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The Democrats say single-payer is a wonderful thing. Everyone gets care. And, in retaliation to Sarah Palin's claim of death panels, they promise there are no death panels. . . except in those instances when there are.
A friend of mine in Toronto told me that in the long run, single-payer is more expensive than a private system. At the time I was talking to her, I was receiving an employer-paid insurance package, but in the construction industry my employer only paid for a portion for me. My family was my responsibility. I was paying slightly under $700 per month for my policy.
Less government interference would have made it a lot cheaper, and a pure free market system could drive down medical costs in general, while driving up quality, but that's a different discussion for another time.
We decided to compare costs. She tallied up her taxes for her free health care in Canada, and the cost of her supplemental insurance (necessary because government discovered some things are just too expensive for them to be willing to cover) and it turned out that her free health care was costing her more per month than my package through a major insurance carrier.
While my co-pay put out more per visit, it was a small price to pay for the fact that I did not have the wait times that she would experience, nor the bureaucracy involved with getting care approved by some government idget in some office somewhere stamping forms.
Our current health care system in America is broken, but the reason it is not what it should be is because of government intrusion. The purely free market nature has been eliminated. Insurance is a part of the problem. HMOs are part of the problem. Government is the largest part of the problem. Government intrusion is what broke it, more government intrusion will not fix it.
The more government gets involved, the more involved they become. If we want to see where we are headed should the Democrats get their way, all we must do is take a look at existing single-payer systems.
Europe's health care is a mess, but is also usually the model the Democrats use to show us how wonderful single-payer is. So, let's take a look.
In the United Kingdom there is an interesting health care situation that brings Sarah Palin's death panels claim to mind.
The case involves a baby. He's 10-months old, and has a rare genetic disorder called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. The condition leads to organ malfunction, brain damage, and other horrible symptoms. The child has been a patient in London, at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, and the experts at the hospital have decided that he's a lost cause, it takes too much to keep him alive or to try to find a cure, and therefore the child should “die with dignity” despite the opinion of the parents.
The death panel that we are told does not exist has deemed it to be so.
The parents have decided they aren't ready to give up on their child, so they raised $1.6 million and wish to take their precious little child out of the hospital in London, and transfer him to a facility in the United States so he can undergo an experimental therapy. The American doctor has already agreed to administer the procedure, it's just a matter of the child being moved from one location to the other.
The British health care system, however, does not believe the parents know what is best for their child, and the death panel has decreed that the hospital will not give Charlie back to his parents. The parents resisted, so the case went to the judicial system, where the European Court of “Human Rights” ruled that the parents should be barred from taking their son to the United States for treatment. According to the “human rights” court, it is Charlie’s human right that he expire in his hospital bed in London. The parents are not allowed to try and save his life. It is “in his best interest” to simply die, they ruled.
The death panel, and the courts, have spoken. “Death with dignity” supersedes all other rights, in Europe, and you have no authority to disagree with the authoritarian decision of government. You may allow your child to die in the hospital, and you may abort an unborn child, but the system will not allow a mother to fight to keep her baby alive.
It would be one thing if this was simply a medical opinion that was rationalized, the parents had been consulted, and after a long and arduous process of coming to grips they decided that a treatment such as the one in America was a waste of time and would kill the child. In a sense, that has happened, but without the parents being a part of the decision. What's worse is that this was not a decision based on medical research, but a bureaucratic one where government determined it is only willing to spend so much money, and they can't have people out there disobeying the government by pursuing anything outside the government's wisdom.
Jean Jacques Rousseau once said that "man must be forced to be free."
Only the ruling elite knows what's best for you.
And the leftists call conservatives the fascists?
What we have here is a true example of what authoritarian single-payer is all about. No second opinion, unless it is the government's own bureaucracy-approved second opinion. The death panel is the final authority over life itself. And, because of that, the family is not allowed to pursue any possible life-saving treatment anywhere because the death panel and courts have decided the child must die.
This is a perfect example of socialized medicine. Government run health care allows the government to make all of the decisions, whether you like it, or not. It calls upon Rousseau's General Will, a will of the people that is for their own good. The people do not recognize what is for the common good, but the ruling elite does, so it is there job to make the decisions because you are too stupid to make them yourselves. Welcome to socialized medicine, the authoritarian state where your right to life and your parental rights are subordinate to the whims of bureaucrats sitting in some office somewhere. . . because they said so.
In Europe, your rights have limits, and government decides where those limits are. In the case of Chris and Connie, their child does not belong to them, and their love, from the government's point of view, has blinded them. But, that's okay, government death panels will make the decision for them, and the decision is that they must watch their child die in agony, with no hope for life even though hope exists out there in America (for now). Life is but a minor thing. Rights are a dream. Hope is an illusion. Do as you're told, and act as the government demands. The courts say so.
The United Kingdom has told these parents that their love and hope is not worth the trouble. The chance is too slim, and the monetary cost is too high. The baby is “suffering,” so it is their decision to allow the child to die. Your hope and love, be damned.
There is no dignity in this. The bureaucrats use words like "dignity" to cover up how heinous what they are doing truly is. Life is not important to the bureaucrats, the government's money and wishes are. Euthanizing people is the way things go, now. They euthanize babies in the womb, and babies in the hospital. They euthanize alcoholics and depressives and other people who they consider to be terminally ill. Those chosen to be euthanized were only human weeds, after all, sucking the life out of the single-payer system.
Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin would be proud.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary