Hey, Republicans. We Already Have Socialized Medicine!

Guest Columnist

sam fields

Sam Fields

Imagine a healthcare system where the government owned the hospitals. 

Whether a janitor or the Chief of Surgery, you worked for the government. Invisible government bureaucrats set your pay and the work rules.
Patients could get the care they neededprovided the same invisible government bureaucrats thought they needed it. 
Patients paid according to their means, but had to provide financial records to show their true means.
In other words: From each according to his ability to pay; and to each according to his needs.
Does it sound like the Marxist wet dream and the Republican nightmare?
I know of two places that work under that system: Cuba and the Veterans Administration.
The strange thing is that you don’t hear the Right Wing, including Right Wing veterans, demanding they dismantle the VA Communist cabal.
You don’t even hear them demanding competition in VA medical services.

For example, why not let Humana set up an alternative to the VA? Why not put competition/capitalism in medical care for our Vets? 
Not a peep.
You could say the same for Medicare.  It is the dreaded Single Payer Government System.
In the early 1960’s, led by the American Medical Association, the Medicare proposal was denounced as Soviet-style medicine. There is a Ronald Reagan record that was distributed by the AMA in which Reagan warned that Medicare meant the end of freedom.
It was either Hitler or Lenin’s first step to totalitarianism.  Maybe it was both. 
Forty five years later there is nary a Republican or doctor who would support ending the program.  When compared to private insurance, it is a model of efficiency. 
While overhead eats up 20% of private insurance dollars, overhead is less than 1% with Medicare.
If there is a problem with Medicare, it is fraud.  But alas,that is another story about doctors.

7 Responses to “Hey, Republicans. We Already Have Socialized Medicine!”

  1. S only says:

    Write your congressmen and women an email or letter in FAVOR of a public health option –(for us who are not 65 yet!) Isn’t that one main reason Obama won the election?
    The “party” should be OVER for private for-profit health insurance.

  2. VLenin says:

    You are my biggest supportr. When I was in charge, everybody got equal medicine, which was wait on line and try to get a bureaucrat to agree to treat me. I got sick and coulnd’t had to wait in line for treatment. I died before I came to the front of theline.
    V. Lenin

  3. TheBrowardRepublican says:

    Sam, you get yourself into so much trouble with your blanket statements. I am a Republican, and I have spoken with other Republicans who agree, the VA medical services system is broken. If you haven’t done so already, walk through a VA hospital. The conditions, for the most part, are atrocious and unbecoming of the men and women who have served thsi country.

    I can’t speak for Cuba, but your statement about Republicans being against competition for the VA hospitals is akin to me saying all Democrats are in favor of helping out pediphiles simply because I don’t hear any of them complaining about it.

    Neither statement is true.

    For your next installment, why don’t you try to come up with something bolstering, whether it is pro-Republican or pro-Democrat? Rather than trying to tear either side down, why don’t you concentrate on what is good on both sides of the line? Maybe it is too much to ask, but I really wish people would start working together on the things we can improve on, no matter which party line you subscribe to, instead of constantly bickering so hardly any good can ever get done.

  4. GOPapa says:

    What about tort reform, Mr. Fields?
    One reason that doctors give unnecessary tests is their fear of being sued by the likes of you. Just look at all those ads for lawyers on TV trolling for clients to sue drug companies. We all pay for that in higher medical costs in the end. It is the rare lawyer who would admit that law suits against doctors and drug companies are out of control. You, Mr. Fields, are not one of those rare lawyers.

  5. Sam Fields says:

    Dear GOPapa,

    Tort Reform the phony bugaboo of medicine.

    First of all I do not practice in this area and never have.

    1. I have yet to meet the doctor that regularly orders medically unnecessary tests out of fear of lawyers.

    2. What do they put down on the insurance forms? Do they lie and commit fraud?

    3. Doctors are the most arrogant profession. It all goes back to high school–as do many things–where they were the smartest kids in the room. They think they know everything. It is not well known but in the third year of medical school all students are required to submit to a “commonsense- ectomy”.

    4. One of the things I ask doctors is what percentage of med mal premiums go to Plaintiffs and their lawyers. They don’t know and don’t care. Years ago when I worked on the Hill one study estimated it as 16-20%. The rest stays with the company. When the Fla. Legislature debated the topic they refused to subpoena insurance records to figure this out. It’s not healthcare or economics it’s all politics.

    5. Doctors get away with murder. Harvard estimated that each year 80,000 people die because they go to a hospital.

    6. I would bet that for every frivolous case there are ten times that many screw-up’s that go unreported.

    7. Before you can file a med mal case you must obtain an affidavit from a trained professional that he/she has reviewed the file and describes the malpractice. That affidavit will cost $5000+. It cost ten times that to cover the cost of the rest of the case. Does anyone really believe that a lawyer is going to lay out those kind of $$$ for a bullshit case?

    8. Florida, like many states, has limited non-economic loss to $250,000. That means that if a doctor, looking at the x-ray backwards, cuts off the wrong breast he is limited to paying no more than $250k unless the victim is a stripper or porno actress.

  6. GOPapa says:

    Mr. Fields,
    “Doctors are the most arrogant profession???” I would say they are tied with lawyers. Ask anybody whether they trust doctors or lawyers. You know what the answer will be.
    By tort reform, I don’t only mean doctors. I mean unnecessary class action suits against pharma companies of all types. Many of the lawyers conducting these suits are nothing more than ambulance chasers. Instead of running after ambulances, they seek plaintiffs through extensive TV advertising. 1-800-BADDRUG is just one. Even if the pharma companies win, it costs them a fortune to defend. This type of class action suit should be curtailed. I know it would be hard without curtailing the rights of victims to sue for actual harm. Maybe the payout to lawyers could be capped much lower to discourage frivolous suits and advertising by lawyers can have tighter regulation.

  7. I.P. Freely says:

    UPS has a delivery system computerized so they don’t have to make left turns because it wastes too much gas!

    Imagine the government working with that much efficiency!

    FROM BUDDY: UPS indeed is very efficient.
    The Postal Service, however, has the job of delivering mail six times a week to every address in the US, from Alaska to Key West. The two services can’t be compared.
    The Postal Service operates under a mandate dating from President Nixon that it should be run like a business. It can’t really run like a business.
    UPS can negotiate directly with its employees. Congress has saddled The Postal Service with unbelievable union contracts and with Congressional oversight. The contract compared postal employees to police officers when setting wages. The contract requires the Postal Service to pay for employee health benefits years in advance, which is hurting it during the recession. Under the contract, the Postal Service can’t layoff anyone. The pension benefits are very, very lucrative.
    There is a need for the Postal Service. The Postal Service must be allowed to operate like any other business, without congressional interference and with the ability to renegotiate the ridiculous employee contracts it now must operate under.