Tag Archives: health care

Healthcare of Darkness – A Short Story

So I’ve been trying to avoid writing anything controversial (I think I need a controversy detox) but this short story is not really meant to be controversial. One of my favorite logic professors once said that sometimes to prove someone wrong, you simply assume their claims are true – and then watch how ridiculous of a world it constructs because their original premises are flawed. A good way to prove people wrong indeed, but that’s not what this story set out to do. Rather, this formula also helps cure boredom and doldrums and allows me to imagine pretty fantastical, interesting worlds – yes, even post-socialized medicine apocalyptic Londons. This story is less a dig on those who oppose my opinions and more of a soft, gentle dig at overwrought hyperbole in general.

Ash swirled down on the almost deserted streets of London. Dark, dilapidated buildings sagged forward, their windows and doors a multitude of yawning maws gaping to swallow the residents of the soot-covered city. Jonathan walked down the empty sidewalk, approaching the lone figure standing underneath a flickering lamp.

“’Ello, ‘Enry.”

The figure nodded, pulling his hood back to reveal a darkened, filthy face. Bright, jaundiced eyes seemed to pop out of his dark features, and a craggy, toothy smile split open his cheeks.

“Mornin’ to ye, Jonathan. I s’pose yore here for the goods?”

Jonathan cringed, trying hard not to gag on Henry’s foul breath emanating from what was left of his jaw. They had once been schoolmates, even shared a flat together when they attended university. But now, the poor lad was only the shell of the man he once was – ruined, once and for all, by public option healthcare.

“It’s a shame, really. Yore face I mean –“

“Eh, drop it, Jon. It’s nothin’, really. It’s the NHS, afterall.”

Poor Henry, Jonathan thought. If only Parliament had let physicians set their own wages as dictated by market forces, instead of working for the government. Perhaps somehow the surgeon’s skill would have been better – better enough not to botch a routine mole removal that resulted in the poor sod losing half a jaw. Ever since then, he’d never been the same.

“So, you here to peddle for my wares, I s’pose?” Henry’s scratchy voice brought Jonathan back to reality.

“Listen, I need the good stuff. The Advil. My –“ Jonathan lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. “My mum’s ill, you see, and I’m afraid if she don’t show any improvement by Tuesday next, the death panels’ll git her.” The last dependent clause Jon uttered sent a shiver up his spine.

“Oh, right right. But the bloody Downin’ Street-owned bilgers won’t ration the Advil out to ye, am I right?” Henry’s elbow poked Jonathan’s ribs painfully as the filthy man dissolved into a mixture of spasmodic coughs and wheezing laughs.

“Oh, we can get it for ye, but there’s a price,” Henry finally said quietly, his watery eyes now a steely yellow. “My wife is due for a tyke –“

“Oh, congratulations,” Jonathan robotically interjected, absentmindedly.

“Yeah, thanks. Problem is, bloody Parliament says they want to take my baby away and abort it or something of the like.”

“Bloody shame, really. I know London’s overpopulated and all, but couldn’t we at least send the bloody poor blighters out to India or some-“ Jonathan caught himself, his sentence caught in his throat, gurgling.

Henry spat on the ground – even his phlegm was a filthy black – as Jonathan focused his gaze on the only clean speck on the blackened wall of the local sweatshop factory next to him. The whole neighborhood used to be quite posh – until, that is, the creation of the NHS. Now all the poor private insurers were absolutely bankrupt and millions of claims agents and CEOs were out work. Henry was one of them. Undesirables, the rest of society called them.

He remembered well the fear that whipped through the nation as those who avowed themselves as the Cromwell Party vowed to bring morality and decency back into British politics. A flurry of unpopular legislation later and the NHS came into being. Nobody liked it at first, but that’s how government worked. Soon, people couldn’t imagine a life without the NHS, robbed of their capacity to make decisions for themselves. Infant mortality skyrocketed as well as unemployment. The government fulfilled their promise that British citizens would no longer worry about cancer; now, a bloke could pitch over from anything, even the common cold, if he like. Old diseases came back after all the good doctors shipped out – polio, smallpox, even the bloody black plague would ravage outside villages.

People would go into hospitals complaining about a headache and came back with a lobotomy. The neighborhood boy broke his right arm while climbing a tree, but he came back with a left arm missing and his right arm still broken. But of course, Parliament kept such a tight lid on anything that nobody realized the squalor they lived in – nobody, that is, except the academia. But they kept quiet. If poor blokes were dying of dysentery or cholera, no skin off their noses.

Jonathan was no supporter of the change by any means; he had openly denounced the roving bands of vigilante “capitalist hunters” who ferreted out those who professed belief in free enterprise. But he had to be careful if he didn’t want to be labeled as one of “them,” them being the bloody capitalists that had ruined the country with a depression unparalleled. In the best case scenario, they were severely beaten and quietly shipped to America several weeks later. In the worst case scenario, the dirty money grubbers were never heard from again.

Jonathan ventured a gaze at Henry, whose face displayed no remorse or shame of his fallen status. Once a CEO of a thriving health insurance company, he had provided millions of dollars willingly to the people of London, providing the best customer service and unparalleled coverage. Now, he was forgotten, branded with the polemic label of “capitalist,” portrayed as only greedy, amoral, self-serving.

Two years after they had graduated – Henry in Business Management, Jonathan in English Literature – his old college mate had shown him a wall plastered with letters dripping with praise and relief that Henry’s insurance company was there to cover all the costs of this procedure or that. The old man’s face beamed that day, content that he had built an industry that truly helped people. He often poked fun at Jonathan, asking him how his soul crushing academia desk job was, offering a job to “help real people with real problems, instead of fictional people with fictional problems.”

Now the face showed nothing; simply a blank, stained canvas with nothing left. Some days, when Jonathan needed Henry to smuggle in contraband medications too hard to get a hold of through the NHS, his old mate’s eyes still shined with tenacity and life. But lately, those days were fewer and far in between and he could see the light fading.

He knew he shouldn’t pity one of the capitalists, but, Henry was a mate after all, wasn’t he? Alma mater, in fact, and surely he could pull some of the strings he held within the government to help the poor man.

“Listen Henry,” Jonathan said, nervously licking his lips. “Listen closely. I could help you and Patty get out of here, somewhere where you can have a baby without it gettin’ aborted. I could get you into America if you like-“

Henry’s face twisted into the façade of a monster, and Jonathan took several steps back, recoiling in terror. The former CEO’s bloodshot eyes bulged out of their sockets, his cracked, bleeding lips peeling back from his decaying gums, pulsing veins lining the tendons in his neck.

“It’s too late!” he screamed, grabbing Jonathan’s shirt with both hands, roughly pushing the meek professor up against the wall. “It’s too bloody late! Obama! He passed it! He passed the healthcare bill! It’s over! He passed it!” And suddenly, the crushed man crumpled to the side of the street.

“He passed it! He passed it!” His final, foul breath exhaled quietly out of the still gaping mouth.

Jonathan shook the corpse off of his Oxfords, brushing them, and hastily backed away from his former friend, finally sprinting down the street in fear.

Moments later, Jonathan met Patty, informing her awkwardly of her husband’s death. The woman’s face seemed not even to register the news; she sank into her chair as if carrying a heavy weight despite being a slight, malnourished ninety-three pounds.

“Tell me, Jonathan. What were his last words?”

Jonathan’s voice faltered. “He said…he said your name.”

The woman merely nodded. “He was a kind man.”

“Yes, he really was, Patty.”

But both Patty and Jonathan knew it was a lie. It all was.



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Tales from the battlefield – a new perspective on obesity and health care

I talked to a friend who worked in the health care industry as an emergency room nurse, because I figured someone who worked in health care would have a more informed outlook on health care than the pundits inhabiting newspaper columns and 24 hour cable network channels. We talked about insurance coverage, how people use emergency rooms as their primary health care provider instead of emergencies, and then how the obesity epidemic is taxing our health care system tremendously.

My friend talked about the basic things we’ve heard about obesity – people with obesity have higher percentages of problems ranging from hypertension to diabetes to sleep apnea and so on and so on. These long term conditions prove to cause a tremendous strain on our health care system, and that cutting out obesity rates in America would save us literally billions upon billions of dollars.

But one thing she mentioned definitely surprised me. She told a story of when “My coworker just last week had to call in sick because she was having back spasms from lifting a patient.” Apparently, a hidden cost of obesity is work related injuries to health care workers caused by caring for obese patients.

In one instance she told me about, an obese woman had to be intubated after eating at Olive Garden. She kept vomiting her dinner up, putting her at risk for aspiration pneumonia. According to my friend, “She had to go for 2 CAT scans, and we had to transfer her both times from the bed to the scan table. It takes about 4 or 5 people to lift the patient, if not more…There are some tools to help move patients, but they are very time consuming to use, and time is rarely a luxury we have in the health care industry.”

We often think about what obesity does to the obese person, but I had never stopped to consider the idea of caring for an obese person in the first place. Obviously, moving them about to do even the simplest of tasks would cause a lot of problems. While she said insurance coverage is a good thing, covering everyone who needs it would probably be unfeasible. But definitely one of the things we need to do for our health care system is just take better care of ourselves in the first place. Many people will say they don’t take advantage of the health care system, or even have to use it often. They may even be obese and don’t have any serious health problems they use the health care system for. But these kinds of problems caused by obesity take decades to develop, and by the time it has come full circle, there is very little left that you can do to prevent it. It’s too late – you are now one of the many who suffer from extreme hypertension or heart disease or type II diabetes. You’ve become a statistic. In other words, we as an American people probably hold a large percentage of the blame for why our health care system is so unsustainable.

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Godwin’s Law – another short story

“Those many had not dared to do that evil if the first man that did the edict infringe had answer’d for his deed: now ’tis awake; takes note of what is done; and, like a prophet, Looks in a glass that shows what future evils, – Either now, or by remissness new-conceiv’d, and so in progress to be hatch’d and born, – are now to have no successive degrees, but where they lived, to end.”
– Angelo,
Measure for Measure, William Shakespeare

The men in suits sat around the oaken table uncomfortably, the dour silence saturating the air. One man fidgeted with the buttons on his coat nervously, while another tapped his cane against the floor in agitation. All of them stared at the President sitting at the head of the table, his hair turning white from the burden of carrying the free world on his shoulders. His face was buried in his hands, and through his long, wrinkled fingers, a heavy sigh breathed out, then dissipated quickly, lost in the choking depression that hung like a London fog.

“What are the numbers, again?” The President’s voice was sharp and clear, though his hands quavered.

“Intelligence reports say…almost six million killed. Mostly Jews. However, the numbers keep rising. We’re not quite sure when they’ll stop.” The man’s voice near the end of his statement trailed into a near whisper.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, scion of the great conservative Theodore Roosevelt, finally looked up, his eyelids drooped with the long years of the great war on fascism. The war had officially ended against Germany just last week, but reports of concentration camps scattered throughout the German frontier chilled the Allied victory, dampening the celebratory spirits. First, the eye-witness accounts of men and women emaciated, walking skeletons, barely living. Then, the photographs. Oh, God, the photographs! Looking at them would cause his stomach to churn, his heart to wrench as if an invisible hand reached through his ribcage and attempted to rip it out of his chest.

“How was it done?” The Secretary of State, Edward Stettinus, asked.”How could Hitler have killed so many people so…efficiently?”

“Well,” the young man continued, “you could say they were all killed with…inefficiency.”

A collective, puzzled murmur spread throughout the room. What could that mean?

“This monster killed millions of people by…it’s almost too horrific to tell.” The paper the young man held begin to shake, and a tear spilled down his face.

“Please, excuse him, Mr. President,” Stettinus said softly. “He…was one who saw the aftermath firsthand.”

Roosevelt nodded compassionately and then turned to the young soldier. “Officer, take your time.”

“Thank you, Mr. President.” He wiped away the tear and begin to read, his voice ringing clearer.

“He was killed by a most monstrous, diabolical plan, created to systematically kill off entire populations on the sole basis that he considered them ‘inferior’ to the Aryan race. He -” The man’s voice broke. “He killed them…with public option health care.”

The entire room broke into a angry frenzy. They shouted in anger, bewildered how any one human could stoop so low, lose his humanity so thoroughly as to promote such a terrible, destructive policy.

“Public option health care?” President Roosevelt spat out, as if the phrase tasted of bile and consisted of poisonous venom. “How in all of hell did he come up with such a plan and had the gall to so offend God and implement it?”

“As hard to understand, it’s true, Mr. President,” the man said. “Millions of Jews, Poles, homosexuals, gypsies and other ‘malcontents’ were deprived of their private insurance policies and placed on a government run insurance policy instead. They could not choose their doctors, Mr. President.”

“No choice of which doctor to see!” Bewilderment tinted the President’s exclamation.

“Yes, Mr. President.” The man shook his head and continued, ignoring the shocked, disgusted expressions on everyone’s faces. “Not only that, but he stifled innovation within the medical industry. Because of this, German medicine is years behind the rest of the industrialized world. I have reports that even the Communists have better medicinal technology than Germany.

“In addition, he implemented a policy where the government owned doctors would talk to elderly Jews about long term health provisions, such as living wills, under the pretense that they would be able to decide difficult life-and-death situations in a clinical, non-emotional setting, but the Jews tell me that they were in fact more appropriately called ‘death panels.’

“Because of this, millions of ethnic and religious minorities were systematically eliminated, forced to wait in long lines for diagnoses and organ transplants, and the diagnoses they did receive were determined by Nazi bureaucrats shuffling papers back in Berlin rather than trained medical doctors. It is a tragedy beyond tragedy, sir. Despicable, deplorable, abominable. Some have begun to call this the ‘Holocaust,’ meaning wholesale burning. I believe this term is more than appropriate for the destruction wrecked by the hands of one clearly insane megalomaniac.”

The room lay silent once more, as everyone watched the President for a reaction. Roosevelt’s face had transformed into a stony facade, revealing no emotion, until finally, his hands gripped the sides of his wheelchair and he pushed himself up, forcing his polio-stricken legs to support him. An aide rushed forward with his braces, but he pushed them aside with a wave of his hand, and turned to face his cabinet.

“Gentlemen,” his steady voice intoned, “We today have seen the very face of evil. The Nazis have done terrible things – they have started a world war, plunging the globe in a bloodbath, and today we continue to fight the aftereffects of their greed as we struggle to triumph over the Empire of Japan. But today, we have learned a Nazi policy so terrible, so incredible, that it pales in comparison to the rape and pillage he has committed across the face of Europe, Asia, and Africa.”

Roosevelt coughed, and his aide rushed forward again, but Roosevelt simply shook his head before continuing to speak. His eyes clear and wet with tears, he paused momentarily, before finishing his statement.

“Let it be known, gentlemen, that no matter what atrocity the Nazis may have committed against us, the United States of America, for now and forever, Nazism and fascism will be synonymous with the damnable policy of the so-called program of universal health care. Let America be warned – should we as Americans decide that caring for our elderly, our poor, our sick, our needy, our uninsured is somehow important enough to raise taxes on those who can afford, a tragedy akin to the Holocaust, perhaps even greater will occur.”

The entire room remained soberly somber. Not a single cough or rustling of fabric could be heard as each man sat still, contemplating the staggering cost of destruction the Nazi program of universal health care had caused. Roosevelt gently eased himself back into his wheelchair and then turned, staring into each man’s eye.

“Mark my words, gentlemen. Mark my words. Universal health care equals the Holocaust.”

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The Great Health Care Debate – a short story

The delegate paced the floor almost violently, his shoes scuffing being the only sound heard in the stifling, unbearably hot Philadelphia. As he whirled about with such vigor, several other delegates wondered if he would fall over from his own force. All eyes gazed on this living giant of politics, a veritable Founding Father of America, as he wrung his hands together in an almost pleading fashion. Many held their breath, waiting for his promised speech.

“Gentlemen!” the South Carolinian suddenly boomed, his voice filling the air. “Gentlemen! Our nation is in crisis!” Several delegates murmured in approval.

“We, as mere mortals, cannot comprehend the very crisis our country faces! Yes, gentlemen, all we have worked for will come to naught, our victory snatched away by the very maw of defeat, plunging our country into the Dark Ages! The Dark Ages, mind you!”

The delegate stopped his nervous pacing and slammed both of his hands emphatically onto his oaken desk, causing the ink wells and pens to rattle, sending parchment to the floor. Several delegates jumped, others gasped. James Madison gave out a tiny squeak of displeasure and surprise.

“I am talking, of course, of the damnable concept of socialized medicine!”

The entire room of delegates exploded. North Carolina roared with displeasure, while Pennsylvania’s delegates dissolved into a raucous chanting of “Don’t tread on me!” Both Alexander Hamilton, the delegate of New York, and James Madison, considered the man who orchestrated the Constitutional Convention, stood up immediately, unbuttoning and pulling back their sleeves. But when General Washington regally, slowly stood up, the entire room grew silent. Hamilton and Madison withered under Washington’s stare, and even the South Carolinian delegate stood quietly, though arms crossed, his jaw jutting out challengingly in the air.

“Gentlemen, I fail to see why this matter is so, as our illustrious friend calls it, ‘damnable.’ But, for sake of debate, let us debate this civilly, shall we?” Washington slowly lowered himself into his chair, and the delegates stayed uncomfortably quiet.

George Mason of Virginia finally broke the reverie. “It is damnable, my dear General, for it flies against the very concept that we are trying to establish here in this very Constitution! Socialized. Medicine. Is. Monarchy!” With the final word, he jabbed the air with his finger, and the entire room degraded into yelling and shouting once more. Washington rapped his cane sharply twice on his desk, silencing the room.

“My good gentleman, you are mistaken!” Madison quickly stood up, his thin reedy voice barely audible to some sitting at the edges of the room. “Please explain – rationally, prudently – how socialized medicine is akin to monarchy!”

“Isn’t it obvious? Did not King George try to control every aspect of our lives through a centralized economy, stifling progress and advancements in all sectors of industry? Any government which runs anything from its seat of power is monarchist!”

“Like the post office?” Ben Franklin quipped. Several delegates chuckled softly, for Franklin himself served as postmaster once.

“Or like your provision that we ban the slave trade in twenty years? Or would you rather the ‘slow poison’ of slavery, as you called it yourself, Mr. Mason, continue to run its course through this country?” Hamilton shrilled, his face contorted with passion.

“This is a completely different matter!” Mason sputtered, his face turning slightly pink.

“I fail to see how this socialized medicine even has anything to do with our Constitution,” Governor Randolf said. “We’ve already enumerated that Congress will have the power ‘To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states,’ which gives it provisions to alter the affairs of any industry according to the desires of the people, so I fail to see how regulated health care is either monarchist or unconstitutional, unless you wish to call the Constitution unconstitutional? Which would simply be -”

“Absurd! Yes, I know! But! Once any government begins to regulate economic affairs, it becomes a fascist regime!” cried out the delegate from South Carolina.

“Yes! Gaze upon these signs we made ourselves, physical manifestations of the fact that the American people do not desire socialized medicine!” another delegate cried out. Immediately, North Carolina, South Carolina and New Hampshire pulled out signs wherein James Madison’s profile had been defaced, King George’s wig drawn crudely upon it.

“Come now, is this necessary?” Madison cried out, irritated. “I must say, the idea that a government regulating a highly degenerated, corrupt, bloated, unscrupulous sector of industry becomes fascist is ridiculous!”

“Yes, what’s this got to do with the Constitution anyway?” Franklin added, also irritated. “Your misguided, unfocused anger is causing my gout to inflame!” Several other delegates snickered at this comment.

“Everything!” the South Carolinian delegate screamed out. “Can we trust a government that successfully fought off an imperialist monarch with woefully unequipped and untrained soldiers bred from our own backwoods farmers and blacksmiths to successfully run the medical welfare of our people?”

“Yes, we can!” Hamilton roared back. “This entire Convention is because our Articles of Confederacy are not simply not strong enough! A strong, federal government is required to run this country, lest it run itself upon the rocky shoals of progress!” Several groups now cried out in desperate protest. “Yes,” Hamilton continued, shouting down his opposition, “Strong enough even to regulate the vast industry known as health care!”

“Come now,” Washington intoned, “We cannot let future generations become derailed by this. We look forward to the future, gentlemen, not the past. We look forward to progress and unity, not backward to slavery and monarchy. Remember, gentlemen, our ideas were once considered strange, dangerous, and subversive; impractical and catastrophical if implemented. But look at us now! Throwing off the shackles of England, we stand together, shoulder to shoulder, as brethren for the cause of freedom! Even our brothers in France now follow our example! Truly, we stand at a unique time in history to create any government possible, even another monarchy! But we dissolve not into fascism, as the world said we inevitably would, but we look towards republicanism, of representation and liberty!

“Surely, we can look past our petty squabbles. Our Constitution has said enough already of this matter. It is up for the people to decide whether a government run health care system is both necessary and profitable, but let it be decided by the people. And let us not bring misleading accusations to this debate. Universal health care is neither unconstitutional, nor shying away form what we as the Founding Fathers of America desired. Health care means nothing to us – what we wish is a nation wherein our people can decide for themselves their own destiny, whether it be to the enlightened future, or the the darkened past. But of all this, the people alone must decide. Even we, gentlemen, cannot decide for them.”

The room fell reverently quiet, cowed by the gentle rebuking of the lion of America. But such silence could not last for long, as all the delegations broke once more into angry yelling and even a fist fight or two.

“Monarchist!” “Unruly hypocrite!” “Deist!” “Unconstitutional!” “Fascist!” “Imperialist!” “Money grubbing merchant!”

Some of the delegates pulled out their Madison signs, chanting for his removal, while others pushed back, furiously shouting at the protesters to quiet down and let the General speak once more. David Brearley of New Jersey roared, “And how will the Americans pay for this health care? By taxing them to death like King George did?” before being pulled down roughly by Georgian delegates Baldwin and Few.

Washington sighed, his eyes closing. Madison, dodging a thrown shoe, settled down next to the aging politician and whispered, “There’s no talking to these people. Hot headed and opinionated are the people of America. It is our greatest strength, and yet also our greatest downfall.”

“I fear that generations of Americans will look back at our contentiousness and disunity and wonder how the fate of their nation once lay in the hands of such hooligans,” Washington said softly.

“If I know anything about human nature,” Madison said with a smile, “Should this great American experiment work, I daresay we will be deified, canonized! Our words will become as political ammunition, never mind that our words will contradict each other constantly. Virtual popes and patron saints of all of America!”

“Patron saints, indeed!” Washington laughed, watching with guilty earnest as Hamilton hurled harsh epithets at an almost screaming delegate who had nearly broken down to tears. “I do not wish to be deified, only understood.”


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Support the Troops!: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love national health care

There is only one thing in man’s world that can offer any check on the unlimited power of moneyand that is government. That is why money always accuses government of trying to destroy free agency, when the great enslaver has always been money itself.
– Hugh Nibley, Beyond Politics

What will happen if health care is nationalized? Why, health care would be rationed out, people would be dying in the streets waiting for a new heart! You wouldn’t be able to go to any doctor you want, you’d have one assigned to you! Paper shuffling bureaucrats, not doctors, would handle all medical decisions, from what medicines you can have to what operations you can afford. Who would want that?!

What conservatives fail to realize is that this is exactly what happens today. Instead of government rationing out health care, we do it ourselves. The ranks of the uninsured swell every day, especially with the financial crisis. When you have to choose between the mortgage and your insurance, most people pick the house, spin the Russian roulette of health and hope the gun doesn’t go off as they point it to their heads. People die constantly from lack of organs for transfers. And it is paper shuffling bureaucrats in the insurance companies that dictate what doctor you can see, what medicines you can get, what operations you can afford. Doctors have very little say in what goes on – your insurance provider is the final word in what your health care will look like. And when health care is left up to the amoral free markets, it’s not about how deserving you are for good health care – it’s about how rich you are.

The practical arguments against government backed health care have no bearings. They describe how the health care system will deteriorate even further. But the truth is, it really can’t get any worse than it is now. My public health major sister tells me bitterly how despite our vast resources, America has the worst health statistics compared to all other post-industrialized countries. In fact, some former Soviet-block Eastern European states are doing better than we are. That’s just embarrassing.

Most of the arguments are, then, those of philosophy and theory. People don’t like the idea of government controlling everything. It destroys agency. It erodes human industry, innovation, and integrity. It spawns the welfare state, a group of “sheeple,” ready to do whatever the government says, completely incapable of thinking or acting for themselves. the government, we say vigorously, destroys freedom.

However, we also agree that when a philosophy grossly misrepresents reality, it is to be discarded. We did this with Marxist communism – great in theory, horrible in practice. And I contend that such arguments as these rarely hold up in practice.

If it were so, America could not have a great military. It’s completely government run. Though states all contribute, its massive bureaucracy holds itself nationally, and the President is the Commander-in-Chief. Yet, were we to attribute the same arguments of government-run health care to a government-run military:

The military would be grossly inefficient. Bureaucrats, not actual military generals and tacticians, would be calling all the shots. The rank and file soldier would be lazy, a leech off the state only working for great pensions and benefits, never dedicated to his or her job, mediocre at best, completely ineffectual at worst. The equipment they use is without innovation or technology, they consistantly use technology from the mid-20th century rather than the cutting-edge technology developed today. In fact, because the entire military’s basic structure is government owned, with the government choosing which companies manufacture what, there would be no innovation and advancement in American military technology at all. And their tactics and training would be, since they are government-run, incomplete. Individually, each soldier would be unprincipled and undisciplined, and the entire military as a whole would be a bureaucratic nightmare, sucking up trillions of dollars a year but rarely doing anything effective at all. They will rarely win wars, they will rarely win any conflict whatsoever. Their peacekeeping ability will be shot to pieces as each bureaucrat bickers with each other for bigger and bigger offices and salaries as the soldiers cluelessly look on, their hands tied behind their backs, unable to do what they were called to do: defend. Not like they would want to anyway, because they are simply government workers, and the motivation of every government worker is not effectiveness, but to preserve one’s own position, no matter what the cost is to the average every day tax payer.

How accurate is this statement today?

So, tell me again why the government can’t run an effective health care system?


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