Romania's 20-Year Nightmare: Unraveling Socialized Health Care
In my other life in Communist Romania, I managed a large intelligence organization that, among other tasks, was charged with keeping alive a nationalized health care system which in the end bankrupted the country and generated popular contempt. That system, very similar to the Affordable Health Care for America Act, was a bureaucratic nightmare. And it still is a nightmare in the former Soviet empire.
A European Union report on post-Communist Romania's "Health Care System in Transition" stated that this system "devastated the country," whose infant mortality rate (20.2 per 1,000) was among the highest in Europe and whose death rate was 70% higher that the EU average.[i] The world's leading general medical journal, The Lancet, reported that even twenty years after the Soviet Union collapsed, "life expectancy at birth is 66 years for Russians; 16 years less than for people in Japan and 14 less than the European Union average."[ii]
My past experience gave me reason to believe that the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to keep the Affordable Health Care for America Act alive constituted a much needed wake-up call for our conservative movement. Since 2009, when the Democratic Party began surreptitiously nationalizing the U.S. health care system, our conservative movement has done nothing but weep and wail and wait for God in heaven and the Supreme Court on earth to save America from such a calamity.
It is time for us to paddle our own canoe. The first three words in the U.S. Constitution are "We the people." So let us have "we the people" decide what kind of health care we want, because our tax money is paying for it. In order to make responsible decisions in the November election, "we the people" need to know the truth: the United States is today rated No. 1 in the world when it comes to medical responsiveness and quality of health care, and there is no reason to rush to change our system overnight.
In the U.S., the doctor is king. This is crucial for saving people's lives. If the doctor thinks there is something wrong with his patient, he can immediately start all kinds of diagnostic tests, get the results as soon as possible, and start treatment immediately. Yet in Great Britain, where the nationalized health care system is managed by bureaucrats, a patient has to wait some 18 weeks for an MRI.