Friday, July 10, 2009

Socialized Medicine

This post is continued from my last one. I wish to clarify that I NEVER meant to imply that all unemployed people were lazy. Yes, indeed, there are hard-working people who cannot find jobs, and they are those I would number among the "unfortunate" who are deserving of medical help. I would also include single mothers among those less fortunate.

However, the unemployed in American do have Medicaid available. There are also laws in place that allow medical coverage for uninsured children. While this is a great blessing for many of these worthy people, the system is also rife with abuse. Too many people feel they are owed a living by the nameless rich. It’s a mind set that is far too casual among Americans today. They think, "That man has plenty, why shouldn’t I have it too? He should give it to me. Never mind that I haven’t worked hard or paid the price to get where he is today. I’ll vote for the government to make him give it to me." (Be it a house or a car or education or a trip or clothes.)

I see far too many children in this day and age who think this way. Is this because they were given too much by their parents? Did they ever learned the meaning of work and sacrifice? Sadly, studies have shown that poverty, reliance on the government, and a self of entitlement is often passed from parents to children. (I have known good people who were taught to believe they should have everything they need with no real effort on their part. Unfortunately, these same people also did not appreciate the sacrifice others make daily in the form of taxes so they could have that help.)

I’m reminded of the statement: "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach the man how to fish and you feed his entire village forever." Or something like that. This is how we need to approach any handout from any source.

Of course I’m NOT saying everyone who needs help has the self-entitlement attitude. Quite the contrary. Many work hard to obtain education, build business, and work long hours to give back to the community. I know this from personal experience, having gone through times in my life when I had next to nothing.

But back to medicine.

A terrible injustice has emerged in our county. Take the case of the woman who e-mailed me the letter advocating government health care (thus prompting my original post). Her husband works two jobs to support his family and to ensure that their autistic daughter gets the help she needs. Yet they are still sinking in medical bills, while several other families they see, who do not work at all, don’t try to maintain jobs, or are even in the country illegally, receive all the help they need through government programs. What kind of justice is that?

I agree that no child should ever die of cancer that could be helped with medical care, and autistic children deserve to receive all the care they need. But giving government even more power to control the system and our lives remains a danger I will never be willing to endorse. Most of the funds will, like in our school systems, go to pay highly paid administrators, leaving less available for real programs. I don’t know what the answer is, but I believe more government control is not moral or beneficial. We should control our own system, not look for "Big Brother" to take care of us to the point that we no long have any freedoms at all.

Government does have a rightful place in health care regulation, and I hope they step up to the plate, but more taxes, more socialist programs will only bring everyone to an overall lower level of care and lifestyle, with fewer people working to support the needs of everyone. Historically, socialism has NEVER worked in any country to any degree, and I don’t believe socialize medicine will fair much better.

One person on a comment below pointed to Canada as an example of nationalized health care. I’m happy she has been so fortunate to have the system working for her at present (or that she and her family have been healthy enough that no grave problems have arisen). And I will agree that Canada’s system has some advantages, but there are also huge problems--especially for those who have certain medical problems. For instance, there is a huge dearth of doctors. On the link below I read that "57% of Canadians reported waiting 4 weeks or more to see a specialist; 24% of Canadians waited 4 hours or more in the emergency room." Many other sites claim that Canada’s infant death rate increased after switching to government health care.

In England, who also has a socialized medical program, disabled children must wait 5 months to 2 years for a wheelchair.

Waiting for a wheelchair? Four weeks to see a doctor? More babies dying? That’s crazy. And then there’s the huge problem that the FREE MARKET DEVELOPS MOST of the drugs and medical advances. If government takes over, all that suffers. In any application, free market equals better inventions and procedures. Period. Whether you’re talking communications, oil drilling, or mail delivery.

For instance, I’ve read that in Canada if I wasn’t approved for a procedure, I couldn’t even pay for it because it’s illegal, even if that care could greatly increase my quality of life.

In the first link below it says, "A February 28, 2006 article in The New York Times stated, ‘Accepting money from patients for operations they would otherwise receive free of charge in a public hospital is technically prohibited in this country, even in cases where patients would wait months or even years before receiving treatment . . . Canada remains the only industrialized country that outlaws privately financed purchases of core medical services.’ "

So why are people trying to pay for these services in Canada? Because they feel they CAN’T wait for the services, or they want the doctor or hospital with the lower mortality rate for whatever operation they need. Who wouldn’t? Choosing a doctor carefully could mean the difference between life and death. Delays could mean death, or at the very least, months of suffering.

America, for all its faults, has some of the best doctors and treatments in the world, due to the free market. I want that for my family. I will work midnights at a grocery store to pay for it, or take in baby-sitting, clean houses—whatever, but I want that right. I’m not willing to risk my family to government care. I want to choose what procedures my family needs and when they should have them. Socialize medicine may help some families, but I remain unconvinced that the benefits would outweigh the negatives. In the end, you’d still have people paying for the "better" care and people dying because they didn’t get good enough care fast enough.

And yes, Christ wants us to take care of our neighbors. As I said in my post, many of us give thousands and thousands of dollars a year, sometimes at great personal sacrifice, to help others. This money goes straight to those in need. If taxes increase to cover nationalized medicine and that money is sent to the government instead, a high percentage of the funds will pay for expensive desks, traveling expenses, and highly paid administrators. So they’ll ask for more money, and more, until the small businessman goes out of business and then he and all his employees have to have help from the government, until finally there is no one else to tax. That will mean an even bigger recession than the one we are experiencing now.

Health care, government, education, taxes--everything is tied together. We MUST not depend on government to save us, but get out there and do what we can to better our own situation and help our neighbors as much as we can. Hard work is the answer, and charity to our brothers and sisters. Charity with should be kept in the hands of honest and private companies, like churches and other charities, not given to corrupt government. It’s too easy to be wasteful with the money of others.

Again, there are no easy answers. To that I believe everyone will agree. In a perfect world everyone on every economic scale would have access to the best medical care. But don’t look to government to create this utopia because it will simply never happen. I respect and invite other opinions, but we will probably have to agree to disagree.

As I stated before, my heart goes out to anyone suffering from diseases and medical problems. I hope you get the help you need.

Rachel

Some sites I quoted here:
http://kevincolby.com/2008/06/27/the-canadian-healthcare-system-and-its-problems/
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/sergeman/issues/healthcare/socialized.html (a list of links that show how government medicine has HURT people)

2 comments:

  1. Oh Rachel, you just about have me in tears - and I *don't* cry! I could not agree more with everything you wrote, and appreciate your thorough research. We are living below poverty levels, in a mobile home, with 3 kids and one on the way. My husband has 1 year left to go in school, and we struggle to pay lot rent. As much as I would appreciate knowing I have the safety net of "free" (lol) health care, I cannot justify or support this new health care deal. There is no way to pay for it without UNethical financial enslavement to generations to come, and no justification for giving the government any more control over the private sector, which they have shown no evidence of prior success. It just makes no sense. And nowhere in our Nation's Founding documents does it say anything about it being the government's responsibility to take care of its people, besides their unalienable rights. Health care is not a right. It is a blessing. "Even in the Bible" it says to care for the poor, but to my recollection it says nothing about Ceasar caring for the poor. It says to seek help from family, then church, community, and finally government. Americans are *the* most giving country in the world. Sorry, I don't have the stats, but I've seen it reported time and time again.

    I feel sad that that sweet woman misunderstood your words. I know people in her situation, and they work hard to make ends meet and progress their families. But how unfortunate, that in her case, the exception of a few needing desperate help would be turned into class warfare on the hard working, ingenuitive, inspired and successful. I really feel for all involved. One more way the Constitution gets to hang by a thread, as it gets spun into something it never was.

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  2. Thanks Jen. You are exactly right. You know, sometimes I think people get so caught up in trying to be equal and obtaining what they want right this minute, that they lose site of everything else. I'm very worried about the direction our government is taking.

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