Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hooray for universal heath care!

Universal health care sounds like a great idea, doesn't it? After all, who could be so heartless that they don’t want people to have health care? Why can’t we just be more like Britain or Canada?

We must be careful what we ask for:

The British National Heath Service recently promised “to reduce wait times for hospital care to four months.”

“The wait to see dentists is so long that some Brits pull their own teeth.”

“One hospital tried to save money by not changing bed sheets every day.”

When Canadian Karen Jepp “was about to give birth to quadruplets last month, she was told that all the neonatal units she could go to in Canada were too crowded. She flew to Montana to have the babies.”

Canadian doctor David Gratzer says, “The more time I spent in the Canadian system, the more I came across people waiting. You want to see your neurologist because of your stress headache? No problem! You just have to wait six months. You want an MRI? No problem! Free as the air! You just gotta wait six months."

Want universal health care? Evaluate what the candidates are selling very carefully and watch what you ask for. You may just get it.

Please read the rest in John Stossel’s short, but outstanding article on Townhall.


Robert said...

I see UHC as coming eventually because everyone wants something "free". Unfortunately, they don't recognize that it won't be free and it won't be nearly as good as the system we have now. In reading about the Canadian MP Belinda Stonach who espoused Canadian health care as fantastic (and voted to prevent privatization) then chose to have her cancer treatment in the US. This really revealed what the rest of the world knows: UHC is not about making everyone have coverage; it's about equalizing the quality of coverage. There is only one way to do that; make everyone's coverage suck. You should read the posters commenting on her story.

Posters talked about long wait times for serious things like cancer. One woman said she had to wait 10.5 weeks to see a specialist for a lump in her breast, she said:
While living in the USA several years ago I found a lump in my breast. I went to the doctor the next day, she had me in for a ultrasound and mam the very next day. We are now living in Canada again, this time my doctor here found a lump, she sent me to a specialist ( 10 1/2 weeks it took), still haven't had a mam. This Canadian system is scary, and needs to be fixed! I too if I had the money would seek treatment in the USA.

Yeah, I'm not thrilled about paying huge premiums every month, but my doctor is great and my health care is great. If I need an MRI, I can get in some time this week at the multitude of facilities. There is no doubt that there are things that can be improved, but almost all the problems can be addressed by taking the shackles off the free market. Introducing UHC will mean the demise of our service oriented system. Is it perfect? Far from it! But Michael Moore aside, it’s the envy of the world.

In the end, we need to ask ourselves this question:

Do you want to a system in which the system makes money by treating you or do you want a system where it costs the provider to treat you?

professor ed said...

Right on Robert! May I add that I wish politicians, and the media, would stop using the "40 million un-insured Americans" figure. Among other fallacies, this figure includes Americans who currently do not want insurance, usually becacuse they are young and healthy.

Dennis said...

What are you talking about Robert? Haven't you heard of our massive emigration problem in which millions of Americans are fleeing our country in search of a better life and health care in other countries.......oh, wait. Guess I've got that backwards :-)

Excellent post!