Why am I not surprised by the complete and utter distortions in the mainstream North American media over President Barack Obama's proposal to introduce a form of National Health Service that's been a long time coming to the United States? It would be too easy to put it down simply to a reflection of middle-America's fear of the unknown or an imagined hype about socialism a.k.a. reds-under-the-bed communism ... clearly it's a very calculated and deceptive psych-ops war orchestrated by those who have most to lose if a system similar to Britain's NHS is to be implemented ... big business and the insurance companies, of course!
As a child of Britain's National Health Service (NHS) -- I was barely two years old when it came into being in 1947 -- and through the fifties and sixties, I can recall horror stories in the British newspapers from across the Atlantic about how ambulance crews would refuse to pick up traffic accident victims to take them to hospital if they didn't have proof of medical insurance, how people were left to die because they couldn't afford to see a doctor or, even when they did, they couldn't afford to pay exorbitant prices for the medicines prescribed...
Forty years later in Venezuela -- just before the February 1989 'El Caracazo' riots -- I was there, I saw the same thing happening all around! During the riots I ferried dead and dying victims by car to disgusting public medical resources at the Vargas hospital. Emergency ambulances (private, of course!) would not enter the conflict zone and, anyway, their services were required to urgently ferry 'rich bitches' to the private clinics for face-lifts and nose job surgeries. I remember the Vargas excuse for ER as being something similar to horses' stables. A gurney in each over a hole in the floor, invariably blocked by body parts, excrement and gore. My colleague from the Daily Journal ran retching from the scene after realizing that the bundles stacked against the stable wall were, in fact, dead and mutilated bodies waiting for someone to cart them cross-town to the Bello Monte mortuary which was already overflowing!
Venezuela's public health service is somewhat like Britain's NHS in its extreme infancy. Very much different from before, there is primary health care free of charge for all (especially the poor since the rich prefer to have rich doctors treat them at equally rich facilities) and basic medicines are indeed supplied free of charge to those who cannot otherwise afford. Yes, the public health service is in its infancy and faces incalculable problems with funding, corruption and (of course) corruption ... but, as they say, Rome was not built in a day, and Venezuela's public health system certainly proves the adage.
Thankfully, publicly funded health services are what most Europeans have grown up with, and the majority of Europeans would be loathe to abolish their NHSs in favor of a United States system ... although, like anywhere else, the European system is over-laden with bureaucracy and top-down management!
It's a political problem that even the British Conservatives have seen to be a key election issue and only this weekend, Tory leader David Cameron has been at pains to highlight what his (right-wing) party would do if elected some time next year. Cameron is certainly not contemplating political suicide ... if the thought of abolishing Britain's NHS every occurred to him in his wildest fantasies.
HOPEFULLY, middle-America will soon see common sense and send the corrupt political wheeler-dealers, the excessively monied lobbyists and the profit-hungry pharmaceutical corporation and the profiteers in private insurance packing ... good riddance to them, I say, although the rats will simply swim to another vessel and continue their plundering. That's life!
But, while the above-mentioned leeches on the sick and dying will continue their charade to recoil in horror at the prospect of "socialized" medicine, it is even more shameful how the US media has allowed powerful interests to manipulate the truth about the varying forms of socialized medicine already to be found across the more enlightened world. For starters, Canada ... then the USA's lapdog Britain ... Germany, Holland, France, Spain, the Scandinavian countries and more ... its quite amazing how the US media so readily allows itself to be manipulated.
Of course, I understand that it takes a brave reporter in mainstream America to have the cojones to actually write something in favor of socialized medicine. Worse even that he should find him- or her-self branded as a goddamn socialist i.e. tantamount to being a goddamn commie! And its a pre-requisite at the likes of Fox News to be a rabid Republican, foaming at the mouth at even the slightest hint of a government taking responsibility for its sick, its poor, its disadvantaged.
It's all a clear illustration also of how the mainstream US media has allowed itself to be manipulated by powerful interests in the US State Department, the Pentagon and the Republic Party against the specter of SOCIALISM in South America.