Saturday, September 13, 2008

American Health System Not the Real Sicko

In the summer of 2007, ultra-liberal propagandist Michael Moore released his documentary film titled 'Sicko', which was intended to compare the U.S. health care system to other nations and to tell HMO horror stories. Moore's basic premise was that the American system was somehow broken, and that it just could not compare with the health care received in places such as communist Cuba. What Moore and his fellow liberal idealogues would have you believe is that if only the United States would adopt a national health care system such as the one implemented in Canada, and would guarantee everyone free health care, all would be well with the world. So many more regular folks would be healthy and whole, not just the wealthy patrons of the current health care model. Of course Moore weighs down his films with so many outright lies and distortions of truth that the majority of thinking Americans have come to recognize them for the far left, neo-socialism smear pieces that they are in actuality, and have stayed away from the theatres in droves. As Cato Institute medical expert Dr. Michael D. Tanner reports in the article "The Doctor Is In" from the July 2008 issue of Townhall magazine: "Moore cites a 2000 World Health Organization study that ranks the U.S. health care system as 37th in the world." Tanner goes on to explain that the W.H.O. measured highly subjective items such as 'fairness', 'not having a sufficiently progressive tax system', 'tobacco control', 'not providing all citizens health insurance', and not enough 'social welfare' programs. Bottom line, the W.H.O. takes a political position, not a medical one, in ranking the U.S. so low, playing right into Moore's socialist visions. When the W.H.O. does finally talk of the actual medical care here in the U.S., they rank us at the top for the truly important areas of 'provider choice', 'dignity', 'autonomy', 'confidentiality', and perhaps most importantly 'timely care'. You see, American health care is actually so good that large numbers of foreigners come here every year for their treatments, drugs, and surgeries. Want a perfect example? Belinda Stronach, a member of the Canadian Parliament, developed breast cancer and, as Tanner reported: "abandoned her country's national health care system", instead seeking treatment at a California hospital. Stronach could have received her treatment right there in Canada, but would have had to go through the red tape, referals, and waiting lists that the rest of her countrymen have to endure. But she didn't have time to wait, since over 800,000 Canadians are currently on waiting lists for various procedures, suffering what their highest court calls 'chronic pain' which many will endure until they die while still waiting their place on the lists to be reached. In his film, Moore further makes a point that Cuban babies have low infant mortality rates when compared with American babies, and yet fails to point out that Cuba has one of the world's highest abortion rates, meaning that many babies with potential health problems are never brought to term in the first place. And here in the U.S. our technology is so far advanced that low birth-weight babies who are automatically dead in Cuba can be born alive here. Some will make it, some will not, and those that do not contribute mightily to our infant mortality rate. As I said, in Cuba none of these types of babies would make it home alive. Whether it be cancer, heart disease, pneumonia, or even AIDS, patients of any disease, illness, or condition have a far better chance at survival and cure when treated at American health facilities under the current U.S. health care system. As long as our system continues to be free of national restrictions and buerocratic red tape, this will continue to be the case. Do we have problems? Sure, but a deficit in the quality of care here is not one of them. We need to figure out a way to keep prescription drugs at the lowest possible prices. But the way to reach that goal is not to restrict or regulate drug companies, but instead ensure they have incentives to lower those prices and keep them affordable. How we balance the need for greater care for some of our citizens against the need to maintain the availablity of the best health care in the world is one question. How we balance the desire to see our poorest citizens receive basic health care against the need to keep the incentives high for our best medical facilities to research and develop the best treatments into the future is another question. There are many questions. But the answer is not to scrap the system that we have in favor of some 'national' or 'universal' health care system. None of us need that nightmare of long lines, long waits, long periods of pain, and shorter lives.

No comments: