Sunday, July 5, 2009

How is Healthcare Socialism?

Oh, yes she did. 

Stirring up a firestorm of controversy and causing several former friends and relatives to toss their teabags, venerated  villified blogger Zoe asked a question that caused Ronald Reagan to turn over in his grave several time in quick succession, whereupon the former president got queasy and decided that, as motion sickness obviously affects even the dead when it comes to politics and remembering that as a non-living-entity even former presidential insurance would not cover him, the former-non-corpse decided to quiet down and leave politics to the living. 

Asking the question as someone who couldn't possibly pay more in taxes than she currently does for her own health insurance, Zoe was bemused by the crowds of angry Republicans lining the streets of San Jose today. Obviously if we implement a nationwide healthcare system the entire country will collapse. I mean look at Canada! They're begging in the streets um, well, sure they seem to be healthy enough, but just you wait. 

Am I arguing that there won't be drawbacks? Nope. Since when does any system not include drawbacks? But maybe they'll be outweighed by the... I dunno.. benefits? 

Okay, enlighten me. Discuss amongst yourselves. Please refrain from throwing rotten tomatoes. Fresh ones are fine. 


flutter said...

ok, I will say this from personal experience and what I am afraid of. No rotten tomatoes...

I have a very good friend who lives in BC who has a remarkably aggressive case of skin cancer. After being diagnosed, he was told to return for treatment. In 4 months. In 4 months time, he was down to 130 lbs from 190, and cancer had spread into his lymph nodes. Had he the option of getting treatment earlier, his incredibly painful and often almost impossible recovery would have been a far simpler and less expensive process.

He lost his job from being so sick. Lost his wife from the strain on his relationship and lost a 1/4 of his jaw from the cancer spreading.

Now, I work in a chiropractic office. Chiropractic is not seen as a "necessary" therapy in Canada's social healthcare system. Should that become the case here, our patients, most of whom have chronic pain, some of whom have been in accidents and some like me, who have suffered life long with headaches...will no longer have coverage to have adjustments and my therapeutic services which make them able to manage pain and live without medication.

More than that, should socialized medicine pass...I will lose my job. So will the 5 other therapists who work in my clinic, and the three doctors.

I believe, if socialized medicine is offered that there should also be the option to carry your own private insurance should you choose to do so.


jess said...

Okay, good discussion, C. That's what I'm talking about. :0)

I do agree that care will likely not be as good in a system like Canada's. I don't know that there's any good answer. But maybe we could hope for a system that allows for looser limits on things like alternative healthcare (i.e chiropractic, et al.)? It just seems like there's no way we can continue to function with healthcare/insurance the way they are now. When I lived in MA, I had no insurance because paying for an individual plan was not even an option, it was so expensive (I moved shortly before they implemented their current system and, to be honest, haven't kept up on how it's worked out).

mlockard said...

What bothers me most will be our inability to choose treatments for ourselves. There will be no individualized care for a patient.
Doctors will no longer have any freedom to try new things.

And nobody will want to grow up and be a doctor anymore because of the government interference.
That will bring the quality of healthcare down significantly in just a generation.
When the real doctors quit or retire who does that leave in their place?
Government android robot doctors thats who.

By the way, Health clinics in Wal Mart? Have you heard about this new thing? We are getting one in Bangor. Look into it if you have not yet heard the news.

Put the pieces together and you get Government healthcare right at your local Walmart.
That just cant be good.

l i s a said...

Hi. As an American living in Canada with family in Massachusetts, I have a lot of thoughts about this topic.

Flutter, I'm not really sure why you would automatically lose your job with a centralized health care system. There are lots of chiropractors here in BC, as there are also lots of naturopaths and other holistic health practitioners. Heck, we even have dentist and opticians, and they're not covered by the provincial health plan either. Not everyone can access these services (as they can with basic health care). Like in the US, that's if you can't afford to pay for it out of pocket or if you don't have secondary insurance (usually through your employer or college).

As for brain drain of doctors, where do people think they will go? The problem here is that trained doctors who are looking to make tons of money go to the US. If the US and Canada both had national systems, I think the distribution would settle out quite a bit.

The point I think that is most noteworthy is the amount of time that major medical events take to be treated. This can be a big problem. But I also know that there are lots of med. practitioners here who can imagine better ways of running the system to prevent that. The US has the chance to see some of the miscalculations that have been made elsewhere and try to prevent reincarnating them there. And I can't forget how there are a lot of people I know here who have gotten treatment for serious medical issues that would have been out of reach for people in similar economic situations in the US. I know people like your friend with skin cancer, Flutter, who couldn't get treatment in the US or whose lives fell apart from the weight of debt incurred by medical expenses. I have chronic knee pain because my dad lost his job when I was 16 and I wasn't able to get the physical therapy I needed then--it's minor, but I think evidence that both systems can lead to these problems.

As for Massachusetts--several random thoughts strung together. I think it's pretty great that my brother who was laid off a few months ago and my sister who is a single mom working a retail job have health insurance. That same sister is having surgery tomorrow that is covered by said state insurance plan. She chose her own doctor and her own course of treatment and it's moved pretty fast. My other brother who used to own two coffeeshops in MA where they provided health insurance for their employees. . .they ended up canceling those plans and giving the employees raises because the state plan was cheaper and better than the private plan.

This is way too long for a comment, so I will stop there. Interesting discussion though, Jess.