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Bordering on political.

I've heard a lot of USicans talking about their health care system recently, largely due to President Obama daring to suggest that the current system needs to change. From what I've seen in the US news, there seem to be two schools of thought on the matter. One, that the system needs to change and two, the proposed changes will lead to a socialist society.

This is a comment I made on someone's lj, and I thought I'd share it with you to put this idea of socialism in perspective:

I'm going to talk about the socialist healthcare system in communist Australia for a moment, comrade. I don't have private health insurance. Last year, I had a variety of appointments with a variety of specialists - each one costing me about $90.00 Australian. Of that, I usually got about $60.00 back from Medicare. I ended up having to have surgery on my heart. As this was non-life-threatening surgery, I was put on a waiting list that was predicted to be about 3-6 months long. It ended up being about 3 months.

I was in hospital for about 24 hours. During that time, I was in a cardiology ward. I was prepped for surgery by two nurses, during surgery I was cared for by three nurses and two (!!!) surgeons, after surgery I was cared for by two other nurses.

This entire procedure cost me $30.00 Australian. That's about $20.00 US. For heart surgery.

If this is socialism, I don't see the problem with it.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 27th, 2009 01:29 am (UTC)
But you're missing the important part.

These proposed health care plans are just like the plans the Nazis had. Just like them!

Which plans do I mean? What? The... the ones the Nazis had. With... you know. Nazis.

Oh! Oh! And there will be panels of people who get to decide who lives and who dies. And since old people and children are expensive to treat, they'll kill all the old people. And the children. All of them. I'm sure it's in there somewhere. What? No, of course I haven't read the bill, don't be silly. It's, like, 1000 pages or something.

And besides, I'm sure poor people would rather get sick and die, or rack up enormous, impossible to pay bills than to have to wait to get surgery.

Oh, and it just wouldn't work here. We're... unique that way. So thoroughly corrupt that it would waste such a vast amount of money that we just couldn't do it. Of course, this insanely rampant corruption (obviously an American virtue) isn't worth dealing with. No no, we just accept it as part of our culture.

Okay, I'm done being silly. I agree with you. Socialism isn't some big scary monster that eats your children, kills grandma, and then throws you in the gulag.
Aug. 27th, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
I hadn't heard the reductio ad hitlerum argument before, but you pretty much covered it.
Aug. 27th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
"Socialism" in the United States, has just become convenient political shorthand for "things we don't like." See also: "Facism", "Communism."

As for my personal feelings on the issue, these people organizing the opposition (and don't mistake this for a grassroots movement for one second) are pretty far from my favorite people right now. I can't find decent work in the economy that their pet economic/political philosophy tanked, and so I can't afford this health insurance that's supposed to provide me with the best healthcare in the world, so all I can really do is desperately hope I don't get sick. And on top of this, the only work I can find is doing part-time research for someone who's actively working to stop me from getting this horrible, socialized healthcare, which just adds insult to injury.
Aug. 27th, 2009 08:04 am (UTC)
I was going to say "You can't spell Nationalized Healthcare without Nazi" but it hurt too much to type it even in parody. I don't get it either. If I have to go to the doctor here, I think I'll end up paying like 20 bucks or something like that though the Japanese healthcare systems has its own issues at this point.

What I love is that these people love them some social darwinism but don't believe in evolution (not that the two are actually really related but it's always funny to point out to them)
Aug. 31st, 2009 11:56 am (UTC)
I was going to say "You can't spell Nationalized Healthcare without Nazi"

heh Actually you can here in Australia: "Nationalised Healthcare." ;-)

I have nothing really relevant to add to this thread except that my Canadian husband thinks that Australia's healthcare system is horrifying compared to the Canadian one.
Aug. 27th, 2009 11:21 am (UTC)
If you think US healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free!

I've yet to hear a decent argument against this particular form of 'socialism'. And as many problems as I have with Michael Moore as a documentarian, Sicko was a pretty grim summation of the negatives of the US system, and shiny campaign for the positives of the European and Commonwealth systems.

Also, US healthcare argument summarised via giant pig:
Aug. 27th, 2009 11:59 am (UTC)
Wow. So good.
But chocolate covered bacon? good lord.
Aug. 28th, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)
In the US, there are people who believe healthcare for everyone is some kind of Satanic Nazi apocalypse.

In the ENTIRE REST OF THE DEVELOPED WORLD, healthcare for everyone is seen almost universally as a basic human right.

Dear anti-healthcare Americans,

What makes you so sure you're right and everyone else is wrong?
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
Dear rest of the world,

Our insufferable greed and belief that nobody deserves anything but us and our immediate family is what makes us right. I shouldn't have to pay for (insert favorite race, ethnic, socioeconomic group here) health care. They should get jobs and pay it themselves.


Basically, the opposition all goes back to the core American beliefs that nobody should ever get anything for free, especially if I have to pay for it. Fuck all that helping your fellow man.
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
In which case, what's the point of having a nation-state at all?
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:20 pm (UTC)
Pride and military power with which to bully everyone else :p
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
But I may be approaching this cynically :)
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
The addendum here is that if average Joe or one of HIS friends, family, neighbors is the one that needs it, then he's all for it. Just don't give it to anyone else.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )