From a Yankee Living in King Arthur’s Health Care System.
[Upon recently returning from a holiday in the States with far too much time to get involved in the great dummed down American debate (thanks to so-called popular news broadcasts), I felt the need to summarise the opinions I expressed to several family and friends]
“It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white so long as it catches mice” -Deng Xiaoping upon transforming Mao Zedong’s purist Communist state to a hybrid Socialist-Capitalist regime (December of 1978)-
Let me say this as plainly as possible. Everyone has the human right to be healthy and it doesn’t matter what ideology we use to achieve it*. Be it a mix of democracy, socialism, tyranny, monarchy and/or communism: so long as we all are healthy to pursue “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, then by all means we should pursue it with all the ingenuity and innovation that America has been so successful in achieving the past two-hundred years.
For those of you who wish to make this a black and white debate, I would ask that you stop for a moment to consider the multiple ideologies working in your life: at home where the bread-winning man raises his family and hands down orders to be lovingly carried out by his family (monarchy), where the single mother goes to work to diligently carry out the emailed instructions of her boss (tyranny), where the soldier fights upon the fields in Afghanistan following the orders of his commander (dictatorship), where the volunteer worker gives up their weekends to join in a fellow cause to help other people suffering from unjust circumstances (socialism)… in fact as I look around I find very few pure democracies at work in the real world. In fact, the very system that America has relied upon all these years to elect it’s officials is anything but a pure democracy (not that we shouldn’t pursue a truly egalitarian democracy). Rather, if we look around to the real situations and relationships in our lives we will quickly discover that some of the most effective things we do are hybrid political ideologies.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that living in a National Health Care system (which I have been doing for the past ten years in England) is flawless (nor is it a pure socialistic model governed over by a single government authority, rather it is more kindred to a truly pure democracy at times, aka an anarchy ;-). Rather, there are flaws with it and many of them: the English would not be English if they didn’t criticise everything in the pursuit of making it better! But do not be fooled in believing that living in a social health care system is something that any true thinking English individual would give up for the current tyrannical ideology employed by so called “capitalistic” insurance companies and biomedical copyright conglomerates that currently dictate health rights to the so-called “free American”. And let me be explicit why the English would not give up their half-baked Health Care System (lest there is an American or Englishman who thinks otherwise):
- Birth: because no one should have to pay to give birth to their children! Still a free right that every democratic English citizen has the right to as a human born upon this planet; i.e. my cousin had to pay in excess of £10K/$15K to see his wife give birth to their first born despite having average health insurance in the US of A.
- Children: because even more important that providing a high school equivalent education to every 18 year old so we must also make sure that the 18 year old has the brains and physical ability to employee that education; i.e. I met an eighteen-year old who despite having straight A’s in her educational life was not able to find a job because her parents could not afford dental insurance for her gnarled teeth <- if only she would have come to England ;-D
- Young adults: People just starting out in life whether straight out of High School or University should not have to stand on a precipice of insurance uncertainty until they get a job; i.e. my sister as a self-employed photographer had to live at home under our parent’s insurance until the age of twenty-three when she got married because she was not insurable as an individual because of a physical condition she has had since birth: no one should have to live with their parents at an age when they should be living life to the full with their friends (it is unfair to both the child and parents).
- Families: because no man or women responsible for being the primary bread winner should have to feel impotent if they are injured while out of work, i.e. a family friend of ours was injured on the last day of a major building project and was not able to get his knee operated upon until he was able to find another job, however he walked with a limp to every construction job he tried to get and because of it was not considered an “employable labourer” (in comparison to younger fitter workers).
- Recession and my own personal view: because while I have a job at this time of economic instability, I am still able to take risks at my job (for the greater good) because my concern is not in just retaining my job (but to do more than just pay the bills), i.e. I could get fired tomorrow and find enough work with my two hands to pay my rent and food for my partner and myself without having to worry about being injured if I did have to do a manual labour job.
So what is the moral of these stories: let us stop quarrelling as to what political ideology we as Americans embrace and instead recognise the primary ideology that has made “America the Experiment” be a success these past two-hundred years: innovation, innovation, innovation*! The singular ability to make things work without letting our religious, political, gender, sexual or nationalistic dogma get in the way of achieving the singularly greatest health care system to date (regardless of what ideology we use to get it to work). Stop arguing across political lines and instead embrace the opportunity to once again be the world’s brash and bragging citizens by saying “we have given all our citizen’s health and we are as a City upon a Hill for the whole World to see!” Would this not be the greatest achievement America has achieved to date, and indeed a manifestation of the word’s of our declared Constitution: “Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”!
To end with a few numbers:
1799 Aboltion of Slavery in Main Land Great Britain… 66 years later… 1865 aboltion of slavery in The United States.
1948 creation of the National Health Care System in the United Kingdom… 66 years later… it is 2014.
A Hybrid American-Englishman.
~ by dfflanders on August 9, 2009.