I was collecting quotes and information about single payer healthcare today but the exercise led me
in a direction I hadn’t expected. The bankrupt notion that government can and will do a better job at delivering a vital, very personal service and for a cheaper price was at the heart of my research. It gnaws on my sensibilities….even made me feel a little queezy! Just the realization that a huge government bureaucracy of highly paid strangers must be paid in addition to the price of the healthcare and insurance should make everyone shudder! Add to that the level of power and control that is handed over…or I should say, the level of power and control that is given up… surrendered!…to nameless, faceless, people having no connection to the individual, no sense of established trust…and with plenty of room to make errors…shudder!
So…what follows is a collection of quotes and information that I hope will give some of our readers a reason to rethink the big government solutions the radical progressives prefer for healthcare. There are very simple alternate solutions to fix the very real concerns Americans have had…like coverage for pre-existing conditions, portability, being able to keep your doctor, affordable insurance coverage and bringing the costs of healthcare down! We are Americans!
We are not helpless to do something about the train wreck now headed our way.
Single payer healthcare has been the ultimate goal of the radical progressive wing of the Democrat Party for decades:
The push for increased government involvement in the administration of health care in the United States dates back to 1912, when presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt, campaigning on the Progressive Party ticket, called for the establishment of a national health insurance system modeled on what already had been established in Germany. … In 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt’s working groups on Social Security and unemployment insurance devoted some time to discussing the feasibility of a national health insurance program that would cover every American. But because of the financial crisis that continued to grip the nation and because the American Medical Association (AMA) was strongly opposed to proposals for government-run health care, efforts to promote legislation toward that end failed to generate any traction.
The march toward single payer has continued in every single Democrat administration since. The current President was determined to see it happen but when they couldn’t get the votes they needed for single payer they did the next best thing…create a law so complex and ugly it would fail…the idea being that the people would hate it and scream for a European style, single payer system:
Barack Obama: “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14% of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody.”
Harry Reid: “What we’ve done with ObamaCare is a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever. … We had a real good run at the public option … don’t think we didn’t have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system.” Asked if he meant to say “single payer,” Reid decalred, “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes!”
Max Bauchus: “There may come a time when we can push for single-payer. At this time, it’s not going to get to first base in Congress.”
Kathleen Sebelius: “I’m all for a single-payer system eventually.”
“Workers, our families and our unions are waging a difficult struggle to win or to keep good health care coverage. There is a better way. Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) has introduced HR 676, national single payer legislation.” – Unions for Single Payer
Now that we’ve established the socialist opinions and desires of the radical political left in America, and recalling that 34 moderate Democrats in the House voted no on the ACA, let’s take a look at healthcare systems in countries around the world that are turning away from their single payer government healthcare because the model is failing patients and because if they don’t their countries will collapse economically.
Prime Minister David Cameron has introduced a bill to partially privatize the National Health Service (NHS) to “avoid a Greek-style financial meltdown”. He also said there is too much bureaucracy in the system that interferes with patient care: “If we were as good at treating cancer as the average European country, we would save 5,000 lives a year.”
That is the voice of a man that has faced up to reality and made a leadership decision to move his country toward privatization of its healthcare system. His voice echoes conservatives in America that have been sounding warnings about single payer for years.
“Europe’s message to the world is no longer that the socialist dream of the cradle-to-grave welfare state is an easy achievement. “Rather, it is the shouted warning that it is a fool’s paradise. The bills are coming due and the only real alternatives – serious financial reform of government or national bankruptcy – are not pleasant.” – Joseph A. Morris, a former Reagan White House lawyer who now serves on the board of the American Conservative Union
A bailout deal for Greece, arranged by the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Union includes privatization conditions. Privatizing government run healthcare is just one item in a substantial list of government reforms. The demands follow on the advice of economists that say privatization in the health care industry “would help bring down prices in these areas, which are among the highest in Europe.” But that isn’t all of the bad news tat is driving this appeal to sanity. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development data reports, despite all the government healthcare spending, Greece could never cover 100% of its citizens, reaching only about 83% for primary care. Additionally, healthcare costs are significant contributors to the debt and in Greece, the debt to GDP ratio is 120% with deficit spending at 13% of GDP.
Spain, needing a bailout, is also being forced toward privatization due to the unsustainable socialist government model of “free” taxpayer provided single payer healthcare.
Privatization of healthcare is going on in Georgia as well. Ryan Hahn, writing in World Bank blog, quotes the Minister of Labor, Health, and Social Affairs on the current state of things:
It is absolutely impossible for [a] state like Georgia to retain…254 publicy owned hospitals…Therefore, private medical insurance and [a] private hospital network [are] something that we think is the only way out of the situation.
Mr. Hahn concludes:
…the Georgian authorities hope that these measures will help reduce corruption in the health care system. According to the Transitions Online article, under-the-table payments to doctors are common, but the privatization of hospitals has boosted their salaries by a factor of 20 to 25. I wait to see how successful Georgia is, as many of the transition countries also face the need to reform their health care systems.
Sweden has moved toward privatized of it’s system and reports a better result:
Despite predictions of doom, Sweden’s economy continues to grow and its pro-business coalition has remained in power since 2006. The last election was the first time since the war that a centre-right government had been re-elected after serving a full term. …
… During an hour-long presentation to the Guardian, St Göran’s chief executive, Britta Wallgren, says the 310-bed hospital, serving 430,000 people, outperforms state-owned rivals inside and outside the country.
She says emergency patients see a doctor within half an hour, compared with A&E waits of up to four hours in the NHS. “We took an A&E department that dealt with 35,000 patients a year and now treats 75,000,” Wallgren says. “As admissions grow and we have an increasingly elderly population so must our performance improve.”
Capio stresses that St Göran has low levels of hospital-acquired infections, and patient surveys record high levels of public satisfaction….
And finally, la piece de resistance…
A private surgical center in Vancouver, Canada provides a window into what might happen in America if we don’t replace Obamacare with other workable healthcare solutions:
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 23 — The Cambie Surgery Center, Canada’s most prominent private hospital, may be considered a rogue enterprise.
Accepting money from patients for operations they would otherwise receive free of charge in a public hospital is technically prohibited in this country, even in cases where patients would wait months or even years before receiving treatment.
But no one is about to arrest Dr. Brian Day, who is president and medical director of the center, or any of the 120 doctors who work there. Public hospitals are sending him growing numbers of patients they are too busy to treat, and his center is advertising that patients do not have to wait to replace their aching knees.
The country’s publicly financed health insurance system — frequently described as the third rail of its political system and a core value of its national identity — is gradually breaking down. Private clinics are opening around the country by an estimated one a week, and private insurance companies are about to find a gold mine.
Dr. Day, for instance, is planning to open more private hospitals, first in Toronto and Ottawa, then in Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton. Ontario provincial officials are already threatening stiff fines. Dr. Day says he is eager to see them in court.
“We’ve taken the position that the law is illegal,” Dr. Day, 59, says. “This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years.”
People! The writing is on the wall. Obamacare will go, one way or the other. I vote for the more painless repeal and replace, but that’s just me.
A tip of the hat to Senator Ted Cruz and a cadre of patriots who are showing themselves to be honorable men of strong conviction, a rare commodity in DC reminiscent of our Founding Fathers:
“If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people … must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.” -Federalist No. 33 (1787)
Which brings me full circle to the article from whence began this meandering journey began.