“Universal Health Care.” It all sounds great, doesn’t it? It has this way of rolling off the tongue.
President Obama has put a placeholder in his budget for socialized medicine. He wants to make sure that everyone has coverage, and though he doesn’t know exactly what form it will take, he’s setting aside money for it. Well, he set aside money for the start of it in the stimulus package he rushed through Congress so fast that no one had a chance to read it… but I digress.
The problem is that socialized medicine doesn’t work.
How many jobs are out there that pay as well as a doctor or nurse? There aren’t many.
People always get sick, they don’t want to feel pain, and they want an answer. So, doctors take a lot of classes, amass huge chunks of debt, and then make wages that only sports stars and CEOs beat. Some of them actually care for people, some of them do it for the money.
The point is, America’s health care system thrives on supply and demand. You pay more for more rare treatments, and people have to take more classes to administer them.
When the government takes over the health care system, and it starts finding out that things cost more than they budgeted for them, what do you think government will do?
- Increase taxes, so that it can afford to pay doctors more
- Force the doctors to take less money so that the government can afford it
- All of the above
If you answered 3 you get a gold star.
Now the doctor, who has high school bills, will not be able to pay them off as fast. You’ll lose the whole segment of doctors that are in it mostly for the money, and that means that there’ll be fewer doctors.
England has socialized medicine, and in 1987 my family and I got to see it first hand. My brother was riding down the street on his bicycle when he hit a curb and flipped over the handle bars. His entire face was bloody, and we headed off for the emergency room—although there wasn’t one.
Right, we were in one of the bigger cities of England and we had to drive almost an hour to get to an Urgent Care. Once there, we waited another 3 hours to be seen by a doctor. And he didn’t do much about it.
Doctors in Britain have their pay capped—unless they are at one of the expensive hospitals that only the rich can afford. They’re understaffed, and though they care more about people (they have to because they aren’t paid to care), they are stretched thin.
There’s no way to do it “right”
When any patient is told that they can go to hospital X and get free treatment (or really cheap treatment) or they can go to hospital Y and pay for their treatment, where do you think the majority is going to go?
This has the effect of putting an overwhelming burden on a hospital that cannot raise rates, and having less at the more expensive hospital (thus driving the price further up) because of lack of clients.
Just last week I was talking with my sister-in-law who is a nurse, and their children’s hospital is behind millions of dollars because of Medicaid payments from the state haven’t come in—the state is behind. They are looking for excuses to lay people off, and wondering how they will survive.
This will be the case for many more hospitals if we switch to health care. It’ll be exactly the opposite of what Pres. Obama promises. Instead of free and accessible health care, we’ll be driving hours to get to the nearest place where we can be waited on by the few people who care enough to help people regardless of the cap on their wages.
And don’t even get me going about how the government will regulate what kind and if you’ll get treatment…