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October 29, 2007
The Benefits of National Health Insurance
Electing a Democrat president could very well mean that some kind of national health insurance program would be passed.
Perhaps before that happens, we should look at how other nation's national health programs are working out:
Record numbers of Britons are travelling abroad for medical treatment to escape the NHS - with 70,000 patients expected to fly out this year. There are many things wrong with the health care industry in the United States. But is the way to fix those problems nationalize the health care industry?
And by the end of the decade 200,000 "health tourists" will fly as far as Malaysa and South Africa for major surgery to avoid long waiting lists and the rising threat of superbugs, according to a new report.
The first survey of Britons opting for treatment overseas shows that fears of hospital infections and frustration of often waiting months for operations are fuelling the increasing trend.
Patients needing major heart surgery, hip operations and cataracts are using the internet to book operations to be carried out thousands of miles away.
New research shows that growing NHS bureaucracy has left nurses with little time to see patients – most spending long periods dealing with paperwork. Why should hospitals in a government-run health care program care if their patients die from these new "superbugs" that are hitting hospitals around the world? Since there's no competition, there's no incentive to make their facilities any better than any other hospital in Great Britain. And if the government doesn't mandate change, the hospitals are stuck and patients are forced to play Russian Roulette.
Katherine Murphy, of the Patients' Association, said the health tourism figures reflected shrinking public faith in the Government's handling of the NHS. "The confidence that the public has in NHS hospitals has been shattered by the growth of hospital infections and this Government's failure to make a real commitment to tackling it," she told The Sunday Telegraph.
"People are simply frightened of going to NHS hospitals, so I am not surprised the numbers going abroad are increasing so rapidly.
We've seen similar pilgrimages from Canada to the United States. It's called "Health Tourism" and it is sweeping the industrialized (and non-industrialized) world. Just at the point that the rest of the world is coming to America because of our superior treatment times and modern medical facilities, Democrats wish to make the American people just as desperate for decent health care as the rest of the planet.
Fix our health care system, yes. Insure those who want and need insurance, yes. But look around at the failures of other nationalized health care systems before foisting the process on us.