Why We Don’t Want Socialized Medicine

One summer back when I was single, I was in charge of a program to teach minority high school students who had failed their grade level. Since I was in Texas, all the minority students were either Hispanic or black, and there were rival gang members represented in my classroom of 45 students. When I introduced myself the first day and saw what I was up against, I gained the instant respect of the Hispanic gang members by speaking fluent Spanish.

Let me stop to say that this was hands down the most stressful job I have ever taken, and that I was glad the program was only 8 weeks long. The government was paying these kids minimum wage to keep them off the streets during the summer. So when I gave a writing assignment, I told them that if they didn’t write a full page for me, they wouldn’t be paid, because they weren’t really there; so why should they be paid if they weren’t doing anything? The skills of the kids increased in reading, writing, and math, which were the only subjects taught all day long. One other teacher taught the math part while I taught the reading and writing section. We had 90 students altogether.

One day a black gang leader stood up to leave before it was time to go and looked at me like he was going to murder me. I had three strikes against me: I was white, I was a woman, and I was young. He had no respect for me whatsoever and often cussed at me under his breath. When he stood up, he was taller than I was, incredibly huge. I said boldly, “Wait right here.” I walked confidently out of the room and went to get the only other teacher in the entire building. Thankfully he was a man, as well as being black, and he and I got along really well. I briefly told him the situation, and he went into my classroom and told something to the gang leader, which was out of my earshot. I never had a problem with any of the teenagers again, aside from the time that a policeman came to my classroom to arrest one of them for theft.

Needless to say, my muscles were tense the entire time I was in that classroom, just to maintain order. One time during lunch, I leaned over to pick up a pencil off the table, and I threw my back out. I had excruciating pain and could hardly move.

Heavy pain killer got me through the remaining weeks. A year before that, I had fallen down some icy stairs straight onto my tail bone, knocking the wind out of me. I never went to a doctor because I had no medical insurance, since the Christian school where I worked only paid me $1,000 a month with no benefits. That’s why I had to take odd jobs during the summer, just to survive, because I had no income during the summer.

Later when I moved to England to teach middle school in London, I again threw out my back. I went to the doctor, since doctors are “free” there, and he told me authoritatively that I had crushed my tail bone, and that there was nothing that could be done except to endure it with pain killer for the rest of my life.

Two years later I moved back to the States to get married, and when my back was thrown out again, my husband wanted me to see a back specialist. After all, I had medical insurance, since I was now a teacher at a public school (a definite step down in my career after teaching in London). Plus, I wanted to have babies. I knew that pregnancy would put a huge strain on my lower back, and I didn’t want to be incapacitated.

So I went to the back specialist, who took x-rays of my back. Come to find out, what the British doctor had said was a complete lie. My tail bone was not crushed. My bone alignment was perfect. The pain that I was experiencing was purely muscular, which could be corrected through proper exercises. He gave me a pamphlet, and I did the exercises, and I actually went several years without throwing my back out. As long as I did the back exercises, I never threw my back out.

The problem with socialized medicine (free medical care) is that the doctor will do the least amount of work for you, since he will be paid the same amount no matter what he does. Sadly, people suffer for no reason when they could be cured if only they were given proper treatment.

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9 Responses to “Why We Don’t Want Socialized Medicine”

  1. judi says:

    Unfortunately this happens here too. My dh (a licensed massage therapist) sees clients who have been told they have to live with their pain and after just a few sessions with him they are pain free. As long as someone else pays the bills (whether it is the govt or an insurance company) they have control over your care. At least here we have a few more choices (although not for much longer).

    • Susan Evans says:

      Massage therapy is considered alternative medicine, just like acupuncture and herbal remedies. (I LOVE massage, by the way, so I’m not dissing it in any way. But for doctors to prescribe it, that’s outside the scope of the medical books, so they don’t think of it.)

      It’s different than diagnosing what’s really wrong with you by at least getting an x-ray if we’re talking about someone’s back. In the United States, doctors are paid extra when they do the x-rays, so they have more incentive to be thorough rather than doing nothing for you.

      • Gaston Hidalgo-Campusano says:

        All SOLUTIONS or CURES are considered ALTERNATIVE medicine; regular medics cure nothing, they just keep you on drugs, any drug

        • Susan says:

          Doctors can heal you through surgery. But to get surgery, you need freedom to choose your own doctor and pay for what you need. The patient should have the power to decide, and that’s simply not the case in a socialized medical system.

  2. momto8blog says:

    My daughter is in her first year of grad school studying to be a nurse practioner. The paper she had to write was why The Healthcare Reform Act Is Good For America. My daughter told the professor she didn’t think the reform care act is good for America…sorry…not an option!!! at a university!!

  3. Angela says:

    All well and good, but what about when you were unable to see a doctor due to finances – that didn’t help your back any, either! At least in England we can always see someone, and if we think their diagnosis or advice is wrong we have the option of asking for a second opinion. If necessary we can push and push until we get to see a specialist, who will often send us for x-rays as part of diagnosis. I’ve always had extremely good care from my doctor, for conditions ranging from a congenital heart defect through depression to pre-menstrual syndrome and severe migraines, not to mention a pregnancy, which I would never be able to afford if we had to pay for health care as neither my husband nor I work since my daughter was born.

    • Susan says:

      That’s a good point; when I had no insurance, I just didn’t go to the doctor. But what good did it do me to go to a “free” doctor? In both instances, all I did was manage my pain.

  4. Gaston Hidalgo-Campusano says:

    I am a British citizen and I know this system inside out; my eldest son has a chronic condition and had to be taken to doctors half of his life; most if not all the time we had to find solutions elsewhere; aside form a plastic correction operation nothing ever given by the doctors was ever of any particular use; Susan is absolutely right. Furthermore, the NHS in Britain, National Health Service is the 4th biggest organization in the planet (after the Chinese Army, the Department of Defence in the USA and the Indian Armed Forces) with more than 1,700.00 employees; can you imagine how much this costs to the tax payers? Can you imagine how many people will be employed to do little or nothing to cover a country of 200.000 million people? You do the maths, it is NOT really worth it

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