I know this may come off bad. I am trying not be judgmental of any class or type of person in this country. Instead, I am being judgmental of our country and our culture. When I hear people scream for a national healthcare system or socialized medicine, I try to point out that we live in a place where people’s attitudes are different. Americans want what they want, when they want it and they want it for free. Other cultures can handle waiting lists. We can’t. Other cultures don’t abuse their free medical systems. We do. Sure, eventually and with lots of time, maybe we could change but I seriously doubt it. I am reminded of this every time I see something like the recent “Walmart Stampede“:
Springhill and Mansfield, La. saw a stampede and a shelf-clearing rush Saturday after a computer glitch for food stamp recipients led to benefit cards allowing unlimited purchases. Police were called as entire shelves were being cleared out, until the glitch was fixed and low-income residents using the cards were no longer allowed to make purchases.
I know this wasn’t an exact example of abuse of our healthcare system but it is pretty close. You see, people in this country will take what they can get. They rationalize that they deserve it. They rationalize that it is only fair because the man or the government has kept them down or never gave them a shot. They rationalize it because they aren’t paying for it and some faceless rich person is. The funny thing is that I believe that anyone, in our country, would do the same thing, even the rich. I am reminded of this from John Stossel:
In my rich New York City neighborhood, politicians recently decided to hand out bike helmets, free of charge. A federal grant helped them pay for the giveaway. They told me they’ve handed out 45,000 bike helmets the past few years. I dropped by the event, and the line was around the block. Not everyone was wealthy, and I didn’t see my famous neighbors like Jerry Seinfeld and Sting in line. But I did find my city councilwoman proudly shaking hands and giving the helmets to voters. She insists that she just wants to promote public safety. But when the country is going broke, why should federal tax money pay to give free bike helmets to people in America’s richest neighborhoods?
My fear is that a national healthcare system would create a stampede just like the one at Walmart or lines around the block just like in the bike helmet giveaway. That is why it would never work here. Without some skin in the game, Americans would overwhelm the system so much that NO ONE would benefit.
I await your opinion on this.