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for Why America Needs Socialized Medicine

5/6/2004 c1 7CommandoCody
I like this. Your essay was organized, and you actually provided sources. The addition of that little story in the beginning was also well placed for the setting of the mood.

What technical suggestions I have stem mostly from your research. Based upon what I've seen you decided a position beforehand and then went out to find some research that supported it. This is good for an opinion piece, but hardcore research is what an issue like this really needs, with views from all the extremes and the middle ground.

What follows next stems from my own personal beliefs, so you may disregard them, but I implore you not to. Perhaps the biggest assumption made in this entire piece is that government control will make things equal and high quality for all. Here in America, this the exact opposite of the truth, and I need point no further to the departments of Education, Agriculture, and just about every sect of the Government to prove it. It is a verifiable fact that Government, when not kept within narrow confines, tends to make things worse and not better through its total control. This has held true for every endeavor the Government has made outside its constitutional boundaries and I see no reason why government control of health care should be any different.

There is also another aspect to this debate that I think you've left out, and that is the careers of the health professionals. I don't know what career you might be engaged in, but it must require some education and certification. Doctors and such have huge mounds of this just to get into the bottom level of their careers. After all that training that they went through, all that work, what right does the Government have to dictate to them where, why, and how much to work for? The polite term for the Government doing this is "white-collar slavery."

Perhaps I should take a different approach. At the end of your essay, you more or less equated equal access to health care to a fundamental human right and threw in something about us being a democracy; therefore making socialized medicine a matter of individual right. This line of reasoning is confused, and I will show you why. First, let us start with the fundamental: America is not, never has been, and God-willing never will be a "democracy." Sounds a little fascist, right? Let me explain. A democracy is any institution in which the majority holds all decision making power. The United States of America is a constitutional republic with democratic leanings. The difference is breathtaking. In our form of government, we recognize the concept of "individual" rights that a person is born with regardless of sex, race, etc. The majority still holds power, but that power is kept from being too overbearing by a system of checks and balances. It's not a perfect system, and we've only recently begun to live up to it, but it is workable.

We, as individuals, have certain inalienable rights…to a degree. One of those is to speak our mind (no government censorship), to associate with whom we wish, to practice what faith we want (their can't be a government church), and to pursue our happiness (finding it is not a guarantee). There are some exceptions to these, but we face them only in extreme situations. The distinguishing mark of any basic "right" of a person is that it requires no other individuals to forgo their rights to make it real. Now consider socialized medicine. The funds and staff for Healthcare have to come from somewhere and with the government in total control that means they have to take it from someone else. With total government control there is no longer a Healthcare market, and so all the workers are forced to work for the government and have no choice in where and how they perform their work. They are denied the right to pursue their happiness by being told what to do with the skills they have worked hard to acquire. You may continue to argue that equal access to healthcare is a fundamental human right if you wish, just don't try to take the individual right approached. It cannot be considered an individual right if it forces someone else to sacrifice on your behalf.

This is not to say that the government should get totally out of Healthcare. What I am saying is that allowing it to control the industry is not the answer. That's what I have to say. Make of it what you will.
5/5/2004 c1 James Jago
Well said. Every other first world country has some kind of state health provision -either a full health service like us Brits or a compulsory insurance contribution system coupled to something like Medicaid- so why not you?
5/4/2004 c2 2nl1
Good essay. I agree with you.

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