Sunday, May 07, 2017

Was Trump right in praising the Australian healthcare system?

See the report below.  Trump took a lot of flak for his remarks but because knowledge of the Australian system is minimal in the USA, the subsequent controversy got a lot wrong.  TRUMP WAS RIGHT.  Let me say WHY the Australia system is better.  Broadly, it is better because the care you get is influenced by how much you put into the system.

At the basic level, a visit to your local doctor, the Federal government picks up most or all of the tab. So everybody has good access to a doctor of their choice.

But when the costs get big -- as in hospitalization -- a different system prevails.  Everybody is entitled to free treatment at a government hospital but the care you get there is very poor, with waiting times being very problematical.  One man once had to wait 7 years for an eye operation, during which time  he could barely see.  And even with cancer, which MUST have speedy treatment to give the possibility of recovery, the wait can be long enough to reduce significantly or eliminate survival chances.

And Australians have heard the horror stories and know that you would not wish government medical care on anyone.  As a consequence 40% of Australians have private health insurance -- which gives them access to our many world-class private hospitals, where they get prompt and effective care.  A few years ago, I went to my favourite private hospital with pain from kidney stones,  I was scanned, diagnosed and on the operating table in a matter of hours, and given the latest and greatest treatment for the problem.

So our private hospitals are as good as our public hospitals are bad.  And private health insurance in Australia is not forbiddingly expensive.  People on quite ordinary incomes can and do afford it.  I pay $215 a month for very comprehensive cover and my insurer pays 100% of my private hospital costs. Obviously, many people will have to cut back on other expenditures to afford their subscription but prudent people do just that.

On the other hand, less wise people decide that they will take their chances with the "free" system and spend their money on beer and cigarettes instead.

The upshot?  People who contribute to their own health insurance get care as good as can be imagined while those who try to parasitize the taxpayer get shithouse medical care.  That seems to me to be entirely fair.

And there is great consensus behind the Australian system.. It has been in place for many years now and neither political party wants to change it:  Very different from the USA

A comment by US President Donald Trump about Australia's healthcare system has caused a political firestorm in the US.

Mr Trump, while sitting beside Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in New York before their bilateral meeting on Thursday, praised Australia's healthcare system.

"We have a failing healthcare," Mr Trump said.

"I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia, because you have better health care than we do."

Earlier in the day the president and his Republican Party scored a victory in the House of Representatives for repealing Obamacare, although it still has to pass the Senate.

During the Republican campaign to replace Obamacare they railed against government-funded universal heath-care systems like Australia's.

US Democratic Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a supporter of universal healthcare, laughed during a US TV interview when he was told about Mr Trump's Australian comment.

"Thank you Mr Trump for admitting that universal health care is the better way to go," Mr Sanders later tweeted.

"I'll be sure to quote you on the floor of the Senate."

Mr Turnbull also drew criticism after he told Mr Trump in front of reporters: "Congratulations on your vote today".

Labor's shadow minister for health and Medicare Catherine King said the prime minister was praising a bill that will could lead to thousands of Americans losing their healthcare and "will take away the requirement for health insurers to cover people with 'pre-existing conditions' - such as diabetes, autism or cancer," Ms King said in a press release.

"It could also impact survivors of rape or domestic violence."

Later on Friday White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a news briefing that Mr Trump was simply "complimenting a foreign leader on the operations of their healthcare system".

"It didn't mean anything more than that."

Ms Huckabee Sanders said Mr Trump's remarks did not mean he thought the US should adopt a similar system to Australia's.

"I think he believes that they have a good healthcare system for Australia," she said. "What works in Australia may not work in the United States."



US unemployment lowest in a decade as 211,000 new jobs are added in April

Trump delivers -- only 3 months into his term

HIRING in the United States rebounded in April as employers added a brisk 211,000 jobs, a reassuring sign that the economy’s slump in the first three months of the year will likely prove temporary.

The unemployment rate dipped to 4.4 per cent — its lowest point in a decade — from 4.5 per cent in March, the Labor Department said. The figures suggest that businesses expect consumer demand to rebound after a lacklustre first quarter, when Americans increased spending at the slowest pace in seven years, and will need more employees.



Other Than the Mass Murder, Communism Is Great

The NYT thinks the real victims of this evil ideology are the American communists who were shunned.

Once again proving the human mind’s capacity for willful self-deception, the New York Times recently published an article lamenting the victims of 20th century Communism.

A rational, moral, historically informed person, hearing that description of the article, would assume they were about to read an account of the more than 100 million people murdered and hundreds of millions more who suffered systemic torture, starvation, imprisonment and rape at the hands of brutal dictators like Josef Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, and the like. One would assume that such lamentations focused on Mao’s “Great Cultural Revolution” in which teachers and other intellectuals were beaten and killed by the thousands, or the “Great Purge” under Stalin, which saw the deaths of several million Communist Party members who were declared enemies of the state.

But such an assumption would be wrong.

No, the “victims,” according to Times' writer Vivian Gornick, were the thousands of American communists who “endured social isolation, financial and professional ruin, and even imprisonment” when sane Americans rebuked their murderous ideology for the unadulterated evil that it was and is.

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg (whose brilliant and insightful book, “Liberal Fascism,” outlines the history of the American progressive movement’s embrace of socialism and communism), summed it up perfectly: “It seems to me a bit sad and pathetic, that she — and at least to some extent the New York Times — thinks the most important thing to remember from this sad chapter in American life are victims — not of Stalin’s mass murder or of Soviet espionage — but the victims of their own stupidity.”

Strange indeed. Less than three decades after the fall of the Soviet Union under the moral leadership of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II, a growing number of Americans, possibly ignorant of the horrors of Communism, embrace it in principle and in name.

The great irony is this: Only through the blessings of living in a constitutional republic which guarantees their right to hold these views, and of living in a free market economy that not only sustains their basic needs but affords them a level of luxury not even enjoyed by royalty of a half century ago, can they engage in such immoral, historically uninformed indulgence.

Thus we watch in disbelief as an angry, self-proclaimed socialist septuagenarian nearly secures the Democrat presidential nomination, bolstered by throngs of progressive snowflakes who protest and riot in favor of “LGBT rights” and against income inequality and the “evils” of the free market while tweeting from their $800 iPhones, sipping $8 cups of coffee, and sporting Che Guevara t-shirts as a form of virtue signaling.

Yet how many of these socialist/communist sympathizers know their beloved Che was Castro’s enforcer and executioner? He was nicknamed “The Butcher of La Cabana” for his brutal reign over the La Cabana prison, where political dissenters, including artists and musicians like the ones who idolize him today, were tortured and killed.

How many know Chairman Mao slaughtered 10 times more Chinese peasants than the number of Jews killed by Adolf Hitler? How many know that in Stalinist Russia, homosexuality was a crime punishable by imprisonment and hard labor, or that Stalin murdered tens of millions of people?

Why, with mountains of historical evidence documenting the atrocities of these sister ideologies, do we today have millions of Americans who openly embrace them? When faced with a recitation of its evils and failures, a common refrain is that communism/socialism is the ideal form of government; it just hasn’t yet been implemented properly.

To argue that the failures of communism/socialism — nearly 170 years after the publication of Marx’s Communist Manifesto — is a failure of leadership is to argue the movement has been led by crooks or incompetents for nearly two centuries. If so, what does that say about the followers?

Interestingly, it is the clear-eyed proponents of communism/socialism who are the most truthful about what the ideologies are and are not. Friedrich Nietzsche, the nihilist German philosopher who greatly influenced Hitler and his NAZIs (an acronym for the National SOCIALIST German Workers Party), declared, “Socialism is the fantastic younger brother of despotism, which it wants to inherit. Socialism wants to have the fullness of state force which before only existed in despotism.”

It would seem that a large number of the Americans who embrace socialism/communism are utterly ignorant of the misery these ideologies birth. According to a recent YouGov survey, nearly half of Millennials were unfamiliar with Mao and Che (though they still wear t-shirts emblazoned with their images). A third were unfamiliar with Lenin and Marx. Of course, it doesn’t help when the nation’s “newspaper of record” has long been a journalistic fangirl for oppressive regimes.

It is such ignorance that turns out tens of thousands of progressive idealists to rallies for Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed socialist who decries the evils of capitalism despite having recently bought his third home, this one a $600,000 vacation home on the shores of Lake Champlain. One thing is for sure; he is living better in evil, capitalist American than he would in Venezuela, the socialist paradise he says we should emulate — a paradise where millions are starving and have no bread, medicine or toilet paper.

In the meantime, oblivious to the irony, good little progressives march and riot against “fascists” in America (a term they define as “anyone who disagrees with them”), demanding free speech protections even as they beat up political opponents.

We would do well to remember Thomas Jefferson’s words in an 1816 letter to his friend Charles Yancey: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

"Trump delivers -- only 3 months into his term"

Which probably means it had little or nothing to do with anything he has actually DONE. But the 'getting credit/blame for anything the economy does, regardless of any connection to policy' thing has been applied to Presidents effectively forever. Certainly since the turn of the 19th century to the 20th.

Mind you. I ha[[em to LIKE Trump, which I wasn't at all sure I would (I LOATHE Hillary). But let's not get all starry eyed. The 'King's' hands are not magic. He didn't heal the economy by touch.

"The NYT thinks the real victims of this evil ideology are the American communists who were shunned."

The NYT believes in the Immaculate Conception of JFK and other such silliness. The NYT ceased to be worthy of consideration as anything but an overpriced hack-rag sometime in the late 1970's and shows no sign of recovery.