Socialized medicine. Universal healthcare. Somehow these phrases have become polarizing in our society. I don’t get it. I really don’t. Let me explain why.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m in favor of socialized medicine. It is my understanding that the core purpose of government, be you Republican, Democrat or “other”, is to take care of the citizenry. Our country maintains a military and our local governments provide police and fire protection (although the latter is becoming outsourced to inferior privatization in some areas). We generally agree that these services are necessary to protect the “lives” of our citizens. You know, it’s a matter of life and death.
Throughout history people have banded together to provide for the common welfare of their “tribe”, we continue to do so. I am no social scientist, but I am sure there is ample evidence to support my theory.
Why the ultimate “issue” of life or death is ignored in our country is beyond me. While we maintain military and police protection, we allow thousands of our citizens to die each year as the result of inferior or no healthcare. Human being become homeless as the result of the inability to afford the economically absurd cost of healthcare. Is there a more important “life or death” issue than healthcare? I am much more likely to be threatened by the dysfunctional healthcare system in our country with fatal results than I am to be vaporized by a nuclear missile from Iran. Yet it’s still an “issue”.
Those who decry socialized medicine as yet another example of socialism or government interference in our capitalist system do so hypocritically when the military/police argument is examined. I submit that for the majority of our citizenry, we are threatened more by the broken healthcare system then we are from any sort of invasion from a foreign entity.
Finally, the argument that we can’t afford it is disingenuous at best. If you have had any cause to receive an itemized bill for medical services recently, it is no surprise that the actual costs of healthcare in our capitalist system are so far out of the norm, that an attempt to control and regulate them through standardization would likely allow us to redistribute the funds to other more important issues like education. But that’s a post for another day.