Why You Want Socialized Medicine

Summary
The fact is that many things are responsible for your health. Chief among them is corporate behavior. Socialized medicine puts the costs where they belong, and that's why some of the largest corporations fight it so vigorously.

Eric Armstrong
TreeLight.com/Health

Who Pays When You Get Sick?

Right now, the only person who pays when you get sick is you. That's why, for than a decade now, a million and half people have been dropping out of the middle class into poverty every single year--and at least half of that number trace the cause to financially ruinous medical bills.

"What's wrong with that?", you ask. After all, if someone gets sick, it's their fault, isn't it? Well, not so fast. More than likely, their sickness stems from a variety of factors, few of which are under their control:

When you add up all the stresses a body is subjected to, and remove all of the nutrients required for a vigorous immune-and-recovery system, it's no wonder that people get sick.

So who, in the end, is responsible, when you get sick? The answer: Just about everyone. But as long as you are the only one who pays when you get sick, everyone else can avoid taking responsibility.

Big Lie #1: "We Have the Best Medical System in the World"

The fact is that we have the most expensive medical system in the world. And despite the staggering sums of money we spend on it, Americans have the worst health of any industrial nation, bar none. We have the worst rate of infant mortality, the shortest lifespan, and the "lowest quality of life" on all measures.

So, if we have the biggest the most expensive medical system in the world, it's because we need it. It's because we don't do the simple things that safeguard health. Instead, we pray to the god of maximum GDP, and support every enterprise that boosts it, regardless of it's impact your health.

Big Lie #2: We're the Most Productive Nation on Earth

Our politicians also keep telling how we're the most productive nation on earth. (Another lie. There are healthier nations where people work harder and longer--they have more energy to do so--and yet they are happier--for example, in Scandivia, which was found to have the happiest population on the planet.)

Nevertheless, as a nation, we're proud of being the most productive nation on earth, despte the fact that our measure of "productivity" is, at least partially, a measure of human misery.

GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, is the economic measurement that counts the dollars and cents that people are spending. So every dollar spent, no matter what it is spent on, adds one more dollar to the economic GDP measurement.

So if you go broke spending all your money on hospital bills, that's a plus for GDP calculations--despite the fact that, in reality, it represents a massive social failure. Were that number subtracted, as it should be, our true GDP would easily be the worst among industrial nations.

To summarize:

So the fact of the matter is that our "GDP" makes us, not the most productive nation on earth, but possibly the stupidest nation on earth, for swallowing the lies we have been fed, one spoonful after another.

Socialized Medicine Puts the Costs Where they Belong

Every other industrial civilization on the planet has better health statistics than the United States of America. Every single one. And most all of them have some form of socialized medicine. That's not a coincidence. Because socialized medicine provides powerful incentives to prevent disease and protect health--incentives that simply do not exist in America.

With socialized medicine, we all pay when you get sick. Suddenly, the rest of the nation cares about your health, and wants to make the small, inexpensive changes that keep you healthy and prevent disease, rather than paying for the big expensive medical bills when you get sick.

And when people care, they put pressure on their government to act. The advice of health experts becomes more important than the demands of corporate lobbyists, and changes are made that help to keep people healthy.

The only problem is that while those changes are "inexpensive" (compared to the medical bills), every one of them cuts into some corporation's profits. Take trans fats, for example. Ingredients that have them produce "foods" that are cheaper to manufacture and that have a longer shelf life. So they're terrific for profits. Remove those artificial substitutes, and food manufacturers are forced to use the original, natural ingredients. The food tastes the same. General health goes way up. But corporate profits go down, because they either have to lower their profit margin or raise the price, which reduces sales.

So guess who is behind the lies that keep our current medical system in place? One guess. Hint: It's not the nutritionists and lifestyle gurus who know how to keep you healthy. It's the corporations that profit from selling things that help make you sick in the long run, and then profit from selling you remedies when you do get sick.

So the question is simple, really. Which do you want: To be healthy, strong, and truly productive? Or to be part of a society that manages to claim with a straight face that it's faults and failures are some kind of shining example for the world to follow, where it takes a lifetime of study in nutrition and wellness to avoid the booby traps that litter the nutritional landscape?

While you're deciding, remember this: You are your brother's keeper. The choice you make affects the lives of people you know and people you don't. And one day, the wrong choice may well come home to roost.

Conclusion

So you see, you don't want socialized medicine for the diseases it cures, but rather for the diseases it prevents. It removes the incentive to profit from your illness, and motivates systemic changes needed to preserve your health.

There are many wonderful things about America. But our "health care" system is not one of them. There is no system that cares about your health. There is only a system that cares about profits, and that profits from the diseases you incur.

That system does not care if you and your spouse spend your entire working lives in productive pursuits, only to end up forced into bankruptcy and homelessness by exorbitant medical costs. That system does not care about keeping you healthy in the first place, so that you can pass on your wealth to your children instead of putting it into the pockets of drug companies and hospitals. Nor does that system care one bit about the misery and suffering you endure when you and your family succumb to diseases that are farily easy to prevent, but difficult to cure.

It's a system that must change.

Resources

I've seen references to these factoids. As I track them down, I'll list them here:

Copyright © 2009 by Eric Armstrong. All rights reserved.
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