Wednesday, August 08, 2007
In their misguided attempts to steer the American Publics view away from the truly serious impact of Illegal Immigration, the Democrats are trying to dazzle their political base with talk of nationalized health care. Whoever wins their nomination can expect this to be the centerpiece of their platform. Let me outline some of the reasons that this is a BAD IDEA.
1. Americans are naive. They look at loosely organized documentaries and rather than questioning the validity of this idea or that, they accept it even at its most outrageous. "Sicko" glossed over many of the more egregious problems with Canadian national health. Those problems have led their court system to allow private insurance because of the failure of citizens to receive adequate care in a timely manner. In one example a Canadian was denied services over 40 times for a hernia operation. In the end he came to....you guessed it...The United States and got surgery. Likewise many Canadians find themselves without doctors due to the many doctors who feel compelled to leave Canadian health care systems due to lack of income as well as lack of truely adequate care. Nobody in the healthcare field likes to see people suffering needlessly. But that is what happens when you ration care.
Americans, being the idiots we often are, will demand the same type of care that they recieve now, which is impossible when you are giving care to anyone that walks in the door. We don't have the capacity, we don't have the staffing, we simply do not have the money. Democrats like to veil this as a deficiency of action, but you cannot force people to become doctors or nurses, nor should you. If the income for these rigorous careers goes down due to federal limitations and ever higher malpractice insurance rates, do you think you will see a spike in applicants? Didn't think so.
2. The cost of nationalized health care is staggering. If you enjoy paying more for less care, then it probably won't bother you. But some of the tax rates for the role model nations are truly more than I think the American public realizes. The Democrats are doing their best to make this seem like something which can be cheaply and easily funded. One of the nations they love to trot out is Denmark. Denmark has cradle to grave service. And for that they pay 68% of their income in taxes. That is more than double what the top wage earners pay right now. So look at your pay stub, look at the withdrawals for Social Security and taxes and DOUBLE IT. Can you live on that income? Most people cannot. While other nations like to trot our their comparative "bang for the buck" with nationalized care, they don't have any way of accounting for what amounts to health care rationing. Likewise, treatments that are pretty much an on demand issue, such as hernia surgery or gall bladder surgery is sometimes postponed, causing those who can afford it to go somewhere else, or to acquire private insurance, which according the Democrats, we can't afford anyway.
3. There is NO SECURITY IN OUR SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM. And by that I mean that we MUST have rock solid individual identification in order to get service. If American taxpayers are footing the bill, they aren't going to be too happy if the 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants jump in line. Likewise, as identity theft is causing economic havoc for individuals, how can HIPPA laws be adequately addressed on a national level if you have NO IDEA WHO THE PATIENT REALLY IS? If we have the vaunted national system, that would include a databank that would have everyone's medical history. If you are a retired secretary in Michagan going in for reconstructive bladder surgery, it's going to be difficult to reconcile that you just left the maternity ward in San Diego. And that, is part and partial of why this is an amazingly draconian task.
4. Americans live in a very mobile and open society. If we don't like our doctors, dentists or PA's we find others that suffice. That may not be the case with a nationalize plan. In fact, to be truly effective the plan would have to resemble the Kaiser program rather than the conventional HMO or PPO programs we have now. In fact to be truly efficient, they would create regional centers at hospitals and assign people to specific gateway physicians. I am not sure that that will work for many people who are used to going to the doctor they like the best.
5. I am not sure that the medical stats in terms of personal expenditure are all that accurate. I know people who take plastic surgery, the meds associated as well as other loosely attached medical procedures off taxes as medical expenditure. If that is the amount people are using to demonstrate our expenditure per citizen, then I am not sure how accurate that truly is.
6. The cost of drugs has risen along with the rise in lawsuit payouts. While I understand that when people get harmed or die as the result of bad medicine, it's a tragedy and they deserve compensation, our legal system has gone too far addressing this making trial lawyers into millionaires while the true victims get a mere pittance. You have seen the ads and so have I for trial lawyers looking for cases to force a class action suit. That's wrong, but it's happening. In the end what this has done is force malpractice insurance rates through the roof, forcing some specialties virtually out of business. Likewise the factories that make drugs are forced to downsize, close their doors and move to Europe or China or somewhere where their existence isn't under attack. Do you really want medications made in China or some other nation where their is little or no oversight? Yet during the last Great Flu Pandemic Scare, flu vaccine had to be imported because our remaining factories could not generate vaccine quickly enough. People seem schizophrenic in this regard-they want total safety in everything all the time BUT they want the newest medication off the line. You can't have it both ways. But Americans have become critically dumb on this topic.
7. The media has to shoulder a good deal of the blame for the way Americans panic in reaction to every medical whim or fancy. Every day on the news there's some other food that will make you healthy, make you die, make you fat, make you thin, counteract Alzheimers or raise your IQ and there is absolutely NO AGREEMENT ON ANY OF THESE "FACTS". I think reporters on slow newsdays cruise the latest medical journals for obscure trivia they can milk for air time. Think back to Bird Flu, or Legionnaires Disease, or Lyme Disease or any of countless number of syndromes, diseases or problems that the media in its curiosity likes to flaunt as "common and could be coming to your home." Oh please. I know people have these diseases, but the hype is overdone and the result is an American public that doesn't think it can eat anything safely, and so eats EVERYTHING because when you are faced with certain death, What the Hell does it matter that you had a cheeseburger WITH FRIES.
What I find especially worrisome is that attitude that our health is just in our hands. And by that I mean the attitude that whatever your flaws-asthmatic, smoker, overweight-you are to be punished for it. I am one of those people who has struggled through various diets, programs and drills for years in order to lose weight. Now I hear that there's a company in Indiana that will fine people such as me, further condemning and confiring society's opinion of how those of us that are overweight are simply stupid and lazy. If I were of a minority race or religion I would have legal support to sue the pants off such obvious bigotry. But with a rampantly liberal nationalized system, I could see that happening on a national basis. Fat taxes, smoker taxes, drinker taxes....frankly it is far more scary than anything I read in "1984." And the zeal with which the Democrats are approaching this issue should cause all kinds of warning bells to go off in your head. Unless you are just another one of the drones that would prefer to have the government control your life cradle to grave.