(If you’re just joining this series, feel free to read the previous installments.)
Check Your Health Care Premises (Part 3)
Over the first two articles, we’ve come to two conclusions:
- 1. Our once magnificent healthcare system is broken.
- 2. Government is the one that broke it (and, amazingly enough, is being asked by the multitude to fix it).
So, now let’s look at the solution of Universal Healthcare. Basically, this means that Americans would be taxed even more than they currently are, however, at least everyone would have coverage and access to “free*” health care.
Except that what I just said is not completely true. In fact, it’s far from true. Note the italicized word, “access” (I cover the “free*” part at the end of the article). Actually, what people will have is access to a waiting list. They will have access to having a bureaucrat who doesn’t know or love them deciding if the ill they (or their children) are suffering rates a visit to the doctor, an operation or treatment of any kind. There is nothing “conspiracy theory-ish” about this. We know it’s true because we see it regularly within those countries that already have Universal Health Care.
There is a huge difference between access to a list and access to actual health care!
In a column in the Los Angeles Times, Michael Tanner and Michael Cannon wrote:
Simply saying that people have health insurance is meaningless. Many countries provide universal insurance but deny critical procedures to patients who need them. Britain’s Department of Health reported in 2006 that at any given time, nearly 975,000 Britons are waiting for admission to National Health Service hospitals and shortages force the cancellation of more than 50,000 operations each year. In Sweden, the wait for heart surgery can be as long as 25 weeks, and the average wait for hip replacement surgery is more than a year. Many of these individuals suffer chronic pain, and judging by the numbers, some will probably die awaiting treatment. In a 2005 ruling of the Canadian Supreme Court, Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin wrote that “access to a waiting list is not access to healthcare.”
Interestingly enough, in Canada, where by law they cannot pay for private medical treatment, the only option for those who either must have an operation or die is often to travel to America.
Of course, once our system is as socialistic as is theirs, that will no longer be an option for them.
Regarding our friends and neighbors to the north, a very key point is that Canada is currently looking at massive changes in their system because, while citizens affected by the long waiting lists are in an uproar, the costs of the system are completely out of control.
Question: is this really what we want? Are we so anxious to blame a not-guilty party – The Free Enterprise System – that we will actually throw away still another freedom; the freedom to care for ourselves and our loved ones the way we see fit; not the way some faceless bureaucrat sees fit? Do we want our children getting the same expert and loving medical care as did our wounded vets at Walter Reed and similar government-run hospitals?
And, would we really rather see everyone suffer through Universal Healthcare (except the politicians and politically well-connected, of course – they’ll never have to wait on some list) instead of helping everyone by getting the market driven (and very healthy) health care system back? (Remember, we covered caring for the less fortunate in the previous article.)
In the final part of this series, we’ll look at the natural and most practical solution to our Healthcare System woes.
*The word, “free” was in quotation marks because nothing is free; you’ll actually be paying more for your own healthcare as well as for others’. Yes, more for your own because it will be run in the typical governmental fashion of high waste, where approximately 70-75 percent out of every dollar will go to administer the system rather than to health care itself. This percentage of waste is within the norm for all government programs.