complaints about ER

I found a post at The Blarg complaining about ER a few days ago. I started commenting on it, but there’s a lot to say, so I’m moving here. Now, I’ve only seen ER a few times, and like all TV shows it’s unrealistic, but the parts he labels “liberal nonsense” are not especially fantastic.

1) Huge numbers of people are gay, and they don’t act anything like gay people do in real life. Gaydar need not apply, because you could never guess, because the show wants you to think gay people are just like straight people, but gay. Oh wait, that’s not all, gay people are actually more with it than the straight people. The gay relationships are always great, and the straight people are screwed up.

There are a lot of GLBT people in the real world. And being queer does not mean you act a certain way. Otherwise, you wouldn’t need to come out. Everyone would already know. Sure, a lot of queer people have rejected gender norms, but a lot haven’t and that isn’t necessarily visible. And straight people reject gender normas too.

There doesn’t need to be a breakdown between straight and queer relationships. Relationships are the same pretty much everywhere. And after being accused of rape, pedophilia, bestiality, mental disorders, etc., it’s really nice that ER does portray good queer relationships.

2) Everyone is dying in Iraq. Last year a main character got killed in Iraq, and this year there was a family whose father had died in Iraq. They wouldn’t want to have a character that came back from Iraq alive and emphasize the good they were doing. No, Iraq is the devil and everyone is dying.

I’m sure some people do come back from Iraq and feel they’ve done something good. Most of the people I know either died or came back wishing they’d never had to kill anyone. Veterans of other wars are the same. My grandfather was proud that he helped in WWII. But he had a lot of terrible memories he didn’t want. People forget that no matter how good the cause of the war people die horrible deaths and see horrible things. Being reminded of that isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe we’ll try harder diplomatically.

3) National healthcare mumbo jumbo! The ER is always full and nobody has health insurance on the show. The characters are always screaming about how we need a national healthcare plan. What BS. Where are the illegal aliens in the ER? Oh that’s right, they never show any.

National healthcare isn’t mumbo jumbo. In a rich country like ours, it’s ridiculous that so many people who work so hard can’t afford decent healthcare. And yes, illegal immigrants do show up in the ER.

When I suggested that treating them was the right thing to do the author pulled out the teach a man to fish analogy. But many illegal immigrants do know how to take care of themselves. They’re doctors, teachers, farmers. As I mentioned a few days ago, our agricultural subsidies have done terrible things to the Mexican economy. These people come to the US looking for work so their families could eat. They are not looking for a handout.

They are accused of taking American jobs. But the only reason employers hire them is because they don’t get in trouble for paying them far far below minimum wage and the workers don’t complain about poor working conditions for fear of being deported. Illegal immigrants are rarely paid enough to eat well, let alone get a decent place to live or buy health insurance.

People say that illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes, so why should they get health care? How can they pay taxes? Despite the long long hours they work, they usually don’t make enough to have to pay taxes.

Fixing this system should be a priority. But until then, taking care of these exploited people who pick our food and clean our businesses cannot be compared to giving away something for free. We should be ashamed of how we’ve treated illegal immigrants.


  1. Nathan says:

    I don’t even know where to start, and I’m not even going to bother.

    You missed the entire point about the teach a man to fish analogy. I have no problem with immigrants coming to this country, but I do have a problem with people crossing our border and breaking the laws of a sovereign country. I should not have to pay for an illegal immigrant that came here the wrong way. You said they know how to take care of themselves, but they obviously don’t. They break our laws to get here, they often don’t pay payroll taxes, they suck our social welfare system dry, and Spanish has become a huge obstacle in our public schools.

    And no, national healthcare is a terrible idea. Just look at Great Britain and Canada where people wait months for treatment, buy private insurance to supplement their crappy government insurance, and where people from Canada literally come to the USA for better healthcare. Since when has healthcare been the government’s job?

    You miss a point that so many liberals fail to see. The government should play the smallest role in my life that it possibly can. Taking away my ability to provide for the health of my family is a downright travesty.

  2. Ken says:

    I think she’s got the teaching a man to fish. I understand it was not specifically about acdemia. However the point remains; these people work hard and they -earn- that health care. The illegial immigrants I have worked with in the past, have gone through trial and trial just to keep it going here. To feed and shelter their families. They work twice as hard (literally) as almost everyone else I know, with very few exceptions.

    Everyone is real upset that they crossed borders and broke a law in doing so, that does not make them less human. They are people like you and me, and they deserve health-care too. The reason they don’t get it is not because they don’t work for it, its because -we- screw them under the guise of “oh they don’t belong here.”

    And so you know, I love exploiting immigrants. I think paying them less is one of the best things this country has ever done. But lets try to keep them alive and fresh so we can continue to do it for centuries to come.

  3. sarcozona says:

    There are often waiting lists for healthcare in other countries. But waiting lists are better than not getting care at all, which often happens here. Many people don’t find out they need treatment or forgo treatment because they can’t pay for it. And the WHO doesn’t rate the US especially well – #37. The US may provide great health care, but only for those with plenty of cash.

    Universal health care does not take away from your ability to provide for you family. You probably wouldn’t end up paying more in taxes (unless the US implemented a plan very very badly), so in the unlikely event you or your family were put on a waiting list that threatened your life, you’d still be able to afford your private health insurance if you really wanted it.

  4. Nathan says:

    Two things.

    1) Please define “plenty of cash.”

    2) Just because you think it’s OK for the super rich to pay a ton of taxes, doesn’t mean I do. Your link only shows examples up to $100,000.

  5. sarcozona says:

    By plenty of cash I meant enough to afford insurance or pay out of pocket for all medical expenses. Many full time jobs don’t offer benefits, or the benefits they offer aren’t very good at all.

    And health insurance is very expensive. For a female between the ages of 18-24, Blue Cross Blue Shield Arizona has plans ranging from $57a/mo with a $10,000 deductible to $525 a month. But as the cost drops the coverage drops faster and the copays and deductibles rise very very quickly. And only the most expensive plan has any coverage at all for pregnancy.

    Students are lucky and can usually get ok insurance for less than $200 a/mo, which is still more than many can afford. But for a woman entering the workforce right after high school, probably making minimum wage, healthcare is not affordable. Maybe she wasn’t smart enough to go to college, maybe she couldn’t afford it. But people who work hard every day shouldn’t be worrying at night if their nasty cold is going to turn into an infection and how will they afford to go to the doctor? They should be able to go to the doctor and get some antibiotics and go on with their lives.

    And I do think that sometimes the rich are taxed far too much. The solidarity tax in France is actually causing many wealthy people to leave. But in the UK, the wealthy don’t pay more than those in the US in income taxes. London is even getting a reputation as something of a tax haven.

    I don’t necessarily think that the wealthy should have to pay a much larger percentage of their taxes than the middle class. I do think that loopholes need to be closed and tax havens better policed. And Corporate tax evasion must be taken more seriously.

  6. Nathan says:

    People lease cars for $400 a month…I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect them to pay similar prices for their health.

  7. sarcozona says:

    People can’t pay those prices for their health. Working full time at minimum wage in AZ gets you $1080/mo. Subtract $600 for rent/utilities, $150 for food, $200 for gas/car payment/insurance, (These estimates are very low for the area I’m in) and you’ve got $130 left. That’s nowhere near $525/mo.

  8. Nathan says:

    And thus you have a desire to make more than minimum wage and improve yourself.

    If the government throws free healthcare at you, that desire is diminished. A “progressive” society is one that hopes to better itself through hardwork. Government assistance does nothing to fuel the American Dream.

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.