Saturday, February 17, 2007

Socialized medicine or socially engineered dis-ease?

I've been hearing that Universal Health care is a good thing for a long time. Certainly certain aspects of that would be wonderful. Like emergency care for people who now are left to suffer or die.
Here in Minnesota we have an ethic of helping each other and giving to social agencies to help those we haven't met yet and who are in need. A spot of socialism is a healthy adjunct to a well functioning free market system. I'm very proud of our county hospitals, one of which set up a payment schedule of $25 a month for a friend of mine who had bleeding tumors that needed treatment and yet had no health insurance or savings account to pay with.

Life expectancy is the same for Cuba as the US, and as odd as that may strike you, consider that Cuba's infant mortality is superior by far to ours. Since the Soviet Union's (Cuba's late sponsor) mortality rates were not as good as Cuba's I hesitate to credit the economic systems. Smaller units of socialization (communities) and traditional support systems, higher iodine intake, something else may be a more likely clue.
There may be some interesting answers to the question of how a country that spends 187. US dollars a year per person has improved survival (and literacy rates) than a wealthier country that spends about 100 times that per person per year.

Listen to some Canadians complain about health care. Limited to what and when you can get it and if it is a rare illness that's expensive to treat the treatment may not be given to a person even if it exists. I also hear the Brits worrying about national funds to pay for health care. Swedes pay close to 70% of their income on taxes.
Some universal coverage may be important, but what do we currently have for all? Immunizations? Ok, as long as I'm not forced to take 'em. Prenatal care? Really? And yet our current system is causing more and more premature babies, with higher induction rates, outdated weight and salt restrictions, and bears a large burden to our gap in the infant mortality rate. Plus these are the folks promoting cesareans without informed consent for women who don't need them--even though the maternal death rate is higher from unnecessary cesareans than for vaginal birth.
Why would a midwife demanding inferior care for all?
Why work for univeral bondage to allopathic medicine when we already see the crappy administration of big medicine in action now. Patients get 5 and 10- minute appt.s in spite of their needs just to push up the profit margin. Government control of health care just means the current corporations would get a goverment paycheck as they are kept in place as government contractors. The Fairy Godmother does not work in Washington, lobbyists do.

Parents in the 1980s worked so hard for the right to homeschool and small private and charter schools. The competition expanded options nad was a real boost for the creative teachers nad administrators among the public schools to step up school services.
Charter clinics? Yeah, we have the community clinic model now. And I'm glad for it. But how would we fight for grassroots health models when the monopoly is complete?

The FDA is already in a winning battle to restrict herbal remedies. The FDA approved breast implants; you know, those popular insertable balloons with a 100% breakage rate? Another neck exerciser for the FDA is cytotec. Why doesn't the FDA put the pressure on to stop cytotec when the uterine rupture risk includes alarming rates of mother and infant death?
I don't know, but I know some drug companies that are making more money than we can comprehend. Those are the guys that you want judging what is universally acceptable for health?

Smaller groups of people could come up with creative solutions for their locales, but a huge conglomerate of people are overwhlemed.
What else, besides subsidizing big corporations with government money would work that could provide quality care to all?

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Changing the Earth by supporting Birth

Mothers bring forth life; medical corporations do not. Birth can be simple, powerful and loving. Fetal positioning, natural birthing and practical help for normal birth.