Why further socialization? Because if you add everyone on Medicare and Medicaid to all the government workers and retirees (civilian and military) who receive insurance or health care though public means, our government has been supplying over 50% of this country's medical care for more than 30 years. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965, pushing the percentage up dramatically, but it took a few more years for the numbers to achieve a majority. As our citizens grow older, and a greater and greater proportion of jobs are subsumed by the government, this figure will continue to increase.
Robert's essay yesterday centered around his conversation with a Russian physician who immigrated to the US in order to protect his son from the destructiveness of the Russian system--not just its economic inefficiencies, but the racism and corruption that authoritarian collectivism injects into daily life and into the character of those not strong or savvy enough to resist.
Robert asked about Russia's socialized medical care system. Here is his description of the physician's reply:
His overall summary of Russia's culture of authoritarianism is that "They do not value human life." This was his introduction to the subject on which he was most passionate: socialized medicine. A major part of the reason he left Russia was because socialized medicine is just as intolerable for doctors as it is for patients.
Socialized medicine, he stated flatly, "doesn't work." Why doesn't it work? He explained that a doctor works for the state—not for his patients. So he spends much of his time filling out forms. "As long as the forms are filled out, no one cares what the patient says," how he is doing, or whether he survives.
He then went out of his way to point out that the current administration wants to move us toward socialized medicine. (He did not know my political views, so he had no idea how much I would agree with him on this issue.) "If they move us just a little bit, it will not be so bad. But if they move us a lot, it will be a disaster."
Keep that in mind during the coming debates over President Obama's plans for the de facto nationalization of our medical system.
With this horrifying description in mind, please read in full this latest report on the congressinal Democrats' plan to implement President Obama's massive restructuring of health care by using the budget reconciliation mechanism to circumvent Republican filibuster.
If we desire a system which values each individual human life, we must do all we can to halt and reverse this trend toward implementing socialized health care.
To my friends who are concerned about unequal access to medical services in this country, please keep in mind that government coercion is never compassionate.