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10 September, 2008

Something about Socialism

What is the deal with "Socialism"? It sure sounds like a nice word doesn't it? It even has the word "social" in it and everything with an -ism makes it sound way more fancy yet still there is an almost allergic reaction that takes place whenever the word is mentioned. I'm still not entirely sure why except the fact that people seem to associate it with Communism and Big Brother (not the TV show) type governments controlling everything. So, I asked my pal Mr. W. I Kipedia and found a heck of a long article that I wasn't much interested in. I instead narrowed my focus to socialized medicine *groan*.
Until I came to the states I had never even heard the UK's National Health System (NHS) refereed to as "Socialist" and it still makes me chuckle when I do hear it because it's said through gritted teeth. But the more I read about "Socialized medicine" the more I had to agree with Mr. Kipedia that it *SHOCK* already exists in the U S of A *SHOCK*. I know of more than one veteran who happily receives all their medicine and health needs from the local VA. A government run health care facility that is paid for by...taxes. Medicare and Medicaid can also be included in that they are a publicly funded system. Or so I am told.
As I delve deeper in the jungle of American culture like a confused, drunken explorer with a blindfold I wonder more and more about these kinda things. I don't really see where the problem is with adopting a complete health care system for all. In the current system Veterans, low-income parents, children, seniors, and people with disabilities are currently taken care of, potentially, by socialized medicine but apparently the rest of society does not deserve health care from the government. I suppose the wealthy few among us can afford to pay for private health care, as is sometimes the norm in other countries, so it is up to the individuals who are in the middle ground to fend for themselves.
The only problem with adopting this system is the taxes have gotta go up. Yes, yes I know. Taxes suck. But it's better than paying endless medical bills, paying for ambulances (this still surprises me) and emergency care as well as your health care insurance. I can almost hear the simultaneous clicking of a thousand mouses* closing the browser at this point and I doubt I'll sell anyone on the idea. But it's worth a bit of a deeper thought. Well this liberal aka limey thinks so anyway.

*probably more like 3 based on my current site meter count.


The Film Geek said...

I'm really sorr things became hectic today and I couldn't have this conversation with you. Because we agree, completely. Americans have done a jolly good job of marrying capitalism, patriotism and religion, so much so that anything that reeks of socialism is considered unAmerican and anti-God.

It's strange.

It's also the way capitalist and politicians have garnered their power in this country.

MountainLaurel said...

yes, taxes will go up. but how much are you paying for health insurance? Those costs will disappear and be replaced by higher taxes. I have a feeling that we'd be better off in the end with a one-payer health care system.

Spike Nesmith said...

The trick is, as voters, to demand both nationalised healthcare AND lower taxes by taking federal funds away from other places. Like... oohhh, I dunno... the pockets of elected officials. They're always voting themselves higher wages to go along with the ill-gotten gains that they're slipped by lobbyists. I've said it before and I'll say it again; ban any other funds coming in to them and make legislators work for minimum wage. THEN we'll separate the men from the boys from the skeevy bastards. Of course, that will never happen because votes don't count anymore.

As for the terminology, "socialised healthcare" is an entirely conservative term. What it is is 'nationalised' heathcare, but by calling it 'socialised', you're adding a neat, evil twang to it. Y'see, Hitler was a socialist; ergo, everything connected with socialism, or labeled 'socialism' is bad. Because Hitler was bad.

The long and the short of it is that America will never have a fair healthcare system. It's always going to be like this; the rich can afford to stay healthy and the rest of us will have to go deep into debt or go bankrupt if we want to live. Why? Because there's too much money invested in the current system. Too many people are living high on the hog as a result of our life-wanting debt. Doctors aren't going to change it because they get money from sick people, the insurance companies and drug companies. Drug companies aren't going to change it because they get money from insurance companies and sick people. Insurance companies aren't going to change it because they get money from sick people. And all these people have crazy money that they can bung to politicians, legally or otherwise, in order to keep things juuuuuust as they are. You rock the boat and any number of multi-millionaire CEOs are going to have to change their opulent lifestyles. And that ain't gonna happen.

Sick people can't change the system because politicians get their money from doctors, drug companies and insurance companies, and the interests of their fifth house or ninth car or raging drug/rentboy habit way eclipses the needs of the electorate. And the electorate can't change the system because there's no difference in Politician A from Politician B, all they can do is vote in another money-hungry douchebag whose only objective is personal wealth and the merry-go-round of "fuck you, Pauper! And by the way, vote for me because I caaaaaare" spins gaily on forever, amen.

If you want to (or need to) live in a country that flat refuses to instigate a healthcare system that puts money above human life, get rich quick or don't get sick.

....says the man with mounting debt, a bad heart and a brain tumour. See you all in bankruptcy court, or the morgue!

All Click said...

Spike: Wow. Thanks for the monster comment. I feel like it is somehow wasted in this little comment section. I may upgrade it to a post with your permission.

Or possibly even without.

It seems that there is a bleak future for healthcare here. Can change ever really occur? As long as the aim of healthcare is to make money and not help the sick then everything will remain the same. I was speaking to a psychiatrist the other day about healthcare here and they told me that the psychiatric governing umm instituion only allows something like 6 new psychiatrists a year. I said "Is that per state?". Nope. It's for the whole country. Why? So that there is a constant demand and psychiatrists can keep their 6 figure income. Not because there isn't a need for psychotropic medication.