A US NHS universal medical system could become America's largest employer
Originally posted 2011-02-11 12:29:30 -0500. Bumped and promoted. - GH
(Written by an American expat living in the European Union)
There are 59 million Americans who don't have medical insurance. There are 132 million Americans who don't have dental insurance. What if there were an alternate United States where everyone was medically and dentally insured? Well it just so happens that I live in what some call the United States of Europe otherwise known as the European Union and here everyone that I see everyday is fully medically insured. They live on average longer than we do in America and they pay less for their medical system than we do in America, even though they insure 100% of their populations.
Why can't the Teabaggers see this? If they could see it, would it change anything? Would it change you? It changed me. It is possible to change America, one person at a time. All we have to do is get the word out that universal medical works in every major industrialized country in the world, therefore it can also work in America not only to provide health care but also to become America's biggest employer with jobs that pay a living wage that can't be outsourced.
The Case Against Universal Medical
The case against universal medical that the Teabag crowd is trying to use to repeal the progress that has been made in health care reform is that it is a "job killer". Now I am not any kind of an economics professor, I am just a working stiff with an MBA degree but even I know the economic argument that says universal medical systems can be a job creator. Case and point is the British medical system known as the National Health Service (NHS). It turns out that its not just Britain's largest employer, its one of the biggest employers in the world. Additionally it provides cradle-to-grave medical care paid for purely through taxes from the British population wherein they spend less on medical and live longer than we do in America.
The NHS is one of the largest employers in the world, along with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the Indian railways and the Wal-Mart supermarket chain.
The NHS in England and Wales employs around 1.3 million people. This is approximately one in 23 of the working population.
America needs jobs that pay a living wage that can't be outsourced
The bottom line is this, if America is going to recover economically it needs to grow jobs that pay a living wage that the plutocrats can't outsourced or offshore. As an MBA, I know there is no such thing as a jobless recovery. Any talk of a jobless recovery in the economy is just nothing but a pure lie. If there is going to be a real economic recovery than we need to grow jobs and lots of them and these jobs can't be low wage, no benefit jobs. They have to be jobs that pay a living wage that would allow someone to pay off a $300,000 dollar mortgage and to pay their $800 a month payments on their turbo diesel pickup. That's the only way America will ever get to a real recovery that isn't Wall Street propaganda.
If the British national health care system is one of the world's biggest employers, couldn't an American national health care system become the world's biggest employer?
Why wouldn't that work? Universal medical care systems work in every major industrialized country in the world, there is no earthly reason why a universal medical access system couldn't work in America. As I am writing this, I can look out the window and tell you that every single person that I see is literally medically insured and has always been medically insured and will always be medically insured. That is the case across every country in the European Union. Additionally this also means that small business employers who provide the majority of jobs in the European Union aren't saddled with health care costs for their employees that are unreasonable and unsustainable unlike their small business counter parts in the US.
In the GOP class warfare against the American working class, not only do they lie about the fact that universal medical access systems are a "job killer" and they also lie about the excellent care universal medical systems deliver. Then they have to print embarrassing retractions in the web of ignorance and lies that they spin. Here's one example of just that phenomenon.
Academic elite Professor Stephen Hawking spoke up in defense of the British National Health Service
And the Investor's Business Daily said in an editorial: 'People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.'
They had to correct the piece when it was pointed out that the physicist was born, lives and works in the UK.
Mr Hawking said: 'I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS.'
The bottom line is that every major industrialized country in the world has a universal medical access system in place that works wherein they pay less than Americans do and they live longer than Americans do. In the case of England, the British national health care system is proof of just that. It is only proof of something else, that is it is one of the biggest employers in the world even though the British population is right around 60 million. Therefore as the population of America is an excess of 300 million, it is not possible therefore that an American national health care system could become the world's largest employer?
Now isn't this what America needs? Jobs that pay a living wage that the plutocrats can't outsource or offshore? Also with that many new jobs in the American economy that pay a living wage, wouldn't private employers have to raise their wages in order to attract and keep quality employees. Wouldn't that strengthen the tax base and create a real American economic recovery? It a stronger tax base also means better funded public services which would create even more jobs in the public sector. Additionally it's working in the European Union, I can look out my window and see that everyone is completely medically insured. But aside from the economic arguments, isn't it the moral thing to do as a human right to provide medical access to all Americans, just like they do in the European Union for all their citizens, plus the 1.2 million Americans living over here.
While we can all be proud Americans, surely we don't have to be proud of the broken American social safety net. There we can do better and the best way to bring that about is to stop the GOP led class warfare by putting America back to work through a public works US NHS system, which provides a living wage in jobs that can't be outsourced, in support of the American working class dream. While at the same time providing a European style social safety net with a US NHS health care system at its center piece which provides for portability of health care when workers change jobs or start their own small business enterprise.
Finally let's please take note that while the GOP Teabag class warfare crowd preaches individual responsibility on the one hand, they do everything possible to avoid any collective responsibility wherein all of us working together would leverage economies of scale that would make vital services such as health care far more accessible and affordable in a way that provides for badly needed cost containment. To reiterate, health care reform is not a "job killer" but rather under a US NHS system would be an aggregate job creation engine in support of the working class American dream.
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(Cross posted by author from the Daily Kos.)