Sketchbook: Socialized healthcare

What can 70’s sci-fi tell us about the future?



 This unfinished cartoon is a play on the 70’s sci-fi classic starring Michael York and Jenny Agguter. The basic premise is that everyone gets to live a life free of worries where food and sex are freely available, plastic surgery is state of the art and the only thing you can’t do is grow old. When you turn 30 you must attend carousel and be "renewed". Of course, the people think that the renewed are re-born, but we learn that they are really just killed. Sure, other countries have socialized medicine and it isn’t the worst thing imaginable. Just remember, slavery existed long before the birth of America and we found a way to make it worse than in any other time in history. War existed long before America and we gave birth to the Atomic Bomb. America takes everything to the extreme — I have two predictions for our American future: Blood sports on television and "coerced" euthanasia. If every new reality show has to be something newer and edgier than the last, then blood sports are coming. Under a government managed healthcare system the value of a person is the cost of their care compared to the average — If your disease costs too much then we will find a way to avoid the cost. Never forget, governments deal in numbers, averages and cost/benefit analyses. 

"Soylent green is made of people!" Different movie, but same sentiment. 

 I’m not bashing the President or his ideas. I begrudgingly agree that some of his ideas are downright revolutionary (in a good way), but (and this is a big one) we Americans tend to be a little short-tempered and have a bit of an attention deficit. Perhaps in a few decades when China is the dominant economy in the world and we have some breathing room we can slow down and do things right. For now — status quo.


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