Oppose Socialized Medicine at Every Turn.

JUN 2010

Somehow, many are convinced that socialized medicine is the right way to go, when there aren't any real-world examples of it actually working. Talk to any patient in the socialized medical systems in Canada, UK, Brazil, Italy, Spain, or France or China or Cuba (Michael Moore's Sicko was a proven, orchestrated lie, with the Cuban government's explicit participation), and they'll complain that the quality and timeliness of care is abysmal, shortage of supplies and remedies, poor and unsanitary conditions, overworked + underpaid doctors (and the resultant emptying halls of medical schools), the long wait for appointments, and the all-too-common substitution of long-needed surgery with band-aid type prescriptions. All the while, the care systems are bankrupt, swollen with bureaucracy, and cost far more than the care is worth. Quoting Glenn Woiceshyn and Isabel Vincent:

"Under the Cuban government's health care monopoly, the state assumes complete control. Private, non-governmental health facilities, where ailing citizens could buy treatment, are illegal. As a result, average Cubans suffer long waits at government hospitals, while many services and technologies are available only to the Cuban party elite and foreign "health tourists" who pay with hard currency. Moreover, access to such rudimentary medicines as antibiotics and Aspirin can be limited, and there are reports that citizens excluded from the foreign-only hospitals often must bring their own bed sheets and blankets while in care."

Cuba is short on toilet paper, by the way, and the even longer waits are due to the fact that up to 20,000 cuban doctors have been shipped off to Venezuela, to assist socialized health care in that ill-fated marxist regime. A closer-to-home example of federally run (and taxpayer funded) medical care is your very own Department of Veteran Affairs medical system - bloated bureaucracy, absurdly high operating costs, poor, poor quality medical attention, and nearly nonexistent psychiatric care (much needed, in a department, where post traumatic stress disorder is an everyday occurence). A more specific example, to illustrate, is the scandal at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Not just an obscure branch hospital in a remote area of the American heartland, but the US Army's flagship medical center - the 'crown jewel of military medicine.' I'll quote a Wikipedia article about the conditions of the hospital, which you can read in its entirety here. Additionally, Washington Post's impressive coverage here, including photos here.

"Walter Reed Army Medical Center… is described… as rat- and cockroach-infested, with stained carpets, cheap mattresses, and black mold, with no heat and water reported by some soldiers at the facility."

What I find amazing is that the federal government (including the military in this envelope) - regardless of political party - assumes to send America's boys and girls to die in a far-off land, and those unlucky enough to survive combat are doomed to languish in the neglect of this 'crown jewel of military medicine.' This medical system, funded by the deepest pockets in DC - The Department of Defense. It doesn't exactly set a positive moral precedent, does it?

Now, many are all too willing to place the fate of their medical care - and, ultimately, their lives - into the hands of non-medical professionals: congressional- and presidential-appointees, including one Ezekiel Emanuel (yes, Rahm's brother) with a couple famous quotes:

"Savings [of healthcare costs] will require changing how doctors think about their patients. Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others."

He explicitly defends discrimination against older patients:

"Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years"

These non-medical, non-elected officials would, with near god-like powers, be able to make your life-and-death decisions for you, rationing your care, based on your age, your ability to contribute productively to society, and the most insidious and hungriest hydra of all: THE GREATER GOOD.

Rather than giving up and placing our fate in the government's hands, let's talk about real solutions to our medical problems.

Quoting Ayn Rand:

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force."