This Does Not Fit
~ A Commentary on Socialized Medicine ~
This site is set up SPECIFICALLY to give people ideas on how to retain and create wealth for themselves, the communities they live in and the broader global community we all live in. (See P.S. at bottom of page)
Sometimes I write things that just don't quite fit but believe would be educational (and hopefully prompt people to think about how they view the world). I don't expect people to agree with me (although they might). I just want to them to say: This is one point of view. How does this fit with my own thinking?
As a I write this, Congress is finalizing the new health care legislation for Americans. That legislation is NOT designed specifically to be socialized medicine because people still need to buy health insurance (and figure out how to pay for all of that). Many Americans want to dispense with the insurance component altogether. From my perspective most Americans don't realize that we already have 'heavily socialized' medicine . . . but only for some people . . . and this article was written about that . . .
I hope this article 'bridges the gap' for the people who think that they are NOT part of a 'socialized' pool.
Socialized Medicine in the United States
by Lisa L. Osen
Technically, the United States already has socialized medicine . . . it’s just that a lot of people don’t have access to it.
People in the Medicare / Medicaid sector are already covered.
Most people who have private insurance through large corporations and government agencies don’t believe they are part of a socialized medical pool but they are. They just don’t realize it.
For large corporations that produce products or services, the only reason corporations can afford to give workers health insurance at all is because they are able to charge enough for their products and services to cover the costs (this is one of the reasons that price reductions on goods and services in industries is so devastating ).
For the public sector, the health insurance is paid for by taxes.
Now many people would say that when they work for a corporation or a public agency, they must contribute a portion for their health insurance premiums so the cost is not totally socialized. In the private sector — where wage scales tend to be more competitive, this is true. But in the government sector, this is not true because the reason that the wages can be paid in that sector in the first place (and those wages can be used to pay premiums) is due to taxes.
Now, there is another interesting phenomenon that people do not like to think about: the ‘pseudo’ government sector.
Any money spent by the government on products and services comes through taxes (or borrowing). As a result, when public agencies buy private goods and services where the cost of those goods and services ‘subsidizes’ a corporation’s health care costs, that premium is being paid for by government agencies. Defense contractors and health care facilities are probably the largest private business entities subsidized this way.
The ‘problem’ with all of this of course is all the people who are left out of this ‘socialized’ pool.
Now, on the flip side, I don’t think socialized medicine (or private medicine) can ever be affordable until the nation makes a commitment to stay healthy. People are usually more than willing to contribute to a system where the dollars spent reflect people who would have gotten sick or old through no fault of their own.
And, we’ve got a problem with the medical profession compensation issue. We are Americans and in America, we’ve always believed (on the whole) that people who work harder and are more talented should be paid more. We’ve always believed that if you do not reward hard work and achievement, you end up with less. Doctors normally are some of the best and the brightest in our society. They take an extra number of years to complete their degrees and they can’t slack off doing it. Socialized medicine in many ways ‘minimizes’ their contribution and their upfront work.
If you don’t address the pay scales, responsibilities and hours for doctors first, I expect that most of the best doctors who are Americans (note we’ve got a lot of foreign doctors in the country who might fall into a different pool) won’t support socialized medicine . . . and they in particular won’t support it if it doesn’t come with some sort of ‘the people need to take of their health’ rider.
And, if we ever do get truly socialized medicine, the government should first say to themselves: every single person that’s working in a health insurance agency needs a job and if we believe those jobs should be in the direct care of people, then we must also make sure that their salaries and benefits can be covered as well as any training they might need.
And then we come back to: ALL of this must be paid for by taxes which derive from a base of wealth that focuses on creating wealth. You NEVER create a wealthier society by making people who work hard, who achieve and who do their best to take care of their health poor. Copyright © 2010 by Lisa L. Osen
What I did not put in this article (but what I noted to a couple other individuals) was that I believe if you wanted to get doctors to 'opt in' to socialized medicine in the U.S., you'd have to have an 'opt out clause' for those who wanted to only deal with the wealthy and Hollywood types. And, if you had this clause in legislation, I believe about 30 percent of American doctors would opt out.
That means that in order to have ENOUGH doctors and health care professionals in the system to make socialized medicine actually work, you'd have to do 10 year planning and literally flood the medical schools with approximately 1.5-2 times the number of students that are currently enrolled with the expectation that you'd be able to taper off on this in about 20 years--that OR hire a lot more foreign doctors.
A LOT of people talk about socialized medicine but they never include the planning component and the necessary time lag to make it work right . . . makes no sense to me . . . but maybe people are doing all of that right now and I just don't know about it . . .
I believe we need socialized medicine.
I believe we CANNOT afford it (or even what we have now) if people do not take care of their own health AND help everyone else in the community take care of theirs.
I believe we must think about all the transitional elements and plan ahead.
P.S. If you made it this far, I'll provide a little tidbit that is wealth creating because it's wealth retaining: If you must give your children candy and sugary drinks often, think about also giving them a few apple slices or a piece of cheese afterward: it will significantly cut down on their probability of getting cavities (yours too!).