Friday, December 25, 2009

More Bad Obama News

From The Wall Street Journal. What Obama socialized medicine would mean for surgical decisions: very bad news.

1 comment:

Ken Lewis said...

Yuppers. Welcome to the world of socialized medicine.

Living in Canada I am grateful for universal and nearly free healthcare and I am not sure I would want to live anywhere without it. Having said that, however, it is not without serious drawbacks.

As mentioned in the article, since the gov't is involved to one degree or another in drug delivery, if you do not have a private plan for medications the gov't can and will refuse payment for certains drugs if they deem a cheaper one will work.

General Practitioners (family doctors) act as gate keepers to specialized services. You cannot see a specialist unless referred by your family doctor and in some instances, in order to keep costs down, only those specialists can order certain tests and procedures. For example, where any doctor can request a CT-Scan, only a specialist can request an MRI (except in an emergency) which is more expensive. I have had too many CT-Scans so now muct trudge off to a specialist every 6 months just to get a repeat MRI for my brain tumor.

Since the government is paying for the procedures, in times of econominc downturn when tax revenues are down, the gov't begins to restrict elective procedures to keep costs down.

Here the gov't owns all the hospitals and pays for all hospitalizations. This means necessary surgeries are done first and elective surgeries are done when they can be fit in even when the tax coffers are full.

The gov't determines all fee payments which they keep low. This means doctors have to see more and more patients in order to make a certain level of income. Too often seeing your doctor is to be rushed in and out.

Socialized medicine has tremendous benefits. It also comes at extreme cost which I haven't even begun to broach here. It is possible here in Canada to maintain a faily high level of care because the gov't does own the system, everyone must use it, and it is non-profit. The U.S. is attempting to do this in a for-profit system and your costs will bankrupt your country - if it isn't already.

Be prepared for the following:

Longer and longer waits to see primary care physicians.
Restricted access to specialists.
People released from hospital too soon.
Restricted access to newer drugs and surgical procedures.
Doctors quitting their practice.
Black market medicine.