Why America Will Never Like ObamaCare

This essay from The Wall Street Journal explains the wide intuition among Americans that national health care is not a good idea. This notion is one that President Obama, despite his speeches and special deals and arm-twisting, has not been able to change.

The author of the editorial piece is Arthur C. Brooks. He is president of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank that has been around since the 1940s. It is also the place which offered intellectual refuge to Ayaan Hirsi Ali when she sought sanctuary in the U.S. She remains one of the scholars at AEI.

Following the essay you will find some information on Dr. Brooks. He’s an interesting fellow in his own right.

Why Government Health Care Keeps Falling in the Polls

The health-care debate is part of a larger moral struggle over the free-enterprise system

That subtitle, about the moral struggle over the free-enterprise system, captures this issue of nationalized health care perfectly for conservatives. The term ‘moral’ here does not mean religious. Rather, this encompasses public virtue and what is to become of this vital part of our national character in an increasingly socialist state.

In a post on the unseemly haste of Obama and his Congress, J. Thomas Hunter points to the necessity for temperance, which he calls “provident care in the management of resources”. If one were forced to name the largest failing of the current politicians is just that: improvidence and mismanagement of resources.

Dr. Brooks is concerned to show why Americans find what is on offer by Congress so unpalatable. First, let’s look at what people think. Brooks uses Gallup to demonstrate his point:

Regardless of how President Barack Obama’s health-care agenda plays out in Congress, it has not been a success in public opinion. Opposition to ObamaCare has risen all year.

According to the Gallup polling organization, the percentage of Americans who believe the cost of health care for their families will “get worse” under the proposed reforms rose to 49% from 42% in just the past month. The percentage saying it would “get better” stayed at 22%.

Gallup polls all adults. I prefer Rasmussen, which limits its polling to likely voters. Thus its findings aren’t skewed by the non-voters who are largely liberal in their views and grievances (this difference in the polling populations causes many liberals to accuse Rasmussen of being conservative).

At any rate, Rasmussen reports:

57% of voters nationwide believe the present ObamaCare plan will raise the cost of health care, and 53% believe the quality of care will get worse. That’s part of the reason that just 45% support the plan. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% are opposed to it.

Those numbers include 23% who Strongly Favor the plan and 40% who are Strongly Opposed.

Then Rasmussen concludes:

Perhaps the most stunning aspect of the numbers is how stable they have been through months of debate, town hall protests, presidential speeches, congressional wrangling, and more. [my emphases throughout – D]

With the exception of bounces following nationally televised presidential pitches for the plan, support has stayed between 41% and 46% since July. In all cases, the intensity has been with the opposition as the number who Strongly Oppose the bill has remained nearly double the number who Strongly Support it.

In other words, the protests were reflecting a reality that was always there in spite of the attempts at pushback by the politicians…That intense negativity is important to keep in mind.

Dr. Brooks continues:

Many are searching for explanations. One popular notion is that demagogues in the media are stirring up falsehoods against what they say is a long-overdue solution to the country’s health-care crisis.

Americans deserve more credit. They haven’t been brainwashed, and they aren’t upset merely over the budget-busting details. Rather, public resistance stems from the sense that the proposed reforms do violence to three core values of America’s free enterprise culture.

These keystones are quite simple, really:

  • individual choice,
  • personal accountability, and
  • rewards for ambition.

Brooks has captured the essence of the issue in those three characteristics. I am emphasizing them because they are simple and utterly essential to many Americans. No amount of talk can blunt their force or deter those who hold them as central to their lives.

He details each of them as they apply to this mendacious health care bill:
– – – – – – – –

First, Americans recoil at policies that strip choices from citizens and pass them to bureaucrats. ObamaCare systematically does so. The current proposals in Congress would effectively limit choice across the entire spectrum of health care:

a. what kind(s) of health insurance citizens can buy,
b. what kind of doctors they can see,
c. what kind of procedures their doctors will perform,
d. what kind of drugs they can take, and
e. what treatment options they may have.

In other words, they propose to limit us to what they think is best, as though we were children. As you well know, the further the decision is from the person or problem to which it is being applied, the worse the outcome in all cases. If you’ve ever tried to work your way through the labyrinth of Bureaucratic Bad Ideas while holding on to their red tape, you know how futile the journey, how wasteful it is of human endeavor, how frustrating your efforts.

Second, Americans believe we should be responsible for the consequences of our actions. Many citizens bitterly view the auto and Wall Street bailouts as gifts to people who took imprudent risks, imperiled the entire economic system, and now appear to be walking away from the mess.

Ah yes, indeed. Look at CitGroup’s bankruptcy, which this news report says isn’t worth worrying about since they will be stronger once they’ve been through the Chapter 11 proceedings. And the 2.3bn dollars of taxpayer losses from the bail-out? Piffle. You can afford it.

Yes, I know the smart money men can use equivocation to tell you why something that is essentially immoral isn’t “all that bad”. Cynics and sophisticates who make such arguments are naked moral midgets and it is this kind of moral cosmos from which our current financial system derives. Despite what they say, Dr. Brooks is right: Americans believe we should be responsible for the consequences of our actions. And that includes the folks at Cit Group – who are canning their CEO shortly. Obviously they believe someone should be responsible for the mess.

Dr. Brooks notes:

Similarly, Americans are cold to a health-care system that effectively rewards individuals for waiting to get insurance until they get sick-subsidizing their coverage by taxing those who responsibly carry insurance in good times and bad.

On its face, the reformers’ promise to provide health insurance to nearly all, regardless of pre-existing conditions, is appealing. But as most instinctively realize, if people don’t have to worry about carrying insurance until they need it, many won’t buy it. Already, the Census Bureau tells us that 21% of the uninsured are in households earning at least $75,000. Although there are certainly plausible reasons for this in some cases, this phenomenon will worsen under ObamaCare.

To get around this, Obama and his Congressional minions have devised various penalties to be levied and collected by the IRS. It’s not for nothing that many people in this country call the IRS our American KGB. They are whimsical and imperious and random in their assessments of fines. Once in their clutches, you can lose more than your shirt.

However, the fines this program plans to levy on the rich who don’t buy insurance is still cheaper for them than paying for insurance premiums. It is not a calculus designed to change anyone’s behavior. Many people making more than $75,000.00 a year have Health Savings Plans which allow them to deposit pre-tax dollars to provide for medical care. With the Obama program, these accounts will be terminated.

On the other end of the spectrum our son, who is working part-time and doesn’t have health care, pays for an inexpensive high-deductible individual plan. Since he is young and healthy, the costs are minimal.

This essentially protects him two ways: when he goes for doctor visits, the physician accepts the deduction all insurance companies make on the full price fee. Thus he gets discounted rates for doctor care and lab work. The same applies to his hospital bills, should he ever have need of hospital care. He would be responsible for the first thousand dollars and then twenty percent of the remaining costs. His plan costs him about $400.00 a year and it’s not dependent on an employer.

The Baron has a similar plan though it’s more expensive because he’s not twenty anymore. Since he became self-employed, he’s had an individual plan that costs $175. a month. Now that he is unemployed, we have continued that policy. So far, so good. This way, he is assured of not being bankrupted by medical costs should they arise.

There’s not much help for prescriptions. Big Pharma has a sweet deal all sewed up ahead of time with Obama and they’ll make out like bandits with their part of the arrangement for our new “nationalized care”. Taxpayers will continue to pay part of the costs of medicine for European and Canadian citizens as we have in the past, and the exorbitant costs of medicines won’t decrease. That’s why our costs are so much higher. And if you want to apply for reduced fees due to reduced income, the paperwork for getting accepted into their lower cost “charity” cases is daunting. I doubt that will change.

Which brings us to Dr. Brooks’ final American characteristic:

Third, ObamaCare discourages personal ambition. The proposed reforms will institute a set of government mandates, price controls and other strictures that will make highly trained specialists, drug researchers and medical device makers less valued now and in the future. Americans understand that when you take away the incentive to make money while saving lots of lives, the cures, therapies and medical innovations of tomorrow may never be discovered.

Yet we are told this is all for the best. In his commencement speech at Arizona State University earlier this year, Mr. Obama told the graduates not to “fall back on the formulas of success that have been peddled so frequently in recent years”: “You’re taught to chase after all the usual brass rings . . . let me suggest that such an approach won’t get you where you want to go.”

Crass materialism is indeed a tyranny that can lead to personal misery. But most Americans believe it’s up to individuals, not a nannying government, to decide what constitutes too much income and too much ambition.

This is probably the most disturbing aspect of this administration. It is a moral scold without having the necessary understanding of economics, enterprise or even a moral compass to tell you how to get where they think you should go.

The ignorance of the current crowd is not only surprising, it is worrying. Our First Lady gives speeches touting “public service” and yet she accepted a $300,000.00 position at a Chicago hospital, a position created especially for her and one that was eliminated when she left to assume her duties in Washington. These people are stellar hypocrites.

So what do Americans think government’s role should be? Brooks found this survey:

An April 2009 survey conducted by the polling firm Ayers, McHenry & Associates for the conservative nonprofit group Resurgent Republic asked respondents which of the following statements about the role of government came closer to their view: (a) “Government policies should promote fairness by narrowing the gap between rich and poor, spreading the wealth, and making sure that economic outcomes are more equal”; or (b) “Government policies should promote opportunity by fostering job growth, encouraging entrepreneurs, and allowing people to keep more of what they earn.” Sixty-three percent chose the second option; just 31% chose the first.

This is consistent with nonpartisan surveys showing that most Americans think our increasingly redistributionist government is overstepping its bounds. For example, a September 2009 Gallup Poll found that 57% believe the government is “doing too much”-the highest percentage in more than a decade. Just 38% said it “should do more.”

It’s good to know the socialists are still in the minority. It’s disheartening to know that this current President would be counted in section (a). Despite the many historical examples proving that redistribution is an abysmal failure, these folks are determined they will succeed. Over our dead bodies if necessary.

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I said I’d give you more information about Dr. Brooks.

He took over the leadership of the American Enterprise Institute last year. There were many people under consideration for the job. The fact that he was chosen above all the others speaks to his extraordinary ability both to to lead and to listen.

He’s also an accomplished musician, having been part of more than a thousand performances as a French horn player.

Dr. Brooks writes books, too. Entertaining ones:

First there is this listing at Amazon:

Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism

The first personally written review is better than Amazon’s product description. Here’s the opening paragraph:

The book uses data from many sources to prove that the one overwhelming predictor of generosity is religion. Political affiliation is almost irrelevant – the statistics for religious liberals and religious conservatives are identical.

Religious people are statistically more likely to give than secularists (91% to 66%), and give more of their money (3.5 times more than secularists), are more likely to volunteer their time (67% to 44%), and volunteer more of their time (almost twice as much). The fact that the conservative population is more charitable than the liberal population is due to the fact that religious people tend to be politically conservative.

The second book is also on Amazon (and on sale):

Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America–and How We Can Get More of It

A reader’s review:

Brooks sets out to discover who is happy, and why. The information is likely to surprise you.

For one thing, “Religious people of all faiths are much, much happier than secularists” (p 44). The difference is huge. “Of those who believed there is no way to find out if God exists, a paltry 12% claimed to be very happy people” (p 46). Hmmm…no wonder Dawkins and Hitchens’ books drip with unhappiness and malice.

And here’s one those famous atheists will really gag on: “Religious individuals today are actually better educated and less ignorant of the world around them than secularists” (p 51).

Married people are happier than those who are single, too. Researchers studied people who seemed alike “but one is married and the other is not, the married person will be 18 percentage points more likely than the unmarried person to say he or she is very happy” (61). This will come a as a blow to the feminists.

Among the nations, North Korea is at the bottom of the happiness scale, with Cuba a close second (p 91). What, atheist communism hasn’t brought happiness? Shocker.

On the other hand, mere wealth doesn’t help much, once a country has achieved a decent level of health and nutrition. At least the wealth of Japan is not helping. And Mexicans are much happier, on average, than the French.

And here is one I would not have guessed: “For most Americans, job satisfaction is nearly equivalent to life satisfaction. Among those who say they are very happy in their lives, 95% are also satisfied with their jobs” (p 159).

This is a interesting and fun.

That reviewer is right. Looking at the varieties of experience is fun. And now you now why Charles Johnson is such a misanthrope. His mutating political views don’t matter.

The more I explored about Arthur C. Brooks, the more I found to like. To bring things to a full and natural close, here’s a video. It’s the third part of a six part series on giving, called “What Your Liberal Professor Didn’t Tell You About Charity”. Obviously, it is drawn on Dr. Brooks’ book on charitable giving. The series was sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and carried by C Span at the time of filming before a live audience:

I watched two other parts in the series. It’s important to bear in mind that Dr. Brooks is talking about religion, not politics. These actions, views, etc., hold across the political divide. The crucial factor is religion or spiritual practice not liberal or conservative political views.

His study of America may not translate to other countries. Much of Europe is secular now. Perhaps similar findings would emerge in South America? It would be a provocative comparison if you could find another country whose population has a robust religious identity.

14 thoughts on “Why America Will Never Like ObamaCare

  1. I have always found it somewhat strange that so many Americans seem to reject the idea of a free national healthcare system purely on a moral basis. I can understand that some people would reject to the enormous costs involved in introducing such a system today, but I can’t for the life of me, if we remove the financial costs from the equation, understand why some people completely reject the idea of free healthcare to all citizens on moral basis.

    According to fox news, which by the way is the only American TV news station I watch on a regular basis, the US would be turned into a communist state if everybody all of a sudden were to receive free healthcare. Fox news, or at least some of the journalists working for the station, makes this claim based on moral values, and not necessarily on a financial basis.

    The idea that the citizens of the USA would receive substandard healthcare, that they could not chose their own doctors, and not decide which procedures they would receive if healthcare was free of charge, seems quite sussed if you ask me.

    The system works fine in almost every other country in the western world, and yes I know that everything is not a hundred percent perfect, and that occasional horror stories make it into the newspaper headlines from time to time, but then again, no system is a hundred percent perfect. I’m sure similar problems can be found in the USA too.

    In some countries, you can even take out a private health insurance for an additional fee and receive elective surgery within a relatively short period of time in a private hospital. But then again you can also wait and get this procedure done in a public hospital, but you will most likely have to wait a little bit longer to have this done.

    It’s also my understanding that the health insurance companies in America in a lot of cases will refuse to pay for necessary medical treatment for its policy holders, in an effort to save money. It’s also my understanding that these insurance companies in many cases will refuse to accept certain individuals because of pre existing conditions. I’ve also heard that several insurance companies will dramatically increase the premiums if an individual gets sick, and remains sick for a longer period of time. This would never happen in Europe. If you are sick, at least you don’t have to worry about financial matters.

    Anyway this is just my personal opinion on the matter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to tell Americans what to do or what not to do, nor am I saying that they are wrong and I am right. I’m just expressing my personal opinion.

    Regardless of the debate, I think that in the next twenty to thirty years we’ll see some major drastic changes take place in the healthcare sector in the western world due to the aging population.

  2. Borger,
    1. The USA is the frontline in the marxist war against freedom.
    2. You may think the socialized system works fine because you do not know the American system.
    I know both, being from Eastern Europe and now living in the USA.
    there is no comparison, the American system being the best.
    So, in short, the NWO/marxists will take a giant leap in subjugating the USA by passing this bill.

  3. Kritisk Borger: Here is why (conservative) Americans oppose “free,” government-run healthcare on a moral basis.

    In the real world, the one in which we have our corporeal existence, NOTHING is free. All products and services are created by individuals — sometimes working in teams, but always still individuals — exercising initiative, work, intelligence, and (in a capitalist system) careful attention to markets – what consumers actually are willing to pay for. [“Pay” means exchange a portion of ones life, including one’s integrity and excellence, as well as effort, for something.] Government-mandated healthcare (or anything else) requires force be used against productive persons to subsidize the provision of services to the less productive or unproductive. The institution in which some people are forced to labor or create for others is called slavery. Slavery is immoral and always should be illegal. QED

    Slaves do not innovate or create, and they are not as productive as free men and women. In other words, over time, force wrecks the system it purports to enact and serve. Innovation, new products, technologies, services, in medicine over the past 50 years and more has occurred almost exclusively in the more-free nations, not the less free – not in the north koreas, the cubas, the chinas, Europe. Government-mandated healthcare, then, has not only stolen the wealth of producers, but has impeded the full advance of medical technology and services productive persons otherwise, in a free economy, would have supported and which would then have been available to all (for pay, of course, as slavery – full or partial – would have been illegal).

    Government produces NOTHING. It can only redistribute. That is, government distorts, corrupts and, finally, destroys markets created by free women and men. Forcible redistribution (Taxes are collected by force; they are not voluntary contributions.) changes – does NOT create — patterns of spending and investment and wastes between 30% and 80% (my estimate) of that stolen wealth in bureaucratic graft, theft, and inefficiency.

    It is moral that Americans, as individuals, own our lives and the entire product thereof. It is immoral that a burglar or thief steal our lives or any portion of our lives. The kleptocratic administration of St. Obama, with its “free” healthcare plans, has taken one step too many toward the European-style enslavement and denial of fundamental rights that Americans, at least conservative ones, have cherished for more than 200 years. His attempted wholesale theft of our personhood is immoral and unacceptable.

  4. OT

    Do me a favor and throw that “Support Vaclav Klaus” banner in the sidebar OUT!

    The traitor just signed the Lisbon Treaty. It’s over!

  5. A parliamentarian, democratic solution for repealing the European dictatorship of the EU is a thing of the past.

    Not many options left now!

    And to my American friends:

    What you see happening in Europe is YOUR FUTURE!

  6. Ralph —

    Thanks for the tip. I just sat down at the machine for the first time today. It’s a sad way to start my working day.

    The pressures on the man were enormous. I’m surprised he held out this long.

  7. @ You may think the socialized system works fine because you do not know the American system. I know both, being from Eastern Europe and now living in the Use. there is no comparison, the American system being the best. – Cobra

    I also know both: the American in Texas and the European in Europe (the latter this very year, since I was a legal resident alien in Spain). I agree with the American view of looking it as a moral problem. For example, the “hysteric leftist” woman about whom I am translating my analysis had a father who died of brain cancer. Spain’s health care system had him on queue for a year and treatment came fatally late.

    If America is still healthy it’s precisely because there’s no free lunch. Nanny states metamorphose us into feminine and passive people. The best paradigm I can imagine from Animal Planet in TV is the true story of a lynx, a curious species with pointed ears. Once domesticated, for unknown reasons the ears dropped. The moral of the story is that we have been fabricated by Nature to strive, to struggle for a living. Nanny states on the other hand turn beautiful specimens of lynxes into defenseless kittens. A few threads ago I complained about Lord Pearson’s extreme mildness. Like other Europeans he is the product of an emasculated State. With the exception of the BNP there are no Richards the Lionheart in today’s UK, not even Melanie Phillips who has been rightly castigated by Larry Auster for her cowardice to speak about stopping immigration. It was Oriana Fallaci who said that courage is only very rarely found in today’s Europe.

    Oriana was right. Americans must remain wild lynxes with pointed ears. The degenerate new kind of domesticated specimens with dropped ears on the other side of the Atlantic (including Vaclav Klaus) will soon perish before the Islamic assault.

  8. @kritisk_borger:

    The fact that the ability to choose is being taken away *is* a moral issue.

    There has been no attempt at all made to fix what is wrong with American medical care. In fact, some of the biggest, most immoral wrongs are being left in place while we are fitted for this coffin called ObamaCare. No tort reform to prevent lawyers from suing for inordinate amounts of money over medical mistakes or mis-diagnses. Joohn Edwards, a senator who ran for president, made his personal fortune this way and its shameful. By the way,these ghouls work on a contingency basis: the bigger the settlement the more they get.

    They are not freeing up insurance from employment. Employers will still be stuck with paying part of an employee’s premium. This cost for business will increase. And people without jobs or who are self-employed will still payer higher premiums.

    The big pharmaceutical companies will continue to gouge the American public while we subsidize the cost for the very same medicines for Canadians and Europeans. But Canadians and Europeans pay their own hidden subsidy in the form of higher taxes for that medicine. The money has to come from somewhere. And Big Pharma are our new robber barons.

    The private insurance companies are going to remain over-regulated and reined in, making them more expensive.

    Our taxes will go even higher. Maybe they will reach European levels?

    When all is said and done at least 15% of people will not be covered. So much for “universal”.

    Those already covered by nationalized medicine — the elderly, the disabled, the poor, the Indians, some of our military veterans — are majorly opposed to this scheme. They already know it will be like government-run postal service, or the IRS, or Social Security. IOW,A big ripoff for a small return.

    Indian reseverations in particular are warning the rest of America not to go along with it. The Native American councils are paying for their own private care because the government-run system is so shoddy and second-rate.

    Finally, the current waste, fraud and abuse of the Medicare/Medicaid system already in place runs into the billions. That will simply increase and so will our taxes to care of what leaks out.

    The worst part is losing our edge in innovation. I think it will go to the Indians or the Chinese, who are not so hampered by the rotted system of the FDA. More power to them.

  9. Filthykafir

    “Government-mandated healthcare (or anything else) requires force be used against productive persons to subsidize the provision of services to the less productive or unproductive. The institution in which some people are forced to labor or create for others is called slavery. Slavery is immoral and always should be illegal. QED”

    So what you are saying is that Europeans and any other citizens of countries that have free healthcare are slaves? I don’t think that Europeans see themselves as slaves. If a society is to work some kind of taxation system needs to be in place. Is it outrageous that taxpayers in the US are funding the police and the military?

    “Slaves do not innovate or create, and they are not as productive as free men and women. In other words, over time, force wrecks the system it purports to enact and serve. Innovation, new products, technologies, services, in medicine over the past 50 years and more has occurred almost exclusively in the more-free nations, not the less free – not in the north koreas, the cubas, the chinas, Europe”

    I think that there is plenty of innovation in Europe. We are not as you seem to think a communist continent where a free market is nonexistent. Europe’s got some of the world’s biggest and most successful companies. Even the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, Novartis, is based in Switzerland.

    Regarding the concern that some people seem to have concerning the lack of motivation for people to become doctors in countries where free healthcare exist, don’t worry, students are entering the medical universities in droves in Europe, and foreign born doctors are desperate to come to the continent. Some of the medical students even have to take up massive loans so they can fund their education. By using your logic this should not happen at all.


    “The fact that the ability to choose is being taken away *is* a moral issue.”

    Most people in Europe do have a choice. In several countries citizens can take out a private health insurance if they so choose, if they don’t wish to get treated in a public hospital. There are probably hundreds of private hospitals all over Europe.
    I don’t think that the healthcare given to the Americans who are covered by health insurance are any worse than the healthcare given to Europeans through the free healthcare system. Unless this can be backed up by proper medical studies, concluding that this is the truth, this is nothing but baseless statements.

    Of course there are going to be differences within the different countries in Europe. The western European countries will probably have a slightly better healthcare system than the former European states.

    I do think that overall the European system is better than the American system, where a person needs an insurance to receive free treatment. What about those poor people in America who lose their jobs, or are unable to work because of illnesses or accidents, should they not be entitled to medical assistance?

  10. @ kritisk_borger

    You’re not engaging in honest debate. Instead you’re cherry picking and you’re using reductio ad absurdem rhetoric to make your points.

    1.Answer the commenters who say they’ve experienced both and they prefer the American system.

    2.Norvartis is one of the Big Pharma companies that uses the FDA here and the free market system to charge top dollar in this country while settling for the government subsidized fees for their products in Europe. Either way, they get their exorbitant prices but in Europe it’s covered by tax payers. You get to pay for someone else’s medicines.

    3.Europe’s system may or may not be better than the American version. What is absolutely corrupt about this current legislation is that it is going to be forced onto current bad practices and increase them. We will have the worst of both worlds. There was never even an attempt to fix the current system. Instead they are cramming the mess inside a socialist casket. It is a travesty.

    4. I have received free care in times when I did not have insurance. We have clinics already that are sliding scale fees based on income. Those are already in place and they work fine. They are not only for the uninsured, though. People with insurance use them too because they are convenient and provide excellent care. Neither my medical care OR my provider has changed just because we no longer have employer insurance.

    6.Disabled people are covered under Medicare, a wasteful program riddled with fraud and abuse. But they *are* covered even though it ends up costing twice as much as the private system. But who cares, it’s “free”, right?

    5. For the working poor without insurance, there are actually FREE clinics opened on some weekday evenings and staffed by doctors in their off hours. There are a lot of them, but they’re not available everywhere. It takes an area that has a lot of doctors (towns with big hospitals) and hospitals willing to do free or very reduced cost lab tests, etc.

    There is a long history in this country of volunteering and doctors, nurses, and pharmacists do their share. During the time I frequented that clinic, I also volunteered there. The staff was coming straight from work, so community people provided meals for them. Once a month, I fixed dinner for twenty, complete with linen napkins and nice plates.

    [In fact, I knew something was wrong when I was no longer able to do this. One afternoon I had to call the director and explain that I could not finish cooking what should have been an easy meal. She came over and finished the prep, wrote down my instructions, and made an appointment for me for the following week. That’s how I found out I had Fibromyalgia — i.e., at a Free Clinic]

    You claim

    I do think that overall the European system is better than the American system

    but you have no experience in the one you find wanting.

    People come in droves from Canada to be treated here. Why do you suppose that is? Why do you suppose that Canadian doctors want to get in? Hint: they get the post-grad training available here that is not to be had in Canada.

    When they do interviews with Canadians asking them about healthcare, they do as you do: they cherry pick. Those questioned are young and healthy. The old and disabled aren’t interviewed. Propaganda spin.

  11. Dymphna
    1.Answer the commenters who say they’ve experienced both and they prefer the American system.

    Ok first of all I don’t think that I’m a dishonest debater, who use “reductio ad absurdem rhetoric to make my points.”

    1. Ok, so two commenter prefer the American system. That comes down to matter of opinion. They’ve stated their opinion, I’ve stated mine. I also think it’s pretty hard to draw any conclusions from those two comments. There is no specific mention as to what treatment they received in the US/Europe, and how this treatment compares to the one they would receive in Europe/US.

    2. I don’t have a problem with taxpayer funded medication. If Americans are unhappy about pharmaceutical companies charging exuberant prices in the US, then perhaps the European system is superior?

    3. I’ve never claimed to have an extensive knowledge of the American system. What I was getting at in my original answer to your post was that I found it strange that many Americans on a moral basis rejects free healthcare for its citizens. I don’t refute the fact that the system that Obama wants to introduce is a bad system. I don’t have enough knowledge about it to give an educated opinion on that matter. Either or, that’s for the Americans to decide, not me.

    4. That may be so, but I’m pretty sure, and correct me if I’m wrong, that this does not include elective surgery, which will cost a fortune if you don’t have proper medical insurance. Nor will they be given free medication?

    5. Same point as in paragraph no 4. I don’t think that Elective surgery would not be offered in these clinics, or chemotherapy treatments etc. And what if you’ve had an accident and need major surgery straight away. Would the doctors in a normal hospital carry out this procedure free of charge? This system would also exclude people living great distances from these pro-bono hospitals I would imagine.

    6. I don’t refute that the current program isn’t working. Like I mentioned earlier, I only expressed my opinion about rejecting the idea of free healthcare on a moral basis. It is free in Europe, and it is my personal opinion that it works fine over there.

    “You claim

    I do think that overall the European system is better than the American system

    but you have no experience in the one you find wanting. “
    Well, that’s just my personal opinion. Note that I did not say that the European system is definitely superior to the American system, I merely offered my personal opinion based on the information I have come across, concerning the healthcare system in America and the one in Europe. I have personal experience with the healthcare system in Europe, and the service that I was provided was excellent, and it didn’t cost me a single cent/euro (yes I know that some of my hard earned tax money helped foot the bill, but I don’t have a problem with that).

    I also admit that I don’t have a superb knowledge about the American health system, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t have an opinion on the matter. Likewise, I’m sure that a lot of the people in America that criticize the European system don’t necessarily have a good knowledge, or that they’ve had any personal experience with this system either.

    As to why Canadians decide to go to America in droves to get medical treatment, I have no opinion on that matter. I’ve met several Canadians, I’ve got Canadian born relatives in Vancouver, and they are terrified of getting sick in the US. As far as I know Europeans don’t come to the US in droves to get treatment, because they somehow think that the treatment in Europe is substandard.

    There are also several thousands of Americans that go abroad to places like Thailand to get medical treatment each year too. Is that then an indication that the American system isn’t working properly?

  12. No European or other proponent of socialized medicine has ever answered why “free” health care for citizens is a moral imperative.

    Why not start with “free” food which is surely more important for health and well-being? Free housing would also contribute more to overall health than health care which is basically treatment of disease.

    Everyone is fine with letting people buy the quality of FOOD that they can afford and other arrangements such as food stamps or food banks for the destitute. No one agitates for a “free” and equal food program for everyone meaning everyone eats hamburger and canned fruit and no one gets steak and fresh fruit (except the totalitarian apparatchniks running the program).

    However, when it comes to medical care, all of a sudden everyone should have the same mediocre quality of care and health care professionals with their expensive educations should be drafted in a way that supermarket owners and landlords are not in the project of everyone’s health.

    The Euro snobs who point to their equal or better results in medical care outcome always omit the salient facts:

    1) they spent nothing on defense letting the USA pick up the tab and therefore their taxes were available for health care at a level they cannot afford once they start picking up their own defense bill, paying for their Kosovo rubbish etc. Welcome to rationing and waiting lines. That’s what Canada has since it has both “free” health care and its own defense bill. There would be a tax revolt if both of these obligations weren’t starved alternately.

    2) the same moral superiority game goes on for research and development not just in drugs but surgical procedures etc. If the USA joins the socialized medicine club like the European patronizing bunch, there will be much less American innovation to parasitize cheaply after they’ve carried all the initial costs.

    3) And most importantly as Mark Steyn points out, a population that gives over its own body and health to government bureaucrats has learned dependence to the point that it cannot resist any invader as Europe is demonstrating daily with its embrace of Muslims who wish to suffocate their civilization and substitute their own barbarity and sharia law.

    Fat lot of good free health care is going to do in averting a scimitar in the neck.
    And suppose you convert, don a burka and survive…Muslim countries are not known for their advanced health care, are they, especially for their beasts of burden i.e. women?

    European smugness will disappear within the next 10-20 years as their cities are bombed from within and their productive citizens whose taxes are redistributed to keep the invading and domestic parasites happy are overwhelmed by the burden or flee.

  13. @ European smugness will disappear within the next 10-20 years

    Oh how I wish you were right Laine… You know? Although I am totally skeptical of the paranormal and of mantic arts (I even attended CSICOP conferences and once published in the Skeptical Inquirer), I like the Tarot. As a Jungian reader I approach the Tarot of Marseille’s drawings only as very intriguing archetypal symbols.

    By now Europe’s sins are so heinous, that a real punishment from heaven is in order. Only after the shock of civil war or something equally bloody, as depicted in the card known as The Tower (in the Minchiate deck there’s a different interpretation of this card: nude people flee a burning building), Europeans will be willing to abandon their current self-hatred, anti-white, islamophilic, neo-Marxist and health-care paradigms. Sins must be punished. Smugness must be punished. There’s no question about it. It’s amusing that commenters in other threads are afraid of things going really nasty in Europe because this is what the world badly needs.

    Following the archetypal metaphors of the Tarot cards, only after the punishment of The Tower can there be The Star card of hope…

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