This past Friday night, Bill Maher broke with tradition. Instead of just having a panel composed of three Leftist yes men who hang on his every word, Maher had a panel of two conservatives (Andrew Breitbart and Amy Holmes) and one progressive (Seth MacFarlane, the creator of The Family Guy).
Things were humming along quite nicely until the topic of health care came up. Maher seemed flummoxed by the fact Americans didn’t appreciate just how much President Obama had done for them by shoving ObamaCare down their throats. Here’s what he said:
“It would be popular if the Democrats would talk about it more.”
Genius! It’s all because that Obama just hasn’t given enough speeches about health care yet. There’s no other reaction possible to such gibberish than to roll one’s eyes.
Then, when Amy Holmes explained to Maher that the Democrats had “talked endlessly” about Obamacare, and “their agenda was rejected by the American people”, Maher had the following reply:
Here we go again.
Oh my–where to even begin. First of all, Mr. Maher, we can’t all be Einsteins like yourself. I mean, nothing says “intellectual giant” like calling a pregnant girl a “Hillbilly heroine”, dressing up as the late Crocodile Hunter for Halloween, implying that a US Senate candidate is a “witch”, or being a proud wh*re-monger. Mr. Maher, when I grow up, I want to be just like you.
Second of all, judging by the way that he treats his body, Mr. Maher must have some magical fairy godmother who will give him a second body when he finally wears out the one he has now. Most of us aren’t so lucky, though – we are stuck with the one body that God gave us. Therefore, we tend to be a little protective of it (as well as our wallets, during a recession). (Elderly people, and people like me with chronic illnesses, are particularly protective our bodies.) I know, it sounds silly to you Mr. Maher.
So, when we hear about the fact that Massachusetts (which now has government run health care) has the highest health insurance premiums in the country, and now has the longest wait times to see a doctor (in Boston it is now 70 days to see an OBGYN, whereas it used to be 40 days), we tend to get a little worried.
Furthermore, I’m not sure if Bill Maher is aware of it or not, but the word on the street is that socialized medicine isn’t doing well in England or Canada. For example, health care rationing has gotten so bad in the former, that some people pull their own teeth (they use vodka and a pair or pliers). Acutely ill people wait at least 23 hours to be admitted to the hospital, some towns in Canada hold a monthly lottery to see who will get a family physician, and people in both countries wait an average of six months to see a neurologist–and then six more months for an MRI. (See the video embedded below.)
Oh, but there is a silver lining here. There is a clinic in Canada where you can get an MRI or a CT scan the day after you injure yourself–you just have to walk on four legs for this clinic to see you.
What’s more, British Parliament member, Daniel Hannan, told Glenn Beck pretty similar horror stories about the British National Health Service or NHS. Mr. Hannan explained that you are “immediately sent to the back of the cue” and that, even if you are in severe pain, they won’t let you pay for pain medication–you must just sit and wait for hours in pain. Hannan went on to explain that the average waiting time for a knee replacement is twelve months, surgery for a herniated disc is five months, and cataract surgery is eight months. Not to mention, if you can’t work during this waiting period, then you are losing income. (So much for the whole “free health care” thingy.) Then Mr. Hannan added the following zinger:
“The worst thing to be in our system is elderly”.
Moreover, Mr. Hannan explained that health care is the single biggest item of the government budget, and that the NHS is the third largest employer in the world (it employs 1.4 million people). Not to mention, most of the employees aren’t doctors or nurses – they are administrators. In other words, if we in the US get something like the NHS, there’s no undoing it. We’re stuck with it for good.
So, in conclusion, there is a lot that we don’t know yet about European socialized medicine, and what we do know, doesn’t sound very good. Therefore, the American people exercised caution before jumping headfirst into a sea of debt and rationed health care. Unlike their leaders, the American people demonstrated wisdom. Wise people exercise caution and look before they leap; foolish people just jump in head first, consequences be damned.
And finally, Mr. Maher, I realize that you freely admit to wanting European socialized medicine, but most Americans don’t. Therefore, it’s your job to try to persuade them that you are right. However, neither you, nor Seth MacFarlane, could win the debate with the other two conservatives on the panel. (In fact, Maher even turned to MacFarlane earlier on in the health care debate and said, “Help me out anytime,” but MacFarlane just shrugged his shoulders cluelessly and mumbled something about the public option.) So, since you didn’t have the facts on your side and couldn’t convince people that you were right, you resorted to name-calling. Mr. Maher, calling people “stupid” doesn’t make you sound intelligent, enlightened, witty, urbane, or help you to win a debate that you are so obviously losing. It just makes you sound immature…. and dare I say it: stupid.