America’s recent hysterical ranting AGAINST “socialised medicine” has bemused us Brits. Even words like “Nazi” have been bandied around. WHY? Let us examine the issue in depth.
The British have always been HORRIFIED by the system the USA traditionally uses to care for its citizens’ health – and with good reason. It is based on THE ABILITY TO PAY – not NEED.
This IMMORAL concept means that people’s health needs are determined by businessmen – whose number one concern is PROFIT for their company.
The Americans who object to socialised medicine claim they don’t want a BUREAUCRAT between them and their doctor – so they would rather have a profit-obsessed BUSINESSMAN instead? MADNESS!
At the end of the day, health-care has to be PAID for. And there are really only three alternatives. You pay for it directly. You pay a company, monthly. Or you pay for it with tax. That’s IT.
But the care you will receive with these three systems will vary RADICALLY. Let us look at the pros and cons of each – starting with…
Direct payment. On the face of it, this is the FAIREST system – you get exactly what you pay for. However, if your body decides to give you trouble, you can soon go BANKRUPT. Also, the system favours the RICH – since only they will be able to afford the more expensive medicines, treatments and procedures.
Payment to a company. This is the system most Americans are on. It enables them not only to SPREAD the cost of their health treatments – but enables poor people who require very EXPENSIVE treatments to get them. So great, then – RIGHT?
Not when you examine the pitfalls. First, most people’s health plan is tied to their employment. Big corporations get preferential rates (for bulk sales) and this enables them to add yet another method of controlling their employees to their list. A list that includes expense accounts, dental plans, company cars and private pensions. It’s like the “tied cottage” of old – quit your job and you lose EVERYTHING.
Health-care has NOTHING to do with employers – bring THEM into the loop and you KNOW you’re going to get SCREWED.
And what happens when you retire? Your last few years In This Place are statistically the most expensive, health-care-wise. Will you still be covered?
Then there’s the health-care company itself. It is a big CORPORATION – whose sworn duty is to DISALLOW as many claims as POSSIBLE. And they have many ways of doing this. Just read the small print – Experimental Procedures, Pre-Existing Conditions, etc.
Finally, what about those who work for small companies who cannot AFFORD health-care payments (having small numbers of employees, they don’t get the preferential rates) and worse still – the UNemployed (currently at least 10% of all Americans)?
Which brings us to – tax. The number one responsibility of any government of a civilised society (after GENUINE defence) is the collecting of taxes and the fair distribution of same, for “public services”.
These can be anything. In a decent society, they will at least include the things that people cannot pay for as they use them – education, health, sewage and street-lighting being obvious examples.
Whilst in a Communist state, they can include virtually EVERYTHING – from transport to housing.
But the more choice you remove from the people, the more TOTALITARIAN your government becomes. Plus your income tax will be ASTRONOMICAL – again, you get what you pay for.
However, health-care should ALWAYS be paid for by the GOVERNMENT and be available to ALL of its citizens (rich people can still pay for superior health-care if they choose).
There follows a couple of examples of why ONLY socialised medicine WORKS…
One: once upon a time, there were two men who both needed an expensive operation to save their LIVES. One was a poor but hard-working 37-year-old man. His health was good. He had a wife and two children – and ran a small business, employing one hundred people.
The other man was 74 years old. Rich, single and retired. His health had been battered by years of over-indulgence. His organs were shot and he would be lucky to see 77.
Under a commercial system, who would get the life-saving treatment? But under a state-run system…
Two: once upon a time, there was another poor, hard-working man. He too had a wife and two children – and worked as a locksmith. One day, the sight in his left eye disappeared. His doctor sent him to a specialist who told him there was a new experimental procedure which MIGHT save the eye.
It would entail micro-surgery and require several weeks in a hospital bed. The specialist mentioned it was a very EXPENSIVE operation – but only in passing, as they lived in a country with socialised medicine, thus the treatment would be free.
The man had the operation. His sight returned – but after two weeks, it disappeared again.
The specialist examined him and declared a SECOND operation still had a fair chance of success. The man had it – with the same result.
This time, the specialist declared that a third attempt had LITTLE chance of success. The man thanked him for trying and lived the rest of his life with – thankfully – ONE good eye.
And this story is TRUE – the man was my father.
But suppose he had lived in America? The treatment was experimental, so his insurance would not have covered it. And he could NEVER have afforded to pay for it. Imagine going through life WONDERING…
Or suppose he could JUST have afforded the FIRST treatment – by undergoing HARDSHIP? Or likewise, the second?
Of course, socialised medicine has its limitations. It can only be as good as the level of funding it receives. In Britain, the National Health Service began in 1947. But in those days, medical costs were LOW. The equipment now routinely used in the likes of “House” and “E.R.” was then the stuff of science fiction. Plus labour costs were much lower, too. And pills and potions.
If your organs failed, you were allowed to simply pass on. But now, using that battery of expensive machines, a CARROT can be kept alive for a hundred and fifty years.
Thus, COMMON-SENSE has to be used. Sure, we can perform medical miracles with EVERY citizen. But can we AFFORD to? No. Therefore, we MUST rely on bureaucrats to allocate resources FAIRLY. At least it’s better than leaving it up to some MONEY-GRUBBING CORPORATE EMPTY SUIT.
Americans, take note.