By The Big Guy
Socialized medicine, a term that will clearly burn a hole in your brain, not to mention a hole in your wallet; the end of the western world as we know it and definitely a communist plot of the worst magnitude. Turns out the term dates back to 1947, yes over sixty-five years ago when the godless President Harry Truman had the nerve to propose health care for all American citizens. Can you imagine?
It was the American Medical Association that coined the phrase, painting pictures of people getting health care at dark, drab, antiseptic smelling medical facilities from faceless doctors who never bothered to learn your name as you stood in long lines, walked in and took a number and were cared for by whoever was up next, not unlike going to the bakery. Such a dismal future was certainly something America could do without said the AMA and so it has for the sixty-five plus years since…until now.
The reality is that what we are about to get is not socialized medicine at all. It is socialized insurance. Everybody pays in, for the most part, and everybody gets coverage, with the backing of Uncle Sam. Insurance companies will collect the funds and dole out the cash to service providers as necessary, just like they do now. With more customers there’s more sources selling insurance. Even the aforementioned uncle will become a provider, something to which he is no stranger, which leads to more competition and the availability of lower prices. That’s the plan.
All of this begins next week. Will there be confusion? Most likely. Will it be hard for some people to understand? Without a doubt. Just ask anyone who has taken advantage of that other governmental institution, Medicare. It is indeed hard to understand, especially for people who have spent their lives signed up for medical insurance with their employer and knowing nothing more than the facts that (a) their paycheck gets dinged for the cost and (b) they have to show up at their doctor’s office and flash an ID card. But for someone who has been on Medicare for a year now I must tell you that things work well, costs are covered, there is a minimum amount of paperwork for me to decipher and I’m pretty sure I’m spending less on insurance than I used to while I still see my same doctors and visit the same medical facilities. And as sure as there is something new for the public to understand there will certainly be all kinds of institutions and organizations and media, not to mention online sources that will be there to explain things and make choices easier.
For many of you nothing will change and I’m sorry to have cluttered up your mind. Most importantly there will be insurance for the previously uninsurable, for so many children who have not been covered and for those who have decided to take a risk with their life because they can’t afford it. That seems like something that is worthwhile enough to just let it happen.