The only reason Bernie Sanders, "Democratic Socialist" is not in the White House right now is due to one word- Socialist. Bernie, the first rule in politics is not to be honest, c'mon Bern. The right wing parrots, who outsource their thinking to right wing entertainers, conflate Socialism with Communism, and Communism with Castro, Lenin, Stalin and Rocky Movies. And now we have an anarchist Billionaire at the helm, who is trying to divvy up America's shared and stored wealth to the other Oligarchs, and cut so many holes in the social safety net to prove once and for all that it does not work.
Oh can I daydream for a minute if Bernie made it? He would be building a single payer healthcare system (giving the unchecked, colluded private market something to compete against), investing in free access to Universities (instead of investing in expensive prisons and death machines and deadly wars) and securing a living minimum wage of $15 (to stop subsidising profitable corporations, and give individuals the freedom get off government dependence, and create muscular consumer class to add gas to the capitalistic engine.) Ah that felt like such a nice place to visit. Ok, back to reality.
Now a thinking American would realise that Socialism is a good, noble word. A fair-minded person would realise that many of the things that "Make America Great" (see: military, courts, government, infrastructure, schools, regulatory agencies, national parks...) come from our communal wealth and shared institutions. Socialism provides the necessary soil, water and sunlight for capitalism to thrive. They work well together, like Hall and Oates, peanut butter and jelly, and parenthood and cabernet sauvignon.
Demonising the word Socialism has been central to Murdock's, take no prisoners, "Privatise or Die" raison d'etre and over the past twenty years and has worked really well. This telling of lies long enough that they become truth has been incredibly damaging to the health and well being of America, the world and given such profound courage to the misinformed. Now it's estimated that 40,000 American's could perish each year if The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare is repealed. This foolhardy repeal is looking likely.
While unfortunately falling short of pure socialism, Obamacare is a mandate and guarantee of coverage for all. If citizens cannot afford a healthcare plan, the Government will subsidise. The idea is that with everyone insured, health care costs will go down as preventative care will be more normal and insanely expensive emergency rooms will cease being the GP for millions of people. By any fair-minded analysis, Obamacare has been a success. US Citizens cannot be denied coverage for a preexisting condition and there are not caps on the amount of coverage consumers can receive. Healthcare costs have decreased compared with other periods in recent history. The majority of Americans are in favour of it.
While your NHS has evolved in an enlightened, "health care is a human right" Galapagos away from profiteering predators; our private system has corporations making huge profits from healthcare See stock performance of United Health, Anthem, Aetna since 2010 when Obamacare became law. In the USA we hold tight to the right of corporations to turn a profit even if it means rationing care for cancer treatment. US citizens are thought of as figures on a spreadsheet and care is filtered through an analysis of investor returns.
One tried and true trope that factphobic, pseudo patriots employ is that socialised medicine does not work. The brainwashed minority in charge are convinced that America has the best system in the world with the most efficient care, most talented physicians and the best rewards system for innovation. The US system has been excellent for me and my family, and no doubt a leader in innovation. But when you look at a per capita analysis of innovation, the UK is basically tied. When I moved to the UK seven months ago I got to take your system for a spin and find out what it feels like to be a patient instead of a consumer.
With pains in my lymph nodes under my armpits and around my areolas and groin I had grown concerned. A quick search on Google regarding my condition had me Googling shortly thereafter "DIY Last Will and Testaments." My NHS GP at Ashville Surgery (four blocks from my house), Dr. Noori had the audacity to sit with me for 20 minutes, ask me about my diet, exercise, family life... In America when you finally get the Doctor in your room, you feel like they are frantically trying to cook a gigantic feast. They pop into your room as quickly as possible to keep your pot from boiling over. Dr. Noori's concern was palpable and she was focused. She assured me that it was probably just in infection working through my body, but with lymph nodes she wanted to error on the side of caution.
My experience with the specialist Dr. Morgan at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital was even more amazing. A man of presence, calm, courtesy, If he hadn't been a real Doctor he could have had a career playing a proper British Doctor in the movies. His office was a museum of his storied career and fabulous life. Dr. Morgan approached me not as a symptom but as a whole person and we had a flowing conversation walking backward from my swollen lymph nodes all the way back to my childhood. I have never felt such care and analytical thinking on my behalf. It was the end of the day and I was amazed by his energy and enthusiasm.
After a visit to another equally as amazing sonogram specialist to make sure I did not have breast cancer, I found out that I was more than likely fine. Through their conversations with me, my team of NHS Doctors determined that the soy protein supplements I was taking to get my swell on at the gym were causing me to grow breasts. Whew, that was a relief.