by Gary J. Isbell
Liberal socialistic politicians consistently promise utopia and deliver misery. One way they do this is by pointing to “successful” programs in socialist nations as models for American problems. Cuba’s wonderful universal health care program has been one of these models for decades.
But now it seems this program — sometimes touted as better than our own medical system — is now in shambles and facing more financial cuts.
Raul Castro is even attempting to educate the population of the need to economize the country’s failing health care system. He has run a series of ads that have a common theme titled, “Your health care is free, but how much does it cost?”
Well, it seems it does not cost much when compared to a civilized country’s standards, but for a failed communist economy, it is a hefty sum. Cuba spends $190 million per year on its citizens’ medical bills. With a population of over a little more than 11 million, that comes to about $17 per person per year according to recent figures released from Cuba.
Castro’s cynicism goes so far as to remind Cuban citizens to be grateful for the “free” health care they receive. This insult is made all the worse by the fact that the money used to provide Cuba’s “free” health care comes from its citizens. Even this money is mismanaged by a corrupt government that administrates a poorly run system.
In addition to mismanagement, Cuba is suffering from the demise of the Soviet Union, which used to provide vast subsidies to Cuba, as a way to prop up the fraud that Communism was a success under the Castros.
Lest anyone be slightly tempted to think that Castro really has figured out a scheme to keep costs down and beat the free market in efficiency and quality, think twice. A Cuban medical specialist earns an average of $25 a month and Cuban patients often bring their own bed sheets, hypodermic needles, food and water.
The result is rampant corruption among those in the medical profession. Many doctors collect for their services under the table. On their part, many patients feign illnesses to hoard medicine for future use since pharmacies routinely run out of medication.
The difference between Cuba and the U.S. could not be greater. The U.S. is still one of the main leaders in medical advancements and quality care. With an annual expense of $2.3 trillion per year and a population of 311.5 million, its per capita costs are $7,383. American medical professionals receive the highest compensation for their services and provide some of the best care in the world for that compensation, which is the direct result of a free market with competition. It is no wonder that so many people still come to the U.S. for medical treatments, especially from countries that have socialized health care.
Now it seems that even Cuba has been mugged by a high dose of reality that is squeezing what little “utopia” remains, out of their universal health care. One wonders why the likes of Michael Moore and company would want to tailor the American health care system after the failed systems implemented in Cuba, North and South Korea, Canada or England? Karl Marx once said that; “religion is the opium of the people,” it would have been more accurate had he said that socialism is the opium of the ignorant.