it, how they can’t fathom this mess, how they, they, they.
Stop watching the news. It’s not news. Stop reading Drudge. The morning shows are not informational, they’re funereal and macabre and pathetic and must be avoided. Keep a social distance from social media. Lose depressing friends. Jettison the somber. Stop reading lame health findings that promise a “cure” from ginger, Vitamin __ and Wolf’s bane. Stop blaming wet markets, bat soup and now pangolins.
Rediscover prayer, spirituality and your families. Virtually visit famous museums and attend religious services online. Watch funny movies, be silly. Seriously. Do this in addition to staying calm. Focus on what’s critical as in now. Your freaking out over 5G and chemtrail destruction of bees and HAARP LARPS will add nothing to your mental health or efficacy as parent and citizen. That will wait. Focus.
So, #STFU and pay attention. Calling all grownups! We need you front and center and paying attention. And subscribe to the BEST YOUTUBE CHANNELbar none. Mine.
This is a wakeup call, America.