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Thursday, March 26, 2009

If It's Good Enough for Europe...

The most popular question listed right now on the Health Care Reform section of the White House's "Open for Questions" online forum:

Why can we not have a universal health care system like many European countries, where people are treated based on needs, rather than financial resources?

Good question, given that's exactly the kind of system a majority of Americans want. I hope we get a good answer from President Obama on that one this morning!

Of course, there are other ways to cut health care costs....


  1. We were promised the same health care that members of congress receive.

    Just do it.

  2. The link provided is mostly tongue in cheek, I recognize that. However health care for the elderly might be more fact than humor. If you read Daschle's book about health care reform, and I paraphrase, Senior citizens should come to expect that their condition is part of the aging process. Wonder what he means by this. Sorry we can't treat you go home and die.

    Be careful what you wish for, it might come true

  3. 3-18-09 www.breitbart.com

    Britain apologises for 'Third World' hospital

    The British government apologised Wednesday after a damning official report into a hospital likened by one patient's relative to "a Third World" health centre.

    Stafford Hospital in central England was found to have appalling standards of care, putting patients at risk and leading to some dying, according to a report on Tuesday.

    Between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected in a three-year period at the National Health Service (NHS) hospital, according to an investigation by the Healthcare Commission watchdog.

    "We do apologise to all those people who have suffered from the mistakes that have been made in the Stafford Hospital," said Prime Minister Gordon Brown, questioned on the matter at his weekly grilling in the House of Commons.

    Receptionists with no medical training were left to assess patients arriving at the hospital's accident and emergency department, the report found.

    Julie Bailey, whose 86-year-old mother Bella died in the hospital in November 2007, said she and other family members slept in a chair at her bedside for eight weeks because they were so concerned about poor care.

    "What we saw in those eight weeks will haunt us for the rest of our lives," said the 47-year-old. "We saw patients drinking out of flower vases they were so thirsty.

    "There were patients wandering around the hospital and patients fighting. It was continuous through the night. Patients were screaming out in pain because you just could not get pain relief.
    "It was like a Third World country hospital. It was an absolute disgrace."

    The British premier, who has trumpeted huge increases in spending on the NHS since his Labour party took office in 1997, said there were "no excuses" for what happened to patients at the hospital.

    Health Secretary Alan Johnson said: "I apologise on behalf of the government and the NHS, for the pain and anguish caused to so many patients and their families by the appalling standards of care at Stafford Hospital.

    "Patients will want to be absolutely certain that the quality of care at Stafford Hospital has been radically transformed, and in particular, that the urgent and emergency care is administered safely," he added.

  4. Annon 08:21 pm

    I can't wait until we have health care this good in the USA.

    As I said before the Federal government will fail and fail miserably if they social medicine. They can't run medicare, the VA's are an absolute joke and now the Feds want to manage health care for 300 million people? It will never happen.

  5. I am going to stick up for the VA health care. My brother is 100% service connected and has received overall good care. I used to work in the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls, and it is staffed with good and caring people. But there are bureaucracy and long waits associated with VA's.

    That said, I do not favor socialized medicine. The vets sacrified and earned any care they get. If the feds get to run health care, they will run it like any bureaucracy, heavy on red tape, stringent rules, rationed care, etc. And at huge, huge costs to the taxpayers.

  6. Anon clutters up the comments section with the same (incomplete) breitbart link as he/she/it did last week. Grrr.

    I've been trying to go easy on folks this week, but Anon seems to be itching for a citation contest. O.K., Anon, I'll see your one example and raise you five more (all nationwide)

    ----In a study of 19 industrialized nations, including the those dastardly Brits, the United States ranked last in stopping preventable deaths (and that's from Fox News)

    --Medical errors in the United States kill more people each year (44K&ndash98K) than car crashes, breast cancer, AIDS, or Osama bin Laden.

    --Along with tens of thousands of deaths, medical errors in the U.S. injure 2.6 million people and billions to health care costs each year.

    --"A new Consumer Reports poll finds that 18 percent of Americans say they or an immediate family member have acquired a dangerous infection following a medical procedure and more than one-third report that medical errors are common in everyday medical procedures."

    --AARP finds 23% of chronically ill patients reporting they've suffered some medical error.

    --90% of medical bills contain errors, mostly overcharges, costing us all $10 billion a year (AIG bonuses we're all mad about: $165 million).

    Six to one, Anon. Your ball.

  7. It seems most of the comments here are against socialized health care. That's fine. What do you propose as a solution for rising costs and lack of access for low income citizens? Our system is broken - so how do we fix it? President Obama said the only option not on the table for health care is the status quo. I agree. We know what you are against. Tell us what you are for.

  8. Just heard a British parliament member talk about socialized medicine, and he STRONGLY advised against it. He cited the rationing, long waits, etc and stated it was bad for both doctors and patients. Maybe we ought to listen to him instead of those in this country so anxious to dip their fingers into the tax money for yet another socialist program. Yes, there might be good things about it, but the bad will far outweigh any good. We are already broke. Social Security is going broke. And O wants to spend even more on this. It is idiotic economics. If it passes, I hope you are happy with the tax burden you want to pass on to your daughter. I for one am not.

  9. Thus, I will be thrilled with that tax burden, Anon, because it will be less than the insurance premiums I pay right now for the substandard private policy I pay for. I and my daughter will thus have more economic liberty and health security. Pay less, get more—heck of a deal!

  10. Corey:

    Just how will socialized/Universal Health Care what ever you want to call it, eliminate the medical errors you list in your response to Anon?

  11. Very appropriate question, FireBird! I don't know the exact causal link. But then neither does Anon explain how socialized health coverage caused the medical errors cited in the breitbart article. I'm simply responding to Anon's implication that socialized medicine produces worse health outcomes by providing national data that shows our private system underperforming every other industrialized country's national health system.

    Perhaps the better point is that people are fallible everywhere. You can find medical errors in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., everywhere. But here in America we're spending twice as much and still getting more errors. Something is messed up there.


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