From the desk of author Michael Solomon

Michael Solomon was a 15-year veteran of the New York City Police Department and served  in its drug enforcement division, receiving well over a dozen awards for his excellent service
Date: November 17, 2007   Vol. 2 2- Issue 17

"My Baby Cares For Me"

Is a song written by Walter Donaldson with lyrics by Gus Kahn. It was from the 1928 musical "Whoopie" staring Eddie Cantor.

If your baby is your government, do you really want them caring for you?

Socialized medicine, as a noun, is defined as medical and hospital services for the members of a class or population administered by an organized group (such as a Government agency) and paid for from funds obtained usually by assessments, philanthropy, or taxation.

Problems in our health care systems are leading some to fall victim to proposals asking for a national government run health care system like Canada's or Britain's. There are many things that need to be considered before falling for these proposals. The belief that 45 million people in America are uninsured is not accurate. The number is very much less when you factor in the following figures.

Fourteen million people have been treated in hospitals. They were seen in emergency rooms and received the same care patients with insurance would receive. If they were admitted, they saw the same doctors and were in the same rooms that patients with insurance would enjoy. The problem is they are eligible for Medicaid but have not applied; therefore, the hospitals have no way of being reimbursed for their expenses. Some hospitals have personnel whose assignments are to get these people to sign up.

Eight million are young and gambling with their health. In an article for USA Today, Laura Vanderkam writes about young people gambling with their health. "Like most young people, I like to believe I'm invincible. Every so often, though, an e-mail shows up in my inbox that reminds me I'm not. Another twenty something acquaintance has suffered a ski accident, appendectomy or electric-saw mishap. The worst reports share a line: 'He doesn't have health insurance.' Then I know this young person is not only in pain, he's also wincing as his hospital time ticks by at $7,000 per day."

At least these young people can take comfort that they're not alone. A third of Americans age 21-24 lack health insurance, mostly by choice. Even though it may be a financial choice more than any other. A quarter of those ages 25-34 do without health insurance. However, some still drive an expensive sports car and live a lavish lifestyle.

Five million or more are illegal's who have been receiving medical care paid for by tax dollars.

Therefore, if you do the math the number is really closer to 18 million.

However, many politicians still pursue socialized medicine. They have embraced the Canadian and British nationalized health care systems as models for the U.S. It is a safe bet that should we ever develop a national system, they would exempt themselves from what the rest of us would have to endure. What they do not tell you is that the British have enjoyed a forty percent tax increase to pay for these services.

If you really want to know how bad socialized medicine is, read on.

The London Observer (3/3/02) carried a story saying that an "unpublished report shows some patients are now having to wait more than eight months for treatment, during which time many of their cancers become incurable." Another story said, "According to a World Health Organization report to be published later this year, around 10,000 British people die unnecessarily from cancer each year -- three times as many as are killed on our (Britain's) roads."

The story is no better in Canada's national health care system. The Fraser Institute in British Columbia has a yearly publication titled, "Waiting Your Turn." Its 2006 edition gives waiting times, by treatments, from a person's referral by a general practitioner to treatment by a specialist. The shortest waiting time was for oncology (4.9 weeks). The longest waiting time was for orthopedic surgery (40.3 weeks), followed by plastic surgery (35.4 weeks) and neurosurgery (31.7 weeks). Canadians face significant waiting times for various diagnostics such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound scans.

Despite the long waiting times Canadians suffer, sometimes resulting in death, under federal law, private clinics are not legally allowed to provide services covered by the Canada Health Act. So what is a Canadian to do?

There is help for some Canadian patients. According to a Canadian Medical Association Journal article, "U.S. Hospitals Use Waiting-List Woes to Woo Canadians" (2/22/2000), "British Columbia patients fed up with sojourns on waiting lists as they await tests or treatment are being wooed by a hospital in Washington State that has begun offering package deals.

A second U.S. hospital is also considering marketing its services." One of the attractions is that an MRI, which can take anywhere from 10 to 28 weeks in Canada, can be had in two days at Olympic Memorial Hospital in Port Angeles, Wash. Already, Cleveland is Canada's hip-replacement center."

There is a cure for our health care problems. That cure is not to demand more government but less government. I challenge anyone to identify a problem with health care in America that is not caused or aggravated by federal, state and local governments. In addition, I challenge anyone to show me people dying on the streets because they do not have health insurance.

All experiments in socialized medicine since 1911 when England first started experimenting with socialized medicine have failed. Just as they have failed everywhere. However, governments never admit they are wrong. When government seizes power and money from their citizens in order to promote their welfare and then makes matters worse for them, government will inevitably argue that it did not have enough money or power to run the system correctly.

The problem with our over priced cost of health care insurance may be the fact that doctors are not practicing preventive medicine because they are too busy practicing defensive medicine. This has resulted in extremely high medical malpractice insurance premiums for doctors.

The lack of proper tort reform in most states has led to a surge of malpractice lawsuits being instigated against doctors. Therefore, doctors are ordering tests and procedures that they know are unnecessary. They are ordering them to cover their asses. So when the insurance companies pay for these extraordinary tests their expenses go up and so do our premiums. Some states are doing something about it.

Like Texas where "Gov. Rick Perry has laid out a series of corrective measures to fix the medical lawsuit abuse crisis that is hurting doctors and hampering Texans' access to quality, affordable health care. Health care providers across the state have recounted troubling stories of malpractice insurance rates soaring as much as 400 percent in one year and of insurance carriers refusing to renew policies for some doctors, even those who have never had a malpractice claim filed against them.

The governor's plan includes a call for meaningful lawsuit reform for the health care profession that caps non-economic losses to plaintiffs at $250,000. More than 20 other states have capped non-economic damages, resulting in lower liability insurance rates. California, for example, limits non-economic damages to $250,000 and has the third lowest medical liability rates in the nation."

Since the Texas plan was enacted the number of doctors moving to Texas to open up their practice has created a twenty-three-percent rise in the number of available medical practitioners in the state.

So where does that leave us? Hillary Clinton wants to once again push her "Hilliarycare Program." It failed in 1993 and it will fail again. The question is at what cost to the American taxpayer.

If Hillarycare is ever enacted in America, the people who may fear it most may be the Canadians. Where will they go for their health care?

The bigger question is, where will we go?

And, that is my opinion.

Michael Solomon

Author of 'Where Did My America Go?"


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