Friday, 20 July 2007

The Dark Side of "Universal Healthcare"

Here's a bit from across the pond:

Laura Price, 30, who worked on shows such as Big Brother and Strictly Come Dancing, was found dead in her home just hours after she had been discharged from casualty.

The evening before she died, Miss Price, from Notting Hill,
west London, had begged a junior A&E doctor for anti-seizure drugs but had been told they could only be prescribed by a neurologist. Two days earlier she had visited a specialist at Charing Cross hospital and was told she would have to wait six weeks for a brain scan. She had felt "concerned and afraid" at having to wait that length of time for a test before being treated for a recurrence of childhood epilepsy, Westminster coroner's court heard.

For all the faults of our system, can you imagine how bad things will be if there is socialized medicine in this country?


Jay said...

This is reality in the UK, the tragic reality which costs lives.

Odile said...

There are many misconceptions regarding universal health care: the inevitability of waiting lists, inability to choose your physicians, lack of privacy, and poor quality care.

I humbly entreat you to examine the French health care system, which debunks all of these myths. I lived in France for three years. There is complete freedom in your choice of doctors (unlike in the U.S. currently where you have to find a physician "in network"). House calls are routine, eliminating the danger of hospital-borne infections, much less traumatic for patients and family, and cheaper for everyone than having patients line up at emergency rooms. Basic, preventive, disease treatment, maternal and emergency health care are free, and those who wish to purchase additional coverage from private insurers can do so: it covers private hospital rooms, for example, and some elective procedures. The French have largely avoided the waiting list syndrome that plagues the British and Canadian systems (personally, I would rather have waiting lists for all than no care for many).

During my stay in France I was covered by a private American insurer, not being eligible for French "Securite Sociale". Every practitioner I went to was shocked that such private things as the diagnosis had to be "revealed" on my insurance claim form: too many people, in their opinion, would have access to it. Some refused to fill that line, until I had pleaded with them that without such information, I would not be reimbursed. In France, diagnosis is a sacred trust between the patient and the doctor.

As for quality of care, it is unsurpassed in my experience, because doctors make treatment decisions without having to worry about their insurance company denying coverage. Physicians there are shocked at how early patients are sent home after procedures in the U.S. - another way insurers try to keep costs down.

The bottom line is that the bottom line of a private, for-profit company, whose priority is giving dividends to its stock owners, is incompatible with the priority which should be the first in health care: health.

Where your heart is, there will your treasure be.

Rich said...


What is the tax rate in France? According to Larry Kudlow:

"Indeed, at the heart of the French problem is a statist-run socialist economy that is massively overtaxed and overregulated. France’s public government sector, for instance, accounts for more than 50 percent of GDP. In other words, private business in France is in the minority.

Added to this, France’s top personal tax rate is 48 percent, with a VAT tax of nearly 20 percent. So that means French laborers face a combined 68 percent tax rate on consumption and investment. No wonder France has created less than 3 million jobs over the past twenty years, compared to 31 million in the United States. Economic growth in “cowboy capitalist” America has exceeded that of France’s worker paradise by nearly 50 percent."

Socialized medicine would ruin the system. Do you believe the same people who managed Katrina are capable of managing healthcare? I don't.