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Monday, August 24, 2009

Where's the Debate?

So are there legitimate arguments against this thing? Sure. Consider the horrible quality of care in countries with nationalized healthcare. As explained in this editorial, "Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless." Of course, they have now corrected the article by removing the original reference to Hawking and including a correction at the top that they regret having "implied that .. Hawking ... did not live in the UK." Yes, Hawking is from the UK and has turned up to defend his nation's healthcare system.

So they had to fib a little, but their point remains intact: there are legitimate arguments against modern healthcare systems like those of every other developed country in the world. For example, Conservatives for Patients Rights found three cases where the British NHS fell short of expectations illustrating the problems with socialized medicine. Although two of the three later complained that their views were misrepresented and that they actually support the NHS and universal healthcare, but again these are just anecdotes anyway. Nothing ever goes wrong in the US healthcare system, right? ...as long as you are wealthy or have a job that offers insurance and the insurance company decides to cover you, right? No mistakes here!

To be fair, I'm sure they could have found three Brits to prove their point if they had tried a little harder. I can find plenty of anecdotes from the US to prove the point that the the US system lets people down. We can find nationalists/patriots in every modern industrialized nation who swear that their system is the best. Wouldn't some metrics be more meaningful than dueling anecdotes? I think so. Are there legitimate arguments against "socialist" healthcare systems like the ones every other industrialized nation in the world has? I'm sure there are. I just haven't found anyone who takes the opposing side yet. Plenty of people screaming "bloody murder! Fascism! Communism!... BOO! Be afraid, they are coming to get us!" But no one yet who is willing to discuss the metrics, ethics, and market forces rationally from the opposing side. I'm waiting. Until then, don't accuse me of name calling, you F*CKING RETARD!

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