Friday, September 4, 2009

RA, Healthcare and Marxism/Socialism

As a newly diagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis patient, I am even more keenly interested in making sure that people like me, who have so many uncertainties in their lives due to their illness, don't have to worry about whether they will have health care they need whenever they need it.

It really infuriates me when I see and hear people compare the current health care initiative to Socialism and or Marxism. I wonder if the people who make these statements really know what Marxism and Socialism are and if they ever even been to any countries that are governed by Marxist or Socialist ideologies. I was actually born and raised in Communist Poland, so I do have first hand experience of living under a regime that subscribed to the Marxist ideology. Let me tell you about the general conditions of living there as I remember them. I recall that stores had very little quality clothes, so my mom actually made most of my nicer things to wear, and she, my dad, and grandmother would have their work suits and nice winter coats made by a tailor. I remember that for some reason there were always toilet paper shortages, and my mom and I would have to wait in long lines (as in around the entire block) for toilet paper. Other "luxuries" were things like oranges, and other more exotic fruits and vegetables, good alcohol like brandy (vodka was pretty abundant!!), ham and "good" pieces of meat and were nearly impossible to get. My mom had "connections" because being a pediatrician, parents of kids she helped who worked in specialty stores would save some of these "luxury" items for her. I think you get the picture.

But the really scary thing I remember is being warned by my parents and my grandmother not say anything negative about anything regarding the government or how we "got things" or who came over to our house. I remember one time one of my parents' friends suddenly "disappeared" and no one said anything of fear that you may be next.

I also remember the one party elections. People were forced to vote (again, you didn't want to "disappear"), but it was all a joke, as it was a single party system, and there was no opposition! And I also remember these 5-year plans that the government and the propaganda machine would promote to uphold the workers, to keep producing for the betterment of all!!
When I first got to the US, I was amazed by the grocery stores! I have never before seen that much food and that many choices of things (and this 1972)!! And then by department stores and all the clothes!!

So, now, many years after the fall of Communism, when I go back to Poland, things are pretty much same as here with one exception! They kept the socialized health care system! Poland is now a thriving democracy, multi-party system, but they kept the same post service and health care system... And they really know the difference between Marxism/Communism/Socialism and Democracy and Capitalism!So all you who try to scare people by shouting that health care reform with public option is Marxism or Socialism, again, you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!!! STOP IT!!

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