Thursday, September 20, 2007

British Health Care and Other Health Issues: A Response to Redstater

Fellow Okie Blogger Redstater posted a comment to my post from February 1st Robin Meyers: He just doesn't get it.

In it, I agreed with Robin Meyers' statement:

We must remember, he said, "that the best health-care decisions are made not by government and insurance companies, but by patients and their doctors." The only trouble with this standard applause line is that the only way to get insurance companies and HMOs out of the picture is to make the payer a nonprofit entity, like the government, so that health-care "providers" don't make more money by being health-care "deniers."

To which Redstater posted a comment:

Have ANY of you known of ANYONE, ANYWHERE in the US that has been denied treatment for anything serious?

Illegal aliens with no job, no insurance and no money get free emergency room treatment... and beyond. Those that cannot afford to go can go anyway... what world are liberals living in?

Have you seen socialized healthcare in Canada or England?

Have YOU ever BEEN to the Department of motor vehicle?

If so, you wouldn't want the same people running your doctors office.

Robin Meyers is a shill for the democrat party from the pulpit "pulpit pundit" and the perfect spokesman for the so-called "New Christian Left" (Woody Guthrie-ism)

I am going to take the questions out of order because I want to draw upon my own personal experience first:

Have you seen socialized healthcare in Canada or England?

1) Yes, I have been to England (Queen's College, Oxford University, Oxford, England) and have been treated there for both an injury and an illness. I can tell you from personal experience that the treatment was prompt and adequate. Because I was an uninsured American, I had to pay for my treatment, but even as a starving college student, I was able to afford the cost (the doctor's visit was about $25 then, still less than half what my own doctor would have cost here: at the time, about $60), the prescription drugs cost $5 then.

I still remember the doctor's shock at 1) my concern that I wouldn't be able to afford the cost; and 2) that I would not get adequate treatment; and 3) how expensive a doctor's visit cost in the U.S. She could not understand how Americans would allow people to go without care. Even then the number of Americans without health insurance was staggeringly high.

I have never had the fortune to visit Canada. But let me just say that I have yet to meet a single Canadian who wants to abolish their Medicare system. Not one. And I ask every Canadian I come into contact with if they favor abolishing their national healthcare system. You should hear their responses. They say things like: "Not on your life!" or "Are you crazy?" I think that by itself speaks volumes about how "bad" the Canadian healthcare system is compared to the U.S. They are (so far) uniformly flabbergasted that Americans believe they want to abolish their healthcare system in favor of ours.

Have YOU ever BEEN to the Department of motor vehicle?

Yes. What's the problem? I have been there several times regarding some issue or another and left within 30 minutes almost every time.

Have ANY of you known of ANYONE, ANYWHERE in the US that has been denied treatment for anything serious?


Yes. I heard stories all the time while doing bankruptcy cases. People were denied treatment due to lack of insurance or inability to pay. You can also watch Michael Moore's movie SiCKO if you want to see several examples.

Illegal aliens with no job, no insurance and no money get free emergency room treatment... and beyond. Those that cannot afford to go can go anyway... what world are liberals living in?


Well, actually, they probably get billed for the services but just don't pay (especially due to the inability to pay). The cost then gets passed on to everyone else. But that isn't just an "illegal alien" problem; there are many Americans in the same boat. In my opinion it is better to have everyone pay up front for everyone's care. I think it is right thing to do.

I don't think anyone should ever be denied access to best feasible health care because of the inability to pay. I think that it should be guaranteed as a human right. We have the technology and ability to provide everyone in the U.S. with adequate care. Therefore we should do it because it is the right thing to do.

And do you really want people to go to the emergency room for the common cold? That's supposed to be for emergencies. But because we restrict medical care based on the ability to pay, those are the crazy kinds of situations we get.

And how about if they were to come down with smallpox? Would you rather they forego treatment and spread it everywhere? How about a more realistic example: tuberculosis? Highly infectious and sometimes very difficult to treat. Would you rather they infect others by turning them away from the doctor's office or emergency room? The real reason they are treated is that medical professionals know that by not treating them others can be harmed, things can become worse for the patient and there is that whole Hippocratic Oath issue.

There are real people out there who are suffering. Human beings just like you. They need help. They need our help. I think the best way to help them is by creating a complete medical care system that provides needed care to everyone...whenever they need it.

8 comments:

Scribe said...

Good response to an all-too-common hallow talking point of the radical right.

Scribe said...

Apologies for the typo so early in the morning... my last comment should have read:

Good response to an all-too-common hollow talking point of the radical right.

P M Prescott said...

My response to anyone who thinks emergency rooms are the answer to the health care crisis is to ask, "Have you ever been to an emergency room?"

Redstater said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Redstater said...

Your response is... Michael Moore says so? (lol) what a joke.(I should respond with "Rush lImbaugh says...")

Just because YOU as an American received such great treatment in the UK, doesn't mean the people who live in the UK and got pushed back in line a couple days so that YOU could get in, also get great treatment.

So, you would have no problem with our hospital system running like the drivers license agencies? Or a VA hospital (lmao)

If socialized healthcare is SOOOOoo great, Why then do so many Canadians have to come to America to get medical care?

My wife works at a healthcare facility that PROVIDES FREE healthcare to ANYONE that cannot afford it right here in OKC so don't tell me healthcare is NOT available to everyone already.

Go back to Rev DR Robin and get some more koolaid... you're gonna need it

OkieLawyer said...

Your response is... Michael Moore says so? (lol) what a joke.(I should respond with "Rush Limbaugh says...")

Many of the examples I personally know about I am prohibited from revealing due to the ethics of my profession. However, I pointed to Michael Moore's movie because that is information available to the public and the information is virtually the same.

Just because YOU as an American received such great treatment in the UK, doesn't mean the people who live in the UK and got pushed back in line a couple days so that YOU could get in, also get great treatment.

There was only one person in front of me when I went in for my illness, and because I was an American and my illness was not life-threatening the British citizen was allowed to go first.

So, you would have no problem with our hospital system running like the drivers license agencies? Or a VA hospital (lmao)

Actually, the VA hospitals are run quite well. The problem in the past has been what the British system has now: underfunding. Just remember: you get what you pay for. That is as true for medicine as it is for any other service.

The biggest problem in going to a national health care system is that there will be an influx of 50 million Americans and no extra doctors and other medical support personnel to assist them unless we start training doctors, nurses and staff immediately to prepare for such a change.

If socialized healthcare is SOOOOoo great, Why then do so many Canadians have to come to America to get medical care?

The anecdotal evidence of an influx of Canadians coming to America for medical attention is just that: anecdotal. They generally fall into three categories: 1) wealthy Canadians who want premium treatment as in this recent story; 2) people who live along the border who don't want to wait for treatment; and 3) Canadians who want elective procedures who are willing to pay cash for them.

My wife works at a healthcare facility that PROVIDES FREE healthcare to ANYONE that cannot afford it right here in OKC so don't tell me healthcare is NOT available to everyone already.

Tell us all which healthcare facility this is so that I can announce it on this blog. Make sure you also let us know what the qualifications are to get this free treatment (i.e. income levels, what are the restrictions, etc.).

Anonymous said...

I know this is a very late response, but browsing led me here, and I feel like I need to respond.

I used to be for a single payer health care system similar to the UK's until the mother of a friend of mine from England got cancer. I've never seen such a f**ked up mess.

The diagnosis took forever to confirm, first off. Her mom was admitted to the hospital for something that would have been done outpatient here and she sat there for FIVE DAYS waiting for a test that never got done. In the end, they sent her home and had her come back the next week.

Then the chemo was delayed. And delayed again. Then when she was declared terminal, they put her in a hospice and withheld food and hydration, even though her next of kin, my friend, was not at all comfortable with that. When I asked her why she didn't just give orders for the feeding to be restored, she told me that she'd have to go to court to do that. Government pays, so government calls the tune.

I compare that to my own mother's experience with terminal cancer and want to weep that people think we should switch to a system like that. Sure, my friend had no bills to worry about and we did, but I'd much rather have bills and efficiency, and of course maintain control over my care and that of my loved ones.

The system we have doesn't work for everybody and it needs to be fixed, no doubt. But not eviscerated.

And I live in an area that's heavily military and I don't know where you get the idea that the VA hospitals are well run. Every veteran I know avoids them like the plague.

OkieLawyer said...

Anonymous:

I sure would like to know more specifics on this case in England. My father also died of cancer, and I took care of him until his death. I can tell you that as someone comes to the end of the dying process, the body goes through changes wherein you start to lose hunger and thirst. That is what happened with my father. It is difficult for loved ones to deal with, especially when you are so close. Also, it is an insidious part of the cancer: you need food and water to fight, but the cancer makes you not want to eat or drink. However, the kidneys produce more ammonia and the body starts to sleep more.

My own physician told me that this is how nature meant us to die.

The biggest problem in Britain's medical system is its underfunding. Britain's health care system receives the least amount of funding per capita of any in the world. (Remember that Margaret Thatcher had control for many years under Tory {i.e. Conservative / Republican in American terms} power. It was during this time that funding for medical care was slashed in England.)

Now, there may be some specific issues in the case you raise in England that I have not dealt with here (as medical ethics are treated different in Europe than in the States). That is a whole other discussion altogether and has nothing to do with national healthcare per se.