Monday, August 17, 2009
A neat solution, indeed.
First off, let me say that I envy America for their health care system. We, in the Philippines don't have such system and we are left to fend for ourselves when we get sick or need medical services.
But I am not going to talk about the US health care crisis debate as I am not familiar with the pros and cons of the issue. Rather, let me share with you an amusing Nursing Reform Act introduced in congress by a Republican Representative John Shadegg from Arizona.
The bill calls for increasing work visas for foreign nurses. He said this will eliminate the shortage of nurses. Hurray! This is good news to thousands of Filipino nursing graduates.
Indeed, this bill is great on so many levels. For one, Americans know that health care is costing them an arm and a leg (pun intended). They say the biggest cause are obviously nurses and nursing unions. They claim that nurses are way overpaid, but unfortunately the health care corporations have not been able to break the nursing unions because of the shortage of nurses. So by bringing in lots of foreigners, they can flood the market with labor, break the unions, and get nursing salaries down. Isn't that brilliant?!
But take note, that this is the same approach that was so successful in cutting the salaries earned by information technology workers about 10 years ago. US corporation complains of high IT costs, so their brilliant Congress increased the number of H1-B visas so that companies can hire cheap workers from India and other places. Later, many of these foreign workers returned to their homelands and brought the work with them. Now, corporate America doesn't have to pay high salaries, and they don't even have to look at the foreigners anymore - they can just write a little check to India. Bravo!! Fortunately, information technology salaries have never rebounded to the levels where they were.
Now, back to nurses. Let's face it, nursing is a difficult, degrading work. Nurses sometimes have to wipe feces, and Americans are better than that! Sure, they can certainly find some Indians, Filipinos, or Chinese people to do that work thus, ridding self-respecting Americans of the need to perform that dirty job. In fact, they have rid themselves of the burden of almost all manufacturing jobs, call center jobs, and as mentioned earlier, many information technology jobs.
This bill is also the first step down the same glorious road for health care. I had read an article which says over 6 million Americans will travel abroad for surgery. See related topic here. Once these foreign nurses have become adept in "American-style health care," many can return home to help set up cheap health care services to those Americans that can afford to fly overseas. Think of the opportunities this will create for the airline industry!
Well, my only criticism of the bill is that, it doesn't go far enough. Perhaps it's not too late. Someone should urge Mr. Shadegg to expand this legislation so that America can bring in an additional 50,000 foreign doctors, 50,000 foreign dentists, 50,000 foreign lawyers, 50,000 foreign engineers, and 310 learned people for government positions (254 to take the Democratic congressional seats and 56 to take the Democratic Senate seats, ha ha ha!!!!!).
Did that make you laugh, AA? Mission accomplished, then.