[Guest article by Brian Smith, Australia]
I happened to hear a stock market report the other day, I think it was from the BBC in London and they were reporting on the Wall Street market. I normally don’t listen to or take much notice of these reports but a statement made in the broadcast made me sit up with a jolt. “Health Service stocks rose considerably” and there it was; the root cause of all that is wrong with the United States of America’s health care—money and greed!
It’s not there to provide health care, it’s there to provide profit and dividends for those unscrupulous enough to invest their money in the certainty of making money out of other peoples good health. They just don’t want anybody to get sick and ruin the profits.
Why do I laugh at the concept of the US of A as a Christian society? Because Christians would not deny health care to anybody.
Literally millions in the US are, I’m lead to believe, without health insurance. If they are fortunate enough to work and have an employer who pays their health insurance premiums then they’re the lucky ones, and they don’t want to know about those not so lucky. For those unlucky enough not to have insurance it’s nobody’s fault but their own, so don’t come looking for me to help you. That is the opinion of the lucky ones.
What is it about the haves in America thinking there is a stigma attached to a National Health Scheme? Is it the thought of having to share it with the have nots who can’t afford to pay the high cost of health insurance?
Surely with the system operating in the US where the Health service must run at a profit: a) not all the money going into the system is there to provide care; and b) the money going into shareholders pockets is money that can be spent better on providing health service.
Is it not better for the health care of the nation’s people to be provided for by one non-profit making organization, namely a government run organization? I hear screams from many, but what is the ‘Government’?
It is the people, not those elected by the people, but the people themselves. Think about it. The politicians are only there because we put them there and they are paid by us to take care of our interests, otherwise we give them the boot!
In Australia we have a ‘Medicare’ system that we all want; we have had this now for nearly forty years; and it works. Australians do care for their fellow countrymen and nobody objects to the provision of the best medical attention available to them rich or poor.
A personal experience to illustrate; in October 2011 I had a small stroke, I was driven to hospital by my wife, admitted within minutes and over the next six weeks I underwent two major operations on my carotid arteries. I spent a total of 5 days in the ICU and a total of 13 days as an in-patient at the hospital.
The lead surgeon/specialist was and is a leading teacher at one of Sydney’s major universities. On my discharge from the hospital I was presented with my account: $0.00. Yes, the cost to me was nothing, and do I feel bad or ashamed? No, I do not. Does anybody begrudge me the excellent service? No, they do not. And that’s how it should be. There is no stigma attached!
There is provision for those who wish to have private health insurance, and those on high salaries who only wish to use the universal system pay a higher percentage of their tax, and those that opt to take private health cover receive rewards from the government.
It’s not as simplistic as I’ve made it sound for the sake of expedience but anybody interested can get a fuller view at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_(Australia).
I won’t go into our ‘Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme’ here as I hate seeing grown people cry. It’s enough to say that my prescription drugs each month costs me $5.80 each script, and no, American tax payers are not subsidizing me, my government is, that is the people of Australia are. And as I always say, That’s how it should be!