Another guest posting. Enjoy, and if you haven’t already please consider voting on the poll here! Thanks! -Doug
Hi. Canadian here again. Doug graciously let me do another essay/article/blog post/whatever the heck this is. (I would deem this an editorial – Doug) Thanks Doug!
So, health care. This is possibly one of the foundations of a functioning society. It’s vitally important (for obvious reasons). But -
There is a catch. Why the heck is it so darn expensive? Medical care is extremely costly. The fees have kept some from getting treatment, and driven others to bankruptcy. This is, of course, a huge problem. How can it be fixed?
Some say that social health care, or health care provided by the government is the way to go. It has been implemented in almost every industrialised country in the world, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, and, as of quite recently, the United States. This raises a few questions:
- Does it work?
- Is it the right thing for America?
The answer to the first question is quite difficult. Many countries that have implemented free health care indeed have better life expectancy then elsewhere in the world. However, it does require immense expenditures by the government. Wait times are extremely long in some cases. Doctors are fewer in number, and equipment is harder to buy.
When asked what free health care system is the best in the world, many point to France, including the World Health Organization. On some further reaserch of my own, I can say that yes, France does have a fairly good system, as far as the patient is concerned. . However, their tax rate is enormous. Far more than many countries are willing to pay, or possibly should.
Wait times are another huge problem in free health care. Because the medical facilities can’t get as much money, equipment, or doctors as they need, there are extremely long wait times, such as 18 weeks for surgery in 2010. Although it doesn’t kill many this ruins quality of life enormously.
So, does it work? A tentative yes. It works, but it costs more than is feasible. It also has problems related to how good a health care system you want. Whether the benefits outweigh these issues is up to you.
So, going to ObamaCare, which, I believe isn’t true universal health care. In Canada, it’s simple. You get a health card from the government. You show it, and they will help you, no questions asked. The government funds the hospitals, to keep them going, however. It doesn’t gauruntee yopu get service righ away, but be sure that you do get treatment. The ObamaCare system amounts to mandatory health insurance.
Believe it or not, Obama used the system to his advantage. There are waivers, so citizens don’t have to use the ObamaCare system, and keep their favourite doctor. This could have been a good thing, if it was promised to everybody, and wasn’t used for such political reasons. These were mostly handed out to unions, which are a significant part of Obama’s power base. The insurance companies (not really Obama supporters) were forced to give health insurance to high risk and unprofitable people. This is the point, of course, but it puts large financial pressure on the companies. People are also given insurance for things that they may never even need, like elective surgery. This gives the insurance companies almost no power over their coverage of individuals. It also makes businesses fill out many more tax forms, called 1099’s, for every transaction worth 600$ or more. These used to be only for independent contractors. As you know, there are a lot of transactions in a business worth 600$. Useless tax work, honestly.
Obama really looks sneaky with the bill. It was 2,000 pages. Even the most avid reader can’t read it in depth. Surely not before it’s passed. So there still could be some little loopholes that are a well kept secret. He also made it very complicated. Systems don’t need to be complicated to be effective. It just makes more work for the lawyers and accountants. Why can’t anyone see that? The biggest problem with ObamaCare is the costs. America is, and was at the time of the passing of this bill, very much in debt. a free health care system, if implimented at all, should be made on a sound financial foundation. Due to the corruptness of Congress, higher taxes wouldn’t really help, since they would use the money through bribes and kickbacks.
So, to the second question, no, I wouldn’t recommend ObamaCare for America. I probably couldn’t recommend any system, because you are putting a lot of power in government hands, and with congress the way it is, do you really want to give them any more of it? Corrupt individuals in political positions can use this as blackmail. Also, the finances of the situation make it unfeasible, with the deficit spiralling out of control. Not to mention everyone likes to complicate things that can be simple.
The problem is that people think health care is a right; that should be granted by the government. This is not the case. Although having the government paying for everything is nice, governments are notorious for mishandling money. Companies are in it for profit. If they lose money, they try to fix it immediately, and often someone gets fired. However, the government does not need to make a profit to survive. If the people support them (and sometimes not even then) they will stay firmly in their seat wasting money. This isn’t to say that the government should be run like a business, because, let’s face it, they are two very different entities. But the people who ran health care knew what they were doing.
If you enjoyed this post, please look at Canadian_95_RTS’ previous posting regarding Sharia Law. Keep an eye out for a followup posting by TheDougem later today or tomorrow!