Damien on… Socialised Healthcare
Just why IS it that Americans speak of socialised healthcare as a sane person would speak of genital mutilation?
Look – when it comes to healthcare, there really are only three choices. One: you pay for it as you go – fine if you are rich as Croesus. Two: you use commercial health insurance. Or three: you live in a country that has socialised healthcare – where you are given healthcare FREE, according to need and ability to use – and it is paid for out of a fund supported by taxation.
That is IT. And assuming you are NOT as rich as Mr C., it means your healthcare needs will either be evaluated by a bureaucrat or a businessman.
Now any regular reader of these ramblings will know that this observer is no admirer of bureaucrats – but he would still rather have one deciding his fate than a businessman whose prime concern – even legal obligation, if his company is a public one – is saving every penny he can, by whatever legal means are at his disposal. Stands to reason.
But of course, a system of socialised healthcare can only be as good as the amount of money made available to finance it. And even a well-financed system will STILL involve decisions being made on a need and ability to use basis – modern medicine is EXPENSIVE.
Nevertheless, every country has an amount of money it is prepared to spend on its healthcare – and THIS reporter would feel a HELL of a lot safer if it was in the hands of someone whose number one priority was NOT PROFIT.
One other thing, while we on this. It helps a lot if, when a doctor goofs up (it happens) ambulance-chasing lawyers are not waiting to sign up the aggrieved for a SUE-fest. The point is, doctors do their best – and it does not help ANY of us when half the money made available for healthcare is spent on LEGAL settlements.
Doctor, to man who presented with a gangrenous leg: “I have good news and bad news.” Man: “Give me the bad news first.” Doctor: “We cut off the wrong leg.” Man: “Damn! What’s the GOOD news?” Doctor: “Your other leg’s getting better.” DEAL with it!