As one who grew up under socialized medicine overseas, I can identify one extremely important part of Obamacare the current discussions have missed.
The real reason for government-run medicine has nothing to do with medicine but with control.
When the government controls your health they control your life.
State-run health care stops literally all opposition to government and produces an obedient, non-dissenting populace, because all realize that at any time that same government can literally kill them by withholding treatment – and worse.
Political dissent is stifled as normal discussion of issues tone down, because everyone begins to realize that at a certain point one's very life is in danger.
Two examples make clear the degree to which government can interfere in the life and death of citizens once it is in charge of their health care.
Shigeru Kayano, an Ainu, one of the indigenous peoples of Japan, was puzzled that the Ainu women seemed to always have trouble giving birth and had an extremely high level of stillbirths.
When he became a member of Parliament one of the first things he did was to demand records of the Ainu and their medical situation.
He was shocked to discover an unofficial program under which doctors were instructed to terminate the births of the full-blooded Ainu in order to reduce their numbers.
One of his first acts as a member of Parliament was to have the law rescinded.
One day I received a call from the family of a dear friend.
Mr. Yamamoto was 75, in great health and had just returned from a trip overseas.
"Mr. Yamamoto is dying," was the message. "He has asked to see you."
Shocked, I immediately rushed to the hospital and was shocked to discover that my friend had malaria.
While malaria was once a much dreaded disease, these days it is simply treated.
Relieved, I told Mr. Yamamoto that he was going to be fine; all we had to do was get malaria medicine.
Talking to the doctor to inquire about the treatment, I was stunned when he told me: "We don't have malaria medicine."
"Where do they have it?" I inquired.
"Downtown at the University Hospital," he replied coldly.
"There isn't enough time," he glared.
Not quite understanding what was happening, I realized that minutes away was a U.S. military installation.
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Calling there, I found that they of course had malaria medicine and could bring it over in a few minutes.
Relieved that my friend was going to be OK, I informed the doctor that we had found the urgently needed medicine.
I was not ready for the response.
"What do you think you are doing?"
The doctor immediately called the family together.
"Who do you want to trust – this guy or me?" he inquired.
The poor family, no matter how I tried to explain, felt they had no choice but to trust the doctor.
My dear friend died.
In the discussions on Obamacare, it is critical to understand how the exact same government-run medical systems operate in other countries.
They all share one very basic principle: Because they are run by the government to simply contain costs, the elderly and terminally ill have to have their treatment limited.
What people do not realize until the practical effects of government medical care are upon them is that, for the first time in their lives, they literally become fearful of their government because they suddenly realize that it controls their very lives.
When normal political discussions on issues begin to take place, one begins to realize that if you speak up beyond a certain level, the government can "punish" you by simply interfering in your treatment.
Just like the Ainu were prevented from having children, Mr. Yamamoto denied the simple lifesaving medicine for malaria, political discussion is immediately stifled as citizens begin to realize that they cannot stand up to the government that controls their health and by extension their lives.
This is the true reason for government health care.
It is not for health coverage; it is to create obedient, subservient citizens who live in fear of a government that can take their lives at will.