Bad medicine?

I can’t make a better case for socialized medicine than Helen did in her “Doctor, Doctor” post.

I will say, however, that I think it’s goddamned ludicrous here in the States that you go to a dentist for some emergency work because you’re in pain, and that dentist (or whatever type of doctor) has the right to run a credit check and never call you again because you’re not worthy of treatment if you’re uninsured and have a credit score below a certain number. Even if you might just have the means to make payments.

And it’s not that these medical magicians even love the big insurance companies; they’re somewhat forced to take lower levels of reimbursement in exchange for the guarantee of being paid for services rendered. Nobody wants to put their services “on sale” but if salaries have to be paid, you take it where you can get it.

A lot of people posit whether universal health care, other than being a tremendous cost, would sacrifice the quality of services rendered. From my view, I have yet to enter a hospital or doctor/dentist’s office and leave feeling like a miracle happened or that anyone cared enough to provide more than a bare-bones level of service, if that. At least with socialized health care, you could excuse the impersonal care because at least everyone is entitled to some. Which is more important?

A lot of the health care costs in this so-called “land of the plenty” are reactive, anyway. Preventive care would save a whole lot of grief in the end, and you wouldn’t have people like me who are conditioned to avoid medical professionals at all costs because the out-of-pocket expense (even with coverage) is enough to make us wonder, well, do I REALLY need to address that?

I fear we’re all in deep doo-doo if we ever stopped feeling ashamed enough to admit we actually do care about our health. My dentist needs to do about $1,500 of work on me that’s not covered by my plan; I’ve been dodging his assistant’s calls for six months. And they’re not a big fan of payments, either — if you don’t have it up front, then seeya.

I don’t know. If the incompetence exhibited at Veterans Hospital (dig through the archives; I can’t bear to look at those posts) is an example of socialized medicine, then we’re all doomed. But one of the issues that will persuade me to vote for a candidate in the upcoming presidential election is a solid plan to ensure that every American has access to health care, because no circumstance should be extenuating enough to tell someone that their life isn’t worth anything in this world.

5 Responses to Bad medicine?

  1. Ted :

    Another reason to fear socialized medicine is what’s happening in England right now. They’re denying certain medical care to smokers until they can pass a blood test proving that they’ve quit smoking.

    In other words, when you make the government responsible for providing all health care, then you’ve made them responsible for deciding who gets it and under what circumstances.

    The government is not benevolent. The government does not act with your best interests in mind.

  2. Helen :

    I’ve not heard of anyone getting denied medical treatment because of smoking. The only thing that smoking MAY impact is a free round of fertility treatment courtesy of the NHS, as I know that fertility treatment mixed with smoking is severely frowned upon (and let’s be honest-smoking is very dangerous in pregnancy. Isn’t it worth quitting smoking, just for a little while?) That free round of treatment isn’t available in all areas (it isn’t in mine, for example) and there are lots of determining factors in who gets a shot at a free round. In my experience, the ONLY countries that offer free fertility treatment ARE the socialist ones.

    Otherwise not once have I seen evidence of smoking being a factor here. Not once.

  3. Ted :

    Here’s where I saw the reference to it:

    From the Daily Mail:

    Smokers are to be denied operations on the Health Service unless they give up cigarettes for at least four weeks beforehand.

    Doctors will police the rule by ordering patients to take a blood test to prove they have not been smoking.

    The ruling, authorised by Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt, comes after medical research conclusively showed smokers take longer to recover from surgery.

    It is thought that 500,000 smokers a year will be affected.

    Here’s the link to the entire article:

    I agree that smoking is bad for you, and it’s a good thing to discourage it, but the UK government is witholding medical treatment (or punishing folks by making them wait longer for it) from people because they have a habit that is legal, but frowned upon.

    Oh yeah, I love socialized medicine.

  4. Helen :

    I don’t think this is correct-the Daily Mail is a sensationalist paper over here, one which likes to inflame and is generally known as a paper for the least common denominator. According to the Guardian, Leicestershire coucil has PROPOSED the move, but other papers last week said it was rejected by other councils as being too controlling.

    And I do love socialist medicine.

    And if they want to make a move to help smokers-which take up the single biggest chunk of NHS funds available to other patients-stop smoking, then I support that whole-heartedly.

  5. Ted :

    Why stop with smoking? Why not make it illegal, and then when they’ve criminalized it they can go after alcohol. Lord knows there’s enough problems caused by drinking. They’re already well on the way to criminalizing being overweight. What next? Excess television… videogames… meat… sex in other than the missionary position… not going to the approved church…

    The point is, it isn’t the government’s business to be in people’s lives. Give an inch, they take a mile. It’s always been that way, it will always be that way.