Letter: Nationalized Health Care

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Let’s look at how many countries have Universal Health Care compared to those that don’t.  How many are considering going private? I believe that answer is none.  And why are we the only western country that doesn’t have it?  And it looks to me like a majority of Americans want it, so it should hopefully be a matter of time before it arrives even in our sometimes backwards thinking country.

Now, I know how much I hate it when people insert their own experiences as some sort of proof, but since I’ve had Universal Health Care provided by the government through the military (the most bureaucratic, corrupt, poorly managed, good old boy system in the world) I think I have some sort of experience with the system. I’ve had outstanding coverage by my military health care the last nine years.  It’s not 100 percent outstanding, but I would say for every one doctor I’ve had issues with I’ve had nine that are top notch.  I am proud to say I haven’t had many reasons to go to the doctor, but I think at least one of them will speak to the whole elective procedure propaganda we continually hear from the far right.

In my first year in the military I had my routine dental exam.  Even though I was having no issue with my three remaining wisdom teeth the doctor recommended that I get them pulled for one reason.  Because it was FREE!!  Sounds like elective surgery to me.  Not to mention that nowadays nearly everyone is getting Lasik/PRK surgery for free through the military.  Also a completely elective surgery.

My wife has seen many different specialists through the military for free and has had great success, as has my sister.  The only other experience I had was when I broke my hand and the care for that was outstanding as well.  And it’s not like wisdom teeth extraction is that big a deal for most people, but considering if they messed it up in any way my trumpet playing days and my career would be over makes it a bigger deal for me, and I had complete confidence in all of the doctors I dealt with.

Here is a list of things covered by my health plan: dental, vision, routine exams, broken bones, birth, acupuncture, physical therapy, lost limbs, brain surgery, cancer treatments, arthritis, Lasik/PRK, psychiatry, therapy, counseling, cosmetic surgery.  I think you get my picture.

The fact that even the goofy military can provide great health care proves to me that the government could do it just as well, if not better.  I would say the reason that the VA hospitals are such a problem is because they are a mix of private and government care. I can go anywhere, show my ID and I’m in, no questions asked.  Retired vets have private health care, discounted by the government, so it’s basically what everyone else has, but cheaper and guaranteed.  (Isn’t it weird that Canadians also have a card that will let them into any ER in the U.S., but most U.S. citizens don’t?).

I don’t want to ramble on too much longer, but I currently have some Dutch friends, and I had several friends from Canada in Grad School that all think our for-profit health care system is ridiculous, if not immoral.

For those of us that have had universal health care, we seem to love it.  It’s not perfect, but I think a lot of the scary scenarios that get thrown out there range from completely false to greatly exaggerated, while the huge health care crisis in our country is totally overlooked.

I guess I’ll end with this food for thought:  Isn’t it ironic, that the spokesperson for the most powerful man in the world (Tony Snow and G.W. respectively) had to quit his job because he had to make more money for his own health care?  That tells me that I hope to God I never get sick in this country without millions and millions of dollars, otherwise I’m totally out of luck.

If we eliminate the insurance companies, all the money wasted on insurance companies could go to research and development. I don’t think anyone is arguing against scientists, researchers, and doctors getting paid a good salary.  It’s all the money wasted going into all these insurance companies.

The root cause to all of this is the big money in politics.  It’s the big money that pollutes our air and water, feeds us crap food, lulls us into couch potatoes watching mindless TV, while it cleans up making money on how sick everyone is getting.

Once government is given back to the people, not just the rich folks, but the average people, all of these problems will fix themselves.  As long as the almighty dollar is what matters the most, people will continue to be oppressed, sickened, exploited, and then raked over the coals for every last penny while the rich get richer.

JL, U.S. Air Force, Active Duty

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