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IQ: To Your Health! 

The El Paso County Health Department monitors air quality, enforces sanitary and safety regulations for food and child-care facilities, provides immunizations, tests for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV -- in short, stuff we rely on every single day. But critics -- many of whom are financially well off with health insurance from their (sometimes government) jobs -- complain that government-funded provision of health-care services to the working poor, indigent and elderly is socialized medicine.

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Sean Goodspeed
PPCC student
North-central

What is socialized medicine? State-sponsored health care.

Is Medicare socialized medicine? It's government-sponsored distribution of services. Generally, I say the less government the better, but I think there are programs the government should provide to ensure public health and safety.

What would improve the local Health Department? I've worked in the restaurant business and some of the inspectors weren't very rigorous in their inspection.

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James Houk
Landscape architect
Shook's Run

When did you last use Health Department services? I have no idea.

What does the Health Dept. do? It oversees public services linked to sanitary and health issues.

What is socialized medicine? Medicine that utilizes shared funding, research and financial resources. It has pluses and minuses.

Are Health Department services socialized medicine? It depends on your philosophical hat. In my opinion, we have a responsibility to our neighbors, rich or poor. I wouldn't say what the Health Department does is socialized medicine.

Is Medicare socialized medicine? It leans in that direction, but it's a responsibility we have to our neighbors.

What could improve the Health Department? Doing a better job of educating public about the services they provide and how that impacts the taxpayer and the community.

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Michael Hadley
Painting contractor
Peregrine

What does the Health Department do? It provides access to health care for people who don't have it through other channels.

Do you personally benefit from Health Department services? I was a member of the group that formulated the Smoking in Public Places ordinance.

Is socialized medicine good, bad or neutral? Socialized medicine would have an extremely detrimental effect on society because it would unleash unlimited demand without the resources to pay for it.

Would you say that providing health services to the working poor, elderly or indigent is socialized medicine? No. Society has a responsibility to help those who work but can't afford standard health care. Even still, the government shouldn't be in charge of providing all services to everyone.

Is Medicare socialized medicine? It's an aspect, yes.

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