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Archive for May, 2009

Source: PoliticsDaily.com

By: Matt Lewis

A friend reminded me the other day of why the scheme to nationalize health care is so frightening. I mean, we should all oppose it on principle — but there are also self-preservation reasons, as well.

First, it is clear that countries that have socialized health care require long waiting periods for treatment — no matter how much you are willing to pay.

This isn’t an original idea, but this scenario should make people think:

Let’s say you have cancer, and it will cost you tens of thousands of dollars for treatment… and you don’t have insurance. This is certainly a very, very bad predicament, but it is not an impossible situation. To be sure, you might have to beg, borrow or steal in order to be treated, but a resourceful person can find a way to come up with money. It won’t be easy but coming up with the money is, at least, theoretically possible.

But if the government tells you that it’s too expensive to treat you or that you’re too old to be treated or that you’re too sick to be treated or that you brought it upon yourself, then where do you go?

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Source: Wall Street Journal

Obama and Democrats owe John McCain an apology.

Politicians wouldn’t be politicians if they didn’t trim their sails to the prevailing winds. Even so, the emerging 180-degree turn by Democrats on taxes and health insurance is one for the record books.

Democrats have spent years arguing that proposals to equalize the tax treatment of health insurance are an outrage against the American people. Workers pay no income or payroll taxes on the value of job-based plans, but the same hand isn’t extended to individuals who must buy coverage on their own. Last year liberals mauled John McCain for daring to touch the employer-based exclusion to finance more coverage for the individually uninsured. He was proposing “a multitrillion-dollar tax hike — the largest middle-class tax hike in history,” said Barack Obama, whose TV ads were brutal.

But now Democrats need the money to finance $1.2 trillion or more for their new health insurance entitlement. Last week Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus released his revenue “policy options” and high on the list is . . . taxing health benefits. Or listen to White House budget director Peter Orszag, who recently told CNN’s John King that the exclusion “was not in the President’s campaign plan, it wasn’t in our budget. Clearly, some Members of Congress are putting it on the table and we are going to have to let this play out.”

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By Fran Eaton

Although the United States s pends almost $2.2 trillion or $7,421 per person each year on health care, it remains at the top of Americans’ concerns. As the nation’s unemployment nears the 10 percent level, criticism of the current national employer-based health care system is reaching new heights.

President Barack Obama told congressional leaders last week that he wanted comprehensive health care reform legislation on his desk by the end of July. The White House’s plan includes reducing long-term growth of health care costs for businesses and government, protecting families from bankruptcy or debt because of health care costs, guaranteeing choice of doctors and health plans and investing in prevention and wellness.

There is no doubt from a liberal or a conservative viewpoint that the American health care system is in dire need of reform. Private health care plans are tied to employers for the most part. Those who are unable to find jobs where employers offer health care as part of employee benefits have two choices – use the public health care system or simply go without.

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Source: NCPA.org

This article is a couple of years old, but received very little coverage when it came out.  It shows that US cancer care is superior to the rest of the world…

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Thursday, October 11, 2007 – by Betsy McCaughey

During this presidential election season, candidates are urging Americans to radically overhaul our “broken” health care system. Before accepting the premise that the system is broken, consider the impressive evidence from the largest ever international study of cancer survival rates.  The data show that cancer patients live longer in the United States than anywhere else on the globe.

Overall Cancer Survival Rates.   According to the survey of cancer survival rates in Europe and the United States, published recently in Lancet Oncology : 1

  • American women have a 63 percent chance of living at least five years after a cancer diagnosis, compared to 56 percent for European women.  [See Figure I.] 
  • American men have a five-year survival rate of 66 percent — compared to only 47 percent for European men.
  • Among European countries, only Sweden has an overall survival rate for men of more than 60 percent.
  • For women, only three European countries (Sweden, Belgium and Switzerland) have an overall survival rate of more than 60 percent.

These figures reflect the care available to all Americans, not just those with private health coverage.  Great Britain, known for its 50-year-old government-run, universal health care system, fares worse than the European average:  British men have a five-year survival rate of only 45 percent; women, only 53 percent.

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Source: voicingouropinions.com

Canadian Nadeem Esmail’s article in the Wall Street Journal suggests that nationalized health care will cost us pain and suffering . . .

Too Old’ for Hip Surgery
As we inch towards nationalized health care, important lessons from north of the border.

  By NADEEM ESMAIL

President Obama and Congressional Democrats are inching the U.S. toward government-run health insurance. Last week’s expansion of Schip — the State Children’s Health Insurance Program — is a first step. Before proceeding further, here’s a suggestion: Look at Canada’s experience.

Health-care resources are not unlimited in any country, even rich ones like Canada and the U.S., and must be rationed either by price or time. When individuals bear no direct responsibility for paying for their care, as in Canada, that care is rationed by waiting.

Canadians often wait months or even years for necessary care. For some, the status quo has become so dire that they have turned to the courts for recourse. Several cases currently before provincial courts provide studies in what Americans could expect from government-run health insurance.

In Ontario, Lindsay McCreith was suffering from headaches and seizures yet faced a four and a half month wait for an MRI scan in January of 2006. Deciding that the wait was untenable, Mr. McCreith did what a lot of Canadians do: He went south, and paid for an MRI scan across the border in Buffalo. The MRI revealed a malignant brain tumor.

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Source: CBSNews.com

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(CBS)  This column was written by Jeff Emanuel, a special operations military veteran and combat journalist. A director emeritus of conservative weblog RedState.com, his writings can be seen there and at Jeff Emanuel.net

Who should have control over your medical care: your family doctor, or a bureaucrat you’ve never met whose sole job is to look out for the government’s financial bottom line?

A ruling earlier this month by a panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals went a long way toward answering that question, as federal judges ruled in favor of three states that had filed suit to have final medical decision-making authority transferred from doctors to state bureaucrats.

In March, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama joined in an appeal of a 2008 U.S. District Court ruling that a patient’s physician was better positioned – and better qualified-to make decisions about that patient’s medical treatment than state bureaucrats.

The case centered on Callie Moore, a disabled teenage girl living in Georgia. A stroke Callie suffered in utero left her suffering from multiple conditions, including cerebral palsy and mental retardation. For the last decade, she has received around-the-clock in-home nursing care, 94 hours of which were paid for by Medicaid, the joint federal/state health coverage program for low-income individuals and families, and the rest by her family.

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By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
washingtonexaminer.com

Barack Obama is making an enormous mistake on the most important initiative of his presidency. In recent weeks, Obama has stressed that health care reform is the essential ingredient for the success of his economic recovery plan. Yet the president, easily the most gifted White House communicator since Ronald Reagan, has the message all wrong.

“Our businesses will not be able to compete, our families will not be able to save or spend, our budgets will remain unsustainable unless we get health care costs under control,” Obama said in his radio address Saturday. He has said the same thing on many other occasions, almost always stressing the threat of runaway cost. When Obama talks health care, it’s cost, cost, cost.

But that’s not what people want to hear, or at least not all they want to hear. Of course they complain about the expense of medical treatment, but controlling cost is not their top health care concern.

“Americans will prioritize cost over quality right up until the moment they realize that it’s their quality that they are sacrificing,” writes the Republican pollster Frank Luntz in “The Language of Healthcare 2009,” a brilliant new analysis of the public’s health care concerns that also serves as a roadmap for defeating Obamacare. Basing his conclusions on extensive polling and focus-group research, Luntz writes that the public is very worried that a government takeover of health care — Obamacare — will result in politicians and government bureaucrats making decisions about what kind of care patients will receive and when they will receive it.

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