Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Suffering under Britain's socialized healthcare

In citing reasons for sagging public support for healthcare reform, not one right wing shill has noted one itsy bitsy fact: the $1.4M/DAY the healthcare denial industry is spending to defeat any kind of healthcare reform whatsoever.

At the same time the healthcare denial industry's shills and spokespeople pretend to support various denatured versions of reform.

At the same time its black ops specialists spread one vicious lie after another (according to nonpartisan sites and, using anonymous chain emails and whisper campaigns, followed up by right wing radio and TV propagandists.

The other thing the shills fail to note is our nationwide parochialism. Most of us, left and right, seem to have almost no idea that other industrial democracies exist, all with universal healthcare, all spending less than us, all with greater life expectancy.

Sure, the right wing propagandists bring forth individuals from Canada and Britain who say what you might expect.

But those countries are all democracies. And in none of them will you find the money and power vested in the status quo as America has. So if their systems (highly varied, some socialistic, some regulated capitalistic, most a mix) all suck so badly--why aren't their voters clamoring for America's fabulous system?

They must just be anti-American...

Well, I have a friend in Scotland--a high tech businessman who has traveled here fairly often. I asked him if the Brits longed for our system. Here's what he said:

"That's easy - the NHS isn't perfect but it is very, very good. The Palin stories are about as accurate as you'd expect from someone who thinks the earth is 5000 years old. I would resist in the strongest possible terms any attempt to dismantle the public health system.

I can tell you first hand that the elderly - vis my parents - get astounding treatment without the slightest hesitation. My father collapsed at our Christmas lunch - we had a paramedic on site in under five minutes from calling 999, our emergency number. An ambulance was at our door in 10 minutes and he was in a high-dependency unit within 20. He was recovering rapidly, but they kept him in over night after moving him to a lower care level ward. No forms, no charge, just fantastic service.

This concept of them choosing not to treat people on age is simply invented by the nutjob right wingers.

At the end of the scale, one of our staff has been diagnosed with bowel cancer - she was operated on within 5 days and was retained in hospital for a full 2 weeks for recover with excellent care and access to all the latest medication etc etc.

BTW you can ask my American friends living here for their views - it's identical to mine!

And I think the vast majority of the rest of the country would agree - I think you'd get at least 95% if not 98% support. As someone said 'everyone knows someone whose life was saved by the NHS.'"

1 comment:

Sando said...

Oh no, I just wrote a long comment, and it didn't go through. Short version is, I like the idea of discussing without attacking. I have been guilty of ranting and blaming the "other" side, especially when I feel so passionately about such an important issue (ie; healthcare reform). I saw your comment on NYTimes article "Health Care that Works" by Kristoff, and was curious about your website. No solution is going to come from people screaming at each other, and screaming left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative. We are not in an "us vs. them" game. We need change and we need real reform...something that benefits us all. It is frustrating when people fail to reason and go immediately to their default positions of attacking one another. Again, people are easily provoked when they feel their value systems are being attacked. I have been trying to make sense of this issue for the last 2 months, and have always been a big fan of reform. However, it has been a series of soundbites and ambiguity, to the point where I am wondering if anything is going to end up happening at all. I did some of my own research (not comprehensive at all, and still working on it). If you are so inclined, check out my blog (still a newbie):
Keep up the good work!