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Obamacare and other scare stories ahout the NHS

I am watching with great amusement the current debate in the US over the planned health care reforms especially since the NHS has been dragged into it after Daniel Hannan told Sean Hannity how awful our health care system is and warned the Americans from following us down that path. You can view the video below:

I really do laugh at how in the US the word Socialism is used as a slur word. Just the mention of the word is enough to send certain right wing conservatives frothing at the mouth. You can see in their eyes that socialism equates to thousands of rows of  North Koreans all marching in step saluting the great leader. America is land of the free and socialism just doesn’t belong there.

Now I believe in liberty, free speech, small government when it comes to intrusion into my personal lives and also in a free market to a limit but I also in believe in society as an entity, unlike Maggie Thatcher who said there was no such thing, you cannot live your live independently of others. We are a crowded country and if you go down the route of each for their own it turns ugly very quickly. Therefore I believe that a state needs to exist and should run certain services which should be paid for out of our taxes the health system being one of them. This is what our National Insurance was created for to pay for our health care and our pensions.

Yes the health care has its faults, its expensive and has way too many consultants and managers and new drugs are rationed but this is mostly down to the ridiculously high costs that the pharmaceuticals charge. If we could sort out the patenting issues regarding generic drugs then the NHS could afford a lot more purchasing power. There have been publicised issues regarding new experimental drugs that cost a lot of money and therefore been denied to patients on the grounds of cost effectiveness.

However certain media outlets have really gone overboard with the exageration game when talking about this, trying to scare the US public into wanting to keep the power in the hands of the HMOs and Insurance companies. I especially like the suggestion that Stephen Hawkings who was in the US to receive a honour the other day wouldn’t have stood a chance if he had live in the UK as he would have basically had to go in front of some “death board” that would have judged his life not worthy to keep. Apart from the fact that Hawkings lives in the UK and has himself said that he owes his life to the NHS it just is plain bull to suggest that Obama is planning to create “death boards” in the first place.

Apart from the downsides though I am glad that I live in a country that when I get ill I can get treated and not have to worry about receiving a large bill at the end. I find it very strange that Americans are prepared to spend billions a month on wars of empire that kill and maim thousands of innocent people as well as their own soldiers but when it comes to spending a portion of that on health care for their poor and uninsured its seen as un-American. They already spend more on health care than any other country yet are ranked by the WHO 37th in performance. Its a lot of money to spend yet still leave such a large number of people without adequate insurance.

Also for those rich enough to pay to jump a queue or require the latest super Viagra or gene therapy then you can pay for that. However having a standard health care system that is paid for by everybody who can afford it straight out their taxes and national insurance seems like a fair and right minded thing to do. I really hate people who have an “I‘m all right Jack” attitude to life and this especially applies to health care. Its very easy when you have money and a secure job to parrot down the camera like I have seen a few times on TV this week that “People should get jobs and pay for their own health care”. Which is fine to say when your in that bracket but not everyone who is uninsured or under-insured is so by choice especially in these times of recession where big company after company is laying off staff so that they can reduce costs and balance books.

When you have seen life from both sides of the gutter you tend to get a more balanced view about society and helping others less fortunate than yourself. You maybe on the right side of the poverty line at the moment and able to afford your insurance but loose your job and get ill only to find your insurance stopped and then you might think a little differently.  Is it so much to ask for the richest country in the world to arrange for universal health coverage? Obamas plan may not be perfect but I haven’t seen any alternatives coming from the detractors.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. Americans going crazy over Obamacare « Dark Politricks Retweeted linked to this post on January 9, 2010

    […] going crazy over Obamacare By darkpolitricks As I recently mentioned in a previous article about the debate over Obamacare in America it seems some Americans on the right have gone a bit crazy and will not let facts stand in their […]

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