Insane Man Gets A Little Perspective By Reminding Himself That He is God...The Onion
- When Communism pressed their boots against the throats of other Eastern European countries for almost 50 years, all of those countries had universal health care. During that period, I had the displeasure of experiencing that horrific health care system first hand. My mother---living in Poland with my dad at the time---was behaving as if she was entering the early stages of dementia. When I flew over to visit my parents, I took my mom to one of the best hospitals in Krakow. As we entered the hospital, it was apparent the building needed a major makeover---like into the 20th century. The hallways were painted in that dark, drab military green. Lighting was poor. The odor was rank. After waiting for some time, a middle-aged physician showed up (we were the lucky ones to get an appointment in a timely fashion because we were paying the doctor under the table with American dollars. Under Communism and Socialism, even in their health care system, if you wanted immediate service bribery was rampant and expected). He invited us into his office then lit a cigarette. After examining my mom, he ordered X-rays. We waited again for some time before he delivered a report. His diagnosis: yes, you mother is probably going through the initial stages of dementia. As a former military medic myself, I wanted more testing. So I asked him for the X-ray film.
- Long story short. I returned to the states with that film. Since I was dating a nurse at the time, she was able to get me an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic to have as neurologist read the film. Within a few seconds of his slipping the film above the light plates, he pointed to a section of the X-ray and immediately made the diagnosis: my mother had a brain tumor. She died a little over a year later.
- Even though this is an anecdotal story, I can assure you universal health care sucks---big time. You see my mom was actually lucky. Since we were able to pay with American dollars, we got in to at least see a physician rather quickly (if she had been living in the states, she would have been diagnosed much sooner and perhaps would be living to this day). On the other hand, Poles who didn't have that luxury were forced to wait weeks, sometimes months for medical appointments. As a result, the outcome was not always a good one.
- I relate this story to you within the context of the narrative and debate we are all experiencing with Obamacare. Among many observers and experts, there is a belief that the real purpose of Obamacare is to eventually have a universal health care, single-payer system. In most countries that had and have national health care, the health care is not as good as our present system. National health care systems are often plagued by long waiting lists, poor quality, crumbling infrastructure and incompetent management. In addition, there are usually doctor shortages largely because they are underpaid (In Poland, under Communism, doctors were making about $50.00 a month. Cab drivers were making more money. Today, a physician in Russia still makes under $1000.00 a month unless he/she practices in Moscow where it can double).
- This disaster is not specific to Communist and Socialist countries. Britain's national health care system has been a disgrace and under fire for decades. Almost a week does not go by when their press reports on poor health care often resulting in needless deaths each year. Several years ago, the UK Telegraph reported patients were dying because of delays in seeing their doctors including long delays in getting needed operations. There are countless similar reports from Britain and other countries with national health care.
- My point? Those who want a universal health care, single-payer system as naive and misguided. Unfortunately, our current administration is good at lying---with a dash of Machiavellian brilliance.