Single-payer health care in action

I'm no big fan of the Associated Press as I consider them soapbox hawkers for world socialism in general, and more specifically, anything anti-American that will support that goal. However, as the overused cliché goes, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Such is the case with Mary Clare Jalonick's article describing the terrible conditions faced by Native Americans in their single-payer, federal health care system.

What resonates here for me is my past experience in dealing with that system as a government sales manager for a subsidiary of one of America's largest pharmaceutical companies. I was a hands-on manager who wanted to see my accounts, to better know what their needs were, so I travelled to a number of Indian Health Service facilities, from remote clinics in Alaska to their so-called showcase inpatient facilities in Phoenix and Gallup, as well as their national headquarters in suburban Rockville, Maryland outside Washington.

It was all uniformly, bureaucratically, depressing. Inadequate doesn't begin to describe the services offered and criminal doesn't begin to describe the results. I have walked down city streets where I literally had to step over prone and supine, hopefully just sleeping, but in some cases most probably dying, drunk Native Americans, victims of a known genetic predisposition to alcoholism, but somehow beyond the scope of the medical system put in place for them by the same federal government which now wants to assume responsibility for your health care, Bubba.

At IHS headquarters in Rockville, it was eerily similar, except it was the out-stretched legs (and attitudes) of uncaring bureaucrats that provided the extended barriers to progress. And no, most of those bureaucrats weren't indifferent, racist whites; they were almost exclusively indifferent, brown and black-skinned representatives of the suppressed minority classes.

That was only twenty-some years ago, folks, and according to Ms. Jalonick's article, it doesn't appear to have improved much. So think about that when you consider turning over responsibility for your health care to a federal bureaucracy that has been responsible for Indian health care for more than a century.

I'll give good odds that Indian Health Service is an example of a nationally-managed health care program that I am sure the Obama Administration would wish you'd never heard of.
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