Friday, September 11, 2009

What Do I Think Of Socialized Medicine?

I have a lot of Republican friends for some reason. It might be the area where I live (Suffolk County, NY) which I find to be very conservative. Anyway, I’m always debating politics with friends in an agreeable manner. You can imagine what it was like around November 2008! I enjoy my friendly debates. A conservative friend of mine recently asked me on Facebook the following question that prompted a long response:

“I have been meaning to ask you how you feel about socialized medicine? Are you on board with it?”

My Answer:

I'm not sure what you are asking. If you mean like they have in Canada then I'm not sure if I agree with socialized medicine. I like choices, which is why I like the Obama reform because it keeps choice in place while ensuring that the uninsured and sick can get access to healthcare. As for socialized medicine in the USA, Medicare is an example of socialized medicine we actually have in place now and the people who are on it seem to like it enough and it works so that's a model to follow for a public option. Stressing the option part. (For other examples: Social Security, pensions, organized police, military, firemen, and public schools are also socialized institutions.)

I find "socialized" to be a loaded term and don't use it. But of course health care reform I am all for as are most people I talk to. (Except one guy in my neighborhood and he said that's because he works for a health care insurance company!) We're the strongest and wealthiest country in the world and we can't take care of our sick children? US citizens go to the ER instead of a clinic or doctor because they can't afford to pay! And the hospitals get stuck with the bills, which in turn means higher insurance rates for me. I'm already subsidizing people to get health care but ER visits are expensive and well-care visits are proven to help keep costs down. I hate hearing stories of people who can't work because they are ill and can't get care because they don't have insurance. (Remember, I work for a health care non profit so I see this and we have programs to help subsidized what insurance companies won't pay for or what people w/o insurance can't afford.)

I do think that changing insurers every time I change jobs is bogus and an unnecessary hardship. Read this article, which I found helpful in sorting out what other countries do for healthcare.

No comments: