Let's make it real for you like it is for me. First of all, I want to say that I have health insurance. Actually, I have darn good health insurance. With my place of employment, I don't even have to pay a premium for coverage for me or my wife. I do have a deductible, but there is a mechanism built into my plan that frees money up to pay the deductible. So for me, there is no health coverage problem. However, as I have said in other posts about other things, it isn't about me.
My sister is in another place, however. As I wrote in NEWS FLASH #17 (from October 17), she ". . .STILL hasn't been granted "disabled" status although she has multiple physical problems that prevent her from walking much. Plus, she is in pain quite a bit and is an acute diabetic. She cannot work; she is going to lose her apartment (the power has already been cut off). She applied for disability two years ago and even has attorneys working on it. Now, she is sleeping on my mothers' couch. Because she isn't technically "disabled" yet, she also cannot get healthcare or consistently take her prescribed medications. She needs insulin twice a day, but she rations it. I am genuinely concerned about her future here on Earth."
Nothing has changed in her status after since I wrote this, except that she is sick now (as I mentioned in the most recent NEWS FLASH) on top of her other problems. Is she not deserving healthcare because she is unable to work and has $0 income? She does TRY to go to the clinic that is for poor and indigent people. Guess what? If she doesn't have the minimum of $16, they won't see her. We (my family) try to help as much as we can, but there are only so many resources we can draw from. I told her that we should put on her tombstone, "I didn't have the 16 bucks." This doesn't even cover any medication (like her insulin).
But that's okay; she isn't entitled to healthcare, that leaves more for the rest of us who are deserving, right? Besides, we are getting a little overcrowded here in America the way it is with the big influx of people from Mexico and such. Maybe we need these worthless people to die to make room. The good news is, according to the Institute of Medicine of the national academies (iom.edu), there are 18,000 unnecessary deaths in the US every year because of the lack of health coverage.
Oh, but isn't that better than (insert evil laugh here) SOCIALIZED MEDICINE? What is it that folks are afraid of? Is any aspect of socialism so scary that we want to make sure that no facet of life is tainted by it? Should we do away with public schools? If one can't pay to have his children be educated, then the children should just not get an education, right? We need people to have careers at McDonalds and others to spend their lives making sure that the grocery carts are returned to the store from the parking lot. Maybe we should hire our own police and fire departments. Why should the government supply these things? It is too socialized; it must be bad! Close the libraries and have all books come from bookstores. Maybe we can rent books like we do movies. That will make sure that the right people are educated - it will be only those that can afford to send their kids to elementary school.
Oh, but Jeff, what about all those pesky wait times in Canada? Our system is MUCH better than that.
There are so many ways to respond to this, it wasn't easy to determine which wayto list first.
1. The US is not Canada. We don't HAVE to do things exactly the way other countries do them. We can take the best aspects of others' systems and come up with our own - a better mousetrap.
2. I haven't heard a Canadian yet say that they would trade their system for ours. There are a number of Canadians who read my blog. Do I have any takers on that? Evidently, the Canadians value their "inferior" NHS because they haven't tried to change it and they voted its pioneer, Tommy Douglas, the greatest Canadian of all time.
4. Everyone in Canada has free healthcare. There are 40 to 50 MILLION uninsured Americans, according to the Center for Disease Control. Wait times for medical procedures are bound to be a heckuva lot shorter if 50,000,000 people jump out of line in front of you, no? Coversely, if you give 50 million more people Blue Cross/Blue Shield in this country, the wait times would be longer, no? So the argument about waiting times is not really against socialized medicine, it is about everyone being covered. What greed!
5. The wait times in Canada have been greatly exaggerated. According to the Canadian government, one can expect to wait four weeks for a specialist visit, three weeks for a diagnostic test, and four weeks for non-emergency surgery (like a knee or hip replacement). In addition, the waiting times for half the patients in emergency rooms were six minutes (six minutes to actually see the doctor) and 86% were seen within a half hour. This beats the heck out of anytime I have ever been to the emergency room here for myself or with a family member.
I know there are and will be some problems with a national healthcare system here in the states. I might have to wait a week or even a month longer to see a doctor about my knee or a skin condition. However, I would gladly wait a little longer if it meant that people like my sister would not needlessly suffer, and God forbid, DIE like 18,000 others will this year because of lack of health coverage. Wouldn't you?
THIS HAS BEEN REVISED BY INSERTING LINKS TO MY SOURCES. COMING SOON (probably next week because of holiday) THE GREAT HEALTHCARE DEBATE, PT II.