Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

MUST-READ: A medical doctor explains how Obamacare fails patients

This American Thinker essay is awesome, and was sent to me by ECM.

The author gives the physician’s perspective on Obama’s government-run health care plan.

First, Pollard explains that Medicare is not providing good service now because it is rationing care.

Excerpt:

I have taken care of Medicaid patients for 35 years while representing the only pediatric ophthalmology group left in Atlanta, Georgia that accepts Medicaid. For example, in the past 6 months I have cared for three young children on Medicaid who had corneal ulcers. This is a potentially blinding situation because if the cornea perforates from the infection, almost surely blindness will occur. In all three cases the antibiotic needed for the eradication of the infection was not on the approved Medicaid list.

Each time I was told to fax Medicaid for the approval forms, which I did. Within 48 hours the form came back to me which was sent in immediately via fax, and I was told that I would have my answer in 10 days. Of course by then each child would have been blind in the eye.

Each time the request came back denied. All three times I personally provided the antibiotic for each patient which was not on the Medicaid approved list. Get the point — rationing of care.

Over the past 35 years I have cared for over 1000 children born with congenital cataracts. In older children and in adults the vision is rehabilitated with an intraocular lens. In newborns we use contact lenses which are very expensive. It takes Medicaid over one year to approve a contact lens post cataract surgery. By that time a successful anatomical operation is wasted as the child will be close to blind from a lack of focusing for so long a period of time.

Again, extreme rationing. Solution: I have a foundation here in Atlanta supported 100% by private funds which supplies all of these contact lenses for my Medicaid and illegal immigrants children for free. Again, waiting for the government would be disastrous.

That is what happens when the government is the single-payer for treatment. Long delays, waiting lists, rationing. The solutions are all with the private free market, not with the government.

The rest of the article contains other examples of problems with government-run health care:

  • how Sweden’s government-run health care system puts people on waiting lists
  • how Medicare is slow to reimburse doctors for services performed
  • how government-run care in the military is rationed
  • how the British government-run system denies care to the elderly
  • the consequences of billing the government for care instead of paying your doctor what they ask for
  • the real story about whether the uninsured receive care

But there is one point you may never have heard before, and I want to cite this last point in full.

In the free market, doctors compete with other doctors to provide the best care for the patient at the lowest price. But the government is run by politically correct social engineers who make rules based on what seems fair to them. And often, what seems fair to them is racial discrimination and gender-discrimination in the form of affirmative action programs. And that has consequences for you.

Excerpt:

One last thing: with this new healthcare plan there will be a tremendous shortage of physicians. It has been estimated that approximately 5% of the current physician work force will quit under this new system. Also it is estimated that another 5% shortage will occur because of the decreased number of men and women wanting to go into medicine. At the present time the US government has mandated gender equity in admissions to medical schools .That means that for the past 15 years that somewhere between 49 and 51% of each entering class are females. This is true of private schools also, because all private schools receive federal funding.

The average career of a woman in medicine now is only 8-10 years and the average work week for a female in medicine is only 3-4 days. I have now trained 35 fellows in pediatric ophthalmology. Hands down the best was a female that I trained 4 years ago — she was head and heels above all others I have trained. She now practices only 3 days a week.

Don’t let the government run your health care plan, do it yourself. There are other ways to reduce costs that do not involve rationing of care.

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Head NIH bioethicist supports health care rationing by age and quality of life

In another article from Secondhand Smoke sent to me by ECM, Wesley J. Smith writes about Ezekiel Emanuel, Obama’s chief bioethicist at the NIH. It turns out that Emanuel has written about rationing health care based on age (at least in some cases) and quality of life.

Here are Emanuel’s own words:

Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years. Treating 65-yearolds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not.

And he also wrote:

This civic republican or deliberative democratic conception of the good provides both procedural and substantive insights for developing a just allocation of health care resources. Procedurally, it suggests the need for public forums to deliberate about which health services should be considered basic and should be socially guaranteed. Substantively, it suggests services that promote the continuation of the polity-those that ensure healthy future generations, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberations-are to be socially guaranteed as basic. Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.

I think we need to be careful about electing people who want to make all our decisions for us.

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

Science czar says trees should be able to sue and born babies are not human beings

Here’s the story from CNSNews. (H/T Secondhand Smoke via ECM)

Excerpt:

The idea has been endorsed by John P. Holdren, the man who now advises President Barack Obama on science and technology issues. Giving “natural objects” — like trees — standing to sue in a court of law would have a “most salubrious” effect on the environment, Holdren wrote the 1970s. “One change in (legal) notions that would have a most salubrious effect on the quality of the environment has been proposed by law professor Christopher D. Stone in his celebrated monograph, ‘Should Trees Have Standing?’” Holdren said in a 1977 book that he co-wrote with Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich. “In that tightly reasoned essay, Stone points out the obvious advantages of giving natural objects standing, just as such inanimate objects as corporations, trusts, and ships are now held to have legal rights and duties,” Holdren added.

And also:

“The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being,” John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote in “Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions.”

I wonder which of Obama’s advisers is the most insane?

From the Secondhand Smoke article:

Just when you thought that the high advisers to President Obama couldn’t get any more radical. Consider: Cass Sunstein, his nominated regulations czar, wants animals to be able to sue their owners and has asserted that the lives of elderly people should be given less value in government regulatory cost/benefit determinations.  Ezekiel Emanuel, a high health care adviser, wants to ration health care based on quality of life (and perhaps against the elderly) and has asserted we all have a moral obligation to be experimented on.

I wrote before about how environmentalists banned DDT in Africa, causing 25-50 million innocent deaths. And I also profiled the murderous views of leading environmentalists, including the radical views of Obama’s pick for Science Czar. And don’t forget – they kill 1 million unborn babies per year in the USA alone – 50 million since abortion was legalized in 1973.

Secularism is not a nice worldview.

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