Friday, December 18, 2009

Mill Ann is talking

That means that YOU are listening!

by Ann Coulter
December 16, 2009

The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof recently wrote a column about John Brodniak of Oregon, who developed a cavernous hemangioma, causing him great pain as blood leaks into his brain.

According to Kristof, Brodniak can't get medical help because we don't have universal health care. Senators who vote against ObamaCare, Kristof said, are morally equivalent to someone who would walk past a man "writhing in pain on the sidewalk."

In another article in the Times, William Yardley wrote about Melvin Tsosies -- also of Oregon -- who ended up with $200,000 in medical bills after having a heart attack.

As of March 2008, Yardley reported, Tsosies was waiting to find out if he would win the Oregon lottery for health insurance. But with 600,000 uninsured state residents and a "universal" health care program with only enough money to pay for about 24,000 of them, Tsosies is more likely to win a Powerball lottery.

How can this be happening? Oregon already has "universal health care"! (Probably just a coincidence, but isn't Oregon also the only state with physician-assisted suicide?)

Once again forgetting about the existence of the Internet, the Times neglects to mention its own erstwhile enthusiasm for Oregon's universal health care plan, introduced back in 1990.

Back then, the Times published an editorial titled "Oregon's Brave Medical Experiment," hailing this technocratic monstrosity as an example of "hardheaded compassion" designed to make "health coverage available to many more families."

Ron Wyden -- then a congressman from Oregon, now a U.S. senator at the forefront of pushing "universal health care" onto the nation -- said: "This is a strong dramatic step toward universal access of health care." He predicted, "this is going to be copied everywhere."

No wonder Wyden is such an ardent proponent of national health care -- it will force states that didn't adopt these idiotic universal health care schemes to bail out the ones that did.

Liberals cite medical horror stories from the very states they once cheered for enacting universal health care in order to argue for a national health care plan that will wreck the entire nation's medical care the same way liberal states already wrecked their own medical care.

Only Democrats could propose fixing one Bernie Madoff-style scam with an even bigger Bernie Madoff-style scam.

Maybe when national universal health care fails, we'll be able to go international. Then interplanetary -- then interstellar! Why should I pay for my gall bladder surgery when some Venusian could?

Eighty-five percent of Americans are happy with their health care, but Democrats have a plan to make it worse for more money. As a bonus, national health care will add trillions of dollars to the national debt, and your insurance rates will skyrocket.

Democrats are being utterly disingenuous to say that you won't have to leave your current plan under national health care. Maybe, but it won't be your choice: Your employer will be making that decision for you.

Recall that one of the big selling points of national health care is that it is supposed to reduce costs for American businesses. The only way national health care will make American companies "more competitive" is if they dump their employees into the public health care system.

It's so weird! We expected X number of people to show up for health care and instead 75X showed up! Yeah, just like every other government program in the history of the world.

Ten years from now, we'll be talking about cost overruns of $6 trillion -- but by then, national health care will be an untouchable "third rail" of politics, just as Medicare is now. (Ironically, injuries sustained from actually touching the third rail won't be covered under ObamaCare.)

As with Medicare, voters will be terrified to go back to even the wisp of a free market system we have now, afraid that they'll never be able to get health insurance without the government providing it. Having been dragged unwillingly into the government plan, how will a 58-year-old be able to leave the public system and get insurance on the free market?

Speaking of which, how many of you are planning to retire on your Social Security benefits? Just you there, with the shopping cart full of cans?

The only solution will be for the government to keep running up gigantic deficits and raising taxes on "the rich," which, in turn, will stifle job creation and economic growth in a phenomenon known to economists as "the Carter years."

In addition to forcing Americans into dealing with surly government workers in order to obtain medical care, sooner or later, there's no free lunch. (And if government X-rays are anything like the photos the DMV takes for your license, count me out. I don't want my lungs looking like they had a bad hair day.)

Even if national health care puts the screws to doctors and pharmaceutical companies by reimbursing them below cost -- so all future doctors will soon resemble DMV employees and no new drugs will ever be invented -- the government is still going to have to cut services and pay for the system with massive tax hikes.

Which is exactly what happened with Oregon's "Brave Medical Experiment."

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For every scare story one can find about an uninsured person in the USA finding it difficult to get treatment there are several from nations with socialized medicine that can be cited to prove that even though our system isn't perfect it is still far better than any other.

Take this example from Canada brought to us by our friends at City Journal:

Mountain-bike enthusiast Suzanne Aucoin had to fight more than her Stage IV colon cancer. Her doctor suggested Erbitux—a proven cancer drug that targets cancer cells exclusively, unlike conventional chemotherapies that more crudely kill all fast-growing cells in the body—and Aucoin went to a clinic to begin treatment. But if Erbitux offered hope, Aucoin’s insurance didn’t: she received one inscrutable form letter after another, rejecting her claim for reimbursement. Yet another example of the callous hand of managed care, depriving someone of needed medical help, right? Guess again. Erbitux is standard treatment, covered by insurance companies—in the United States. Aucoin lives in Ontario, Canada.
Or here is British parliamentarian Daniel Hannan discussing the United Kingdom's socialized health care system:

Or you can follow this link to a story about how a prominent French expert thinks that France needs to copy the US in order to save its "broken" and "unsustainable" health care system.

Any way you look at it America has nothing to be ashamed of, and plenty to be proud of, when comparing the quality of health care available to the typical citizen here versus any other nation in the world.

The American health care system is also the driver of research and innovation for the entire globe. The above mentioned City Journal article contained this interesting fact.
M. D. Anderson in Texas, a prominent cancer center, spends more on research than Canada does.
That's right. M. D. Anderson, a part of the University of Texas does more research in their field of cancer treatment than the entire nation of Canada.

The same thing holds true in every other areal of medical research whether you are talking about new drugs, new procedures or new technology, America leads the way by a very large margin.

It is true that other nations fund some R&D and so you will occasionally hear of a breakthrough coming out of Europe or Asia. The most prominent example that comes to my mind is laser eye surgery, which was developed in the Soviet Union. But ask yourself this, how many other major breakthroughs came out of Soviet medical research? . . . I can't think of any either.

And there are similar stories about good work being done in the laboratories and hospitals of the UK, France and Germany, but compare the trickle of medical innovation coming out of Europe over the past 20 years with the flood coming out of the United States. Then ask yourself how much of that work being done in Europe is building upon work originally done in the United States.

Much is made of the fact that the US government is already involved in paying over half of the health care costs in the US through Medicare, Medicaid the Veterans Administration and various other programs. And the rest of our health care system, while private, is heavily regulated.

Ask yourself two questions.

1. Do we really want to kill off the portion of our health care system which is producing so much good for so many people?

2. If a little less than half our system which is bound and hobbled by thick chains of government regulation and taxation can still manage to be the engine which drives medical innovation for the entire world how much more could it accomplish if it were all private and freed of all but the most basic government interference?