Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Note to Americans Who Believe Europeans' Health Care System Is the Way to Go

This comes from a Facebook discussion that I got into:
Never mind it's worked reasonably well in Canada and Europe. In the U. S., it would be "socialism," even though we have socialized education and socialized police, fire and transportation systems. And we are "exceptional" which is Tea Party speak for never allowing ourselves the indignity of learning and prospering from other countries' successes. We have to uphold the illusion that we are the best at everything by doing it our way, though the data clearly show otherwise.
Speaking as somebody who lives or who has lived in Denmark and in France as well as several other European countries (besides the United States), I'm afraid some of you Americans take Europeans' self-serving declarations as fact and need to learn more about European civics and the "data" that they present to you (as well as, foremost, to their own citizens).

First, you castigate all the claims a Republican makes — which is nothing bad, to be sure (it would maybe be better if you were consistent and did the same for Democrats once in a while); but then, every piece of Europe's never-ceasing bragging you accept as true (some of you even accept CUBA'S assertion that the country's health coverage is superior to America's; back in the day, we were told that the Soviet Union had superior coverage to America's)!

Note: In Havana, the élite goes to special dispensaries only for the élite.
The same was true in Moscow and in Leningrad.
And in Paris, when you want really good care, you go (that is, the rich person goes) to the city's private hospital (called — wait for it — the Hôpital… Américain!).

Oh we are so much more humane than those clueless Americans; Oh we are so much more generous than those egoistical Americans; Oh we take so much better care of our poor than those awful Americans; America is a nightmare for the poor, for minorities, for [fill out the blank], a nightmare of racism and egotism!
You believe this nonsense! Then you turn around and go: "No no no, it is not all of us, it is only the reactionary Republicans; we liberals we're good, humane people, and now we're going to be wise and benevolent, Europe, and imitate your outstanding example of noble altruism!"

How about putting Europe's claims into doubt, once in a while?

In short:
The reason that Europe has its "universal health
coverage" is because of, and thanks to, America.

Here's how it works!
(And let's skip over how America's military shield allows (and has allowed for the past 70 years) Europe gobs of money for its health coverage by spending no more than a pittance on their own armed forces — then again, the current administration wants to pay heed to Europe in that area also…)

Europe says it has better health coverage than America.

They said the same 20 years ago.

They said the same 50 years ago.

Well, in the meantime, came a lot of innovations.
The innovations help/helped everybody, from America to Europe to further afield.
The (supposedly evil) pharmaceuticals put more medicine at the disposal of everybody, bringing prices down (over time), and eventually this trickled down to the poor (poor Americans as well as poor Europeans).

But where did the innovations come from? More often than not, from America. Who wins the Nobel prize in medicine every year? If it isn't an American, it's usually someone working at an American university. Why? Because of innovation.

How do you have innovation? By reducing red tape and the presence of bureaucrats — not to mention reducing the presence of on-the-dole workers, due to entitlements — as well as the entitlement spirit…

(Some might say this was the message of 1776: we do NOT need all these rules, we do NOT need all these taxes, we do NOT need all these bureaucrats, we CAN build it ourselves, the average human being is quite capable of taking care of himself…)

Supposedly, medicine costs less in Europe. Well, most of the medicine used in Europe happens to have originated in America. When it is researched and developed in America, the (supposedly evil) pharmaceuticals need to recoup their costs. (FYI, the profits go to… more research; yes, that's how a business is run.) So when it is first marketed, the price starts out relatively high (America). Later, the price can come down (Europe).

MOREOVER, the price comes down because an entire government (France, Germany, Denmark…) is negotiating, using carrots and sticks to bring the price down.

That sounds smart to some of you, doesn't it?
Sure — except it gives you a false image of what is going on.

They can do this for the simple reason that there is a locomotive pulling them, a locomotive to pull them along — now the locomotive wants to imitate the carriages?! Who is going to do the pulling?!

With America ALSO adding an army of whole new bureaucrats, IRS employees, and other (sorry if I offend someone) parasites, we're going to — we're ALL (Europeans, Americans themselves) going to — kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

We'll never know it, of course, because we won't see what was NOT invented/discovered.

Okay, maybe we won't stop the locomotive, maybe we won't kill the goose, maybe we'll just slow the locomotive down, maybe we'll just break one leg — but it this something to aspire to?

Compare telephones between now and ca 1980; which is better?
Prior to 1980, there were 20 to 40 years of little to no innovation, but nobody knew it, nobody complained about, because few if any people could imagine technological evolution in the sector. The common citizen (American or foreign) couldn't imagine it, the common bureaucrat couldn't imagine it, and certainly the common "I'm-here-to-make-your-life-better" politician couldn't imagine it. Only a few rare individuals could do so. Government got out of the phone business at about the time Ronald Reagan was president (although I don't think it was due to one of RR's own policies), the private sector was where "bold, new policy solutions" were created, and the field boomed — to everybody's benefit! And today the average "poor" person has more telephone "power" — he is richer, in a sense, regarding one's own communications capabilities — than the dirty capitalist pig millionaire of 50 years ago, of 20 years ago, and even of 10 years ago.
(But at least, back in the day, everybody was equal! Everybody — from prince (i.e., filthy rich capitalist) to pauper — had about the same rotary phone, black, although later came those sickly khaki and cream colors…)
Wouldn't it be better if medical innovations came at the rate of telephone innovations?!

To want to imitate the Europeans is insane!
(Indeed, it is even more insane for a European to WANT Americans to imitate them — unless he is a member of the élite wanting to keep his perks and privileges…)
As for this European message "America is a nightmare, we are so much more humane than those retards" (which liberals in America transfer to conservatives alone), it is a message to their own masses. It is PRECISELY a message not to look to (what until now was) America's far less and to put into question the tons of rules, regulations, and taxes Europeans live under.

And when Americans elect a president who promises to put in more rules and regulations, the European élites are ecstatic, because there will not be the nation that their tax-weary citizens can look to, and they bestow him with the Nobel Prize simply for… being like them!
(Being like those wise, generous, tolerant, visionary, etc etc etc beings that those enlightened Europeans — modestly — happen to be…)

More on health care here:
And if you have some more time…