Australia turns to socialized health care

Danny Huddleston
We should keep an eye on Australia, they are slightly ahead of us on the road to socialized health care. For a glimpse into our future under the Obama administration take a look at this article from The Sydney Morning Herald:

DENTISTS have condemned a Medicare-style system for free universal dental care being considered by the Rudd Government as impractical, and massively expensive. [....]

Dr Neil Hewson, the president of the Australian Dental Association, representing private dentists, slammed the Denticare proposal, saying it could nearly double to $11 billion the cost of dentistry to the government and individual patients. [....]

The association believed the Government should target the 35 per cent of the community who could not access or afford proper dental care and said it would be fiscally irresponsible to introduce a universal scheme for dentistry.

The commission has also proposed an indigenous health authority to upgrade care indigenous Australians get, similar to the special arrangements made for veterans.

It has also called for schemes to boost health funding for rural communities, and for the introduction of more community services to counter mental illness among young people.

The commission strongly urged the introduction of individually controlled electronic personal health records which the commission's chairwoman, Dr Christine Bennett, described as "one of the most important systemic opportunities we have".

"Electronic personal health records", where have we heard this before? Here is an excerpt from Obama's former campaign website:

Lowering Costs Through Investment in Electronic Health Information Technology Systems: Most medical records are still stored on paper, which makes it hard to coordinate care, measure quality or reduce medical errors and which costs twice as much as electronic claims. Obama will invest $10 billion a year over the next five years to move the U.S. health care system to broad adoption of standards-based electronic health information systems, including electronic health records, and will phase in requirements for full implementation of health IT. Obama will ensure that patients' privacy is protected.

Don't worry about your personal health records, "Obama will ensure that patients' privacy is protected." With assurance like that how can we go wrong? However, as Alex Rodriguez's current predicament shows, no matter what the intentions of the record keepers may be, health records are always subject to subpoena.

Obama is telling the truth when he says electronic health records will save money, but not for the reason you think. This is a necessary precursor to nationalized health care. Before the government takes over the health care system, costs have to be contained.

Once all of our medical records are on that big mainframe at the White House the new National Coordinator of Health Information Technology will start deciding which procedures have to be cut to save money. You won't be allowed to have that expensive experimental operation that could save your life even if you can afford it, it wouldn't be fair.

The report said there was an urgent need to tackle inequities in health status and outcomes and lack of access to health services for many groups in Australia. For indigenous Australians it proposed an increase in funding to reflect the much greater health needs.

Isn't it amazing how great socialists' minds think alike, let's take another look at Obama's campaign website:

Tackle disparities in health care. Obama will tackle the root causes of health disparities by addressing differences in access to health coverage and promoting prevention and public health, both of which play a major role in addressing disparities. He will also challenge the medical system to eliminate inequities in health care through quality measurement and reporting, implementation of effective interventions such as patient navigation programs, and diversification of the health workforce.

Again we come back to the main tenet of socialism, no one will be allowed to have better health care than anyone else, inequities will be eliminated. Medical breakthroughs and innovation will be eliminated, everyone will get equal treatment.

A National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Authority would purchase services specifically for indigenous patients and focus on results to ensure high quality and timely access to services.

The chief executive of the Australian Health Insurance Association, Dr Michael Armitage, said insurers would consider the dental care proposal and other recommendations and compile a response to the reform commission.

"The industry would support any plan to improve access to dental care for Australians but it is about more than that - it's about quality, safety and achieving better health outcomes - not just health financing," he said.

The Opposition's health spokesman, Peter Dutton, said taxpayers would pay billions of dollars in extra taxes for a national Denticare scheme. [....]

Converting Australia's current health care system to a socialized health care system is a daunting task. But it's good to know that they will "focus on results to ensure high quality and timely access to services." But don't forget to read between the lines: "focus on results" means the government will not pay for procedures that are not deemed cost-effective.

I wonder how all this is working out in the UK, they've had nationalized health care since 1948. Here is an excerpt from a Feb. '08
article in The UK's Telegraph. I hope it's not too discouraging:

People who cannot get an NHS dentist are pulling their teeth out with pliers and using Superglue to put caps back.

So declared Mike Penning, from the Tory front bench, in a bid to destroy the "complacent" picture of dentistry painted by Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary.

Let us leave the glue on one side, or beneath whatever caps it may be holding in place: what worried some of us was the thought of the pliers.

I have a recommendation for everyone living in Australia and America...  get your teeth fixed pronto!
We should keep an eye on Australia, they are slightly ahead of us on the road to socialized health care. For a glimpse into our future under the Obama administration take a look at this article from The Sydney Morning Herald:

DENTISTS have condemned a Medicare-style system for free universal dental care being considered by the Rudd Government as impractical, and massively expensive. [....]

Dr Neil Hewson, the president of the Australian Dental Association, representing private dentists, slammed the Denticare proposal, saying it could nearly double to $11 billion the cost of dentistry to the government and individual patients. [....]

The association believed the Government should target the 35 per cent of the community who could not access or afford proper dental care and said it would be fiscally irresponsible to introduce a universal scheme for dentistry.

The commission has also proposed an indigenous health authority to upgrade care indigenous Australians get, similar to the special arrangements made for veterans.

It has also called for schemes to boost health funding for rural communities, and for the introduction of more community services to counter mental illness among young people.

The commission strongly urged the introduction of individually controlled electronic personal health records which the commission's chairwoman, Dr Christine Bennett, described as "one of the most important systemic opportunities we have".

"Electronic personal health records", where have we heard this before? Here is an excerpt from Obama's former campaign website:

Lowering Costs Through Investment in Electronic Health Information Technology Systems: Most medical records are still stored on paper, which makes it hard to coordinate care, measure quality or reduce medical errors and which costs twice as much as electronic claims. Obama will invest $10 billion a year over the next five years to move the U.S. health care system to broad adoption of standards-based electronic health information systems, including electronic health records, and will phase in requirements for full implementation of health IT. Obama will ensure that patients' privacy is protected.

Don't worry about your personal health records, "Obama will ensure that patients' privacy is protected." With assurance like that how can we go wrong? However, as Alex Rodriguez's current predicament shows, no matter what the intentions of the record keepers may be, health records are always subject to subpoena.

Obama is telling the truth when he says electronic health records will save money, but not for the reason you think. This is a necessary precursor to nationalized health care. Before the government takes over the health care system, costs have to be contained.

Once all of our medical records are on that big mainframe at the White House the new National Coordinator of Health Information Technology will start deciding which procedures have to be cut to save money. You won't be allowed to have that expensive experimental operation that could save your life even if you can afford it, it wouldn't be fair.

The report said there was an urgent need to tackle inequities in health status and outcomes and lack of access to health services for many groups in Australia. For indigenous Australians it proposed an increase in funding to reflect the much greater health needs.

Isn't it amazing how great socialists' minds think alike, let's take another look at Obama's campaign website:

Tackle disparities in health care. Obama will tackle the root causes of health disparities by addressing differences in access to health coverage and promoting prevention and public health, both of which play a major role in addressing disparities. He will also challenge the medical system to eliminate inequities in health care through quality measurement and reporting, implementation of effective interventions such as patient navigation programs, and diversification of the health workforce.

Again we come back to the main tenet of socialism, no one will be allowed to have better health care than anyone else, inequities will be eliminated. Medical breakthroughs and innovation will be eliminated, everyone will get equal treatment.

A National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Authority would purchase services specifically for indigenous patients and focus on results to ensure high quality and timely access to services.

The chief executive of the Australian Health Insurance Association, Dr Michael Armitage, said insurers would consider the dental care proposal and other recommendations and compile a response to the reform commission.

"The industry would support any plan to improve access to dental care for Australians but it is about more than that - it's about quality, safety and achieving better health outcomes - not just health financing," he said.

The Opposition's health spokesman, Peter Dutton, said taxpayers would pay billions of dollars in extra taxes for a national Denticare scheme. [....]

Converting Australia's current health care system to a socialized health care system is a daunting task. But it's good to know that they will "focus on results to ensure high quality and timely access to services." But don't forget to read between the lines: "focus on results" means the government will not pay for procedures that are not deemed cost-effective.

I wonder how all this is working out in the UK, they've had nationalized health care since 1948. Here is an excerpt from a Feb. '08
article in The UK's Telegraph. I hope it's not too discouraging:

People who cannot get an NHS dentist are pulling their teeth out with pliers and using Superglue to put caps back.

So declared Mike Penning, from the Tory front bench, in a bid to destroy the "complacent" picture of dentistry painted by Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary.

Let us leave the glue on one side, or beneath whatever caps it may be holding in place: what worried some of us was the thought of the pliers.

I have a recommendation for everyone living in Australia and America...  get your teeth fixed pronto!