Jump to content
The Education Forum

An Attempt to stop Socialized Medicine: A Conspiracy that failed.


John Simkin
 Share

Recommended Posts

And, I for one, can attest to having had the good fortune of knowing and loving some of the most extraordinary, and ruggedly handsome men I have ever had the pleasure to meet, in my life. And, they all hailed from Australia and New Zealand. Yes, they do know how to have a good time!

We have got some very handsome male members (no pun intended) from Australia. I met them last summer. Maybe you should pay them a visit.

*****************************************************

"We have got some very handsome male members (no pun intended) from Australia. I met them last summer. Maybe you should pay them a visit."

In a heartbeat, John. I just need to pay down my VISA cards, after having to use them since losing my medical benefits when they decommissioned my department last July. And, speaking of the rotten state of affairs regarding America's piss-poor excuse for offering universal healthcare to its citzens. Take a look at what truthout.org revealed this morning. Another reason for expatriating this hellhole of a place.

My wife has been seriously ill for the last six months. The treatment she has received from our National Health Service has been fantastic. When you deal with NHS doctors, you never feel that your treatment is being influenced by how much it costs. Studies show that private hospitals are guilty of a great deal of over-treatment. This is very important when you are seriously ill. NHS staff have very little difficulty showing they really care about your welfare. The fact that so many of the staff are immigrants does a great deal for race-relations in the UK.

All this comes free at the point of treatment. This includes a day spent at the local hospice - the place where she will eventually end her days. All though most NHS staff are full-time employees, many are volunteers. This helps to provide a sense of community responsibility. For example, 80% of the staff at the hospice provide their expertise free of charge. Each cancer patient is assigned a specialist nurse. Judith’s nurse is in her 70s. However, as she told me, she feels that she has a moral responsibility to continue working while her skills are needed.

Judith not only gets free treatment. She is paid a generous allowance to pay for things she no longer can do for herself.

As the man, Aneurin Bevan, who introduced the NHS in 1948, pointed out, this is socialism in action. The United States government was right when it described the NHS as “socialized medicine”. Not only that, they put the post-war Labour government under economic pressure to withdraw its proposals. The CIA actually funnelled money to senior members of the party in order to persuade them to change their policies. The CIA also told MI5 that people like Bevan were in the pay of the Soviet Union.

The Conservative Party, the British Medical Association and the private insurance companies, opposed the introduction of the NHS in the same way that they had undermined attempts by David Lloyd George to introduce a primitive welfare state after the First World War. Lloyd George told them he was going to build a “land fit for heroes”. Of course he didn’t and those who survived the war were worse off than they had been before the war.

In 1945 the British people decided they would not be fooled again. Even though he was considered the main figure in the UK for winning the war, Winston Churchill led the Conservative Party to its largest defeat in history. Churchill was not helped by claiming that Labour plans for higher taxes on the rich, the welfare state, the nationalization of key industries, the break-up of the British Empire, were examples of “Soviet style communism”. He even went as far to suggest that the Labour Party would form some-sort of “Gestapo” organization to ensure these reforms were successful.

The UK is not the only country with socialized medicine. In fact, virtually every advanced country has a similar system. Any country that introduces such a system will never be able to take it away. It is one subject that will get the British masses onto the streets in order to defend what they have gained. At the moment there are massive demonstrations because the government is threatening to close our local hospital.

The events of the early 20th century convinced the British people that the ruling-classes looked after their own. They did not need a National Health Service because they could afford to pay the necessary insurance premiums in order to get the best treatment possible. This is a lesson that every county in the advanced world has learnt. It is only a matter of time before the Americans wake up and start demanding “socialized medicine”.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember ex-President Nixon being interviewed on CNN to speak against Clinton's attempt to reform the US medical system in the early 1990s. "People from all over the world come to America for medical treatment," he growled. He missed out a word: if he'd said "… from all over the Third World …", I'd have bought it. I can't, however, imagine anyone from Sweden going to the US for medical treatment … except in those vary rare cases where some kind of specialist treatment is involved, and I'm fairly sure that there's as much traffic in the other direction (especially since Sweden is one of the world leaders in stem-cell research).

I've met more than one Brit who found it necessary to re-emigrate to the UK because (relatively) minor accidents (such as a broken arm) were threatening to bankrupt the family.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John,

My sympathies to you and your wife. It must be a very difficult time for both of you.

In America, we are often bombarded with propaganda about the socialized medical systems in Britain and Canada. The most frequent drawback in these socialized systems, we are told, is that patients have to "wait" for a very long time for procedures that don't require such a long wait in our wonderful capitalist medical system. Is there any truth to that? I work for a health care system, and the amount of money made by doctors, pharmaceutical companies and health care executives is unbelievable. Reforming such a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy is probably impossible at this point, much like it would be impossible for a true alternative form of energy to be permitted to eliminate the gigantic profits of the big oil companies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In America, we are often bombarded with propaganda about the socialized medical systems in Britain and Canada. The most frequent drawback in these socialized systems, we are told, is that patients have to "wait" for a very long time for procedures that don't require such a long wait in our wonderful capitalist medical system. Is there any truth to that?

It can be a problem for problems that are not life threatening. For example, you might have to wait six months to have a knee replacement. However, when it is something as serious as cancer the treatment is as good as it would be if you had private insurance.

Personally, I have not had to have too much national health treatment. The important thing is that you know it is there if you need it.

I have heard that you have some-sort of charity hospital system. How does that work? What happens if you do not have private insurance and you need a knee replacement? What happens if you have cancer. What is the percentage of people without private health care.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[i have heard that you have some-sort of charity hospital system. How does that work? What happens if you do not have private insurance and you need a knee replacement? What happens if you have cancer. What is the percentage of people without private health care.

John,

The hospitals in the health care system I work for don't turn people away from the emergency room. This is true, curously enough, even for illegal immigrants, and is one of the many contentious issues in that debate. However, for non-emergencies like a knee replacement, you would have to be insured or somehow agree to pay for it yourself (which no one outside of the most wealthy citizens could ever hope to do). Cancer is something that would not be covered as an "emergency," and usually those without insurance would have to hope that Social Services or some other government agency would cover the expenses of treating them. I have heard varying estimates about the number of non-insured Americans. I believe that virtually all full-time workers have some form of health insurance. However, the problem is with those who are in the lowest paying jobs, like retail and the restaurant business. They often are given less than 40 hour work weeks, and thus do not qualify as full-time workers. Their insurance in those situations is weak and watered down, when they have it at all. The lowest paid workers in our society are often immigrants, many of them illegals, and they will often be uninsured. Since most private hospitals have a policy of treating any one who needs emergency services even if they don't have insurance, businesses know this and further exploit those immigrants (who are already being paid less than minimum wage in some cases) because they know that medical services will be there if they absolutely need it. It's a huge problem, because doctors make so much money under the present system, as do administrators and other health care executives, and thus they have no reason to want to see such dramatic changes. Nurses are paid very well, too, as are those with special skills like respiratory therapists, radiologists and orthopedic therapists. Factor in the absurd cost of precriptions, and you have a lot of powerful forces, who profit greatly from the present system, who would strongly resist any movement towards socialized medicine or any other kind of meaningful reform.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[i have heard that you have some-sort of charity hospital system. How does that work? What happens if you do not have private insurance and you need a knee replacement? What happens if you have cancer. What is the percentage of people without private health care.

John,

The hospitals in the health care system I work for don't turn people away from the emergency room. This is true, curously enough, even for illegal immigrants, and is one of the many contentious issues in that debate. However, for non-emergencies like a knee replacement, you would have to be insured or somehow agree to pay for it yourself (which no one outside of the most wealthy citizens could ever hope to do). Cancer is something that would not be covered as an "emergency," and usually those without insurance would have to hope that Social Services or some other government agency would cover the expenses of treating them. I have heard varying estimates about the number of non-insured Americans. I believe that virtually all full-time workers have some form of health insurance. However, the problem is with those who are in the lowest paying jobs, like retail and the restaurant business. They often are given less than 40 hour work weeks, and thus do not qualify as full-time workers. Their insurance in those situations is weak and watered down, when they have it at all. The lowest paid workers in our society are often immigrants, many of them illegals, and they will often be uninsured. Since most private hospitals have a policy of treating any one who needs emergency services even if they don't have insurance, businesses know this and further exploit those immigrants (who are already being paid less than minimum wage in some cases) because they know that medical services will be there if they absolutely need it. It's a huge problem, because doctors make so much money under the present system, as do administrators and other health care executives, and thus they have no reason to want to see such dramatic changes. Nurses are paid very well, too, as are those with special skills like respiratory therapists, radiologists and orthopedic therapists. Factor in the absurd cost of precriptions, and you have a lot of powerful forces, who profit greatly from the present system, who would strongly resist any movement towards socialized medicine or any other kind of meaningful reform.

This is a sore subject with me. You are right Don. That is about how it works here in the good ol' US of A. You will never see Socialized Medicine [sM] ever in this country. If this jackass Bush would take 1/4 of what he has pissed away in this senseless war, we would have SM already! Too many professional people make more money than they could ever spend robbing from all of the people in this country. Wheather it be medicine, specialized treatment, hospital stays, ER visits, or just Dr. visits. They dont even want us getting our prescriptions from Canada because they will loose $. [Prescriptions would probably be 1/2 to 1/3 of the cost here in the states!] Insurance in this country has gone wild! Thank god my wife works for the County, and we have Blue Cross/Blue Sheild [major medical insurance corp. in the US-but different kinds of B/C-B/S by name and carrier]. If we didnt have it, for get it! I have had cronic back problems since an 81' motorcycle accident, and I was hit by a car in 04' [on a m/c again] and my left leg was broken by the bumper of the car, and also broke off my inside ankle bone when it drove it into the engine case. If we didnt have the insurance, we would be on our way out the door to live on the streets. The state [nj] and county decided to close 3 of our 4 county hospitals, and build one larger centrally located new hospital. Great idea right? Wrong. When it opened, I heard from many people they had to wait anywhere from 3-6 hours waiting to be seen in the emergency room! Now the new hospital stated the other day, they were no longer going to accept Horizon B/C-B/S [our insurance plan!] What the hell is going on??? Now even though we have major medical insurance from the county, the new hospital [only about 10-15 minutes from me, and in our own county] wont accept our insurance! What are people to do? I feel so sorry for people who have to pay for just basic medical coverage out of pocket. I have heard horror stories. $500-$1000 a month is not unheard of if you have a family! With all of the money this country has, they will not, or never accept SM as a solution. The insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, and specialized treatment centers will never give up robbing from all of us honest tax paying citizens of this country. They all have their own lobbyists on Capital Hill getting paid big $ to make sure that SM never becomes a reality. So many people are on welfare in this country, its staggering. These poor people just cant win. They will never get ahead, because of insurance companies, doctors, dentists, and anyone else along that same food chain. And its not only the Medical insurance, its home owners [im paying $1200 a year for a 2 story bungalow that was built in 36'!], auto insurance, and any thing else that needs insurance. Look what those poor people are still going through from Katrina damage!! It makes me sick to see all of the money being spent on this senseless, sickening war [wars] we are in. The money being pissed away by the Military Industrial Complex is unbeleiveable. But the rich get richer, and Bush just keeps spending what he doesnt have. It wont be long, and we will end up like the USSR. Just give us a few more years, if this doesnt stop. I know im getting off track, but you get the picture. They will never give anyone free, excellent proffesional health care EVER here in the states! Even when they can see how well it works all over the world in other countries. ALL BECUASE THEY ARE SO DAMN GREEDY! Just my opinion FWIW.

thanks-smitty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a sore subject with me. You are right Don. That is about how it works here in the good ol' US of A. You will never see Socialized Medicine [sM] ever in this country. If this jackass Bush would take 1/4 of what he has pissed away in this senseless war, we would have SM already! Too many professional people make more money than they could ever spend robbing from all of the people in this country. Wheather it be medicine, specialized treatment, hospital stays, ER visits, or just Dr. visits. They dont even want us getting our prescriptions from Canada because they will loose $. [Prescriptions would probably be 1/2 to 1/3 of the cost here in the states!] Insurance in this country has gone wild! Thank god my wife works for the County, and we have Blue Cross/Blue Sheild [major medical insurance corp. in the US-but different kinds of B/C-B/S by name and carrier]. If we didnt have it, for get it! I have had cronic back problems since an 81' motorcycle accident, and I was hit by a car in 04' [on a m/c again] and my left leg was broken by the bumper of the car, and also broke off my inside ankle bone when it drove it into the engine case. If we didnt have the insurance, we would be on our way out the door to live on the streets. The state [nj] and county decided to close 3 of our 4 county hospitals, and build one larger centrally located new hospital. Great idea right? Wrong. When it opened, I heard from many people they had to wait anywhere from 3-6 hours waiting to be seen in the emergency room! Now the new hospital stated the other day, they were no longer going to accept Horizon B/C-B/S [our insurance plan!] What the hell is going on??? Now even though we have major medical insurance from the county, the new hospital [only about 10-15 minutes from me, and in our own county] wont accept our insurance! What are people to do? I feel so sorry for people who have to pay for just basic medical coverage out of pocket. I have heard horror stories. $500-$1000 a month is not unheard of if you have a family! With all of the money this country has, they will not, or never accept SM as a solution. The insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, and specialized treatment centers will never give up robbing from all of us honest tax paying citizens of this country. They all have their own lobbyists on Capital Hill getting paid big $ to make sure that SM never becomes a reality. So many people are on welfare in this country, its staggering. These poor people just cant win. They will never get ahead, because of insurance companies, doctors, dentists, and anyone else along that same food chain. And its not only the Medical insurance, its home owners [im paying $1200 a year for a 2 story bungalow that was built in 36'!], auto insurance, and any thing else that needs insurance. Look what those poor people are still going through from Katrina damage!! It makes me sick to see all of the money being spent on this senseless, sickening war [wars] we are in. The money being pissed away by the Military Industrial Complex is unbeleiveable. But the rich get richer, and Bush just keeps spending what he doesnt have. It wont be long, and we will end up like the USSR. Just give us a few more years, if this doesnt stop. I know im getting off track, but you get the picture. They will never give anyone free, excellent proffesional health care EVER here in the states! Even when they can see how well it works all over the world in other countries. ALL BECUASE THEY ARE SO DAMN GREEDY! Just my opinion FWIW.

thanks-smitty

People obviously feel very strongly about this. Is there any mass pressure group in the US trying to change things? Is the issue discussed on news programs?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sweden's socialised medicine system introduced a national guarantee system for non-urgent medical treatment in 2005, which can be summed up as 0-7-90-90. This means 0 days to get to come to a local clinic (i.e. you should be able to get an appointment at a clinic immediately); 7 days to be able to see a doctor; 90 days to get an appointment to see a specialist; and 90 days for treatment to begin after seeing the specialist.

These are maximum times - there are very few patients who have to wait that long.

So, John's knee replacement surgery example would work like this in Sweden: you could get to your local clinic immediately. If there wasn't a doctor who could see you that day (very rare occurrence), you'd see a GP within 7 days. If you were referred to a specialist, that would happen within 90 days and you'd get surgery less than 90 days after that. I.e. in the worst possible case, a knee replacement would involve a wait of 6 months. In my county the times are less than half that, on average.

You pay about a fee of about £10 at each 'level' of the system (though this varies from place to place) and there's an upper limit of about £100 per year for medical fees and the cost of medicines. Once you've paid that amount, you get free treatment after that. My wife needs asthma medicine, for example, and we pay the full price once a year - after that it's free. Visits to less specialised therapists (such as physiotherapists or speech therapists) cost a little less. Most medical aids (wheelchairs, crutches, physiotherapy equipment, etc) are free of charge.

If the treatment you need isn't available locally, you can demand to be referred to another county - or even another country in some cases - at the expense of your local county. This means that each local area has a strong incentive to make sure that all the common treatments and surgical procedures are available locally. The county I live in has a population of 233,000 people and is served by three major hospitals. There are local clinics all over the place (I live in Kalmar, which has a population of 60,000 and has four local clinics).

The emergency system is separate from this. If you're taken acutely ill, or if you have a potentially life-threatening condition, you gain treatment immediately.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally I would rather see a major effort to address the costs of health care rather than jump into a socialized system in the US. I am lucky to have both good benefits as well as a health savings account, but the costs of healthcare, especially for the elderly- the fastest growing part of our population- are spiraling out of control.

Now if I could just pull my money from Social Security to invest so I'll have enough money for health care when I retire...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.....I have heard varying estimates about the number of non-insured Americans. I believe that virtually all full-time workers have some form of health insurance.

With due respect, that's not even close to being true. And what about their spouses and dependents?

http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/issuebrief202

It definitely seems a major problem in the US.

You seem to pay more upfront in Sweden than the UK. For example, we do not pay anything for seeing doctors, staying in hospital, etc. However, waiting times for non-urgent operations seems to be longer. I believe France has probably the best NHS system but can’t really afford it. One of the major problems seems to be the costs of drugs. Some of the prices these companies charge are scandalous. Every new medical breakthrough creates a massive increase in the costs of the NHS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.....I have heard varying estimates about the number of non-insured Americans. I believe that virtually all full-time workers have some form of health insurance.

With due respect, that's not even close to being true. And what about their spouses and dependents?

http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/issuebrief202

The number that is tossed around in the media is 47 million uninsured. Not sure if that includes illegals.

Purchasing coverage can be expensive. I purchase for my business. as an example coverage for may family is $650 month, 1k deductable, no opticial or dental. I can lower that quite a bit if I opt for a higher deductable. In my case I made the choice to leave a nice comfy job with solid benefits to start a business. I knew the costs and I took the responsibility even when it hurt to do so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.....I have heard varying estimates about the number of non-insured Americans. I believe that virtually all full-time workers have some form of health insurance.

With due respect, that's not even close to being true. And what about their spouses and dependents?

http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/issuebrief202

The number that is tossed around in the media is 47 million uninsured. Not sure if that includes illegals.

Purchasing coverage can be expensive. I purchase for my business. as an example coverage for may family is $650 month, 1k deductable, no opticial or dental. I can lower that quite a bit if I opt for a higher deductable. In my case I made the choice to leave a nice comfy job with solid benefits to start a business. I knew the costs and I took the responsibility even when it hurt to do so.

John, people squalk and talk, but the bottom line is............they have the big $$$ behind them, and the lobbyists pressure in the right places, so it will never happen. These insurance companies, the AMA, pharmacology companies, are getting filthy rich. Example: with our insurance you have to get an ok from the ins. co. to get an MRI, CAT scan, bone scan, etc....[not for regular x-rays or normal routine tests] You call the ins. co., they give you the OK to get it done. Then when the bill comes to them, they reject it! Then you have to call and find out why, [routine BS excuses to give you the run around} and it gets drug out for sometimes months. [it is a proven fact that the insurance companies only pay for 1/2 of the bills they are responsible for, because they just keep denying to pay until people give up, and pay it themselves, because they get so tired of getting the run around, phone calls, time spent. getting put on hold, getting cut off after waiting 20 min. on hold, and getting transfered to someone else and having to explain the whole situation all over again to someone else, and the reasons go on and on] People do pay them, because they keep getting collection notices, and so on. We kept getting a bill from one company over my last m/c accident, and we already had a reciept saying it was paid! We got collection notice after notice. My wife finally got ahold of someone at the ins. co. and they told her to POSSITIVELY send them no money as this company had been doing this for quite some time to everyone, and getting paid more than once for the same bill. Thank GOD my wife is a fighter and dosent give up! She will stay on the phone for hours fighting these people to get these bills taken care of. If it wasnt for her, I dont know what I would do. The politicians in our country [i cant say all, but most] are in the ins. co. pocket, and they will not do anything to change it. Any Senator, Representitive, Governor, etc.... recieves after retirement [maybe only serving a 2 year term, will recieve LIFETIME full coverage insurance for their whole family, their full wage [when they were in office] until retirement, and after retirement age, they recieve their full pension, plus all of the insurance benefits for free for life! Now what is wrong with this picture???? All of that for as little as a 2 year term!! Now something is wrong here. We work our whole lives, and we are lucky if we get social security, and if your really lucky, a pension and have to get by with that. [im not even going to mention about our elderly who have to get by on nothing] I doubt there will even be Social Security when I retire! I failed to mention, alot of these insurance co. here, will only allow you to see the doctors on their list of participating Drs.. That means you could have been seeing your regular doctor for 45 years, [like me] and not be able to see him because he is not on their list of participating professionals. Im getting sick just talking about this! Anyway, that is a rough idea of how things work here in the U.S.. Some will probably argue with me about this, but I will not answer or argue about this issue back. This country is in bad shape. If this war continues, and it will, only we will also be at war with Iran next [so that will actually be 3 wars we will be in at the same time] , it is going to killl this country off. Thanks to all who re-elected the jack-ass we have leading this country now. Just my opinion FWIW.

thanks-smitty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...