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Romania's 20-Year Nightmare: Unraveling Socialized Health Care

America's health care system represents one-sixth of the economy. The total U.S. gross domestic product is $14.1 trillion, and one-sixth means about $2.35 trillion. Considering that the length of a dollar bill is 6.4 inches, a trillion dollar bills laid end to end would make a chain 96,906,565.66 miles long -- extending almost 4 million miles beyond the sun.[iii] This unimaginably immense amount of tax money was paid by "we the people," who should at the very least have been given a say about how it was to be spent.

“We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it,” said Nancy Pelosi, at that time speaker of the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, talking to the 2010 Legislative Conference for the National Association of Counties. That was a first in U.S. history. That would have been the norm in the old Eastern Europe, whose Marxist governments were always clouded in secrecy.

A few years after Romania was blessed with a nationalized health care system managed by bureaucrats instead of doctors, the country's hospitals became so badly degraded that there were frequent cases where two people had to be put in the same bed. Sauve qui peut became the catchword of the privileged Marxist nomenklatura, which took its own health care out of the hands of the hospitals destined to serve “the idiots,” as Romania's president Nicolae Ceausescu called his people. The Communist Party seized the Helias, a hospital built by a Western foundation, and ordained that it exclusively serve the needs of the party nomenklatura. The Securitate, Romania’s version of the KGB, took over a private hospital (named for a Dr. Dimitrie Gerota) and transformed it into a medical center (renamed Dr. Victor Babes) exclusively destined to serve its personnel. So did the Ministry of Defense. In the 1970s, I myself even built a hospital for my foreign intelligence service, the DIE. The hospital had no name and it was hidden away in the Băneasa Forest near Bucharest, to be protected from the eyes of the “idiots.”