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Monday, August 25, 2008

A Liberal's Idea of Compassionate Health Care

Liberals promote socialized medicine as the answer to all our health care problems, and presidential candidate Barack Obama is certainly no exception.

According to these worshippers of the government-god, we should entrust our health care system (and our lives and health with it) to the same people who have done such a great, efficient, compassionate job with the IRS, the Transportation Safety Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, Medicare, Social Security, and so on.

The Chicago Sun-Times brings us a glimpse of what we might expect from our health care system if we give Barack and Michelle Obama a chance to get their hands on it.

Barack's wife Michelle, who is on unpaid leave from her $317,000-a-year job as a vice president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, came up with a patient-shuffling system that steers poor folk away from this wonderful medical center to other, more "poor friendly" facilities in the area. They even provided a shuttle bus to shuffle these undesirables off to other facilities.

What, these poor folk aren't good enough for a prestigious medical facility? The fact that these poor folk aren't backed by the big bucks of medical insurance providers renders them ineligible for UC medical care?

I thought liberals were supposed to be the "compassionate" ones. I thought liberals were the ones demanding we reach out and help the poor, regardless of whether they have insurance, regardless of whether they can pay or not.

Or is that just smack talk to shame people into coughing up more taxpayer dollars for big government bureaucracy?

As someone who lived under the yoke of socialized medicine for three years in England, I've seen first hand how grossly inefficient it is. Bloated and weighed down with bureaucracy, the system reacts to change like an aircraft carrier turns on a dime. Hypochondriac citizens overburden the system with complaints that could be better handled on their own, "but it's 'free.'" There is no incentive for doctors to work harder or be better doctors because they're all locked in the same communist-style system where there are no rewards for hard work...and little punishment for incompetence. And who hasn't heard of the deadly waiting lists that are months long?

Yet somehow, the wealthy and the powerful, even in highly socialized nations like Great Britain, always manage to get the really good health care. They can fly to other countries, they can take advantage of the small private sector medicine that still exists, or they can mysteriously go to the head of the line.

In reality, the egalitarian dream is just that: a dream. As it is today in every Marxist regime around the world, and as it was in the old Soviet Union, there are always the "haves" and the "have nots." As George Orwell put it, "All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others."

Is this what Barack and Michelle Obama, and other liberals, have in mind for the United States health care system? I have no doubt that it is.

Our system has serious problems, and is no one's idea of perfect. But rather than push our system closer to the decadent, inefficient socialist model, we need to be moving it back toward a free market model where the consumer is more involved in his own health care decisions.

No system will ever be perfect in our perfect world, but we've had plenty of examples to show us the liberal plan is a dead end street paved with broken promises.


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Liberals don't understand that if we just deny health care to some we can avoid rationing for all. What are they just stupid?

Dr. Theo said...

There can never be "free" health care any more than there can be free universal housing or food or clothing. There will have to be constraints on health care utilization. The way it's done in Canada and the UK is by making the system complicated and difficult to access and then limiting services. I work in an area of medicine that is essentially socialized, free care to all--an emergency room. Between the heart attacks and strokes and broken hips and trauma and surgical emergencies, ours, and every ER in the country is swamped with headaches, dental pain, back pains, chronic pains of all sorts, under-nourished and poorly cared for children, psychiatric issues, and on and on. Easily, 60% of what is being done in most ERs is other than emergencies, and most of these are not compensated or under-compensated. Strangely, the vast majority of these non-emergency problems are only amenable to Xanax, Vicodin, oxycodone and Dilaudid.

Ten years ago I had a heart transplant after spending over ten months in the hospital. Even with insurance, I lost almost all my accumulated wealth, with the exception of my home and family. At fifty years of age I had to start over and I thank God that I have been blessed with the ability to provide for my family and get some of my life back. I am also thankful that I live in a free country where this was possible. In Canada and most countries of Western Europe I would never have qualified for a transplant and would have been allowed to die, thereby saving the system over 1 million dollars!

In you're is wondering if anyone other than a "rich doctor" would have gotten the care that I received, just weeks after my transplant an unemployed and uninsured laborer's wife suffered a viral myocarditis and required and received the exact treatment that I got. (This was at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.)

We don't need or want universal healthcare. We need to control the misuse and abuse of the medical system, and making individuals responsible and active participants in their healthcare is the way to a rational and humane system. Medical Savings Accounts go a long way in the right direction but get little attention because they put responsiblity and power in the hands of individuals, which is anathema to big-government liberals and bureaucrats.

Anonymous said...

Funny. I left the US and moved to the UK in large part because I couldn't afford medical care or health insurance in the US. I have a good job and get great care here. I will never go back.

Bob Ellis said...

If you prefer socialism to freedom...bye.

 
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