God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Monday, October 24, 2005


All of you who think the government should be in charge of the health care system in the United States, take a gander at this article:

Toronto — Health ministers from across the country say they will establish by a December deadline the first targets for how long people must wait to be treated for such ailments as cancer and joint replacements. But it was unclear how extensive the list will be and how much it will help patients.

"How many [benchmarks] there are will depend on the evidence in a number of areas that we have," federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said yesterday after a weekend meeting with his provincial and territorial counterparts.

"If you ask me if we'll have 20 benchmarks in the area of cancer, I will tell you no, from what I know now, because it is a very sophisticated, complex area," he said. "But we will have some benchmarks in all areas."

They'll be using "scientifically based benchmarks for waiting times" for treatment. That's what happens when bureaucrats get involved in medicine. How would you like to be suffering from cancer, only to be told to take a number and wait? Our system isn't perfect, but it's damn sure better than a "que up and die" system.

It sort of reminds me of Disneyland when they used coupons. In the early days of Disneyland, you didn't just pay a general admission fee, you had to buy tickets for the rides too. Ride Coupons, often called tickets, were required to go on most attractions at Disneyland. There were A, B, C, D, and E tickets. A being the worst ticket, for the more slow rides, and E, being the best ticket, used for more thrilling attractions.

Gotta wart? that'll be an "A" coupon - get in line. Gotta clogged artery? That'll be a "C" coupon - get in line. Whoa! Cancer? That's definitely an "E" coupon - say a prayer and get in line.

The National Center for Policy Analysis (a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, established in 1983 with the goal to develop and promote private alternatives to government regulation and control) says of national healthcare plans that: "Countries with national health insurance make health care "free" to patients and at the same time limit spending and access to modern medical technology. As a result, there is widespread rationing, bureaucratic inefficiency and a lower quality of care." Just some of the tidbits from their report - Twenty Myths About National Health Insurance:
  • A citizen of the United States is twice as likely to have open heart surgery as a Canadian and four times as likely as a Briton.
  • Although computer scanning (in place of conventional x-ray) is routine diagnostic procedure in the United States, a patient in Ontario can wait as long as a year and four months for an MRI scan.
  • Britain, where the CAT scanner was invented, has one of the lowest rates of CAT scanner use in western Europe.
  • The most recent studies of kidney dialysis show that more than a fifth of dialysis centers in Europe and almost half in England have refused to treat patients over 65 years of age.
  • Despite 20 years of promises in Canada, the distribution of physicians per capita among the provinces varies by almost three to one and within Ontario by a factor of more than four to one.
  • While more than 250,000 people wait for surgery in Canada, at any point in time almost one in five hospital beds is empty and a fourth of all beds is being used by nursing home patients.
  • As Canadian waiting lists for surgery grow, increasing numbers of Canadians are coming to the United States for health care.

Many nations, including Britain, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands are moving to decentralize healthcare and open it to the free market. How many people will have to die in line before people realize that government bureaucracy isn't the best way to ensure access to medical care?


Blue Cross of California 1/20/2006 04:56:00 PM  

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system as we are in a major crisis and health insurance is a major aspect to many.

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