Saturday, June 13, 2009

Is Insanity Covered By Obamacare?

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." ~ Albert Einstein, (attributed)

On a personal level, I am in favor of Nationalized Health Care. I mean, who wouldn't prefer free health care over having to pay, even if one only has to pay a small co-payment?

I have a job but my job has no benefits. No pension. No paid vacations or sick leave. No 401k.

And no health or life insurance.

No benefits at all besides a paycheck, which sometimes is quite good, but sometimes not.

But understand, I'm not whining. I knew when I accepted the job there were no benefits. I just thought I would make enough money to buy my own insurance. I was wrong.

I needed a job. I was offered this one. I accepted it. And now, I have to live with the consequences of my decision. I accept that.

For you Liberals out there, that's known as accepting personal responsibility, which I believe is the core of Conservative ideology. I know personal responsibility is a foreign concept to Liberals.

Ah, don't get me started.

I have recently been experiencing intense pain in my left ankle. Sometimes the pain is so extreme, it seems to spread upward into my knee. Sometimes, I can barely walk.

I don't know what's wrong. I don't know how to relieve the pain. Pain pills do nothing. My wife tells me I need to see a doctor, but I can't afford that. She says it could be PAD, or a blood clot, or neuropathy, or a complication from my Diabetes type II, or arthritis.

I don't know. It doesn't matter, anyway. I can't afford treatment.

As an aside, inexplicably, the pain just went away this week, after several weeks of continual pain. It hasn't come back. Yet. Perhaps a prayer was answered. In any case, I'm fine, now.

This is why I say, on a personal level, I am in favor of free health care. Yes. Free health care.

Certainly not Obamacare.

On an intellectual level, I am totally against National Health care. All models of Socialized medicine (for that's what it really is) has failed, and will always fail. Every where it's been tried, it has failed. Why?

Well, to begin with, if health care is free, people will take advantage.

I grew up near McConnell Air Force base in Wichita, Kansas. Many of my friends and classmates were children of Air Force personnel. Health care, (in case any of my readers don't already know this) in the military, is free. Or at least, this is what I understand. Some of my readers who are veterans may need to correct me on this one.

Anyway, I was often surprised at the things my Air Force friends would run off to the emergency room at the Air Base hospital for. Small cuts and bruises. Twisted ankles. Headaches. Colds. Sniffles. It was a ridiculous waste of free services to my mind.

And these services were paid for by the Defense Department. Expenses of the Defense Department are paid for by--guess who?--The American Taxpayers.

Now, imagine this situation amplified to include all Americans (and illegal immigrants, too). Can anyone in their right mind not see the snafu that would ensue if free health care were available to all, regardless of their ability to pay for their own health care?

Can you imagine the incredible amount of tax money that would have to be collected to pay for all these needless expenses? Not to mention the necessary expenses, such as Cancer treatment and medication, etc?

How does the Government propose to cover these enormous expenses?

Well, we can't be absolutely sure, but from the evidence gleaned from actual investigations into the viability of Socialized Medicine in other countries, it would appear that, in order to meet these expenses, Government health care programs are contingent on many varying factors, such as age of the patient, the stage of advancement of the pertinent diseases, the approval of certain types of treatment (including medicine), and a quota on the number of procedures allowed.

These contingencies are to be decided upon by a commission or a board appointed by our beloved leader.

In his book, "Liberty and Tyranny" Author Mark Levin cites a the case of a woman in Oregon, a state that already has a state run health care program. She had an advanced stage of cancer. She wanted a new drug that would help ease her pain, but the state run health commission determined that her cancer was too advanced, and since it was too late to save her life, her request for this medicine was denied.

She did, however, receive an unsigned letter from the health commission, informing her that she was allowed to exercise her right to assisted suicide, which is also legal in Oregon.

This is the kinds of things we can expect under any kind of Government run Nationalized Health Care program in this country.

It's been tried in other countries and even in some states here in America, and it has been found wanting.

What was that quotation I placed at the beginning of this post?

Ah, yes. Insanity.


Jim said...

The US is the ONLY industrialized country in the world without universal health care.

If the US health care system is so great and everything else has failed as you claim, why is the US health care system ranked 37th in the world by the World Health Organization right behind Dominica and Costa Rica? Why is England 18th? Why is Canada 30th? How come Japan's universal health care system is 10th in the world? Why is Italy's national health care system 2nd in the world?

Lone Ranger said...

If the US health care system is so lousy, why do people in countries with universal health care flock here to get treated?

Among women with breast cancer, for example, there's a 46 percent chance of dying from it in Britain, versus a 25 percent chance in the United States. Britain has one of worst survival rates in the advanced world, and America has the best.

If you're a man diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have a 57 percent chance of it killing you in Britain. In the United States, the chance of dying drops to 19 percent. Britain is at the bottom of the class and America is at the top.

Three-quarters of Americans who've had a heart attack are given beta-blocker drugs, compared to fewer than a third in Britain. Similarly, American patients are more likely than British patients to have a heart condition diagnosed with an angiogram, more likely to have an artery widened with angioplasty, and more likely to get back on their feet by way of a by-pass.

On the availability of equipment, Britain has only half as many CT scanners per million people as the United States, and half as many MRI scanners. With lithotripsy units for treating kidney stones, the United States has more than seven times the availability per million of population than Britain.

Not only is the British equipment in short supply, but much of what's there should be loaded up and carted off to the nearest scrap dump. An audit by the World Health Organization, for instance, found that over half of Britain's x-ray machines were past their recommended safe time limit, and more than half the machines in anesthesiology required replacing. Even the majority of operating tables were over 20 years old --- double their life span.

Taken as a whole, Britain's universal healthcare system has evolved into a ramshackle structure where tests are underperformed, equipment is undersupplied, operations are underdone, and medical personnel are overworked, underpaid and overly tied down in red tape. In other words, your chances of coming out of the American medical system alive are dramatically better than in Britain.

Having a diagnosis test beyond an x-ray in Britain tends to be regarded as a rare, extravagant event, only done in cases of obvious, if not desperate, need. In Britain, 36 percent of patients have to wait more than four months for non-emergency surgery. In the U.S., five percent do. In Britain, 40 percent of cancer patients do not see a cancer specialist.

On how things work in an individual case, Peggy, an American radiologist, who went to Britain to meet her English boyfriend's family. While she was there, her boyfriend's father found blood in his urine and went to a local National Health Service hospital in which no CT scans or cystoscopy tests were done. The patient had asthma and laid in his hospital bed with breathing difficulties but still didn't see a specialist. He was told it would take six weeks. Short of the six weeks, he was discharged from the hospital. Back home, before his appointment with a consultant came up, he died of an asthma attack.

Peggy was "surprised at how ‘accepting' her boyfriend's family was." What she saw was an unexpected passivity, a lethal submissiveness to systemic incompetence and tragedy, a reaction that seemed poles apart from how things happen in the United States. She didn't say too much because she did not want to come across as a pushy, arrogant American but she was thinking that ‘in America we'd go nuts if we were told we would have to wait six weeks to see a specialist. Expectations are so much higher.'"

As a footnote on Canada, the average wait for a simple MRI is three months. In Manitoba, the median wait for neurosurgery is 15.2 months. For chemotherapy in Saskatchewan, patients can expect to be in line for 10 weeks. At last report, 10,000 breast cancer patients who waited an average of two months for post-operation radiation treatments have filed a class action lawsuit against Quebec's hospitals.

Yeah, universal health care. What the government does best.

Mark said...

Liberal Jim, I can't respond to that without knowing where you got your info. Provide citation please. And I don't mean Daily Kos, HuffPo, or DU either.

Gayle said...

Mark, I'm glad to hear that your knee pain has disappeared. I hope it always remains a mystery and never returns!

I'm with you and the Lone Ranger. I've read far too many horror stories like the one you told in this excellent post, and I know enough about government run institutions to understand how badly the government screws everything up. I also realize that free health care would only result in shortages of doctors and medicines and life-saving techniques aren't going to be used on the elderly and infirm. It would be a horror story, just like it is in Canada and England.

Lone Ranger said...

Actually, we don't have to study Britain and Canada to see how bad government health care is. Just look at the nearest Indian reservation.
Liberals seem to have a death wish.

Marshall Art said...


It's not a matter of our health care system being great. It's a matter of turning to something that will make it worse and more expensive in the long run. The main problem with EVERY health care system these days is the low level of personal responsibility. One way to reduce health care costs is to make sure that one's budget allows for quality supplementation in order to insure that one's body receives the proper nutrition it needs to ward off disease. Taking an interest in understanding one's own body will keep most people out of the health care system and living healthy lives.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Mark, I am in the same boat as you, except I do have Medicare since I am on Social Security, but it is very limited. When I have pains, I just hope and pray that they will go away. My health is my responsibility and I don't want or need Obama's help, especially when everyone else will have to pay for it.

Trader Rick said...

Great Blog!

Cameron said...

"The US is the ONLY industrialized country in the world without universal health care."

A fact which has caused our high prices. But not in the way you likely think.

Mark said...

OK, Liberal Jim, since you wouldn't supply a source, I googled a direct quote from your comment and found an article from the WHo. It says:

"WHO's assessment system was based on five indicators: overall level of population health; health inequalities (or disparities) within the population; overall level of health system responsiveness (a combination of patient satisfaction and how well the system acts); distribution of responsiveness within the population (how well people of varying economic status find that they are served by the health system); and the distribution of the health system's financial burden within the population (who pays the costs)."

Read that paragraph carefully. The rankings are based on opinion!

Distribution of the health system's financial burden within the population? Doesn't the results depend on who they asked?

Hey, Jim, I bet I can go out and ask welfare recipients if they are satisfied with the amount of money they get from the Government and find that the government ranks behind the entire world in satisfaction with the government!

In other words, the study is relative. The results can easily be manipulated to attain the desired results.

Your study is worthless. Let's talk about real life problems.

Pamela D. Hart said...

Mark: I’ve been trying to make the point about rationing on my blog for 2 weeks now. The Left doesn’t want to hear it. I also said they need to stop following Obama so blindly and ask some serious questions. My favorite quote: If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. No one challenged me on THAT, however.

I’m glad your mysterious ankle pain has disappeared and I hope it never comes back. Being in pain is horrible. I can empathize with you. I am in pain 24/7; even with health care. There is no cure for my dis-order. I make the best of it because it could always be worse and I’m thankful my kids are healthy.

Lone Ranger said...

There are two types of liberals -- the deceivers and the deceived. Looks like you just caught a deceiver, Mark.

EL said...

Healthcare for the military, on military bases, has been free to military personnel and their dependents for as long as I can remember. With one caveat.

The quality of doctors may have improved since I was a kid, but having said that... when I was a kid the common thread of conversation was that it was better to see a civilian doctor. Military doctors just weren't up to snuff. But it was free, and not overly burdensome to the US Budget. After all, it was just the military getting free healthcare, not the entire population of some 200 million (as of 1979).

Even at that, the military hospital would send you to a civilian hospital lickity-split if it was something very serious...

The recognized their limitations. Same cannot be said for Slobbering Barney and Co.

Krystal said...

A business associate of mine in Cananda nearly died from pnuemonia. She was told SIX WEEKS to see a doctor. Someone drove her two hours to an ER in the states. She had double pnuemonia and would have been dead in 24 hours.

She was in her late twenties.

She told me that if the States ever did what Canada did (ie, national health care), we'd all regret it.

Jim said...

Krystal, nobody in their right mind would believe your story.

Mark said...

Liberal Jim, if you'd listen to any news that isn't in the tank for Obama, you'd hear many, many stories like Krystal's. They are all over the place. Just like the one I mentioned in this post. Time and time again, Socialized medicine, or some sort of Nationalized health care puts people at risk due to the long waits and denial of essential services and medication.

It makes sense when you think about it. If free health care is available to everyone, everyone will use it for everything from a tummy ache to cancer. The waiting rooms will be clogged constantly.

Plus, due to the fact that doctors and nurses will be receiving less compensation for much more work, many will leave the profession, creating an even bigger logjam of patients waiting for health care.

Young men and women will stop entering med school because they will want to enter a profession more fiduciarily advantageous to them, so the availability of health practitioners will drop precipitously.

Plus, with some board or commission running health care, some essential drugs and services must, because of bureaucratic procedure and rigid rules, be denied.

Now, Liberal Jim, use a little common sense. If there are less doctors, medication and services, and more patients, how can that add up to efficiency?

And that doesn't even touch on the added tax burden on all of us.

You want free health care? Well, surprise! So do I. It is available. It's called Medicaid. Medicaid is available to people who have to prove (By first going through miles of red tape and jumping through many hoops) they can't afford health care or health insurance.

And it is a model of government ineffieciency.

Before you start assuming Nationalized health care will be a good thing for America, try getting some health care from Medicaid or any of the other countries you envy so much.