Socialism vs. Free enterprise: The health debate

The health care debate has sparked more than discussion it has devolved into a full fledge battle between what is seen as a stepping stone toward socialism and a step away from free enterprise.

Research confirms children with full insurance coverage whether private or public have lower rates of unmet healthcare needs than children with no insurance or intermitted insurance coverage (Olson, Tang, & Newacheck, 2005). Most often the health care debate centers around the 40 million people who are counted as uninsured. However, there are possibly millions more that are just as stringently affected by a lack of healthcare characterized as underinsured and intermittently insured individuals.

I am not sure where the visceral reaction emanates. People seem unaware that they pay for a government run option already, County hospitals are supported by taxpayers as well as Medicaid and Medicare. The current public option is crippling healthcare systems across the nation and reform is needed. Emergency rooms are used as primary health care facilities. People flood the ER with non-emergent care issues causing tremendous wait times leading to deaths in some cases. It appears that with the growing concern of a government run public option the White House seems to back peddling on its drive to push a public option.

The public option originally proposed by the White House appears to be undergoing a compromise in which the public option will become a consumer-owned nonprofit coop, in keeping with free enterprise. The government funded option has been touted as a step towards socialism however, providing an option to the current monopoly private insurances hold on health care is the essence of free enterprise. If companies choose to embrace a public option it makes the market more competitive. I don’t believe it will cheapen health care or inhibit technological progress.

The progressively worsening health of Americans can be directly attributed to a lack of preventative care associated with preventable deaths (McGlynn et al., 2003). The loudest protestation for the public option is the quality of health care would suffer. According to a study conducted by McGlynn et al. between 1998 and 2000 on average Americans receive only half of the recommended medical processes they are in need of currently. What many people do not dispute in health care administration is the need for an overhaul in establishing a national baseline for performance making it possible to assess policy changes and evaluate efforts to improve the quality of care (McGlynn et al., 2003).

Our current state of health care is unconscionable and is far from representative of an international power in my opinion. if we are the best we should be able to provide the best to all of Americans and develop a health care system that is enviable to other nations. As a nation we provide some of the best quality once provided it is however, the obtainment of said care that needs addressing and the delivery of payment for the procurement of services.


McGlynn, E. A., Asch, S.M., Steven, M., Adams, J., Kessey, J., Hicks, J., et al. (2003). The quality of health care delivered to adults in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 348(26), 2635-2645.

Olson, L.M., Tang, S.S.,& Newacheck, P. W. (2005). Children in the United States with discontinuous health insurance coverage. New England Journal of Medicine 00284793, 353(4).


Reader Comments

It's not that people can't actually afford healthcare, it's that they would rather spend their money on new clothes, computers, video games, cable television, cell phones, Ipods, televisions, sporting goods, Six Flags, Blue Ray players, recreational drugs, Nascar jackets, hair extensions, acrylic nails, sea monkeys, tithes, offerings, aluminum siding, Extends (cue whistling guy commercial), Broadview Security so they can whore themselves to another man without having to worry about the new guy kicking the door in, rolling 20 rims, designer sunglasses, and pet food and supplies. If you don't believe that last one the last time I was in Dallas I actually took a picture of a homeless man who had a DOG. WTF??? If I was a dog and my owner was homeless I would have to be put down for biting the living shit out of somebody SERIOUSLY!!!

Ha! I live in Dallas the home of the $30,000 millionaires. So all you listed is true but there are those families that are struggling to cover insurance costs. Americans as a whole don't know that meaning of the word moderation. For that reason those of us that can afford to pay premiums will continue to watch ours rise to cover those that choose to spend their money frivolous or everyone can chip in on taxes. You are doing it anyway, right? Every year that I have been employed my premiums go up and I am not seeing reciprocation in coverage. Matter of fact what is so different about a public option vs. a private insurance? With private insurance your doctors are still chosen for you just under the guise of an approved list, so would be the same with a public option.

You're right about Americans not knowing the meaning of the term moderation. I know one idiot who wouldn't spring for a dental visit even though he had the cash but when a midget stripper came to town he went and blew $30 at the strip club. Ok that's a bad example because that was me but eventually I did go and paid cash to get my teefs worked on.

I do know some things about health disparities from working in the HIV/AIDS field and health care coverage is only one part of it (although certainly an important one). I must admit I have no passion for the health care field so I'm actually boring myself by even typing about it. In conclusion, if he ain't wearing a stethescope, then he aint' a doctor!

But if he is wearing a lab coat and taking notes, you aren't gay, you're just experimenting!

Hey, how did this turn into Mexi's blog?

Ok, I couldn't find either of Phelps' books I looked for and I couldn't find Beyond Virtue either but I was able to get Angela Davis' Autobiography. I'm going to read it.


@ Mexi, I believe you have to request it from the publisher or interlibrary loan

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