Nationalized Healthcare

Author's Note: I Changed My Mind

It is important to be truthful, and although this is one of my favorite hubs, I must declaratively state that I no longer believe in one of the main arguments I stated in this hub. One of my leading arguments for the endorsement of a nationalized health care system is compassion. However, I have come to believe strongly that compassion is a tool used by those who want to take away individual freedom and the rights granted to each American as established during the early days of this nation. I believe freedom is more important, because social reforms ultimately become tools of oppression. Individual freedom is what made this country great, and it needs to be defended to the death, or we will lose it. It may be too late already.

I am not sure about the McCain health insurance plan, it would seem the best compromise we can get in a system that takes away your money and your right to spend it. It is the love child of nationalized health care and the preservation of individual rights, something both the Left and the Right can possibly live with. I have a feeling that as I understand more, I may not agree with a McCain style health insurance policy, but this is where I stand now. Feel free to comment on this foreword as well as the hub or separately in the comment section below.

Much Needed Health Care Reform

Although doctors, patients and the uninsured do not collectively agree or disagree on nationalized health care, one thing is clear: our current system comes woefully short of covering the needs of every US citizen. It is incompassionate and lacks any kind of focus when it comes to providing fair health care benefits to the general population. A secondary issue which cannot be separated from the idea of nationalized health care is whether or not it is fair and right to cover the dregs and unfortunate of society.

The problem with our current system is that even though the US spends more than any other country on health care, (13.9% of GDP in 2001 compared to 9.4% in Canada and 7.6% in the UK), 20% of the population or 43 million people are uninsured. That is because the US government pays subsidies to employers to provide health care, funds programs that take care of the elderly, disabled and minors of families that cannot afford insurance, but does not cover people that do not fall into disabled, minor or elderly categories, and who do not receive medical benefits through their employers nor can afford to pay for their own. In most other developed countries, some form of socialized medicine successfully takes care of the health needs of all their citizens and does not negatively impact the economy. In fact, it's cheaper and more efficient.

Two chief arguments exist against a nationalized health care system. Opponents fear greater government control over the freedoms of participants since if one wants health care, being under a government run health care system will be compulsory. The second objection is that everyone will be paying into the system and those that do not work, those that cannot resolve their own health issues such as drug or alcohol addiction, will get a free ride. This is true. But this second objection is not a good enough reason to reject national health care, too many people who should receive health care and currently do not, would benefit. Not only that, we are already paying higher premiums as an indirect result of uninsured health care recipients, since most patients that use emergency services can never be forced to pay because they have no money in the first place.

The issue of too much government control can easily be sidestepped by implementing McCain's plan for health care reform. Mainly, to take the current money spent on national health care in the form of employer subsidies and distribute that to individuals across the board. A new system of regulation would have to be put in place of course, the potential for abuse will exist simply because it will be a completely new infrastructure designed to give indirect payouts to users. But this system would be the best of both worlds and wholly appropriate to the American way of life: minimal government control while maintaining a free market and healthy competition.

It is important to give Americans the freedom to choose the best insurance and who their health care provider will be, while ensuring that everyone has a chance to seek medical care when they need it. In fact, except for the way health care insurance is funded, we are already under a form of national health care since tax payers are already paying into it. The problem is how the funding for that health care is distributed. Even under the McCain health plan, not everyone's needs would be met, since without guaranteed coverage, even the best funding distribution plan couldn't possibly cover the needs of every participant.

If we were to evaluate the "freedom" argument a little more, we would have to admit that in the purest sense, any form of government health care is un-American. So for those that argue against nationalized health care, they should be arguing against any kind of government funded health care, period - meaning the eradication of the current health care system. But in a developed and industrialized nation such as ours, it would be morally reprehensible to let people suffer and die just because we would rather pay for luxuries like mochas and SUVs. Of course, that's exactly the state of affairs today, with the exception that at least 80% of Americans are covered in one way or another. However, if we don't buy that next mocha or couch, what would we do with that money to benefit the disadvantaged? There are no sure ways to help the unfortunate for long term medical needs without there being some kind of large scale organization to control and distribute that kind of help. National health care is the answer that will allow everyone to get treatment and less people or even none will slip through the cracks.

National health care, socialized medicine or single payer health care, whatever you want to call it, is more compassionate. More importantly, it will elevate the quality of life for everyone. Recipients of socialized health care, living under socialist governments, complain of heavy taxation and too much regulation. But the amounts taken out of our paychecks, not just taxes but everything else as well, are very similar to taxes taken out of paychecks in socialist countries. The problem with America is that it can not decide which way to go. She has one foot in the land of socialist reform, and the other resistant foot firmly entrenched in the traditional capitalist America.

It would seem that progress dictates greater regulation for the benefit of any country as a whole. If we want to keep the old ways, that's fine, but then we have to decide to abandon all of our socialist ways. Seatbelt and helmet laws are the end result of the current American health care system, where those that do not ride motorcycles or do wear seatbelts end up paying for the health care of those that decided to exercise their right to be stupid and not wear a helmet or seatbelt. Of course this is only an excuse for the left to argue for more restrictive laws that limit personal freedom. And that is the crux of the matter. Are we going to continue moving forward, or are we going to waffle in indecision about losing our traditional free market ways? Although the allure of total freedom is a powerful siren, in a country this advanced and powerful, it is negligent not to care about the welfare of our neighbors, whoever and whatever they may be.

Consider the military, a socialistic organization. Every member gives an oath of obedience to their superiors and ultimately the commander-in-chief and swear allegiance to the Constitution. This makes the military the most efficient organization especially when compared to civilian models such as small businesses and corporations, because members are willing to give up some freedoms not only to defend America, but also to receive benefits unheard of in the civilian world. All their housing, medical and education needs are taken care of. Financially, the military model is not appropriate to the argument for socialized medicine because its very purpose demands a humongous budget. The point is that the very organization that defends America, a capitalist economy that boasts of its democratic way of life, is for the purpose of efficiency, a socialist type organization.

A big problem with nationalized health care is morality. The biggest issue that comes to mind is abortion. If you believe that abortion is murder, and abortion can be carried out legally under government run health care, each and every tax payer becomes complicit in paying for abortions all across the country. Abortion is murder, but the problem is not nationalized health care, but rather the law that allows it. That’s where the real fight is. It is not nationalized health care that causes abortions, but whether or not we permit it. This is a very tricky issue, because we will have to ask ourselves, do we permit only those abortions that are deemed necessary for the survival of the mother, or do we allow government funded abortions to occur for the sake of convenience? If we do it right, we should not fund medical care that does not directly endanger the health of the patient. This is true for any care received from medical facilities. Do we teach abstinence or condoms? Neither. We can teach the dangers of sex with multiple partners including the dangers of sex with same sex partners, and leave it up to the patients to decide whether they want to use condoms which are not a hundred percent effective, or if they want to practice abstinence. We do not need to teach about either method. Focus on treatment instead of morality. Doctors prioritize treatment in the ER according to need, not personal bias, (think gangbanger versus car accident victim). The medical community can apply the same clinical detachment to morality issues. This will be harder than it sounds, most medical care workers will balk at not teaching compromising forms of protection because of their personal beliefs, but with fierce regulation it is possible to make it fair for everyone, religious or not.

Paying into the current health care system is already compulsory, via taxes. Therefore it would be no change if a single payer system were established to replace today's inadequate and unfair distribution of tax subsidies. Ultimately though, some version of McCain's plan for health care would be an excellent compromise, allowing 43 million people to obtain health insurance that currently can not afford it, and probably the best solution for a country that prides itself on its democratic processes, capitalist economy and personal freedom. For a nation that straddles the fence between the benefits of socialism or freedom from the burden of an overbearing government, the McCain plan is best. For a system that covers the needs of every citizen and permanent resident, is the most complete and most compassionate, and is supported by more than half of doctors nationwide, national health care is the answer. Either way, our health care system today is unfair and inept. A form of universally beneficial health care is the answer.

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Comments 49 comments

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Wow! what a well thought out argument.You should be in politucs. Lack of healthcare is a great gap in this countrie's way of life. Medical fees here are horrendous and can bankrupt the uninsured. Well done and thank you.


gypsy willow 7 years ago

I was being a little flippant! You are far too intelligent to be one anyway!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Ha ha! Well I am young and niaive.


Miller 7 years ago

You failure to distinguish between Health Care and Health Care Insurance. Most of the 45 million un-insured are transient and are without insurance for less than a year. Yes, the best most innovative health care is expensive, but much of it is directly do to lack of Tort reform and the exhorbanent cost of mal-practice insurance, thanks to people like John Edwards and trial attorneys who by the way all contribute largely to the democrat party exclusively. Additionally, allowing the government further control will result in significantly greater inefficiancy and fraud--look at every other government program--waste and fraud. And go figure...the beaurocrats won't be in the same system as us...they'll have their own private program. Why don;t all of you in favor of socialized medicine DEMAND that the politicians MUST place themselves and live under the very same rules that they make for everyone else! They are laughing at you, there laughing at me, they are being allowed to make laws for us to live by, and at the same time, they give themselves a little different program that you or I would choose in second---one set of rules for the privelaged ELITE in government, and one set of rules for the un-washed masses. But none of you people care...your willing to give up individual freedoms (for which many great men gave their very lives) for the empty promise of a government who cares more about securing power and paying off constituencies. Remember, you read it right here: some day you will all awaken from your Obama daydream and realize that he has stolen all of your (our) money, all of our rights, and all of what 'Hope' used to stand for: the inalienable rights granted to us by God, and radified by George Washington and many others.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

It was not my intention to distinguish between care and insurance. The very word insurance is actually in opposition to the idea of socialized medicine, so that "failure" isn't even an issue to consider if you're a proponent of nationalized healthcare.

Yes, government control is dangerous, and you're right, corrupt politics has a good chance of ruining a good system, but that is not a good enough reason to refuse medical service to people who need it when the money is being spent anyway, right now. The current insurance coverage is a half-baked solution where you must be employed and your employer may offer healthcare or not. You need a job, so how can you refuse their offer? And then you don't get proper coverage if you're a blue collar worker.

Can you direct me to the material that proves that the 43 million in question only lack coverage for a little while? But I will say that 43 million - or any number of people without healthcare for any amount of time is unacceptable. In the current setup, it infers that if you are not a child or handicapped, you don't deserve healthcare. The statistics I pulled stated that those without healthcare work full time and fall between the cracks, I didn't see any reference to their work situations being transitory as the report stated that many individuals, (young adults - 18 to 24, middle aged to older - 45 to 64), did not have a source of "usual" healthcare and 1 out of 5 people in 2005 reported not having insurance for part of a 12 month period before being interviewed with the majority being uninsured for more than 12 months. Here is one of 14 sources I used, this one being applicable the information I just gave: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/07newsreleases/h...

You may not have noticed, but I am pro-life, and if you take a look at my profile page, you will see that I am mostly a conservative and even a W. Bush supporter. I do not like Obama, but he is making a few good decisions, and I am grateful for that. Thank you for your comment, it gave me a chance to elaborate and strengthen my argument a little more.


eovery profile image

eovery 7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

in the 20% uninsured, how many of them elect not to get insurance, because it is cheaper for them not to.  A lot of medical places give discounts to the non-insured. 

Obama already said he is cutting medicare, so that proves that they can't provide good service to those they already have, let alone take on the rest of the USA. Nationalized health care will mean reduce health coverage.

Also, can I elect not to participate in it, and pay for my own health coverage or medical bills?

Keep on Hubbing!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Hi eovery, thanks for the comment and adding to the information and thoughts in my hub. I do agree we should be able to opt out of medical care if we wish, and that is a huge fear on the conservative side - that the government will control how we should live by dictating what health care is "required".

I did not know that Obama is cutting health care. I feel that the Democrats would generally be the wrong party to implement this because they often place the burden on the people, but they are the only ones who would want to implement nationalized health care!

Generally, the statistics mentioned above about people who cannot obtain health care do want it, but can not afford it.

The difficulty in this issue is not compassion, but the fear that this will lead America to socialism or even communism. I don't think socialism is bad - it works in some countries, but with the corruption here, it would probably never work. So a good in between solution would be McCain's health care plan. Apparently he is still trying to get that started, but I have had some difficulty finding up to date information on it. With his plan, there would be no increase in taxes or bureaucracy and the money intended for the people would be distributed to everyone instead of through employers. That is probably the best solution for America.


A Texan 7 years ago

Socialism wouldn't work here because of corruption? Socialism wont work here because it doesn't really work anywhere, some would argue that the Swiss are making socialism work but it is actually combining capitalism and socialism and it will work temporarily! Eventually the natural order of things wins out and people want to keep what they earn!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

With all due respect, I think you have some great things to say as I have seen other comments you posted on Hubpages, but you are repeating the same lines that every other die hard conservative repeats when I have discussions with them: "just look at Canada," or just look at the UK." Ok, so what? There are positives and negatives with both systems, but at least in those countries, everyone has the same right to get the healthcare they are paying for. Here, we ALL pay into the system, but 45 mil, (give or take a million), do not have it and not by choice either. We are at the mercy of our employers, and those that are not employed are basically screwed. When cancer patients can't get the treatment they need because the hospital can't make their profit, that's the most filthy disgusting thing in a country this rich.

Socialism and socialized medicine probably won't work here and for an example, just look at the greed exemplified in American politics. What we need is a system truly for the people, with the option for faster care if you want to pay for it. But it is abysmal when a poor person gets passed over for lifesaving treatment in favor of someone with more money.

Thank you for your comment A Texan, but I would like to see the actual facts and statistics and be able to compare them to the system here before I start repeating conservative rhetoric. Yes, there are problems in Canada and the UK, but there are plenty of examples that it does work pretty darn well and a whole lot better than here in countries like Holland.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

The logical thinker, empowered with factual historical observation, is highly skeptical of government’s ability to handle health care.

Of the 45.6 million uninsured Americans:

45.60 million (Total uninsured)

- 9.40 million (Non-citizens)

-16.04 million (>$50,000 annual income)

- 6.28 million (temporarily uninsured)

-------

13.88 million (Uninsured Americans who "can't afford" health care)

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/08/24/how-many-uni...

Obama says, "46 million Americans (15.33%) need our help!" Truth says, "14 million Americans (4.67%) NEED our help." The bloated number serves Obama’s agenda and you buy it. We have a problem. He knows it. He knows we see it. But, more importantly...he knows we DON’T understand it.

We need health care reform but government IS NOT the way. Government is best if left responsible for ONLY National Defense and Police.

Food for thought:

I track my expenses on a spreadsheet. I paid 47.336% of my income in taxes last year AFTER my return. I make less than $30,000. I'm a home owner, married, have a child and I don’t smoke or buy luxury items. But, even after all deductions...half my hard-earned wages go to the government, an entity that, if it were an automobile, would fall short of the fuel efficiency of a Lamborghini Murcielago that’s overdue for an oil change. It is LUDICROUS to support anything that puts more of our country's needs in the hands of the government.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Logical Brain, thanks very much for chiming in. I wrote this article way before anyone knew about Obama's health care plan, and my own research from various online sources indicate that around 43 to 45 million people WANT health care but can't afford it.

Generally I agree that government run health care in America is the wrong way to go, but the stigma against socialized medicine is misplaced, and actually enjoys success in some European countries. Depending on who you talk to, health care is actually better in the UK and Canada, and it seems to me what people here oppose so much is that in a country with socialized medicine, it is less likely an individual gets preferential treatment because they have money.

My belief that socialized medicine is not a bad way to go stems from compassion. I would happily pay a higher tax if it meant that not just me, but all of my fellow human beings received good care.

A friend of mine recently observed that despite America's religious background, it is the most Darwinian society in the world compared to other civilized nations. What a contradiction in terms.

However, I do sympathize with your experience concerning taxes. There is no doubt we are paying to much, some of which is due to double-tax, and we are most certainly not benefiting from that over-taxation. This is exactly why I will agree that socialized medicine is the wrong way to go in America - this land is rife with political corruption.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

Alexander, your "various online sources" are twisted to suit a political agenda. The only part of my comment you accurately read seems to be my name in order to type it into your response. Read. Follow the link. Get the facts.

The correct number is 14 million US citizens. Fix your hub or you’re aiding and abetting propaganda. You will find many links and analysis to support that number. You will also then be the hubber with the accurate article...unless I beat you to it.

14 million is still serious. The point is not the denial of severity, it's accuracy.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

"My belief...stems from compassion."

Compassion does not logically lead to trusting the government. It leads to voluntary charity.

http://www.shrinershq.org/Shrine/

http://nyp.org/volunteer/index.html

http://www.lds.org/library/page/display/0,7098,643...

Donations made to the LDS Humanitarian Aid fund have a 100% pass-through*, by the way. I’m compassionate but, I’m more careful about which numbers and what bodies of people I trust. What really needs to happen? Abolish ALL social programs.

“WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! You’re not sounding so logical, Brian.”

If the government is in it you grease palms to begin it. Donate to charity and vote to reduce government. Anything else is just not logical.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Coming from the UK to live in the USA was difficult. In the UK the health care is free and if you have a problem and you want to skip the queues you top up with BUPA. My health insurance here costs a fortune and still their is "Copay" to find. If you had benefited from National Health Schemes like the ones in the UK or France you would not fight it. How much did it cost you to have your baby? In the Uk it is fully covered. I see your point about the government but having kids who can't afford health insurance as students I just pray they stay healthy. A friend of mine died as she couldn't afford the chemo that may have kept her alive. Way to go America!

Incidentally I have stopped donating to charity after 9/11 when I discovered that the children's charity I donated to was a front for funds to Al Quaida. I think A M's hub is a good one and shows compassion.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Gypsy, thanks very much for chiming in, you prove that a national health care system works better than the clunky system we have here. And thanks also for the kind comment toward this hub!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Logical Brian, I will first respond to the post with the link you urged me to re-read. I took a second look at that link. The first time I saw it I thought it was fluff and at your request, I looked at it a second time and gave it serious consideration. There is a total lie in that article you linked. It claims that on the PDF from the Census Bureau it distinguishes between citizens and illegal immigrant residents. It does no such thing. It lists the statistics of non-citizens, and it does not state that any census was taken from illegal immigrant residents. In any case, I did not read on. It is a waste of time to search for truth when the source is unreliable.

It would also be idiotic to assume that legal residents who do not hold citizenship but do pay taxes should be exempted from the total numbers of uninsured people in America.

Furthermore, is it up to you and me to judge that because a family income exceeds a certain level that they should be left out in the cold? What if they have a grandmother who is dying from cancer and they are spending their last dime to get her life-saving treatment? If we had a system that covered those kinds of needs, there would be no problem. And saying that some people are only temporarily uninsured is like saying that those people will only have to risk not getting sick for a short period of time, because thankfully, accidents, disease and other health problems never occur during that timespan.

Even if you or I could decide that a family or individual with the right level of income should pay for their own health care, it could still be impossible for them to get affordable insurance because they have pre-existing conditions or hereditary health issues like heart problems. Do you really think this is fair?

So 43 - 46 million is accurate enough to describe people who want and can't get health care insurance.

Reduced government in my opinion is not going to help people to become more charitable, especially not in this day and age, so people will suffer. Yes, the American government has a lot of corruption in it, but I think at this point in history, I trust the government more than most other organizations. How about returning control of the government back to the people instead? Logic dictates that the more a society grows, the more it needs guidance and order imposed on it. Balance is needed, not radicalism.

By the way, I should have posted these links in my hub, but I'll put them here now. You'll be surprised to find that there are conservative minded sites included in this list. I strive to be balanced in my research in order to get a clear picture. Here they are:

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba629

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/medicarehealthinsura...

http://decision.healthcare.com/obama-mccain/

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN31432035200803...

http://www.familydoctormag.com/doctors-office/194-...

http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/894.cf...

http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/bg2263...

http://www.medhunters.com/articles/healthcareInThe...

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/07newsreleases/h...

I have thoughtfully examined your comments, followed the links and responded as asked. Please take a little time to examine my "biased" websites.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

Alexander, thank you for catching that site. I hope I haven't diluted my ability to make a point.

I want it to be clear that I too want health care reform. The problem in the US is cost. Representative Paul Ryan addresses this issue in "The Patients' Rights Act". http://www.house.gov/ryan/PCA/

Why do people expect "Obamacare" (I say Obamacare to quickly identify, not to be condescending) to be solvent where medicare and social security are going bankrupt?

Again, my argument is not against health care reform. My argument is against government run health care.

Social security, medicare...they become insolvent and now the government needs a new foundation to keep them afloat. Have we learned from the Social Security? Medicare? It sounds good to support those in need. It feels good. But, is the government up to the task? I think you'd be hard pressed to defend that notion.

Please look at Representative Paul Ryan's 'Patients' Rights Act'. Rep Ryan has done a lot of work in his 10 years in Washington and the PRA addresses the needs of the people while also rolling back the HUGE burden social programs have become in the US.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Nothing like the HUGE burdens the wars in the Middle East have cost us. It would probably have funded a very nice little healthcare program. Brian I think you are writing from the point of view of someone who can afford the inflated health insurance in the USA. You are alright Jack, sorry, Brian


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

Gypsy, stereotyping somebody opposed to one brand of reform is unbecoming of somebody as bright and interesting as you are.

My wife and I have no cable-TV, haven't eaten out since I was unemployed almost a year ago and have only gone to the movies on gift cards from our family. We afford our living because we put necessity above luxury. Our meager income falls short of many who "can't afford health care".

The "inflated health insurance in the USA" is hampered by lawyers and government. I agree that it's too high but, government run health care will be insolvent and will only further the bankrupting of our economy. The existence of private health care in the UK is proof that your system is falling short. I see a better answer.

Please read the links I offered above and see what kind of health care reform I believe in.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Hi Brian, sorry if I have upset you. Times are very tough and having a child, delightful and fulfilling as that is, is very expensive. I can only speak from experience. I didn't have and couldn't afford private health insurance in the UK but I knew that if any one in the family had a health problem we would be treated for free. Private health insurance allowed you to jump queues which is a questionable privilege anyway. The system in the USA sucks and is beyond affordable. Only the well off are safe.

I will read your links but I havent done so yet. Good luck to you and your family and I hope you get a well paying job soon. Good health to you as well.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Logical, thanks for that link. I love this guy, and what he proposes actually sounds very similar to McCain's plan. I didn't understand all of it so I will have to watch it again and peruse the other links. I see that you, Gypsy and I have our hearts in the same place.

I hate the argument of "fairness" because it dilutes the issue. Very few people can afford health care out of pocket, but we can all have it if we pay into a big pot, so all we need is a system that streamlines that process. Ryan may have the answer we need, and that answer will still allow Americans to stay free. That is the crux of the argument, not basic human rights. This is probably where I differentiate with my liberal friends, because for me, it is more important that we retain our freedom than giving up control. I honestly don't worry about the idea of socialized medicine destroying that freedom except in America where politics is mostly about greed (in my opinion), but Ryan's plan is the best thing for Americans.

That might convince me not to immigrate to Canada or back to Holland where I am from. (Yeah, I'll have a hard time there because I love W. but I can live with it).

Gypsy, thanks for that link, that is totally worth reading - a very poignant reminder of people truly suffering for their art. Simply awful.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

You hit the nail on the head, Alexander. We three do have the same desires and the same observations. The leap that many people are recklessly taking is to jump from valid observations to illogical plans.

VALID OBSERVATION: The US health care system is too expensive, so much that many middle to lower income families will be bankrupt by costs encountered therein.

VALID OBSERVATION: We need to pursue a path that reduces the cost of health care in the US which will make it more available as well.

RECKLESS LEAP: The government should take control of the health care industry in order to force down cost and provide health care for all.

The problem with the leap that many are making is that they aren't considering the solution as a whole. What evidence do we have of the government's ability to manage 17% of our economy? That's a huge amount. Many are happy with medicare, right? But, it's not solvent. It's on the verge of bankruptcy. USPS is deeply in the red. Social Security is crashing and burning.

I have very little time to hub but when I get spare moments (and I'm not responding to something like this) I put together hubs that will bring to light many truths that are hidden by the biases of BOTH SIDES. My goal is truth, as you will read in my "BIO". My means to that end is logic.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Hi Brian Your second observation should read "Make it available to all who need it" otherwise you have got it just about right!


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

A sound suggestion, Gypsy.


Logical Brian profile image

Logical Brian 6 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

I must urge you to provide sources, Alexander. I was just reading your article again and I don't see a single citation.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

I put all the links to my sources in a comment above, were they not what you were looking for? Those were the sources I used for the arguments for and against nationalized health care and a little bit about the McCain alternative.

My point in all this is that conservatives jump on the "socialized medicine is bad" band wagon without having all the facts, and if one chooses to look around, they can find plenty of evidence to the contrary.

The best argument against Obama-care is freedom. But the benefits of national health care are too enormous to ignore.

But you came up with a better idea via Rep. Paul Ryan, which is similar to the McCain plan. That's what America needs, because national health care would become corrupted by politics as soon as it was implemented.


maggiemae profile image

maggiemae 6 years ago

I am a Canadian so I have all the benefits of a one payer health care system. Unfortunately I have two sons living in the USA. I worry about them.

All I know is that the cost of health care is not something we have to worry over. However, we do experience waits for procedures, and we know people who have a problem finding a personal physician. We live in a rural area so we have to travel to an urban centre if we have to see specialists or have certain tests done.

No system is without problems, but some of the rumors that circulated about our health system were untrue. The politicians played upon voter fear of the unknown.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for chiming in, fantastic to get a Canadian perspective. A balanced view from someone who lives in that system. Like you say, not perfect, but you worry about your kids who are living in the "better" American system (those are sarcastic quotes). At this point, I think I still prefer a single payer system, which Obama's health care is not, the new health care bill just forces everyone to buy insurance which they can't afford in the first place.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

This is still the best hub on Health Care in the USA. I know where maggiemae is coming from.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

"It is incompassionate and lacks any kind of focus when it comes to providing fair health care benefits to the general population."

A system cannot have compassion. A system imposed by the federal government cannot have compassion. A system imposed by the federal government that doesn't even cover federal employees cannot have compassion.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

"If we were to evaluate the "freedom" argument a little more, we would have to admit that in the purest sense, any form of government health care is un-American. So for those that argue against nationalized health care, they should be arguing against any kind of government funded health care, period -"

Bingo. The federal government should not be paying for anyone's health care. QED


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

nicomp, thanks for reading and commenting. Maybe I need to evaluate what I wrote, but in short, socialized healthcare would cover everyone. And are you saying that government employees are not covered? And I would argue that systems are meant to be compassionate, the problem with systems is that they turn into a system that pours money into politician's and bureaucrat's pockets. But then ALL systems get abused. I'm on the fence a bit as you may be able to tell, but we would probably be better off if we had never had socialized anythings in America. It used to be individuals and churches that provided help to those that needed it.

As for your second comment, I side with you today because the way Obama set it up is that it is a requirement to get it, and the irony is that people who could not afford it before, will be forced to pay for it. This makes me so mad because it completely defeats the purpose of mandated health care insurance for all. We are probably better off without it.

Thanks for making me rethink, appreciate the comments.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

You'll get no argument that 'systems' are supposed to be compassionate, but by definition they cannot be compassionate. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something. Imagine the DMV: that's a public system.

Keep in mind that this so-called compassionate system will not apply to federal employees, the entire state of Hawaii, and the McDonald's Corporation. All these entities have been legislated out of the system or granted waivers after the fact.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Ugh, the more I learn, the more I hate it.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

Here in Quebec we have mixed results. In my life, my access to healthcare has been minimal and for the most part, when I have needed it, it has been reasonably quick, of high quality, and of course free. I pay in my income tax the expenses of the health care system, but I think it is worth it. As you say, no one is left out here and that is invaluable.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thank Phil for telling us how it is up there! I notice that most Canadians when they comment on healthcare, they seem pretty satisfied with the insurance set up. It is certainly imperfect but it sounds like a better solution than here.


jandee profile image

jandee 5 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

Did I read right ! Somebody said Socialism in the U.K ?


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

eh?

.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

AM - Your Hub was balanced, reasonable, compassionate and above all not partisan. You clearly believe that compassion and care is more important that a particular political party and I appreciate that.

Your arguments and suggestions are excellent. And it is crazy that people are going without basic medical care in a country this rich. Anyone who understands basic economics knows about "economies of scale."

If everyone were covered, costs should stabilize. And as you pointed out we already(through our taxes) pay for the Hospital ER visits of those who have no insurance coverage.

ER care is horrendously expensive. Get a broken arm x-rayed and set by your family physician and it will cost between 150 and 200 dollars. The same treatment in an ER will be far in excess of 1000 dollars.

You have done an excellent job responding to all the comments. One last thought, I am amazed at how few people draw the obvious analogy between health care coverage and car accident coverage (insurance)or homeowner's insurance for that matter.

We are required by law to have insurance on our vehicles, no matter how wealthy we are or how safely we think we drive. Insurance is a way of spreading the costs out across all individuals. Mandating or insisting on a system that provides basic medical care for everyone is the same type of system.

Our retirement system is a a socialized system, our provision for car insurance is a socialized system. Why is there such hysteria when anyone mentions a national health care system or something along the lines of McCain or Ryan? It seems to me that those who rush to apply the "socialist" or "communist" label are being manipulative and using hot button terms to obscure the issues at hand.

Thank you for all the effort you put into this Hub and your comments.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

I very much appreciate that this hub is not construed as partisan, it wasn't meant to be of course, I think that the issue of nationalized healthcare, although very political, really is a separate issue from politics because it is more immediate. No good doctor would refuse to treat someone in need, irregardless of whether they had money or not, and most of us could not be so cold hearted to turn a person in need away. I think both lefts, rights and middles all feel this way.

I had no idea that it was 1000 dollars to go to the ER for a broken arm! That's disgusting.

Your comparison to other types of insurance is right on, although I most certainly do not agree with being forced to carry insurance on my own property, whether it is a car or a house, one does wonder why medical insurance is such a hot button topic.

When it comes to these things, I am a Libertarian, and I think the federal government needs to stay out of it, but our current medical system is ridiculous and a more nationalized system makes sense. It works pretty well in Canada, and although Canadians point out some flaws in the system, they are much more secure knowing they can go to the hospital if they need something and not worry about being in debt for the rest of their lives.

The costs of medical care are outrageous, and we definitely need a more socialized system to deal with it. Medical school isn't cheap and it takes a lot of effort to get through, plus residency and the massive amount of responsibility that doctors must bear, they deserve to earn more money, but the only way that is sustainable is if we have a national system in place to spread those costs out.

I don't believe in forced socialism, but I do think we should be held responsible for our actions. One thing that disturbs me about any kind of mandatory insurance is that it doesn't really help the people that it is intended for. For example, I was rear-ended years ago, and I had a bent bumper. No big deal. But the other guy was not carrying insurance.

Guess what happened. My insurance company did not pursue the matter because their repair estimate ran under the deductible, and the city or county who most certainly fined the owner of the vehicle for not having insurance, never made sure that I got paid for the damage. I was too busy and to ignorant to know what to do, and naturally I ended up with a bent bumper that I could not afford to fix. And if I can't afford to fix it, I most certainly did not have the resources to sue the owner of the other vehicle.

My point is that if the government mandates something, they should also be held accountable to uphold the rules they make so that we are getting what we are supposed to get. I fear a forced national healthcare system, but if we use what we already have (paying taxes into medical care funds currently only distributed to employers that participate) and distribute that fairly on an individual basis, we should have enough for everyone to be able to pay for insurance. If we don't, the government should pay for the rest.

We could also have a system where you can opt out completely, or sign up for national healthcare or sign up for your own insurance or pay cash :-) But if you need to go to a hospital for treatment, then be required to sign up for national insurance if you can't pay and have to sign up for the next 7 or 10 years. There are plenty of flaws with this idea, but I believe that America needs to strive to keep individual freedoms a priority - it's what makes America great.

Thank you so much for the stimulating comment phdast7, it was good to reexamine my beliefs in this area and I am finding not much has changed as compassion is the ultimate deciding factor after economic considerations - which we agree is not a consideration in this country!


dadibobs profile image

dadibobs 4 years ago from Manchester, England

I couldn't imagine the difficulties Us citizens face daily, without a national health service.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Congratulations to everyone who has posted on this hub. Nobody has been offensive or disrespectful. Good to see this is possible when discussing a topic like this one.

National health care, socialized medicine or single payer health care, whatever you want to call it, is more compassionate.

"More importantly, it will elevate the quality of life for everyone." This is a good point that too many people won't stop arguing long enough to consider.

I look forward to reading more of your balanced views.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

dadibobs, you must live in Britain! You are right, it is a hardship for some - not to mention the minefield of drugs and treatments that are recommended but not all needed.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Kathleen, thanks for that, I didn't realize that was true until you said it. I look forward to more of your comments.


jandee profile image

jandee 4 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

OOPS! What about Bessie Smith Black Jazz/Blues singer who was left to bleed to death in automobile accident way back.

Didn't treat Black Citizens ??


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

jandee, I don't understand your comments - it sounds like you think nationalized healthcare is inherently racist. Thanks for visiting anyway!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

This is really a thorough and well-thoughtout argument for national health insurance. I'm not crazy about McCain's plan, but you are right, it is a good compromise plan. All we have to do is extend Medicare and Medicaid to cover everyone and be done with it. But, your point about an overbearing government is true also. So many "republicans" don't want national health insurance, but go ballistic if anyone or anything touches their Medicare. Medicare is socialized medicine and has been since 1964 or 1965. Most Americans don't see it that way. They see it as an entitlement. But I agree with you - our country is uncompassionate and haughty about the fairness of who should be covered and who should not. This is a very necessary article.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Appreciate your comment very much suzettenapples, you have identified a conservative hypocrisy. I didn't realize that Medicare was seen as an entitlement until you said it here, but you're right. No one wants to get rid of Social Security, Medicare and so on. Most of the people I have worked with claim no exemptions on their tax forms so they can get, "money back," the next year. I used to think that way until I realized that all that money the government keeps for an entire year is probably being invested in some way, and why should I let the government benefit from my laziness? I like having money in my pocket and choosing what to do with it, whether I save it, invest it or spend it.

Point is that people WANT to rely on government but don't realize it.

But health care is one area where I do believe we ought to pull together because the poor cannot afford every treatment they need and that is just incompassionate. If we had some sort of universal health insurance, it would strengthen our economy, not weaken it. We pay for inmates to get health care and educations, it's a shame we can't do the same for people who do not break the law and can't get ahead.

I guess in this area I am an extreme socialist. But if the question was ever put to a real vote (not just Obama Care which actually doesn't ease the burden of medical care for the poor) and the people voted it down, I would stand by that vote because this is a country run by the people for the people.

Thank you for the stimulating comment!

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