Sunday, March 04, 2007

Another Great Victory For Socialized Medicine

A British doctor's blog reports some statistics from the UK's Independent:

Record numbers of women are being harmed or dying as a direct result of childbirth in what doctors are labelling as “a crisis” in maternity care.
  • 391 women have died in childbirth in the last three years, a 21% increase on the previous comparable period.

  • The UK now has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in Europe, with 13 deaths per 100,000.

  • 17676 women have suffered physical harm on labour wards in the last three years – harm such as perforated bowels, necessitation temporary colostomies.

  • Maternity medical negligence claims are costing the NHS £1 billion a year

I often hear the British and Canadian models of socialized medicine--the euphemism is "universal health care"--held up as the gold standard for us here in the United States. But click on the socialism label below and read about the troubles those systems have. Yes, ours is expensive, and costs consistently rise faster than does inflation. However, the only real threat to the viability of our own system is replacing it with one modeled on that of Canada or Britain--or even France ("The new estimate comes a day after the French Parliament released a harshly worded report blaming the deaths on a complex health system...")

There are better fixes for what ails us than following the failed plans of others. What's that definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting a different result?

Update: This quote, from this post, bears repeating:

The current health insurance system sucks; turning it into a government monopoly will increase, rather than decrease, the overall level of suckage.

6 comments:

allen said...

The current health insurance system sucks; turning it into a government monopoly will increase, rather than decrease, the overall level of suckage.

Yeah, and the reason it sucks and costs are going up insupportably is that it's already a government health care system to a very significant extent. There's federal and state-level regulation of every aspect of medicine.

There's just so much to hate about socialized medicine but the aspect of socialized medicine that really sets my teeth on edge is that it's inevitably and inherently a two-tiered system.

The quality of medical care in a socialized medicine system is determined by political power and that is a much more insidious and corrosive means of determining access to medical care then wealth.

rightwingprof said...

Don't you think it's ironic that the supporters of socialized medicine are howling about the quality of care at Walter Reed? What do they think health care will be like when the government takes it over?

Mrs. Bluebird said...

I've often noticed that the people who seem to go on and on about how they want government healthcare are the same ones that scream and pitch a fit because they had to wait in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles. They don't seem to realize that the DMV makes government healthcare actually look somewhat efficient.

Ellen K said...

My doctor is from Canada. He left there because after years of school and more years of trying to make a living wage, he decided to move where most of his patients got their critical surgery done-the U.S. Anyone from Washington or New York, or Michagan knows that when it comes to socalled minor surgery, the wards of American hospitals are full of Canadians willing to pay to get surgery done efficiently and well. In Canada people can wait as long as a year for hernia surgery. I guess it's not important unless you are the poor sucker with the hernia. HMO's were supposed to lower our costs and give equitable care. Instead we have yet another layer of bureaucracy necessitating more workers just to complete paperwork and we are paying more for the privelege. My parents did better back in the 60's and 70's with major medical and by being able to deduct every single medical expense. Micromanaging health care will only succeed in lower levels of care, chasing off medical personnel and further burdening taxpayers for the debts of those who will not get health care even when offered because the government gives it for free.

rightwingprof said...

"pitch a fit because they had to wait in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles."

Here in Pennsylvania, everything but issuing DLs has been privatized, so all the DMV does is issue DLs -- yet they still manage to keep you for at least an hour when nobody else is there, and they still manage to be incompetent boobs.

But getting your registration or transferring your title at one of those private businesses? Five minutes.

Jetgirl said...

I was lucky enough to have emergency surgery done on myself last Friday (well, maybe not that lucky) at a money-grubbing capitalist-pig, for-PROFIT *shock horror* hospital.

I don't think I've ever had better medical service from kinder people anywhere, and the private room, brand spanking new equipment, considerate staff, wood paneled floors, 24-hour room service and classical pianist in the beautifully appointed lobby really made a difference. This is the medical treatment that Castro gets, all for little nobody me. I'd love to see a socialist system provide that level of service to a comperable citizen in that country.

Of course, I make myself competitive to employers so I have a good (and ridiculously inexpensive) insurance plan.