Almost everyone agrees to some extent that improvements could be made in our health care system. On the other hand almost everyone agrees we have one of the best health care systems in the world.
This shit makes me laugh every time I hear/read it. Everyone agrees we have the best health care system in the world, yet 99.44% of those people lumped into the category of "everyone" have never set foot in a foreign hospital, doctors office, or clinic. That aside, the figures from the WHO and other organizations just don't support the claim. These same people that go on and on about the shortcomings of socialized medicine have, for the most part never seen it with their own two eyes. I have personally seen with my good eye the insides of both British and Irish hospitals, and can testify firsthand, that most of the horror stories are entirely untrue. While it is true that some people in these countries face long waits for elective, or non-emergency procedures the main difference between us and them is that there, no one does without. While I'm not a fan of socialized anything, I think there's a lot to be learned from the various socialized medicine programs in western europe. The two major differences between us and them are better access to preventative care, and the lack of financial ruin for people facing catastrophic illness or injury. The fact of the matter is that as currently written, the healthcare bill does nothing to address either of these issues. Personally, I feel we'd be better served to narrow the focus to providing universal access to preventative medicine, and a mandate limiting an insured's personal liability. I forget what the exact figures are, but something like 40% of all bankruptcy filings are due to medical reasons, and of that 40%, something like 70% have health insurance. If getting sick or injured is going to lead to bankruptcy with or without health insurance, then why bother paying premiums every month if the end result is the same?
Just for the record, in the last 5 years I've witnessed 2 granny's, a grandad (all in their late 90's), and an aunt pass away in British and Irish hospitals. None were wealthy folks, but all received excellent care, as good as any I've seen in U.S. hospitals. So the next time anyone tells you we have the best healthcare system in the world, take the time to ask them which other countries they've received care in and what their impressions were.
It does us no good whatsoever to continue to keep our heads in the sand and insist that we have the best healthcare in the world when the data simply doesn't support it. We'd be better served to own up to the fact that we lag behind other industrialized nations in such things as infant mortality, longevity, etc. and learn from their successes and failures as well as our own.
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