So Senator Clinton has unveiled her (new) health-care plan. I have no comment. I am philosophically opposed to government-run health insurance, so there is no sense in me critiquing the particulars of her plan versus anyone else’s. Heck, I don’t even have to look at it if I don’t want to. (I did anyway, just for giggles, but turns out it isn’t so funny. Eh.)
The reason I bring it up is that whenever people start talking about “universal health care,” one side talks about Canada and Great Britain and how awesome their health-care systems are, and the other side talks about how those awesome systems are actually very crappy–six-to-twelve-month waits for MRIs, rationed services, lotteries for family physicians, women with high-risk pregnancies turned away from maternity wards, live-saving operations refused, people doing their own dentistry–just every socialized-medicine nightmare imaginable. Even for someone like me–philosophically opposed to government-run health insurance and prepared to believe the worst about Canadian and British health care–it seems a little over the top. Lots of people who live (or have lived) in countries with nationalized health care swear that it is in fact totally awesome and not at all crappy. These are people I’ve met in real life. Yet there are all these other people who live (or have lived) in these same countries and are willing to go on the record–in print or before TV cameras or on live radio–saying that nationalized health care is in fact totally crappy and not at all awesome, and they proceed to tell their own stories about the nightmare scenarios I alluded to earlier.
While it seems reasonable that your mileage may vary with these government-run systems, I can’t help but think that it must be possible to make some generalizations. I’m thinking about the LDS Church and how one’s experience can vary greatly, depending on which group of Mormons you find yourself surrounded with. My experience with the people and even with the leadership has been generally positive, but I have heard the nightmare stories and don’t disbelieve them–they seem entirely plausible, given the nature(s) of cultural and institutional Mormonism, which has potential for both great good and great evil (or at least great annoyance). Since I can’t have everyone’s experience, or even learn about everyone’s experience, I have to go with what I know first-hand and temper it with what I know secondhand. Personally, I’ve concluded that the Church is mostly pretty good, though it could stand to improve in some areas (and could stand to improve a lot in other areas). I’m not philosophically opposed to it…I guess…so such practical considerations are not beneath me. I can live with it.
So I’m curious about the experiences of you folks who have live or have lived in countries with “universal health care”–how much you like or don’t like it, whether you think it works, whether you think the nightmares are isolated incidents or endemic to the system, et cetera, blah blah blah. No need to proselytize either way, as my philosophical opposition is about as deeply entrenched as my religion. In other words, I don’t need to hear from Americans campaigning for or against Hillarycare, Obamacare, or Romneycare. But if you have any good stories where health care and Mormonism intersect, feel free to share those. And since laughter is the best medicine, you can also leave jokes here. So everyone is welcome in my comment section, so long as they follow my guidelines.
Should the comments get too unwieldy, of course, I’m going to have to start rationing. You might have to wait a few weeks to make your comment. I may decide that your comment is “elective” and not necessary for saving my blog’s life–you know, that sort of thing. Just kidding! It’s still America on the old Giraffe page–comment as much as you like (as long as your premiums are current).