Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rescues are Free

Free search and rescue (or rather, taxpayer-supported SAR) makes sense to me. I live in a state with a large area of publicly owned land with a rich variety of opportunities for outdoor activities. I take advantage of this whenever I can, encourage others to do the same, and think of it as a net increase to quality of life that we have alternatives available both nearby and farther out to escape the cement and steel, brown cloud choked life of the city. Now, given that, and setting aside the significant issues of outright or willful stupidity, recognizing that accidents will happen, we provide a safety net. That makes sense to me. We can afford it. Get out and smell the creosote when it rains.

But it occurs to me that the same logic applies on a grander scale to life and health care. Yet, while SAR in Arizona is free, we pay out the wazoo for health care, while as I understand it an opposing or complementary situation exists in Europe, where SAR insurance and fees are rampant, while health care is heavily subsidized. Huh. If I fall and break my femur in the Blue Primitive area, I'll IM local SAR and then go to Germany to get patched up. Get up. Go ride.

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