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A Country's Mindset

Updated on June 15, 2015
John Everette profile image

Aspiring writer interested in the complexities of government, history, and politics. These things not easy to understand as we think.

Lessons from the 60's


About 48 years ago, in the 1960's when I was in what was known as junior high school. Today it is known as Middle school. I may have been in high school. Either way it was then that the fascinating worlds of history, politics, and government was opened to me by a very insightful Social Studies teacher. This teacher demonstrated that no country can really be said to be better than any other country for a number of reasons mainly their: culture. geography, history and size.,

He also demonstrated that on the vast spectrum government, Capitalism is at one end and Communism is at the other.Another way to look at it is that total freedom is at one end of the spectrum and total government control is at the other. The most efficient and ideal form of government exists somewhere in the middle. A marriage of capitalism and Socialism, a marriage in which the extreme of one can and may be countered by the extreme of the other. Like all marriages, though, forging such a marriage takes time and effort for both forms of government are as corrupting as they are demanding to have full control.. .


Exceptionalism

A couple of years ago the idea that America was somehow exceptional caused a lot of fuss, especially along political lines. The idea of exceptionalism seems to call up an image that somehow one country is better than another. The fact is that each country is unique in its own way. Each country in Europe is unique in its size, its geographical placement and he people and culture that brought that country into existence. America is unique because of it's size, where it is geographically located, and the diversity of people, and cultures that brought it into existence.

In Europe, each country developed largely because of the dominate people that lived in that particular geographical area. The borders of those countries developing over time through migrations and wars.

America on the other hand, came about through various people groups migrating to the North American continent, for one reason or other, including Native Americans. Including African Americans who were initially brought to the continent when slavery was a necessary evil. The various people groups seeking ways to blend into one unique people group. It's borders largely already determined by geography.

It is the geographical placement of the North American continent that also contribute to America's uniqueness in that it's vastness contains an abundance of natural resources un-matched by any other single country.

US to Europe

Source

A bit of History

I have heard it said that compared to Europe, America is among the youngest supers power in the world. America probably is and for that reason America may not have learned the same lessons that those in Europe have learned. For the most part, it's people has not lived under the rule of one tribal leader/ emperor/ king/ queen or anther. It's people have not gone through the hardships of being invaded time and time again either by another kingdom,or by some foreign power or other. It's people have not learned the necessity to unite for a common good to the degree that Europeans have. The degree to which everyone must sacrifice so that their country, their government could meet the challenge that all countries and governments must meet-the national defense of its country, and the general welfare of its people.

Now, America may not have learned the same lessons as Europe, but it has learned other lessons. It has learned, and continues to learn the necessity for various people groups to accept and learn from each other.in order to build and maintain a strong identity and country. It has learned the value of encouraging and granting individual freedom so that individuals may contribute to the success of the country. These lessons, like the wars in Europe, were learned the hard way and over time. In this process America has largely learned that in order for it to meet the challenge of national defense and the general welfare of Americans, there needs to be a great deal of discussion and contribution from individuals and groups.

Government and Healthcare

Within the challenge of a country or government meeting the challenge providing for the general welfare of it's people, perhaps the greatest need to be met is in the area of healthcare. If the citizens of a country are unable to take care of themselves, neither they nor their country can pros[er. However, healthcare encompasses a wide variety of illnesses both physical and mental which leads to a massive expenditures. especially if it becomes necessary for individuals to be cared for from the cradle to the grave.

As indicated earlier,most Europeans have learned that they need each other and they need to sacrifice for the greater good of their fellow countrymen, and their country, In return, the country and government of these European countries have learned that they need to make sure that the taxes they collect from their people are used for the greatest effect, and that that money needs to be protected from those that would abuse their welfare/healthcare system. For this reason, European countries have adopted various degrees of socialism.

This is not to say that America has not learned anything about the need for some degree of centralization of healthcare in regard to the governments's challenge and responsibility to look after the welfare of it's citizens. In America, though, there still exists a legitimate fear of the government having a great degree of control over the healthcare "industry" and the lives of it's citizens. It's involvement in the lives of it's citizens. It's ability to protect the vast sums of money needed to provide healthcare for everyone.

It is not that Americans do not realize the need for everyone sacrifice for the greater good of all. It is that Americans may tend to see voluntary donations to specific healthcare issues as being better protected and utilized. They question how effective the government can use the money they receive for research of illnesses, development of equipment and procedures to treat various illnesses, while serving all their citizens. For this reason, America has chosen not to move to some degree of socialism. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the American government must take a greater role and to some degree introduce some sort of socialism.

Comparisons as far as healthcare

Over recent years many try to compare America to European countries either individually or collectively under the umbrella statement of "developed Western countries". They tend to do this because they feel that America lags far behind those countries in the way it meets the challenge of providing for the general welfare of its people. They are probably right.

America should not be lagging behind smaller countries in seeking to care for its people. With all the resources America has, and it's diversity of people, America should be leading the world in assuring it's people are generally cared for in a number of ways, especially when the people can not take care of themselves. One of the most important areas of concern being healthcare.

To some degree America does meet the challenge of looking after the welfare of it's people when it comes to healthcare. That is not to say that it can not do better, and it strives to do better, but there are problems. The is a problem that lies in the diversity of the American people, and the size of the country. There is a problem that lies in the expectations of the American people when it comes to healthcare. There is a problem that lies in the diversity of medical issues that must be faced. Medical issues that may not exist in Europe or do exist in Europe to greater or lesser degrees.

Reasons for high Cost of Healthcare

What/ Who is more responsible for the high cost of healthcare in America?

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Which is the best approach for America to provide affordable healthcare to all of its people?

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US healthcare Explained

Observation

When I was in the military, I was stationed in Germany. While there I got to hear much about their "cradle to the grave" system. I also knew of someone who had to go to a German hospital because the local military hospital was full. I soon came to the conclusion that though it seems to be as close as we humans could come to assuring that all of the citizens are taken care of most economically and efficiently, it is also a system that needs work for hospital patients seem to get only the most basics of care. For America to adopt something similar to the socialist/ universal health care system, Americans need to change their conceptions and expectations of healthcare.

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      Sage Pen (Mary) 19 months ago

      My nursing career started in the early 1960's before there was a lot of medicare. Prices for the patients were much lower and care in many ways was much better then. Too much reliance is on drugs today and too little is on personal care of the patient. Individual insurance then provide many people and others were private pay. A very small percentage of patients were on medicaid. I saw it abused by doctors, especially when patients were terminal to keep them hospitalized instead of allowing them to go home to die. Maybe the doctors could have felt the family unable to care for the patient, still they could have allowed re-admittance for end of life care, last few days to weeks instead of using months of tax payer's $'s. The worst part of the one payer system is the control they (bean counters with NO medical knowledge) have over you life They can make decisions in opposition of the doctor's recommendation and you and your family may not be able to do anything about it. Insurance can do that to a certain degree. They are accountable in every state to an insurance commissioner that responds to the insured. The federal system is lacking this or the system is too slow to respond in an approate time span. The patient may die before the make a decisison.

    • profile image

      Sage Pen (Mary) 19 months ago

      My nursing career started in the early 1960's before there was a lot of medicare. Prices for the patients were much lower and care in many ways was much better then. Too much reliance is on drugs today and too little is on personal care of the patient. Individual insurance then provide many people and others were private pay. A very small percentage of patients were on medicaid. I saw it abused by doctors, especially when patients were terminal to keep them hospitalized instead of allowing them to go home to die. Maybe the doctors could have felt the family unable to care for the patient, still they could have allowed re-admittance for end of life care, last few days to weeks instead of using months of tax payer's $'s. The worst part of the one payer system is the control they (bean counters with NO medical knowledge) have over you life They can make decisions in opposition of the doctor's recommendation and you and your family may not be able to do anything about it. Insurance can do that to a certain degree. They are accountable in every state to an insurance commissioner that responds to the insured. The federal system is lacking this or the system is too slow to respond in an approate time span. The patient may die before the make a decisison.

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      John Everette 19 months ago from North Aurora, Illinois

      Sorry for my delay in replying to your post which I appreciate. Let me begin by saying that I tend to agree with you that a one payer system (the government) is a bad idea. The problem is that no one has yet to really apply themselves to come up with an alternative. I say this not only from the point of view of one who has worked as CNA for 15 years in various nursing homes, but presently a resident of a nursing home. When I was a CNA I do not believe I had more that 8-10 residents that I was responsible for. The workload in the nursing home that I am living in runs about 13-16 residents per CNA, when the nursing home is fully staffed.

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      Sage Pen 22 months ago

      Having become involved in the medical field before medicare was started I have seen the degradation of hospital care for patients because hospitals charged more as they didn't have the family and patient looking over their shoulder checking every charge and price. I have seen charges for an item that only one was used yet the patient was charged for four to six of them. This is a pocket padding behavior of the hospital. Some departments don't make as much money as they spend on wages and other departments pick up the slack and charges for things not done can "fill" the gap. I watched prices for a patient room per day (two patients in a room) go from $20 dollars a day to well in excess of $300 in only twenty years, much greater than the cost of living increase. At the same time the patient care quality decreased significantly. The form of nursing changed from "team nursing" with one head nurse (RN) or two per floor and several other nurses (LPN) and several nurses aides to "total nursing care" by one nurse (RN) who cared for 4 to 6 patients alone. This system did not work well. Can you imagine a nurse giving 6 bed baths, linen changes, pillows fluffed, a nutritional snack mid morning and mid afternoon and get them the news paper and other "help me" activities for 6 patients and get their medications, vital signs, make rounds with the doctors and do patient charting in a shift then restock supplies in their spare time. It can't be done, yet with team nursing all patients got their lights answered within one to three minutes and assisted to the bathroom, to sit in a chair or PRN medication quickly. With total patient care I have personally seen patients wait hours to get pain medication. The system with government insurance is broken already. If a one payer system comes in to play it will only become more broken than it already is and the cost will become much greater to everyone. Government is not capable of being efficient, profitable, and stretching the taxpayers dollar like a private insurance company and the patient can. Government doing things guarantees that the worst possible situation will evolve over time.