Our Great Health Care System


There’s news out today regarding an eight year study conducted by leading doctors that shows that 25% of heart attack victims end up waiting an hour or more to see a doctor in our emergency rooms. The average wait for these patients, each with the highest level of potential fatality, was 14 minutes.

I suspect the right might try to convince you that the wait would be even longer in other systems. I don’t buy it. I am growing extremely disgusted by the complete lack of honesty coming out of conservative pundits these days, and their parroting followers, regarding universal health care.

The biggest lie being told by these people is the often-repeated line that the last thing we want is failed system like those found in the UK, France, Canada and elsewhere. They also argue that the best solution is our free market system where competition will address these things. Neither of these is true.

First, I deal with people daily from all over the world. We’re talking about mainly gamers here who tend not to be the best physical specimens. We’ve seen other data that suggests gamers see doctors more than non-gamers and that’s probably due in large part to being more sedentary. Whatever the reason, I’m saying that the people I talk with are fair subjects to ask about their health care systems. To listen to Republicans you’d think everyone in these countries is fed up with their options and the costs. Yet, every time I ask about it I cannot find a single person from these countries who has anything bad, especially in comparison, to say about their health care. Why is it that the endless line of people I speak to all tell me their systems are just fine if it’s so obvious to our conservatives that their systems are so bad?

When I tell them about how things work here they are aghast and cannot believe we put up with it. They are shocked by the costs we incur and never talk about the taxes they pay for it. Friends in England talk openly about their willingness to make sure everyone gets basic health care and they point out that anyone there is free to go outside the system and use private doctors if they so choose.

As far as the free market equation, this is yet another great-sounding bit of rhetoric but that’s all it is. First, it’s already supposed to be a free-market solution so why is it so troublesome? Why aren’t we all amazed, like we are with our phone bills, about the wonders of the free market to reduce our medical bills? Second, we don’t have a free market when it comes to most industries, especially the medical industry. The entire industry is controlled by corporate interest and no real free market economics are going to be applied to it. That will not be allowed to happen.

We’re also given the argument that our system allows for all these great drugs that we wouldn’t have in other systems. Bull. What drugs? Every day we read about another drug we’ve been fed that either doesn’t work or, worse, does more damage than good. Go to another country and see a doctor. The first thing your apt to have happen is for those doctors to get you off the medication we’ve been brainwashed into believing we need. Sure there are some great drugs coming out of the system but there are also many coming out of government-funded research and other countries.

The bottom line is that our system is not one to be held up as a beacon of success. You also have to stop listening to sources who tell you things without checking for yourself. I can’t believe the number of people who just love to tell you we have the greatest medical system in the world without having one clue about the situation anywhere but here. It’s just like the audio industry examples I’ve run into many times where consumers tell me, “This is the best headphone I’ve ever used” and then when you ask which others they’ve used you find that they’ve only used that one or one or two others.

I’ve also had some “informed” people get on me for my so-called anecdotal evidence regarding my experience with my broken leg (broken and treated in Canada). However, they offer no such evidence of their own while criticizing mine. They have no personal experience with these other systems but yet my experience is of no value to them. The reality is that these people only hear what they want to hear. Anything else is invalid.

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