Monday, June 8, 2009

Health care stretched thin... and then you die

* * *

National health care.

Health care for everyone sounds wonderful, right? Most people in this country have access to good medical care, arguably the best in the world, but a portion are without it. Some of these uninsured folks are here illegally, some legally.

Some people automatically think socializing medicine is a good idea because then everyone can access medical care. And we all live happily ever after.

Maybe it sounds good if you don't look at it too closely. Setting aside for the moment the basic philosophy of what and how much of any endeavor should be run by a federal bureaucracy, and who on our soil should receive such care and who pays for it, I suggest we remove our rose-colored glasses and take a look.

What will socialized medicine really mean? Universal health care isn't an untested concept; we have only to take an unblinking look at Canada or the UK.

The subject is a very complex one, and this blog post doesn't pretend to address all the practical, legal, political, and ethical aspects of this issue. I'm not an expert by any means, but rather am a concerned citizen-- as you should be-- gathering pertinent information. Concerned probably isn't strong enough of a word; more accurately, I am alarmed. And I don't alarm too easily.

Let's start with some basic facts. The bottom line is, there are a finite number of doctors and nurses out there. Extending health care to everyone means stretching this finite resource. As Thomas Sowell so often reminds us in another context, it's all about choices. Everything has a price.

We can't wave a magic wand and create a medical professional work force overnight.

And to compound the problem, are your doctor and his/her associates going to quit their practices in disgust when, under such a system, they can no longer provide the quality of care their conscience allows? Some doctors have already made this very promise.

And what happens to medical research?

Remember, when costs are cut, this means income is cut for health care professionals-- hardly an enticement to enter the field.

Do you really want to allow our federal government to deliver health care coverage? The claim is it won't replace private care, but this is the deadly lie. Simply put, private health care will be run out of business. But don't take my word for it: (scroll down to June 5 blog post)

These choices carry a predictable end result that no amount of wishful thinking can mitigate.

I'm sorry, sir. We can't do anything about your wife's colon cancer.

Here's something else I've found on the subject. The video quality is a bit imperfect, but this gentleman brings up several valid points, including the irreversible nature of this entitlement:

Just something to think about, but don't take too long. Like the colon cancer that kills far more people in Canada than it does here in the US-- for reasons seemingly related only to health care services-- the clock is ticking.

I know we're all worried about a dozen other serious issues right now, but this one is coming right at us in the upcoming weeks.

If we allow this utopian fantasy to unfold, health care will ultimately become a matter of bureaucrats deciding who lives and dies. Is this how our great country will end up? There are already serious discussions in the UK about which people will need to be taken off of medical support.

And our own postmodern civil servants mull it over too.

This is an actual interview with direct quotes:

Is this really happening here?

Respectfully submitted,

b. giguere

* * *

Update: I just found a highly detailed and well-written discussion of this subject by someone with a humbling direct knowledge and experience, published on June 1 at a site called The Liberty Tree Lantern. Well worth reading.

And finally, the Wall Street Journal:

* * *