Universal Health Care is something civilized nations seem to be attempting to weaken, if not actually destroy. Whether it is the Harper Conservatives or the Republican Party or even Hilary Rodham Clinton, the idea of Universal Health Care is like a red flag is to a bull in heat.
While the Presidential Candidates spar over who has the better plan, the fact is simple. Nearly 60 Million citizens have no health coverage, and it was under Hilary Clinton (not her husband, she was the one in charge) the solution was believed to be the HMO plan that winds its way across America today. The number of uninsured has increased, as costs continue to skyrocket, and frankly that is part of the problem, not just for those without universal care, but those with it.
Our standards seem to have suffered. I really do wonder what it is about Money that makes so many seem to be greedy. I mean let’s be honest here. How would your boss feel if you come to them at the end of the contract, and say that you’ll do a good job but only if they pay you more?
Yet that is exactly what Nurses, Teachers, Doctors, and other so called Professionals do each time their labor contract comes up. They plead that the conditions need improving, and that if they are given more money, then they’ll be able to do a better job. I am sorry, but it isn’t like the conditions suddenly changed after they were hired. They are the same conditions that they knew about when they chose to become a Doctor, a Nurse.
Only the pay scale changed from when they entered the field.
Now I am all for getting paid what the job will earn. I am also of the opinion that a fair wage is something we should all aspire for, and allow for, but when does a ‘fair wage‘ become nothing more than greed? Is it about corporate profits? I mean should health care run in the black?
Here is where I part company with the Conservative Philosophy. I believe that Health Care is not about profits, but about quality of care. I believe that if it costs more to keep people healthy, then it is an expense we need to accept. That doesn’t mean we accept paying outrageous prices for things like bedpans, or Tylenol but that we shouldn’t be wedded to the notion that hospitals and clinics need make a profit. Mind you I believe that Government should always try to get the best price and not accept higher prices for materials. But then, that is me.
Still, what kind of standards, what kind of ethics is it when we take on a job, and don’t give it 110% effort? Isn’t that like cheating the people who hire us? And sure, I know the old saying too, you get what you pay for, but come on, if we go into a job with our eyes open, shouldn’t we do our best? It isn’t like they changed the rules once we got hired. We know exactly what we are in for, when we sign up, so why do we seem to always be hedging our bets?
When you sign up for the Military, you know that if war breaks out, you are going to have to fight. There is no doubt that you are being trained to fight, and so what if you join in peace time? If war breaks out, do you suddenly tell your commanding officer that you won’t go unless they give you more money? Man talk about being thrown in jail in short order if you pulled that stunt, yet that is exactly what Nurses and Doctors do.
Corporation don’t buy Hospitals or run Clinics for their own health. They buy them to make a profit, and that too is okay, providing that they still provide the right kind of care, that doesn’t endanger a patient. However, given that the over riding principle is to make money, you just know that quality of care has to suffer, no matter how much they say otherwise. It is why Private Health Care is not going to work, for you and me.
Private Health Care is for those who can afford it, and frankly, I don’t believe that we can be calling ourselves a ‘civilized society‘ if we are unable to provide the basics such as health care for ALL of our citizens. I have no qualms about expecting those who earn more, to pay more, but within reason. I mean come on, to charge $250,000 for a by-pass operation? That is obscene, and yet that is what the Private Health considers reasonable.
Granted, there are a lot of costs associated with any surgery, but should the deciding factor be how much you can pay? Hell, even a Millionaire needs health insurance or they’ll not be a millionaire for long. And there lies the problem.
Just because someone has made a lot of money, does that make them more valuable as a citizen than some one who earns minimum wage at Burger King? Two Tiered Health Care says so.
Fact is that if we base health care on money, on income levels, we are saying to the majority of people, that they are not as important to society as the rich, the powerful, the famous, who can afford better health care. Frankly I find that distasteful, and despicable even. I am very naive, because I thought people became Doctors and Nurses because they had this urge to help people, to heal people.
When did all that change, to have added, ‘Only if they can Afford it‘ or worse, ‘help according to what they can pay?‘ Seems to me that yes, we all need to earn a decent living at our chosen profession. Not like I am going to sell one of my stories or write one for $5, but is what I do worth $100? $200? or $1000? Most writers charge a set amount, and yes the more famous maybe can command more, but that is generally after years of toiling for the $30 or so.
Doctors earn their degrees after several years of study, but at least in Canada, that education is subsidized by us, the taxpayer. In most countries where there is some form of Universal Care that is the case. Even in the United States, education centers are subsidized by the taxpayer. So in fact, Doctors may pay some of the costs, but the brunt is borne by all of us. Yet they seem to feel they owe us nothing back.
I don’t get that concept at all.
Consider the example of the Military and the GI Bills. Today, if you sign up for the Military under one of their education plans, you can get college tuition paid for, books, and all that to complete your education. Once you graduate you are expected to serve for so many years, before you can go into private practice. You can’t decide afterwards that you don’t want to serve, you made a commitment.
Why is it any different if you go to college to become a Nurse or Doctor? The taxpayers still pay for a lot of that education, and are willing to give you a job. However, instead of working at County Hospitals, or under Univeral Health Care, you suddenly want it to be private, to charge what ever the traffic will bear.
Where is your obligation to pay society back for subsidizing your education?
Two Tiered Systems only [[acerbate]] this type of behavior. I know the argument is that we live in a Democracy, but don’t we also have a moral obligation to honor our debts to our fellow citizens? Is Democracy just about the individual, irrespective of others living within the same society? Don’t we have a moral obligation to help our neighbor?
Consider the plan put forth by Mitt Romney. He doesn’t want to have Universal Care, but a way to make it easier for low income earners to get insurance. In short, to add to the corporate profit lines of Big Business. Now that might get some people medical coverage, but at a price. It takes away your right of choice, is based on what your employer offers, and that isn’t health care, that is just offering a handout.
Romney’s plan would help people buy private health insurance “in a way that builds on the experience in Massachusetts but doesn’t force a one-size-fits-all approach on other states,” said Sally Canfield, a Romney policy adviser who previewed the speech for reporters. (source)
This is the standard line by those who can afford health care. It is the line that Stephen Harper and George Bush use often. It is about making it more affordable for us to buy insurance, when the truth is, the Government needs to PROVIDE THIS SERVICE. This isn’t about increasing Insurance Company Profits, but about insuring that we are a healthy society. It is about taking the burden off the shoulders of the working citizen, and those who aren’t working.
It is about providing the same care, for all Citizens. And yes, that should be the very best care possible. With a two tier system, Private Care will drain the pool, will lessen the quality care for those who can’t pay for it, and that is wrong. Each person deserves the best possible care, irrespective of their income level. It shouldn’t matter if you are Bill Gates of the homeless begger on the street corner. If you are sick, you should be able to get the best possible care.
The job should fall to Government, not Private Corporations for the simple fact, that Government is responsible to the People, not Shareholders. IT should be the will of the people to determine the levels of care, and willingness to pay for it. Not what the profit line is.