Observing Animal Behavior
Increasingly awestruck during our stroll, we suddenly came upon a wounded alpha male, seemingly awaiting his death. He sat alone almost motionless, beaming a defeated look of shame and resignation in his eye, completely unsupported by any of the other members of his animal kingdom. All the while, most of the rare long-tailed monkeys bathed lightly, between cooling shade and delicate sunlight, gently offered by their native forest.
To we, human animals, this may appear to be an obvious reality of uncivilized animal behavior. After all, we are more advanced, evolved beings feeling empathy, goal oriented in striving for growth – individually, as a society, and for all of humanity, rather than simply products of survival of the fittest.
Or are we?
My F for Comprehension
As a new American from Canada, I struggle to understand the apparent prevailing belief that in the US, health care is ones individual responsibility, and thus, one to be personally financed by each self-reliant, hardworking individual, striving to earn his or her keep in the world.
Let me break down my lack of faith in this belief, in a way in which I hope you can relate. At the heart of every action, I trust that a set of human values are a driving force. In this consciousness, I have come to realize that the most important value to every American is Freedom – with a capital F. It is the underlying theme of the United States’ reason-for-being, applicable to every aspect of its existence, thus every act posed by its citizens on a daily basis, either within the context of life goals or even simple mundane daily activities.
This leads me to my ongoing quest to identify what freedom really means to Americans, as well as what it truly costs. And since freedom is at the core of American life, how and why the actions of its people actually reveals that it is not perceived as a right of every living, that is, each citizen of the country.
Let me further explain.
Peace of Mind, Body, and Spirit
I strongly feel that for true freedom to occur, health, in terms of how to manage it should it fail, cannot be an ongoing concern of daily life. As a result, only a centralized healthcare system as a right to everyone, also know as universal healthcare, can enable real freedom in America – the country that lives, breathes, and values Freedom first.
Simply said, I believe that for the short and long-term prosperity of a society to grow, basic health management must be available to all living Americans. I do not understand how it is not flagrantly obvious to everyone that the current US healthcare system goes against the very heart of the value system, rooted in freedom.
Perhaps this following US criterion of success will help you better see my point of view.
Dollars that Make Sense
I have lived the reality of a government-managed universal healthcare system in Canada. I experienced the fact that it offers the starting point for freedom – for all life goals to have the potential for realization, for all the individuals that are part of such a centralize program.
Another important point involves the economic advantages of this kind of system. I hear very few people discuss the financial advantages benefited by all involved. Indeed, the economies of scale that it offers are far superior, thanks to its unified nature. Most significantly, this added value directly supports the American belief that ones hard-earned dollar is ones theirs and theirs only, to solely choose what to do with for their own life. In fact, it constitutes a less expensive healthcare management system for its subscribers, than the one currently governed (I use this term consciously, given the irony of the supposed current free-market American health industry) by two mutually-exclusive, yet controlling money-making business. In the USA, theses are the pharmaceutical (where I have worked as an marketing executive) and insurance industries, which are the dominant participants that can celebrate the financial benefits of US healthcare.
During casual exploratory conversations, what I do frequently hear is: “why should I pay for the healthcare of someone who has work as hard as I or who has not taken care of their health like me?”. Well, if this is indeed part of the US value system, rather than healthcare as a right to all human beings, Americans are fooling themselves in believing that their hard-earned dollars are spent more cost effectively in the context of an free-enterprise business model governed by a few, rather than in one that could be ‘centrally governed’ by our one self-reliant government with the one goal in mind of health. In truth, the US way of providing healthcare to its citizens, thought to support the independence of a free people, is actually a very expensive way of life and living, that limits prosperity and as a result, real individual freedom.
The Social Dance of Healthy Enterprise
Ones health is not one of those crucial aspects of our life that should function within the economic system of capitalism. Our American way of life and what we choose to do with our life should – but our health should not. And socialism, if understood for what it truly is, thanks to our Western value system which is rooted in freedom, indeed is not a way of life that should be considered or let lone favored by anyone who has gone beyond soundbites to comprehend the true meaning of such a political ideology. Historically, we know it has proved to kill the human spirit.
A centralized healthcare system created with the objective of managing a people’s health, for the benefit of all individuals within a given society is not socialism. Healthcare for all, one that is universal, simply represents social consciousness of a civilized society, enabling its independent, productive individuals to freely focus on self, in the area of their choice, as part of a responsible capitalistic society.
Contrarily, socialism is an all-encompassing way of life, where one does indeed lose their freedom. It is a government system where individuals do not have the ability to make their own choices for existence – thus even touch, taste, smell freedom. The result is a life where one has no aspirations of competitive success, since everything is controlled and normalized to a minimum level of satisfied earthly needs – equal for everyone. Here, individual opportunities for growth are none. However, when equality pertains strictly to healthcare, as available to all, the potential for personal growth, freely chosen by each, becomes available to everyone, via satisfied basic, urgent, or life-threatening health needs.
Equality for health care does not mean equality of a chain gang. It does not represent a socialism government – which is directly related to communism, exploiting control, that is, limiting the human potential which we are offered when given life on earth. It is simply and most powerfully, the conscious, compassionate governing of ones people – for the success of a nation.
Misuse of highly-recognized, strongly negatively associated brands is a practice that is misleading, manipulative, and dare I say, dangerous. It represents a mighty forceful destructive strategy for depletion of character, and as a result, independence and self identity. Hence, incorrectly branding a a centralized healthcare system as socialism, completely destroys the potential for synergistic healthy competitive performance – for the success and strength of the whole country within the global market economy that we now live. I cannot stress enough that its objective is one of confusion for control by a few, for the weakening of each within a society. This is clearly paradoxical in a country that deems itself free.
Healthcare that is not for all, makes fragile the sum of its part, thus creating a weaker America. It seems obvious that those who do not want universal healthcare must feel this way for the wrong and/or misinformed reasons. Of course, people shun a centrally-governed healthcare system when it is labeled the evil ‘socialism’. Socialism, throughout history, has demonstrated its impossible nature, when put into practice. Its inevitable failure is obvious. Indeed, within our free-enterprise Western society, we accurately perceive it for what it is – the political ideology that takes away freedom.
Interestingly, socialism and society are part of the same family of words, related to the adjective social. Yet, each reside at opposite sides of the spectrum, in terms of their respective level of the first American value that is freedom. In other words, terms from the same family of words can often have opposing meanings. To make matters more complicated, organizations with the supposed same objectives sometimes have names that appear to support different causes. Look at the names of two similar and crucial government institutions of neighboring countries. In Canada, the organization that manages prescription and OTC drugs is called Health Canada. In the US, the equivalent body is called the Federal Drug Administration. Different values? Different strategies? Trusting the branding of each, that is, that their choices of names reflect accurate meanings of their reason-for-being, which government would you say is first concerned with the health if its people? Said differently, which government has better management of the health of its nation?
One Plus One Plus One – Equals the Unites States
We are social and societal. We are civilized human animals – not monkeys. I suggest that we choose our walks in the park, how we spend our money, and the words that we use and understand, with thought, care, and vision for our future. Remember, a little clarity offers wisdom. And wisdom is healthy empowerment.
Please, let us be wise. Social consciousness for the health of our nation is not socialism. It actually makes good economic sense, within a successful capitalistic system. After all, performance in the competitive world market requires the satisfaction of our basic needs as a society, as well as the good health of all of us – one by one, in chain and link, for the prosperous united 50 states of the country – as one living force.