08 August 2012

Welfare and Healthcare Part 1

Our nation has now embarked on a journey into the government mandating healthcare for its citizens.  It has been my observation in traveling the world that governments only do one or two things well.  The government provides a standing army to protect its citizens and provides the framework to provide the infrastructure for interstate communications and travel.  However, when governments enter the business world, I have never seen them succeed as effectively as business men and women working independently (and I could give you many examples of this).

It is a misunderstanding that we have millions of US citizens who do not have healthcare.  I know of multiple examples where those who don’t have the money to pay their medical bills have found many different programs to help them.  The USA has a medical system which is complicated but is the envy of much of the world.  I keep hearing about the excellent healthcare in socialist states like Cuba—have you ever been to Cuba?  I have, and I saw nothing which impressed me that I should move my family to this “island of opportunity.”  Cuba is one of the saddest states I have ever witnessed anywhere in the world.

Another example of national healthcare is our northern neighbor Canada.  It is a highly developed nation, but has had difficulties in trying to provide national healthcare for its citizens.  Several years ago, I was able to witness this first-hand.  My family and I journeyed to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada for a few days of vacation.  We’d just arrived on Saturday evening when Evelyn began experiencing the symptoms of a UTI.  She immediately knew what was wrong, and if she could’ve called her doctor, she would have been prescribed an anti-biotic which would have taken care of the problem.  But the doctor’s office was closed for the weekend, and Evelyn knew she would be in terrible pain if we waited until Monday to get a prescription.  So we decided to go to the emergency room at the local hospital.  I don’t want to be offensive to my Canadian friends, but I’m simply going to share what I saw.  The room was crowded with people and not very clean, but we quickly registered with the desk and found a seat in the dimly-lit room.  Then, we waited for three hours until 9:00pm, when I decided to talk with the people at the desk to ask how much longer they thought this would take.  I was informed that it would be at least one o’clock in the morning before we would be able to see a doctor.

Hearing that, we left the hospital and returned to our hotel room to get some rest.  At 8:00 the next morning, which was Sunday, we found a private medical clinic nearby and within thirty minutes had seen a doctor, paid our bill and purchased the needed medicine from the pharmacy next door.  The clinic was clean and efficient in stark comparison to the emergency room at the hospital.   I’ve seen some beautiful places in Canada, but the emergency room at that hospital was not one of them.