04 March 2009

Ah, The Joys of Universal Health Care, part 2

From Walter Williams.

Stand-out excerpts:

The head of the World Health Organization calculated that Britain has as many as 25,000 unnecessary cancer deaths a year because of under-provision of care. Twelve percent of specialists surveyed admitted refusing kidney dialysis to patients suffering from kidney failure because of limits on cash.

For example, after a Canadian has been referred to a specialist, the waiting list for gynecological surgery is four to 12 weeks, cataract removal 12 to 18 weeks, tonsillectomy three to 36 weeks and neurosurgery five to 30 weeks. Toronto-area hospitals, concerned about lawsuits, ask patients to sign a legal release accepting that while delays in treatment may jeopardize their health, they nevertheless hold the hospital blameless.

In Sweden: Mr. D., a Gothenburg multiple sclerosis patient, was prescribed a new drug. His doctor's request was denied because the drug was 33 percent more expensive than the older medicine. Mr. D. offered to pay for the medicine himself but was prevented from doing so. The bureaucrats said it would set a bad precedent and lead to unequal access to medicine.

The clinics have security guards to keep patients from getting unruly as they wait hours to see a doctor. The guards also prevent new patients from entering the clinic when the waiting room is considered full.

Obama-care is coming, and it will mean higher costs, lower quality, and rationing of scarce resources. Sadly, the blame will be put on the "greedy doctors," "greedy pharmaceutical companies," "greedy insurance companies," and "greedy rich people."

I still don't understand how it is the doctors and insurance companies who are "greedy" when it's the people on the Left who demand that others pay for their health care. Typical leftist dystopia.

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