Whole industries and banks are biting the dust; unemployment lingers close to double-digits; government deficits rise like a mountain of nuclear waste; the communist Chinese are buying up our debt in anticipation of God knows what kind of future demands; and more soldiers die needlessly while the President dithers with his golf game. Purely mad social engineers -- Obama, Pelosi, & Reid -- are on a determined march toward nationalizing one sixth of the entire American economy. Their scheme will have far-reaching effects on one hundred percent of the men, women and children in this country. The whole idea is patently ridiculous, especially in light of the host of other impending disasters.
But the fact that these Democrat power-mongers are attempting to foist upon us a system already tried-and-failed so many times in so many places pushes the current national healthcare debate into the realm of pure lunacy.
As one of Einstein's most oft-quoted bits of genius reminds us, doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results, is insanity.
In his determined efforts to persuade a resistant public, President Obama has offered exaggerated horror stories about our own healthcare system. He has cited phantom doctors amputating healthy limbs for profit, doctors unnecessarily removing children's tonsils, as well as a few sordid stories about the failure of health insurance companies to deliver on their promises. But turning doctors into greedy villains and insurance companies into monsters has proved a bit difficult, since more than 80% of Americans consistently report satisfaction with both.
It's much easier to find horror stories from the medical delivery systems being touted by Democrats as the far warmer and fuzzier "options." These oft-cited models include Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. Amy Ridenour and Ryan Balis of the National Center for Public Policy Research highlighted one hundred individual nightmares rendered by these failing healthcare systems in their book, Shattered Lives.
Babies born at home, in hospital linen closets, and in parking lots without medical assistance due to bed shortages occurs in the highly touted British system. A full six percent of Britons have engaged in do-it-yourself dentistry, including tooth extractions, due to the dentist shortage. A 54-year-old smoker was refused surgery for accidental multiple fractures to his ankle because doctors said he wouldn't have as high a recovery rate as a non-smoker. British citizens are routinely denied expensive cancer-fighting drugs because they're the wrong age or live in the wrong district. As if these horrors weren't bad enough, the medical care denials are dictated by a sort of "death panel" coined by Orwellian bureaucrats to spell NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence).
The elephant in the room with these touted healthcare models, of course, is the size of population served. None of the countries studied by Ridenour and Balis comes even close to America's 300-million-plus population. The largest of these national healthcare systems is the United Kingdom, with a little less than 62 million people served. This is the rough equivalent of the combined population of California and Texas alone. Canada has just under 34 million citizens, which is nearly 3 million less than the single state of California.
Democrats tout Medicare as the test model, but Medicare is on a financial collision course with reality. The Massachusetts model, used by Mitt Romney to boost his presidential bid, is taking the state under water so fast that the Red Cross should send the citizenry life preservers. The Democrats are trying to take an already failing business model from mom-and-pop-small-town-corner-size to national mega-franchise overnight, and they seem not to even see the nitwit nature of that.
If anything positive can be said about the countries now experiencing the disasters and "shattered lives" rendered by full-tilt, single-payer healthcare delivery models, it is that they didn't know any better when they started down this road. There weren't clear failures marking every turn.
But the United States has no such excuse. Democrats are on a hell-bent tear to take American taxpayers straight off the proverbial cliff in their purely insane insistence to follow a path strewn with catastrophe. Why on earth would they expect a better result, especially when they have hundreds of millions more people to please?
Insanity. It's just pure insanity.
Perhaps instead of sending all those don't-do-it petitions to the folks in charge up there in D.C., we ought to try shipping them straitjackets and Valium. That might help them get a better handle on what we think of their national healthcare schemes.
Want a real fix? Two things in less than fifty pages: tort reform and a national competitive market for insurers. I think I'll run for President.
Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate. Published by special arrangement.