Friday, October 23, 2009

Socialized Medicine

With all the talk about President Obama's new health plan, it might do well to refresh our memories about socialized medicine. The term is used in the USA when talking about publically funded health care. It was first used by the AMA in 1947 in
opposition to President Truman's health care initiative of that same year.
The original meaning of the term referred to a system that the goverrment would operate and employ health care professionals. This meaning applies to the British National Health Service and other health programs operating in other countries.
These countries include:

and Cuba.

The term is more recently used to include Canada's Medicare system.

Most industrialized countries have some form of publically funded health care.
Only the USA does not provide universal care
according to the Institute of Medicine.

The term, socialized medicine, has a negative connotation in the USA, since it is associated with socialism. The first system of this type was initiated by Otto Van Bismarck after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.

The following countries adopted some form of socialized medicine
in the following years:

Soviet Union-1920

New Zealand -1939

China- 1950's thru 1970's

Cuba- 1960's under Castro

In Australia, the federal government remains total responsible. In the UK, taxes are collected to subsidize health care. In the USA, public opinion believes that government involvement would increase costs and require more taxes. However, data from other countries does not support this belief even when taxes are collected ,as in the British system. The debate continues about socialized medicine versus our current USA system and proposed new plans such as Obama's reform ideas.

What is your opinion ?

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