The Cuban Healthcare System

In a post today, June 22, to flteach, a New York teacher cited a documentary film on the Cuban healthcare system in response to posts about the MM movie, “Sicko”. In part, she said:

“Connie Field, an award winning American documentary film maker,(Rosie the

Riveter) has made a film about how the Cuban experience with health care on

a shoestring has lead to revolutionary thought — like doctors living among

their patients and learning about their lives. This encourages preventative

treatments that reduce the need for expensive acute care.

I recommend that anyone seriously thinking about how we can change our

health care system to respond to the real needs of our citizens, take a look

at this film. It is another aspect of the discussion. ”

Just a quick comment:

We are not going to look at anything like that in this country because it involves prevention. Prevention = reduced illness = reduced profits. As MM pointed out in Sicko, Americans are not evil, and we do help each other, depending on who the “other” is, but there are literally millions of Americans going over the news every day looking for a way to turn a profit.

Let’s say some senator did get a bill through paying for preventive care. Before it ever hit the floor of the Senate, hundreds of lobbyists would examine it for ways to make money for their clients. It would be loaded with pork, with loop holes, with bureaucratic “safeguards”, read “gatekeepers and roadblocks”, all designed to allow financial interests to either make a buck or to prevent loss to vested interests.

Why does this happen? We do it to ourselves. The investors have a legal right to expect managers of their money to put profit-making first. Those of us who do not invest, and that’s a dwindling number, are usually those who do not follow the news, who do not vote, who do not question authority, who accept whatever comes their way and then condemn those in Washington as a “bunch of crooks.”

So we might get a system that has some prevention in it, but it won’t be anything nearly as comprehensive as Cuba’s. And don’t forget, the Cuban people paid a high price for their system: their freedom. It’s strictly a beggar’s democracy there and I hope that the Cuban people are strong enough to invite ex-patriate investors in but to control them so they don’t turn Cuba into the savage capitalism that destroys millions of lives for the sake of profit. They’re destroying millions of lives now for the sake of ideology. Can we prevent stupidity and greed? Doubtful.

There’s always a price; the trick is to be able to pick the price you want to pay. My prediction is that more and more of us will turn to a combination of standard medical practice for intervention and alternative medicine for prevention.

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