quality than hundreds of other similarphysicians in our area. Yet, she has a slowbut constant stream of Europeans andCanadians flying into our medium-size cityand coming to her group for proper care,which they cannot obtain back home andfor which they are willing to pay cash.In Canada, non-acute cases wait inline, but aren’t emergencies taken care of?Here is a media report from Toronto a fewweeks ago, “Every night neurosurgeons areon call in a handful of hospitals in Toronto.They field calls from physicians across thecity and the province. These doctors des-perately need to transfer patients and oftenminutes count, for instance in a patient witha brain hemorrhage. But very frequentlyinadequate resources block the door. Thereis no bed left in the intensive care unit.Other hospitals are called. Time is wastedand sometimes as a life-saving measure thepatient is sent to Buffalo, New York, wherebeds and care are readily available.”President Obama would bring allAmericans into a socialized medicalscheme, but before mimicking Canada andEurope, we should look more closely atthese countries. If so, we will find that inmany ways they are now turning away fromgovernment medicine and back to privatecare. In the Canadian province of BritishColumbia, private clinics now perform80% of government-funded diagnostic test-ing. In Britain, commenting on its social-ized medicine scheme, the labor govern-ment’s spokesperson recently said, “Thebig trouble with the state monopoly is thatit builds in massive inefficiencies and aninward looking culture.” In an attempt toremedy some of this built-in culture, theprivate sector in Britain now provides about5% of its non-emergency procedures andthe current socialist labor governmenthopes to triple that.
What is the Cost?
Originally President Obama esti-mated the cost at over 600 billion dollars.Now everyone agrees it is more than 1 tril-lion with other astute observers like SenatorHatch saying it will exceed 1.5 trillion. Insame treatment. For too longwe have been locked into having mostof our workers get their health care throughpayroll deductions at their places of employment. This has sharp limitations of quality, portability and accessibility. Wemust de-couple health insurance from pay-roll deductions and transfer it directly toeach family.We need more freedom, ratherthan more government, in the Americanhealth care system. The need has neverbeen greater. Reform should begin byallowing people to own their own healthinsurance, certainly not by a governmentbureaucracy managing a compulsory, inef-ficient and inevitably rationed governmentprogram. So the answer is shifting the costfrom the level of the provider down to theindividual and family level. Everyoneshould be able to get a defined level of basic health insurance but through a differ-ent mechanism. Ascheme that would giveto each citizen a certain sum of money withwhich they would obtain private care mightwell be the solution. If you manage yourown care, you would be able to keep thedollars that you didn’t spend because youwould do it more efficiently. If each year, aperson was delegated such a sum whichthey could save in a segregated account,they might think twice before going to theemergency room for a minor problem.They just might be able to seek out a cheap-er care giver. If such funds would accumu-addition to this, Mr. Obama’s plans callfor adding nutrition counseling, obesi-ty screening, wellness programs, in-school physical fitness, more nutritiousschool lunches, bike paths, walking pathsand the establishment of grocery stores inunderserved areas. Where is all this moneycoming from? Apparently, from govern-ment printing presses, increasingly suffo-cating taxes and, (hold your breath) 400 bil-lion dollars in cuts to Medicare and Medi-caid (which have insufficient funding now).An interesting aspect of the costfactor is that while expenditures for healthcare in the US have continued to rise, costfor food, appliances, computers, etc. havedropped so that money previously spent forthese other things is now being spent forhealth care with the overall totals remainingabout the same.
Feb. 2008 report of the National Health Statistics Group of the federal government’sCenter for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
Another very telling fact that hasrecently surfaced is the admission by thearchitects of the Democrat Health Plan thatit would not cover all citizens, but only aportion.
It seems obvious that Mr. Obama’splan involves a slow nationwide dummyingdown of the care that is now available inthis country. We are bombarded by repeti-tious numbers of how many people do nothave health insurance in the US. What weare not told is that no one goes without care.These people go to a hospital emergencyroom for care. This, however, is extremelyinefficient. Government bureaucrats inthese other countries have cut costs, butonly by shrinking access to health care andin many cases, creating nightmares of over-flowing emergency rooms and year-longwaits for treatment.Does America need a bettermodel? Yes, but let’s not look to Canada ormost of Europe. In other fields such astelecommunications, retail, deregulationand market competition have driven pricesdown and driven quality and productivityup. Health care is long overdue for the
1821 W. Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45239Phone: 513.729.3600E-mail:email@example.com· www.lifeissues.orgPresident & Publisher J.C. Willke, MDEditor in Chief Bradley MattesDesign Andrew W. MellishThe official quarterly publication of Life Issues Institute.Vol. 18 Number 2 Subscription $25.Life Issues Institute, Inc. 2009
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AUGUST 2009 LIFE ISSUESCONNECTOR
Mandating Tax Funding for Abortions
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