Port & Starboard: Let the Games Begin

Port

Heads must have spun when Danny Boyle, who produced the opening ceremonies of the London Summer Olympics, had the audacity to showcase Britain’s’ healthcare system, center stage, for the entire world to see.

Certainly, there were Americans sitting on their recliners or leather sofas who were muttering at the TV or computer screen: “How dare those Brits embrace such a socialist concept?” “They are a democracy, our closest ally, we share the same language, many laws and customs.”

While the U.S. may have better doctors, hospitals, and in some cases treatment regimens, can we truly say our healthcare is the gold standard?

If this were true, everyone would be copying us, but I don’t see any nation running to the Xerox machine.

Why not ask those Americans who’ve been paying premiums for years and fighting for every penny?  Ask small business owners and large companies, too. Query the doctors, who are being nickel  & dimed to death and whose every decision is second-guessed by the insurance companies and the government – if ours is the best.

Our healthcare system benefits only one entity--the Healthcare industry. Their Ad campaigns tell us all is OK. And, when it’s not, they’re the first ones crying and demanding the rules to be changed; rules they created!

Obamacare would not have seen the light of day unless the healthcare industry made absolutely sure the deck was stacked in its favor. It seems to be the American way these days.

The system is broke; but greed keeps the system from being fixed.

Most Americans live by the creed, “an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.”  Is “Honest” even in the healthcare industry’s lexicon?

Of course, as a business, it needs to make a profit and satisfy shareholders. Yet, I haven’t seen any healthcare business go out of business, or a shareholder revolt.

We need a healthcare system that will benefit most Americans, since no system will ever be perfect.  We should be proud of our healthcare, like the Brits are of theirs.

Is Obamacare our answer? Don’t know. It’s too soon to tell.  Let’s hope it is a step in the right direction.

But, after watching the Summer Olympics opening ceremony, it seems like we can learn a thing or two from our friends across the pond. 

We have so much in common with Great Britain – except for Healthcare.

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Starboard

They are called Great Britain for a reason, and I am pretty sure it is not because of the sucking black hole that is their nationalized health care system. Yes, heads are spinning – especially the Queen’s, who must have been mortified by the amateur hour that was a really bad version of H.R Puffenstuff: An undisciplined and unworthy display of an England we admired but do not recognize.

As the stiff upper lip gave way to the I don’t give a rat’s ass entitlement display that was Danny Boyle’s sloppy opening ceremony, the Chinese just smiled that Cheshire cat smile. They saw exactly what they expected to see at the old masters' house: The lazy irresponsible West at its glorious worst.

I am sure the Brits have a nice comfortable health care system, and I am glad Danny Boy is so enthralled with it. I am sure it works well for a nation about one-fifth the size of the USA. But like all good humongous socialist entitlement programs, it has also has seen its best days. Sooner rather than later, it will have to be overhauled and broken up. It might be the last thing to get done across the pond, but when Britain finally turns its back on the slop that is socialism, all will cheer. All I know first hand is that my British doctor buddy left England a long time ago to practice here because of its terrible shortcomings, and that’s the facts, Union Jack.

The land that gave us the “Magna Carter” and the “Rule of Law,” Oxford and Cambridge, Newton, Bacon, Locke and Darwin has a lot more to brag about than what some new age goof ball named Danny Boyle thinks or wants others to believe.

Churchill, Shakespeare, and Kipling – forget about it. The Victorian Age, the Universal language, The Battle of Britain – peanuts when compared to socialized medicine. Come on man, really!  What the heck is going on back there in Jolly Old?

You know, I am just so glad they did not bring up those old stodgy bust types that you see sitting around everywhere there. You know, tributes to those gentlemen with “Lord” or “Sir” titles in front of their names. We would have been their all night if they were going to parade the likes of Nelson, Shackelton, Scott, Drake, Hudson, Everest, Stanley & Livingston, T.E. Lawrence, Montgomery and Cromwell .

Then there are those pesky literary folks who got passed over for Mary Poppins. You might know a few of them: Tennyson, Byron, Wordsworth, Milton, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis to name a few.  I guess that the long and storied history of the English speaking peoples pales in comparison to the more recent post war national health care. Knights of the Round Table and Robin Hood be dammed. We got a bed for a sick kid at every turn. National Health Care to the rescue!

Yes, old Danny boy and his silly little friends had a wonderful chaotic romp on opening night, and that was the intent. You see, the Brits have always been a tough and disciplined lot. You only get to be an Empire the old fashioned way – you earn it! But Danny boy does not like the gilded history of the greatest of land of them all. He prefers hospital beds galore and, oh yeah,…sad, depressed, overworked Zombie laborers of the dirty, stinky, Industrial Revolution.

So after that performance, don’t expect to be Knighted, young Dan. Also don’t think that we Yanks are lazy or dumb enough to sit by and have our health care system broken down and ruined like yours was. November will say it all here in the land of the Last Great Hope. If I am right, it is going to be like the review of your production, two thumbs down. Goodbye Mr. Chips!

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