My Mother the Socialist
My family is sitting in the kitchen, eating warm chocolate chip cookies, and discussing health care. My sister (MD) is a bit of a cynic, as she sees the abuse of Medicaid on a daily basis, with patients coming into the emergency room by ambulance for their eczema because it doesn't cost them a dime. My mother, who in a house of staunch Republicans has blossomed overnight into a bleeding heart socialist, sympathizes with a group of women who were recently featured in an April 4th article of The Day; these women did not receive medical care until the late stages of cancer because they couldn't afford a doctor's appointment. A horrible situation, of course, but would it really be fixed by universal health care? My mother thinks so.
Universal health care takes away a person's responsibility for his or her own health. By handing out "free health care," people become lazy. For example...why should one exercise and eat better to improve his cholesterol, when he can take a pill, after all it's cheaper than a gym membership if someone has Medicaid. Why should one quit smoking their 2 packs/day, which cost roughly $10/day when medicine is so advance, that they can receive a quadruple bypass at age 40, paid by us, the U.S. tax payers. Is money really the problem? Why is it that the U.S. spends more than any other country in the world on health care, yet we are nowhere near the top of the list of "healthiest countries" (World Health Organization statistics)? Is it perhaps the American sense of freedom to do whatever "feels good" combined with the attitude that "someone else is to blame" for our problems? With all the medical advances in recent years, people can receive medical attention and care for almost any infirmity. Should people assume that an 87 year old with severe medical issues should receive major surgery? If we did adopt a system of universal health care, should I have to pay someone else's medical bill? While universal health care is not in itself evil...it does not seem like it would really achieve its goals.
My mother with a grin just shouted up the stairs to my father, who is busy fixing a 30 year old drier with a coat hanger and duct tape, "You didn't raise just a pair of staunch Republicans, you raised cold hearted bastards." Got to love family.