What is the difference between socialized medicine and true Medicare for all? Quite a bit.
Britain has socialized medicine. Socialism is government ownership and control of business, with the key word being “ownership.”
Here are excerpts from an article describing the British health care system.
First the good :
The good, the bad, and the ugly of England’s universal health-care system
The National Health Service, or NHS, is the United Kingdom’s public universal health system. It sees a million patients every day.
It employs 1.7 million people, which makes it the fifth biggest employer in the entire world. And of course, it is free at the point of use for U.K. residents.
If you walk into an NHS hospital with a broken arm, you’ll walk out with a cast, a few x-rays, and zero bills to pay.
While the NHS has long been the subject of some scorn in America, it is also often heralded elsewhere as a shining example of how universal health care can succeed.
British citizens are fiercely protective of it. One survey found that Brits list the NHS as the number one reason they are proud to be British.
Then the bad:
Many recent surveys have found the NHS to be drastically understaffed, and doctors in particular are desperately needed.
Last year, the British Medical Association called the NHS’s doctor shortage “chronic” and warned that if something wasn’t done to stem the problem, “patient care will suffer.”
Then the author describes a personal experience with Britain’s medical system that at best was horrible, and at worst, close to fatal.
Our (newborn) son was out of the NICU, but the medical team still didn’t know if he had an infection, and face-to-face consultations with the pediatricians treating him were rare.
When we did get a moment with a doctor, it was brief and hurried.
Our (room) seemed like (it) hadn’t been cleaned in days; the bathroom smelled of sewage and the floor was littered with trash.
We felt abandoned, forgotten. And the longer we stayed, the more invisible we became: Multiple times I went long stretches without a meal, only to find out that dinner was hours ago and the staff had accidentally neglected to bring me any.
We were just another disgruntled, weary family clutching our newborns and waiting to be released.
That’s the thing: When you take the money out of medicine, when you’re no longer a paying customer with alternative options, you lose your leverage. You are at the mercy of the system.
I don’t want to seem ungrateful. After all, it’s very possible the NHS saved my son’s life.
And my husband and I often talk about how different things would be if he’d been born in the U.S.: No doubt we’d be dealing not only with a new baby, but insurance claims and possibly crippling debt.
I walked out of that hospital with a healthy child and not a penny owed. I am very thankful.
It’s also an incredibly complex problem that experts across the country are struggling to solve. Politics plays a large role, as does an aging population. Some people call for more funding. Others insist on shifting the focus to preventive care.
Still others say technological innovations could hoist the NHS out of the past and propel it into the digital age. Probably what’s needed is some combination of all of these improvements.
I don’t know how to fix Britain’s universal health-care system, just like I don’t know how to lower the costs of America’s privatized system.
But I do know that, while the price of good health care shouldn’t be astronomical medical bills, it shouldn’t be emotional trauma, either.
The fundamental problem with Britain’s system is that it is socialized medicine, i.e. owned and operated by the government.
In that sense, it resembles America’s giant Veteran’s Administration.
And while the government is very good at paying for medical care, it is awful at providing medical care.
With America’s Medicare, by contrast, the government does not own and operate the hospitals and all the other medical services.
It merely pays the hospitals and other medical services. It takes the place of private insurance.
Thus, Americans receive the best of two worlds: A payer having unlimited money and a privately run medical system: Medicare.
The problem with Medicare is that it collects taxes unnecessarily, and it doesn’t cover enough.
Medicare for All (Step #2 of the Ten Steps to Prosperity, below) would provide the best of all worlds:
- Covering all Americans of all ages, not just the elderly and those with specific afflictions.
- Comprehensive: No deductibles or need for supplementary insurance. All medical services covered.
- All prescription pharmaceuticals 100% covered.
- No taxes needed. (See: Step #1: Eliminate FICA).
Our Monetarily Sovereign government can pay for all of this, without raising taxes.
Despite what you have been told, increasing the debt and deficit do not cause inflation and are not “unsustainable.”
The public is being told lies because of “Gap Psychology.” Don’t allow the debt “Henny Pennys” to scare you.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.
Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA
2. Federally funded medicare — parts a, b & d, plus long-term care — for everyone
3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
5. Salary for attending school
6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
9. Federal ownership of all banks
10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9%
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.
5 thoughts on “What is the difference between socialized medicine and true Medicare for all?”
Very well-said, Rodger! Single-payer Medicare For All is LONG overdue, and can indeed be paid for without costing taxpayers anything. And no need for deductibles, copays, exclusions, or premiums either.
Unfortunately the rub is ” It takes the place of PRIVATE insurance.” They’re scared to death of MS and will fight it to the death.
Correct. The miracle is that Medicare itself ever was passed, and now it can serve as a template for Medicare for All. So the “do-ability” is proven, and we need to fight only the “afford-ability” objection.
Indeed, the oligarchs are absolutely terrified of MS and all that it could accomplish.
Maybe when the negatives outweigh the positives, the oligarchs will come around rather than risk a system shutdown and anarchy. They’ll have to realize that they can’t afford to continue playing with everyone’s lives, which includes them, too.
We need each other. The roots and the manure are as important as the leaves and flowers.