I’ve always found it annoying when Europeans, who often have never been here and get all their information on us from the TV, decide to pass judgment on us from their high horse. Here’s a recent example:
When we Europeans – the British included – contemplate the battles President Obama must fight to reform the US health system, our first response tends to be disbelief. How can it be that so obvious a social good as universal health insurance, so humane a solution to common vulnerability, is not sewn deep into the fabric of the United States? How can one of the biggest, richest and most advanced countries in the world tolerate a situation where, at any one time, one in six of the population has to pay for their treatment item by item, or resort to hospital casualty wards?
The second response, as automatic as the first, is to blame heartless and ignorant Republicans. To Europeans, a universal health system is so basic to a civilised society that only the loony right could possibly oppose it: the people who cling to their guns, picket abortion clinics (when they are not trying to shoot the abortionists) and block funding for birth control in the third world. All right, we are saying to ourselves, there are Americans who think like this, but they are out on an ideological limb.
Then she goes on to say that “The US tolerates more inequality, deprivation and suffering than is acceptable here”. Yeah, what a crock.
I have lived over there and inequality is much more rampant in Europe. Why else do they have these segregated ghettos and “no go” areas? Why would rampant mobs of minority youth go on these crime sprees? Because they’re so happy living in a socialist paradise?
We have medical mishaps in the US, also. But then, we also have state hospitals that have to take in uninsured and those places are over worked, understaffed just like all hospitals will be under Obamacare. Which is why Americans don’t want it. Not because we’re “mean”.
“Universal health care” isn’t. People are denied it based on the prejudices of bureaucrats. If you’re too old, fat, a smoker, whatever, they have excuses why they cut people off. The real reason is the cost of running these massive entitlement bureaucracies eventually bankrupts them, and in the process you have rationing of care. Which is pretty damn “mean”.
Right now the Brits are all defensive because we’ve been using the NHS as an example of how bad Universal Health Care can be when a government runs it. Naturally defenders come out of the woodwork because who likes to admit they are being ripped off? Some young people are deluded about it because they have not had to use it that much. Wait until they have to.
We Americans don’t want to be stuck with such a failing system. No thanks.