Tuesday, 6 March 2012

WWJD, Let Them Die?

Before I begin I'd like to make it clear that I'm not an expert on this subject, I'm just calling it as I see it and going by what I read on Twitter and Facebook (which I'll admit may not be the best source of information!)

I've seen repeatedly how the US would reject a UK style nationalized health service because it's 'socialist'. Well, let's set aside whether that statement is true or not and focus on what the actual issue is, avoiding some retarded notion we're living in the 50's under a McCarthy era reds under the bed regime.

In the UK we have enjoyed a National Health Service for decades. Sure it's not perfect, far from it, but it generally works and works well. Everybody pays a percentage of their taxes towards sustaining a service that, when needed, is free. It matters not if your treatment costs thousands of pounds, you get charged nothing.

Let me give you an example from experience. My mother has required treatment for the last 5 years or so, amounting to several operations and twice or thrice weekly visits to a nurse. On top of this she has required dietary assistance consisting of a constant supply of specialist drinks which when purchased over the counter cost in excess of £3 a bottle, she's prescribed these in batches of 30+ and those batches are pretty much monthly, so you can imagine the financial outlay this would have required. How much has all of this cost my mother? Nothing. She's elderly and could never have afforded such treatment were it chargeable.

Now I appreciate that she may have received similar treatment in the US, being elderly, but from what I have seen and heard it's also possible she wouldn't. So what would she have done?

One of the arguments I've heard is that people should have health insurance. Sure, if they can afford it – but what if, like my mother, you can't? Not everybody is financially able to budget for such. Another argument was that people in the US join health clubs (I forget the term) where friends pitch in if a member of the group requires help. All very laudable, but what if the person needing help isn't part of such a group or the cost of the treatment exceeds their funds? It also strikes me that this model is very much a conditional altruism, they have to be a friend to qualify. It's less altruistic as you scratch my back, I'll pay for your stitches.

Another argument I heard was against the UK's NHS as wasteful. True, it is, it does need over-hauling. I did say it wasn't perfect. However, consider what is the possible alternative; you pay health insurance and get ill. Do you think the hospital charges your health insurance company the absolute minimum, or do you think they charge as much as they possibly can, because they're a business? Who do you think the health insurance company pass those charges on to? Uh huh, you! Further to this, as I've seen from cases in the UK, health insurance companies will do all in their power to avoid paying whenever possible, claiming pre-existing conditions and so on.

Wouldn't it be so much easier if you knew that, although you're paying a percentage of your paycheck to fund a nationalized healthcare service, if you needed treatment you would get it without the worry of whether your insurance would cover it? Sure, some of what you're paying is going to people you don't know, even to a minority of people who haven't paid into the system, but isn't that a price worth paying?

Ah, but there-in lies another point; Your money is going to pay for other people's treatment, so it's socialist, it's anti-American! Well, if that's the case why are the same people who are anti this most likely not anti the Government bailing out those hit by hurricanes, tornadoes, or other disasters? Why is the same criteria not extended to that? Or the US Military for that matter. If it's defending the US then fine, but all too often it's not, it's being used at enormous expense to police other countries – at a huge cost to the US tax payer. Is that not a far less worthy use of your tax dollar than a nationalized health service that would primarily benefit fellow Americans? How do you mentally manage to draw a line between paying for somebody else's healthcare and paying for somebody else's house repairs, especially when they've often taken the damn choice to live in a high-risk area in the first place!? I'm not saying don't help those natural disaster victims, it's great you do – but if you can do that without whining, then …?

Oh, yes, there's still that “it's socialist” argument, which is just soooo anti-American. Well, no, not if you want to claim the US is in any way Christian, which constitutionally it isn't btw, because it would seem Christ would be firmly on my side with this, for all I'm a low down evil atheist!

Let me show you...

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” ~ Luke 6:35

Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.” ~ Matthew 5:42

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” ~ Matthew 6:19-20

Reading those it would appear that Christ may well favour a nationalized healthcare service, one which benefits the poor and those in need. The great thing is, if you had one it wouldn't just be the poor and needy benefiting, you likely would too!

Damn, as an atheist I shouldn't be caring about other people, I'm supposed to be immoral. Forget I said anything!

1 comment:

  1. Love it. The idea of not having free health care horifies me. It is always the poorest who need the most medical care because of the conditions they r forced 2 live under and here in the uk, if u r rich enough, u can get private health insurance anyway (same drs, surgeons and practices btw, just fancier buildings).


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