04 October, 2009

Health-care, or: why I just don’t understand.

I’ve grown up in a society of universal healthcare.  Hell, it’s more than that, it’s a system of welfare.  A safety net.  If you are part of the “working poor,” or unemployed, or disabled, or retired and pensioned, the Government – that is taxpayers — pick up the tab; for hospitalisation, for surgery and for most medications, and so on.  Nearly every reasonable Australian thinks it’s fair.  In fact, the welfare system goes beyond the low income earners.  Even middle-high income earners can receive benefits for their children.  The more children a family has, the higher the benefit for each successive child.  Until recently we even had a “baby bonus,” a once off payment for parents for each child to overcome the “greying” of society.  That is when these bubs become working citizens, their taxes are helping to pay for their parents pension.
It’s not only an Australian phenomenon; many other countries are “welfare states.” Canada, New Zealand, most European Union Nations like the United Kingdom, France, Germany.
But I don’t understand why some Americans would oppose a universal health care system.  What’s the problem?  Has the American health insurance industry (Australia’s health insurance industry is subsidised and heavily regulated) wormed its way into the ears of Congressmen and Senators and told them that such welfare and safety nets are intrinsically evil?  That the reason for the Holocaust is because Hitler wanted health reform?  That any health reform is a form of socialism and as such is incompatible with democracy?
For the record, last time I checked Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand the UK, etc., were all healthy, robust democracies.  Australia even managed to avoid the dreaded recession, and posted surpluses in the Current Account and Trade Account.  Our only problem is the tumbling value of the USD$, Euro€ and UK£ with a rising Australian AUD$.  That and the federal parliament gearing up for a democratic election.
So please, anyone, tell me what the problem with these “You lie!” health reform deniers is all about?

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