Much has been said about how healthcare will have to be rationed under the Universal Health Care proposals being put forth by President Obama and the Democrat-led Congress. If they are successful in getting their plan enacted, it will only be a matter of time before the government has complete control over not only our healthcare, but our deathcare as well.
Anecdotal stories never tell the entire story, but are good for showing what’s behind certain government policies. Since the healthcare system in the United Kingdom is often put forth by Universal Healthcare proponents, I thought I’d share a story about a funeral that took place recently, which I believe shows what’s happens when you put the government in charge of something so personal and filled with emotion.
The Daily Mail Online reports today that a couple was fined £86 for going over their allotted thirty minutes for the funeral of their infant son who had died three months earlier from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The vicar who led the service asked the mother upon its completion if she would like a few more minutes to say goodbye to her son.
I sat by the coffin for ten minutes, telling my son how much we loved him and begging him not to be scared.
Crematorium officials, however, added the additional charge for going over the standard time allotment, which is done automatically. The mother was understandably distraught when she found out the additional charge had been added, even though the next funeral was not scheduled for another fifty minutes.
Nobody told us to speed up or said that we had to leave because we were taking up too much time.
What makes this story worse is they had to wait three months to hold the funeral while tests were performed to determine the cause of death. Taking a little extra time at the funeral after waiting so long seems to be reasonable, especially since they were not inconveniencing anyone else.
The initial reaction most people will have to this story is the same one that the couple had when told they would have to pay the additional fee. That would be outrage.
How could anyone be cruel enough to charge for this?
It should be noted that the fee for running over the allotted time was over two-and-one-half times the standard fee (£32) for a funeral. And this is a fixed fee, regardless of the actual amount of time a party goes over the thirty minutes allowed.
I believe this story tells us something much deeper and profound about the government involving themselves in areas of our life where they simply do not belong. You don’t have to go to Washington to see a heartless, often mindless machine in action. All you have to do is go to a City Council meeting right in your own neighborhood. When government takes over something as personal and private as your healthcare (or deathcare), its only choice is to make it fair, which means no one will be pleased. It will be administrated by government bureaucrats that have no incentive to improve services due to lack of competition. The government workers that implement the plan will not have the authority to take into account special circumstances, so things like this will invariably happen.
I think what bothers me more than anything else, is that we’re being told if we don’t support the current Universal Healthcare Plan being proposed in Washington, it’s because we’re uncaring. Well, in my observation, and has been proven by the anecdotal story above, that’s exactly what happens when the government takes over something that is this personal and private. I want to be free to make decisions about deathcare with my family and my choice of private funeral services companies. These business owners live and work in my neighborhood. Their kids go to the same schools my kids go to. They shop at the same stores and have the same cares and concerns that I do. They also have the incentive to provide excellent service because they know if they don’t I can simply go down the street to find someone who will. Now that’s caring.