The term “socialized medicine” – the fear factor.
What do American’s think when they hear the phrase “socialized medicine”? Communism! Communism strikes fear into the minds of most Westernized societies, believing that the labours of the hardest workers will benefit those who barely work at all, and all will lose any sense of control over their lives. “Socialized medicine” is a politically volatile label designed to frighten those who don’t understand its main purpose, which is that everyone should receive the health care they need, and no more, and no one should be plunged into poverty and ruin through healthcare costs.
I am English and from birth have benefited from England’s Welfare State and National Health Service, NHS, which was developed after the Second World War in response to the Beveridge report (1942) that proposed the need to banish, “Want, ignorance, squalor, idleness and disease.”
There are many elderly people in the UK who remember a time prior to the development of the National Health Service, when they dreaded calling the doctor. One family member recounts that he and his wife always kept two shillings and sixpence, then a lot of money, in a tin by the front door in case they needed to call the doctor to the house. Most lower class families couldn’t afford that buffer, so they relied on “old wives’ tales”, or homeopathic medicine to help their families in times of ill health – others bartered, others died.
English people like to boast that the National Health Care is free, and so it may seem in comparison to those long forgotten days, but it is not free. After the Second World War the “National Insurance Stamp” was devised to come out of every person’s wage, on a sliding scale with those who earned a lowly wage paying very little, and those who earned a fortune, paying more. In those days most people worked and so everyone paid into this new “innovative plan” to provide “free” health care for everyone, and it was a fair system.
Times have changed in an insidious way. The down side to developing a “Welfare State” is that over the past sixty years mores have changed, with pockets of society who have never worked from one generation to the next, and who believe that receiving benefits is their right. Thus, as this sub-culture increases and they don’t contribute by paying a National Insurance Stamp, yet take money “out of the pot”, pressure is placed on financing Social Security and the National Health Service, with one portion of society paying for the other.
During this election year in America, politicians debate this same issue, “one portion of society paying for the other” and because the notion angers most citizens, the real issue of developing and managing a health care system gets lost. If the United Kingdom can provide a National Health Service that provides quality care to everyone then why can’t the United States? Politicians hone in on horror stories, which you can always find if Selective Toxicity In Chemotherapy you look hard enough, to berate our National Health Service, and yes, we do have waiting lists for non-emergency operations, but those operations will be “free” and won’t leave the patient struggling to pay overinflated medical bills while healing. From my own experience as a patient in American hospitals, I too can quote horror stories. It is in this “back and forth white-noise argument” that the real health care issues are hidden.
In England citizens are able to purchase affordable private health insurance if they want to, which then allows them to avoid waiting 10 Tips For A Healthy Lifestyle Pdf lists for non-emergency operations – this is a choice we have, but it’s not a necessity in order to receive health care.
In this great American nation, surely both political parties can figure out how to provide an effective, quality health service for all its citizens, not by fudging the issues by calling it “socialized” medicine, with the word’s communist connotations, and therefore frightening the electorate. The United Kingdom is not a communist nation but the National Health Service cares for everyone. Arguing politicians should have the courage to examine the “giants” that prevent this country from developing a National Health Service for all Americans: the greedy pharmaceutical companies, extortionate must-have insurance premiums and debt inducing deductibles, unnecessary surgery and exhaustive tests, over inflated hospital costs that itemize everything even down to a tiny packet of tissues, and finally, and maybe the hardest issue to address, is the mindset of the general public which assumes that everybody needs to take multiple medications. In the United Kingdom people ask, “Are you taking any medication?” whereas in the United States they ask, “What are you taking?”