I have a confession to make…. I am a junkie…. A political junkie. I spend the vast majority of my time thinking about ways to help the world become a better place and how I can get more involved in American politics. With the advancements of technology and great bosses in Liberty Alliance, I am so honoured that I can play a role in returning America to former glory. I sometimes get asked how involved I am in Irish politics.
I have tried to dabble in Irish politics a few times but I rarely pay much attention for a couple of reasons. Firstly I find it incredibly frustrating, because if you boil down all the parties to their core beliefs, there is very little difference between them and they all range from socialist to progressive communists. Ireland is a lovely country with some really nice people – however when it comes to politics the Irish people range from those who do not care to those like cattle who just accept the vast majority of what the government wants. Sadly 99% of Irish people do not understand the meaning of real freedom, liberty or why our rights come from God and NOT GOVERNMENT!!!
Last weekend the Irish Health Minister doubled down on a proposal which reminded me of the battle America is facing over Obamacare but Ireland already has socialized medicine. The policy is “FREE GP CARE FOR ALL” by 2016 and I wanted to use this policy as an example over what awaits America if you do not stop Obamacare.
Regardless of party and in this case country, politicians usually share a couple of traits. Firstly they are power hungry and seek to gain control of every aspect of people’s lives all in the name of fairness and equality. Secondly they will lie, cheat, steal and stab anyone in the back to gain that power which today is called political process and SPIN.
So is free GP care for all a good idea? Well in typical political fashion the first word of this policy is a LIE. Unless politicians know something we don’t and that every GP in Ireland has decided to volunteer / been forced to offer their services for free for the rest of their lives. So it is not free GP care, it just means you will pay for it via another avenue i.e. more taxes elsewhere. So what will a policy like this mean on the ground? I am going to use myself as a guinea pig.
I am very lucky that I don’t have to visit my GP a lot, however I require between 3 / 4 anti-histamine injections a year. It takes me 2 minutes to get the injection and costs me €55 a visit. I remember asking the doctor a few years ago why it was so expensive and they explained about people they help for a flat monthly fee. They explained how they had to charge paying patients more to help cover the costs of helping those with medical cards (In Ireland you can qualify for a medical card because of age, being a single parent or unemployed and you can get free medical care and medication). The simple truth is if they did not have cash paying patients, they would struggle to keep the surgery open.
So what happens in Ireland with a medical card? Well GP’s get a fixed annual sum for every person registered with them who holds a medical card regardless of how many times they visit the doctor. Now ask yourself one question – if you have “free” healthcare with your GP do you expect the amount of times people visit a doctor to increase or decrease? Over time, I have spoken to many people who have a medical card and they use their medical card to visit their doctor every time they sneeze…. Why because it’s free and what have they to lose???? It does not cost them anything. Now if you believe calls will increase for a GP, ask yourself will that have a positive or negative effect on the quality of medical care?
The simple truth is no business person can escape economics whether you are Apple or my doctor. One thing I have seen for a while in my doctor’s waiting room is a sign saying – Medical Card List FULL!!! I have had the same GP all my adult life and I have no intention of changing. If this bill of “Free GP care for all” becomes a reality, how will it affect me? I might have to wait longer for an appointment, take an appointment with whichever doctor is available first in the medical centre thus losing continuity of trust with my doctor and file, wait longer for test results and who knows I could lose my GP because they will then chose what patients they wish to see. This will turn doctors who are hoping to help sick people into actuaries assessing what patient carries the least risk. Now I am a young man with only a few minor health issues so I might be safe. However imagine the same risk for an elderly person with cancer or heart problems or a special needs kid? What will happen to them? They will be viewed as a liability and not as a human being.
Lastly the part we all need to focus on is the additional cost involved. Politicians are always complex and have a lot of double standards. Most politicians will never support a monopoly in any business sector and will also use the power and threat of regulation / legislation to stop them. However most of the same politicians usually always support a government monopoly in industry. So what do you think will happen to healthcare costs with free GP care? They will increase… WHY? Well firstly they will have to issue regulations to ensure the level of standards they require are met and then the additional layer of bureaucrats to oversee the GP’s. All of this will increase cost and standards will drop.
Please look at the history of the world and look for a government body that actually increased the level of services, reduced the cost of the service and the customer was happy. Every country has bodies like the DMV or the post office and see how badly they are run!. The same MINDSET of bureaucrats who are never held accountable and can regulate any part of your life without fear of election or being fired are now organizing your healthcare. This will happen one day in America. Please get involved and stop Obamacare while you can because socialized medicine is not the way forward.