On Health Care

This is somewhat off topic from my usual posts, but it is something I feel rather strongly about. With the current US administration discussing socialized health care, the conservative critics are once again screaming that this would raise the cost, limit accessibility, stifle innovation, infringe on personal rights, yada yada.
Let me just say this:
Those in the US with scads of cash who can afford premium health care and premium insurance have access to some of the best medical care in the world. And the most expensive. These people are the minority. The majority of the population has access to public clinics, or limited-insurance sponsored clinics that get paid extra for not referring patients to the tests they need. Oh, and they can’t afford the outrageous cost of prescription meds, which can be many times the cost of the same meds in other countries.
Let me make a comparison with other state-operated social services, such as, say, police and fire departments.
Imagine the following scenario:
You get mugged at knifepoint, the thief steals your wallet and runs into an alley. You call for help, a policeman shows up, but refuses to help until you have paid up front. You protest that the whole point is that you just had your wallet stolen with all your money, and the thief is standing right over there. Still, he refuses to assist until a deposit is given.
Or imagine your house catches fire, you get your family out, the fire truck arrives, and the driver says they cannot begin until they are paid. You explain that your money is inside the burning house, and would they be able to bill you afterward. They could, says the fireman, but they would need some collateral. Like your house. Which is rapidly loosing value…
These same scenarios are panning out in emergency rooms and medical offices across the country. But it’s an issue of liberty. My ass.
Properly run healthcare is cheaper, with greater accessibility for more people. And as for innovation, most of it comes from research institutions (ie universities), not private medical offices.
These arguments are simply smokescreens from idealogues who are rabidly allergic to anything even remotely resembling socialism. But socilaized medicine is not communism. And if you think it is, well, we can just tell that to the police and fire departments as well the next time you run into trouble.

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