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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Jumping Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire With Obamacare

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent piece out on socialized medicine and the examples show in other countries and asks a simple question:

Why are they rushing into a system of government-dominated health care when the very countries that have experienced it for so long are backing away?

I myself have asked that question consistently on this blog, here in October of 2007, made the point again here in 2008 and in a piece written in May 2009 titled "Learning from other people's mistakes."

The Wall Street Journal piece from today was written by Dr. Gratzer, a physician and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

He gives clear examples of Canada backing away from a public system because it is unsustainable and patients do not get the treatments, sometimes life saving treatments they need.

Only half of ER patients are treated in a timely manner by national and international standards, according to a government study. The physician shortage is so severe that some towns hold lotteries, with the winners gaining access to the local doc.

This is a window into time, where we could be looking at America if Obama has his way.

Overall, according to a study published in Lancet Oncology last year, five-year cancer survival rates are higher in the U.S. than those in Canada. Based on data from the Joint Canada/U.S. Survey of Health (done by Statistics Canada and the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics), Americans have greater access to preventive screening tests and have higher treatment rates for chronic illnesses. No wonder: To limit the growth in health spending, governments restrict the supply of health care by rationing it through waiting. The same survey data show, as June and Paul O'Neill note in a paper published in 2007 in the Forum for Health Economics & Policy, that the poor under socialized medicine seem to be less healthy relative to the nonpoor than their American counterparts.

Ironically, as the U.S. is on the verge of rushing toward government health care, Canada is reforming its system in the opposite direction. In 2005, Canada's supreme court struck down key laws in Quebec that established a government monopoly of health services. Claude Castonguay, who headed the Quebec government commission that recommended the creation of its public health-care system in the 1960s, also has second thoughts. Last year, after completing another review, he declared the system in "crisis" and suggested a massive expansion of private services -- even advocating that public hospitals rent facilities to physicians in off-hours.

(Emphasis mine)

Canada is not the only country referenced in the WSJ piece, so go read the entire thing.

NOTE- Going beyond the substandard treatment that socialized medicines offers, remember the news from yesterday which showed that Obama's healthcare plan mimics Medicare, which has just been reported to be unsustainable unless we raise American's payroll taxes 134 percent.

In a related piece of welcome news, it looks like the Blue Dog Democrats are "backsliding" on their overall support of a public system.

Conservative House Democrats agreed to a set of health care principles late last week that angered advocates of a overhaul of the health care system.

The Blue Dog Coalition issued a statement that said it would only support the public health care option as a fallback measure that would be triggered sometime down the road if private insurers don't meet a particular set of goals.

The backsliding took advocates of reform by surprise because 20 members of the coalition had previously signed a pledge expressing their support for a public option without a trigger......

Perhaps their constituents should make some more phone calls and let them know we have no desire jump out of the frying pan and straight into the fire with Barack Obama.

Usually when you see a burning building, you run out, help people get out, you don't rush into the flames and you sure as hell don't encourage others to do so.