Obama and Hillary's
Empty Promises for
Universal Health Care
A story by Drs. Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak on JewishWorldReview.com points out that both Democratic candidates, Hillary and Obama, tell us they can provide healthcare for all – mandated or not. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Below are some facts from this insightful story ... a little tale of claims as empty as the prescription bottles they profess to fill. Let us look no further than how it’s worked in countries like Britain:
- If we think we want universal healthcare first we need to make a few reality checks. It hasn't worked in Britain, Canada, France, Germany, and Russia.
- There are some alarming health abuses going on in the United Kingdom recently noted by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and others.
- To meet U.K. government targets, which require emergency department patients to be treated within four hours, thousands of patients are kept in ambulances outside the department for hours. Last year, more than 43,000 patients waited for more than an hour before being allowed into the emergency room.
- Ambulances that are being used as "mobile waiting rooms" are unavailable to take fresh calls. The Labour government brought in the four-hour standard in an effort to end the scandal of patients waiting in casualty for days (Daily Mail 2/20/08).
- British patients are being denied certain operations because of lack of worthiness, based on smoking, obesity, heavy drinking, or age. Officials are urging patients to turn to "self care" instead of physician visits.
- Statistics from the Conservative Party show that the number of patients released from British National Health Service (NHS) hospitals with malnutrition has doubled in the decade since Labour came to power, increasing from 74,431 in 1997 to 139,127. While most of the patients had nutritional deficiencies on admission, the nutritional condition of at least 8,500 actually worsened during their hospital stay.
- Last year, Health Minister Ivan Lewis admitted that patients were being starved on the wards, with some elderly patients given little more than a scoop of mashed potatoes for lunch. Often, elderly patients are given non-pureed food that they cannot chew or swallow.
- Food trays may be placed out of reach and simply taken away when patients are too weak to get to them (Telegraph 1/1/08). "The threat to cut benefits to the old and the unhealthy in Britain is a clear confirmation that healthcare can never be free," he says. "The threat also shows that healthcare can't be truly universal, at least not for the long term, because it becomes too costly to maintain as such" ("Health Freezes Over," Investor’s Business Daily 1/29/08).
- One way to relieve strains on the system is to allow patients to pay privately for portions of their care, while still receiving "basic" care from the NHS. For example, patient Debbie Hirst, who has metastatic breast cancer, attempted to raise $120,000 to pay for Avastin, a drug widely used in the U.S. and Europe but not available to NHS patients until the cancer is so widespread that treatment may be hopeless.
- Such arrangements have tacitly been allowed before, but in this case the doctor delivered the news that he was getting his wrists slapped by the higher-ups.
- If the patient paid for Avastin, so goes the logic, she'd have to pay for all of her treatment – far more than she could afford.
- Patients "hopscotch" all the time, for example paying for a timely private consultation or MRI, then getting their surgery from the NHS. But "that way lies the end of the founding principles of the NHS," said health secretary Alan Johnson to parliament.
Get The Full Scoop
Jewish World Review
Dying for Universal Healthcare — British Patients Starved and Left in Ambulances
By Drs. Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak
[These links tend to become inactive over time. If this has happened with the above link, you can conduct a Google search by clicking here.]
Universal Health Care is an attractive-sounding concept, but it will never work in the real world. It hasn’t worked in Canada, Britain, France, Germany and Russia and will be doomed to fail here. Our health care system is far from perfect – we admit that – but the proposals bandied about by Obama and Hillary are further still from perfect – and we can look overseas for proof.
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