Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Dean of Harvard Medical School gives health care bill a failing grade

Story from the Wall Street Journal, by the Dean of Harvard Medical School Jeffrey S. Flier.

Excerpt:

As the dean of Harvard Medical School I am frequently asked to comment on the health-reform debate. I’d give it a failing grade.

[...]Speeches and news reports can lead you to believe that proposed congressional legislation would tackle the problems of cost, access and quality. But that’s not true. The various bills do deal with access by expanding Medicaid and mandating subsidized insurance at substantial cost—and thus addresses an important social goal. However, there are no provisions to substantively control the growth of costs or raise the quality of care. So the overall effort will fail to qualify as reform.

In discussions with dozens of health-care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health-care spending rather than restrain it. Likewise, nearly all agree that the legislation would do little or nothing to improve quality or change health-care’s dysfunctional delivery system. The system we have now promotes fragmented care and makes it more difficult than it should be to assess outcomes and patient satisfaction. The true costs of health care are disguised, competition based on price and quality are almost impossible, and patients lose their ability to be the ultimate judges of value.

Worse, currently proposed federal legislation would undermine any potential for real innovation in insurance and the provision of care. It would do so by overregulating the health-care system in the service of special interests such as insurance companies, hospitals, professional organizations and pharmaceutical companies, rather than the patients who should be our primary concern.

In effect, while the legislation would enhance access to insurance, the trade-off would be an accelerated crisis of health-care costs and perpetuation of the current dysfunctional system—now with many more participants. This will make an eventual solution even more difficult. Ultimately, our capacity to innovate and develop new therapies would suffer most of all.

In order to have an economy recover, you need people running government who actually understand health care and economics. My lunch-time book is Regina Hertzlinger’s “Who Killed Health Care?”. Regina teaches at Harvard University, as well. She talks about how we need to lower costs and improve quality by introduce elements of choice and competition. Her plan is similar to the Republican’s Patient’s Choice Act. Consumer-Driven health care is the right solution to the problem of rising health care costs. Obama’s plan just adds fuel to the fire.

The right way to reform health care without sacrificing liberty

Consumer-driven health care:

Health Care: Fostering Focus Factories
with Dr. Regina Hertzlinger
(8:46)

Choice, Competition Should Drive Health Care Reform
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(5:21)

The Republican Plan (“Patient Choice Act”) is consumer-driven:

Obama’s False Health Care Choice
with Rep. Paul Ryan
(10:39)

Ideas for Free-Market Health Care Reform
with Rep. Paul Ryan
(8:30)

What’s wrong with Obamacare, Medicare, RomneyCare and CanadaCare:

Competing with the Government
with Dr. Michael F. Cannon
(7:34)

Medicare: A Model for Reform?
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(4:34)

Lessons from Massachusetts Health Care Reform
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(4:18)

The Canadian Health Care Experience
with Sally C. Pipes
(7:45)

Puncturing the Myths of American Health Care
with Sally C. Pipes
(about 8 minutes)

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Videos explaining what government-run health care is like in Canada

Here are a few helpful videos of some Canadian health care horror stories.

The Cheryl Baxter Story:

A Short Course in Brain Surgery:

Two Women:

The Lemon:

And one more video from On The Fence Films called “Dead Meat“.

While you watch these videos, keep in mind that these people pay about half their incomes into a socialist system for thirty years. Usually, both adults in the family are working their whole lives to pay into this system. The money is spent by politically correct leftists on politically correct leftist research, such as polygamy studies. The politically correct leftist government grants taxpayer-funded treatments, for their preferred constituents, many of whom do not even pay into the system.

For example, things like breast cancer, in vitro fertilization, contraceptives, abortions, STDs, AIDS, drug rehabilitation and sex changes are well-funded by the government. But since men are politically incorrect in a feminist society, the mortality rate for prostate cancer, which only affects men, is abominably poor compared to countries like the United States. (See this article for a comparison of other health care outcomes).

The take home lesson for us in the United States is that this is a tremendous vote-buying scam. You will have ignorant but well-meaning Christians voting for the Democrats from the time Obamacare passes. Many Christians are typically ignorant of free market capitalism and do not realize that they are trading in their liberty and prosperity for “free health care”.

Christians rationalize their vote for massive government-run social programs as “compassion”, and try not to think about how they are really voting in favor of abortion, same-sex marriage and the end of religious liberty. I find it amusing to talk to Canadians who love free speech and single-payer health care, not realizing that the single-payer health care is the exact thing that sets a nation on the road to restrictions on free speech.

Even Canada is moving towards privatized health care

Here is a post from the American Power blog that cites an LA Times article entitled In Canada, a Move Toward a Private Healthcare Option. (H/T Blazing Cat Fur)

Excerpt:

When the pain in Christina Woodkey’s legs became so severe that she could no long hike or cross-country ski, she went to her local health clinic. The Calgary, Canada, resident was told she’d need to see a hip specialist. Because the problem was not life-threatening, however, she’d have to wait about a year.

So wait she did.

In January, the hip doctor told her that a narrowing of the spine was compressing her nerves and causing the pain. She needed a back specialist. The appointment was set for Sept. 30. “When I was given that date, I asked when could I expect to have surgery,” said Woodkey, 72. “They said it would be a year and a half after I had seen this doctor.”

So this month, she drove across the border into Montana and got the $50,000 surgery done in two days.

“I don’t have insurance. We’re not allowed to have private health insurance in Canada,” Woodkey said. “It’s not going to be easy to come up with the money. But I’m happy to say the pain is almost all gone.”

Whereas U.S. healthcare is predominantly a private system paid for by private insurers, things in Canada tend toward the other end of the spectrum: A universal, government-funded health system is only beginning to flirt with private-sector medicine.

[...]“What we have in Canada is access to a government, state-mandated wait list,” said Brian Day, a former Canadian Medical Assn. director who runs a private surgical center in Vancouver. “You cannot force a citizen in a free and democratic society to simply wait for healthcare, and outlaw their ability to extricate themselves from a wait list.”

Be sure and take a look at some of the videos I collected together detailing some of the horror stories.

Share

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Milt Rosenberg hosts radio debate on health care featuring David Gratzer

First, listen to Canadian Sally C. Pipes for explaining the myths of American health care. (9 minutes)

The debate!

Milt Rosenberg talks to James Milam and Canadian David Gratzer about the problems surrounding American healthcare.

Here is the MP3. (86 minutes, commercial-free)

The bad guy isn’t all that bad – he likes HSAs and high-deductible plans.

Learn more

Understand the right way to reform health care… with short podcasts!

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

John Stossel annihilates Michael Moore in ABCNews health care debate

UPDATE: Welcome, readers from Pundit and Pundette! Thanks for the link!

Note: If you prefer to learn about socialized vs consumer-driven health care with podcasts, click here.

ABCNews features libertarian John Stossel explaining what’s wrong with socialized medicine!

Here’s part 4, which contains the showdown with Michael Moore.

Here is the entire show in 6 parts:

Voters laugh when Democrat claims that socialized medicine will save money. (H/T Michelle Malkin, Hot Air)

Meanwhile, Pundit and Pundette wonder why the elderly voted for Obama, especially in view of Obama’s latest slip.

UPDATE: ECM e-mails more John Stossel.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Understand the right way to reform health care… with short podcasts!

CBO says that the total cost of Obamacare is 1.3 trillion over 10 years

CBO says that the total cost of Obamacare is 1.3 trillion over 10 years

Source: The Heritage Foundation

The problem with health care today in the United States is that medical care and services cost too much. Now, everyone seems to think that the only solution to this problem is to go with a single-payer system like Canada or Cuba. Only one problem: there is another solution that no one is talking about: consumer-driven health care. And this is the only solution that actually works.

At lunch yesterday, I went to the Chinese buffet and started to read a new book on this issue by Regina Hertzlinger, a professor at Harvard University who specializes in health care policy. So now I understand it a little more. And I managed to round up a few podcasts that can explain her idea of consumer-driven health care to you, too. (I listed them in a sensible order)

Consumer-driven health care:

Health Care: Fostering Focus Factories
with Dr. Regina Hertzlinger
(8:46)

Choice, Competition Should Drive Health Care Reform
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(5:21)

The Republican Plan (“Patient Choice Act”) is consumer-driven:

Obama’s False Health Care Choice
with Rep. Paul Ryan
(10:39)

Ideas for Free-Market Health Care Reform
with Rep. Paul Ryan
(8:30)

Obamacare, Medicare, RomneyCare and CanadaCare are all garbage:

Competing with the Government
with Dr. Michael F. Cannon
(7:34)

Medicare: A Model for Reform?
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(4:34)

Lessons from Massachusetts Health Care Reform
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner
(4:18)

The Canadian Health Care Experience
with Sally C. Pipes
(7:45)

Puncturing the Myths of American Health Care
with Sally C. Pipes
(about 8 minutes)

Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal entitled “Universal Health Care Isn’t Worth Our Freedom”. (H/T Club For Growth)

This is the key insight that everyone must understand:

Many Americans would willingly pay for insurance to protect them against the exorbitant cost of treating their own leukemia. But how many Americans would willingly pay for insurance to protect them from the expenses of treating their own depression?

Everyone recognizes that the more fully we wish insurance companies to defray our out of pocket expenses for our car repairs, the higher the premium they will charge for the policy. Yet foregoing reimbursement for trivial or unnecessary health-care costs in return for a more suitable health-care policy is an option unavailable under the present system. Everyone with health insurance is compelled to protect himself from risks, such as alcoholism and erectile dysfunction, that he would willingly shoulder in exchange for a lower premium.

Liberty means choosing the right amount to pay for your own health care, based on your own lifestyle choices, and your own risk assessment. Anything less is tyranny.

Along those lines, people who are sexually promiscuous or who abuse drugs will be paying the same medical premiums as everyone else, under Obama’s health care plan. Your lifestyle decisions are irrelevant to the amount you pay and the amount of coverage you get.

Excerpt:

Under the terms of the health-care reform bill approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the legal use of tobacco products is the only vice for which insurance companies will be able to charge their customers higher premiums.

…In other words, a person could have been admitted to hospitals three times for heroin overdoses, or been pregnant five times out of wedlock, or been treated for venereal diseases at least once per year for the past five years, but none of these factors could be used to charge that person a higher insurance premium.

This is a massive transfer of wealth from clean–living, productive citizens to citizens who are not minimizing lifestyle risks and who are not productive. This is nothing but a massive incentive for people to stop working and stop being moral. What would be the point to restraining yourself? Someone else will pay for your mistakes anyway, right? And that’s just what the compassionate, progressive secular-leftists want. To abolish income differentials and the privileges of moral living. So everyone will be the same, and no one will feel bad for being lazy and immoral.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough…

Investors Business Daily is reporting this scary story.

Excerpt:

It didn’t take long to run into an “uh-oh” moment when reading the House’s “health care for all Americans” bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.

As Ed Morrissey explains in this Hot Air article, the government has a track record running health care programs already, such as the Indian Health Service. This is a single-payer system run by the federal government. Click through to the article and find out how good of a job government does of running anything. People are dying. Government-run health care is an inefficient system that allows bureaucrats to decide how health care is rationed.

Books I am reading about health care

Right now, I’ve picked out 3 books on health care to help me learn about the issue.

Who Killed Health Care?: America’s $2 Trillion Medical Problem – and the Consumer-Driven Cure
by Dr. Regina Herzlinger

The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care
by David Gratzer, M.D.

The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care
by Sally C. Pipes

The latter two books are by Canadians intimately familiar with the Canadian single-payer system.

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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