I saw an article on the front page of the Fresno Bee today from California Watch about preventable hospitalizations. 335,000 in California, I’m guessing in 2011, though the article doesn’t specify. These are cases where someone went to the hospital for something that wouldn’t have been an issue if they’d been getting preventative care, or stuff that would have been dealt with if they’d seen a doctor recently.
The reason there are so many is simple enough, medical care is expensive, and lots of Americans don’t have health insurance. Why that is the case is less clear to me.
In 1948, just a few years after having the shit bombed out of them by Nazis, Britain launched the National Health Service. It now provides health care to 62 million residents of the UK, funded by taxes.
If a nation that was still rationing after the war could manage this, and maintain it and expand it, and build a world class health care system out of it, why can’t we?
Cost? Preventative care is cheaper than emergency care, which tax dollars wind up paying for anyway. A national health service would actually be cheaper than letting people get so sick they have to be hospitalized.
Socialism? That’s a word that’s lost all meaning to me through buzzword syndrome, so I honestly don’t know if this would count. But even if so, is it really so bad? Is ideological purity important enough to ignore good ideas that might stem from concepts you hate?
What’s left? Insurance company profits? Well, they can adapt to the changing business landscape like everyone else who can’t afford to stop it from changing.
Oh, I think I may have found the problem here.