Analysis © 2009 - 2010 by G. Edward Griffin
Published 2009 September 22. Content added 2010 April 15
On September 19, 2009, I received the following email from a subscriber to Unfiltered News who wished to remain anonymous:
I am English and only moved to the USA three years ago when I married my wife who is American. I have huge respect for you Mr Griffin. I read your book 'World without Cancer' in the 1970's - the same period you say you visited my country, the UK, and evaluated its' health service. Your book on Cancer was well researched and well written, and I am sure it broke the fixed thinking of many people about the correctness of mainstream cancer medicine.
I am very sorry therefore to disagree with you about the US health service being superior to the UK's health service. Here are some facts about the UK's national health service:
• Everyone is covered, be they employed or not. • Everyone has the right still to take out Private Health Insurance or get cover under their company health insurance plan - about 10% of the population do. The private health service does offer a greater level of care and faster service. • Everyone employed in the UK pays a National Health contribution taken from their payroll. • The cost per head of population for UK health care is about half that of US health care and yet everyone is covered. • Some hospitals are old, but old hospitals are now a rarity. • You cannot loose your home or go bankrupt if a family member gets ill. • No one finds themselves uninsured or exempted from cover because of their age or illness record. • General Practitioners form the backbone of the UK health service, they keep their responsibility of care for you as a patient no matter who or where you are referred to with a specific illness. • It goes without saying that people in the UK do not fear the cost of illness. • The most you can pay for a prescription is $16, If you are over 60 or unemployed or chronically ill the cost is zero.
Here in the USA my wife has unfortunately been ill on a number of occasions these last three years, so I have experienced the so called 'health industry' here and I have been horrified at the US medical systems treatment of uninsured sick people. I have met many doctors, only two of whom I have any respect for as humanists. The rest appear to have become doctors for the wealth and/or social prestige doctors can expect. In truth I have found the majority of the American Health Establishment a mercenary group of avaristic hypocrites.
In the USA 56% of the country's wealth is owned by 1% of the population. You can be sure those people and their families will get the very best health care money can buy. You can also be sure that whist a worker is working it pays to keep him or her and their family as healthy as possible with a company insurance program that pays a lot of the cost of health cover, (but may still not be enough to stop them loosing their home or going bankrupt.) You can also be sure that those beyond work in terms of age or illness will be discarded on the uninsured slag heap currently filled with 40 million other fellow Americans. I would have thought you could see all this, Mr Griffin.
This was my reply:
My opposition to government health care has nothing to do with admiration for the present monopolized system in the U.S. I am convinced that the quality and availability of health care must always decline under political control; I have witnessed that costs for basic services always increase under government regulations (although invisibly passed on to the taxpayer); and I know that government health care is an economic funnel into pharmaceutical companies (non-drug therapies are almost totally excluded). Even if none of that were true, however, I would still be opposed to politicized health care because of my concern for freedom. What the state pays for, it will control. When the state pays for our health care, our home mortgages and rent, our retirement, our unemployment benefits, our education, our job training, our food, the building of our automobiles, the liquidity of our banks, and all the other important aspects of our lives, the state will totally control every one of us. I am not fond of becoming a serf. I hope that Anonymous will step back and see the larger picture.
IS A LITTLE COLLECTIVISM OK IF APPLIED TO HEALTH CARE?
In April of 2010 we received the following letter from Sylvester Necius:
Mr G. Edward Griffin, your point of view regarding the health system scares like hell a lot of people, including me. I think we should be more flexible on these questions. I agree that collectivism is pure evil; but, in health care, it works not perfectly but significantly better than in an individualistic system. Just check out the statistics: how long people live in US and in other countries? In poor Cuba, people live longer.
But a collectivistic health system has serious problems, too. People complain less because everybody gets the same sh**, and collectivist systems always lag behind in advanced technological development, whereas the US is number 1, without doubt. In spite of that, individuals live longer in other countries.
Freedom of choice in a monetary system means freedom of greed. Mind manipulation on TV makes us buy products which are unhealthy, addictive, but free to choose. This would never exist if there was no profit in it. It's actually the same as drugs. Difference is just on degree of toxicity and dependence. An individualistic system would be paradise for drug dealers who just love the idea of freedom of choice. I don’t like this fundamentality of individualism.
THIS WAS MY REPLY:
Thanks, Sylvester, for your comments. I certainly agree with much of what you say but I have a different view on two issues.
(1) It is true that published statistics from the UN show a higher longevity in other countries than in the US, which has a higher level of health-care technology. That, however, does not prove that health care is better in those countries. There are numerous other explanations.
First, the statistics from some countries do not include infant deaths and early-child deaths, as is the case with US statistics. If they did, their longevity averages would be significantly lower. Second, the typical American diet is atrocious, and there is no amount of technology that can overcome that. Bad nutrition equals shorter life. Third, Americans typically do not exercise as much as people do in countries where life-span is longer. Physical fitness promotes longer life. Fourth, it is an error to equate higher medical technology to better health care. Up to a point that may be true but, when it includes massive medication, needless surgeries, and so-called "routine"
x-rays, the technology actually causes a reduction of life-span. Finally, longevity is not the best measure of health. The quality of life, in my view, is just as important as the length of life. Those who are kept barely alive on life-support devices or whose minds have been blurred by medication may be included in statistics that show improved longevity, but that is not a realistic measurement of national health.
(2) Greed and mind manipulation on TV is not a by-product of freedom-of-choice within an individualistic society. It can be found in any system, but especially the collectivist system in which we now live. In fact, if you consider the new-health care system promoted by the Obama Administration, recall that the pharmaceutical companies spent millions of dollars to sponsor TV ads promoting the bill and additional millions to lobby Congress into passing the bill. Now that the legislation has been published, we can see why: A huge chunk of the funding will go to the pharmaceutical companies to pay for drugs purchased on a non-competitive basis, which means incredibly high profits.
The concept that government-run enterprises somehow eliminate profits is naive. Open competition in a truly free market without government intervention always will produce the best goods and services at the lowest cost; but, once politicians get into it – in the name of protecting the people – the market place suddenly is up for sale to the highest bidder. Whoever has the money to purchase the loyalties of Congressmen, Senators, and Presidents will gain a virtual monopoly over the entire market, and the common man will have no option but to accept inferior service and pay bloated prices through taxes and inflation.
Sylvester, the negative traits you describe as the fundamentality of individualism actually are the fundamentality of collectivism. We have been living in a collectivist system for the past 80 years – or more. Look around you. All the things that you and I detest are the fruits of collectivism. It's time for a real change.