So, Americans are having a healthcare debate. That's very much theirs to have. But the debate didn't stay in the US and when a lot of bullshit start getting thrown around about non-American heathcare, then it's not particulary suprising non-Americans got some opinions too.
Now, I haven't read the suggested American proposal. I am however pretty sure it has some flaws to it, because pretty much everything has. I'm also sure you could oppose it based on such flaws and make reasonable and articulate arguments to such effects.
Which is why bullshit claims like Sarah Palin's 'death panels' of last week, this 'hey, this healthcare reform is just like Nazism, except, you know, UTTERLY FUCKING NOT'
stuff and the utterly vile 'Stephen Hawkins would have been killed in the UK'
(except, you know, he is British and has lived his life there and is very much still alive!) doubly displease me.
I'm gonna have to echo calapine here
: Fuck that kind of bullshit.
It's also doing a massive disservice to people with actual relevant issues with the proposal. And to brand anyone who doesn't agree with it with the same brush as the batshittery mentioned above is massively not good. It makes the whole thing a screaming match that will benefit none. It kills critical thinking and you need critical thinking in a democracy; you don't need a roar no one can hear anything in.
What I do think as an outside observer to the US system is that it needs some sort of change. The sheer number of uninsured and underinsured tells me that in a very calm factual way; the stories I've heard from people I care about in the US have told me so in a very personal one too.
In that vein, liz_marcs
is hosting something she calls 'Time For a Little Truth, Baby'
. She encourages everyone to detail their experiences with healthcare and for non-Americans, explain a bit about how their government healthcare system works (if they want to).
Americans can tell their stories here
People from countries with varying degrees of government healthcare can talk about it here
. I've explained Norway's system here
(over two comments since I hit the word limit). I spent a good hour making sure I got all my facts right. I listed some of our issues as well, to make it as balanced as I could.
Generally, I like Norway's healthcare system. But I don't think it would work for the US. It's a part of a much, much larger public scheme here and it wouldn't translate too well to a much larger country without some serious changes. I also don't think Americans are comfortable with the government in the same way Norwegias are, for various cultural and historical reasons. Norway's system also has flaws and needs critical thinking (mmm, critical thinking) so it can be improved.
So dear Americans, I hope you get a healthcare system that works for you
. Maybe how other countries do it can be of some inspiration, maybe your own experiences will lead the way to where you go. I don't know, I've given up predicting the US (I'm too Norwegian to, I think). Either way, I do commend all who think critically about this issue, whatever their stance on Obama's actual proposal is. Heck, I commend anyone who thinks
in general. Think! Be informed! Argue your points! Make your choice!
But don't let fear, bullshit, propaganda and sensationalism decide your direction please
; it rarely has a good final destination.
And tell people to bring their facts and check their Nazi analogies at the door, yeah? Once you get a swastika into the room, that's pretty much all people see.
Now I must have some breakfast.