Maybe not

The crazy health care "system" we have in this country is a frustrating mess sometimes – okay, a lot of the time. And so when people say "Medicare for All," I've always been ready to jump up and salute. Or why can't we just have the government take over the practice of medicine? The National Health.

A doctor I once had used to like to talk about this a lot. "It will be like the V.A.," he would say. "I used to work there. You'll get good care, but you'll wait a long time for everything."

A buddy who works down the hall from me had a different view: "Every time you need a doctor, it will be like going through the TSA line at the airport."

I must say, this whole mess with Covid vaccine distribution in Oregon is giving me some serious second thoughts about government-run health care. You turn on your screen and you see these two people, who are the ones deciding at the moment whose lives and livelihoods matter most in Oregon.

That almost kills it for me right there.

And even if you agree with their choices, they couldn't organize a yard sale. Case in point: On Friday, I receive a lovely two-page letter from my health insurance company, letting me know that come Monday, I am eligible for The Precious. It includes detailed instructions about how to get it.

Unfortunately, just as the mailman was taking this letter out of his bag, the state was changing the system, so that all of the instructions are now wrong. Glad I check the news all the time. A lot of retirees probably don't.

At this point, I'd say the Covid vaccine distribution rollout has been the best advertisement yet against socialized medicine. Let's hope the bureaucrats are awash in a sea of vaccine soon, so that their incompetence won't matter so much to so many.


  1. My mother was a nurse and in 1969 my father had brain surgery in Canada. It was his only choice. My mother was very apprehensive about their health care system. She expected it to be awful. But it wasn't She was very impressed with their care. So I think we have been fed a load of bull for decades about how much better our health care is. It isn't. It is good at taking your money and leaving you destitute. Especially if you are old.

  2. Imagine if FDR had to propose Social Security today — Social Security is a better analogy to what “Medicare for All” means than Britain’s National Health Service (which would be government takeover of healthcare). FDR didn’t “take over” retirement in the US; he made retirement a possibility for millions who formerly were the poorest slice of America. It’s a program that has very low overhead and has succeeded wildly. That’s what you should be comparing Medicare for All to — a better way to fund a human need for all. Sure Social Security should be more generous and could be improved in many ways — but compared to what went before, it’s a Godsend. So too would be Medicare for All.

    1. I understand that Medicare for All and National Health are different. The point of this post is that I'm not buying National Health. But I will point out that there is a slope between the two that may not be all that solid.


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