Guest-hosting Bill Bennett’s radio show last week, RNC Chairman Michael Steele also used the health reform-will-kill-people rhetoric. Steele claimed that seniors will be “denied care” and compared it to Europe, where he says people will be “dead if they have to wait in the line.” At the same time, Steele claimed he wasn’t using “scare tactics:
STEELE: And what seniors out there, Larry, need to understand is simply this. That this bill will lead to a rationing of health care to such a degree that if you fall into a certain age group or category, you will be denied coverage. You will be denied service. It is that simple. This is not, this is not scare tactics. This is not kind of making this up. This is the reality of the system. How do we know? Because we’ve seen it work in Europe and in Canada. Why do you think seniors come to the United States to get their health care? Because they’ll be dead if they have to wait in the line over there in Europe to get it.Neither Steele nor his right-wing allies mention that the United States has a higher “mortality amendable to health care” than European countries, which means “deaths from certain causes before age 75 that are potentially preventable with timely and effective health care.”
TPJ: Ironically for the right-wing, the country that has the least deaths from certain causes before age 75 that are potentially preventable with timely and effective health care is France with 65 deaths per 100,000. A country, which many Conservatives think is a, "joke" whose health care system is a failure, and the Socialist lair of "Satan" himself. Yet they have the lowest rate. Nevermind, I can hear them say--What about Canada? They say stuff like, "I keep heard people have to wait years for operations in Canada." The story usually goes something like this, "My friend knows a friend whose cousin's brother-in-law knows a friend whose uncle was on a waiting list for TWO YEARS!!! So you ask, "For what?" He needed hip replacement and having to wait would mean he'd have to be in a wheel chair while he waited. Big deal!!!
At least you can still get around and sure being in a wheel chair can be difficult but at least you will be able to get out of that chair once your surgery is over. Be lucky that you don't have to be confined to the wheel chair permanently like many people who have worse injuries then that. Most people in wheel chairs are in them because of severe spinal cord injuries--not because their hip is aching and so they'll need a surgery soon. I know that hips can get sore and annoying but do you seriously think that should take priority over someone who just got into a car accident and needs emergency surgery for a life threatening issue?
Every Conservative seems to have "a friend" in Canada and they all hate their health care system yet for some reason the people of Canada despite having the same democratic right to vote haven't gotten rid of that "evil, socialist, godless" health care system!! Just like most of Europe. Europeans have had various forms of universal health care for decades and yet you don't hear about them overturning their plans or evening any serious attempts to do so. I'd be curious to see what political persuasion and income level the majority of these Canadian complainers are in. And what are they waiting for exactly? I can see how they might make you wait if you want elective tonsil surgery because they personally gross you out but where are the studies of people having to wait in line for heart surgery?
I guess being Canada and it being so cold their brains froze up waiting in line in those hospitals to where they don't have the brain capacity to remember how to vote against something that isn't working? Come on, what a bunch of bullshit. Yet consider this from the Canadian Ministry of Health Services website on waiting lists: "In British Columbia, more than 400,000 hospital-based surgeries and treatments are performed each year. If you need surgery or treatment that is not an emergency, you will be placed on a wait list. An individual who needs emergency surgery does not go on a waitlist; they receive treatment without delay."
TPJ: So yes, there is some waiting but not with life threatening procedures. I'd rather wait in line for an elective surgery than not be able to have the surgery at all because I can't afford health insurance in the first place!! And who amongst us hasn't had to wait for some level of health care here in America anyway? No one. No one is saying the public option is perfect--there is no perfect plan but it certainly is better than what we have right now, which is basically no coverage or not enough coverage. This puts people in debt or bankruptcy court. So what good is private health care if it drains your bank account and most of your savings to pay for and you thus end up without insurance anyway?!!
But lets return back to the "Mortality according to health care" chart. Canada isn't as good off as France but they are at 77 and many other countries, which have "socialized medicine" are well below the rate of the U.S. as well: Japan, 71. Norway, 80. Greece, 84. Germany, 9o. So what country is the highest and what is their number? Why, the United States of America, which according to many lobotomized people on the right believe has the best health care system in the world at 110!!!
So you hear people say they "ration" health care in Canada and make you wait but what does "rationing" and "waiting" mean exactly? Listen to this story from a Canadian explaining what these wait times and "rationing" mean in Canada and how it really plays out:
Last week I compressed 2 nerves in my spine, which was unbelievably painful. I called and [sic] ambulance, which came in 6 minutes, which provided me painkillers and treatment on the way to the hospital. When I arrived, I was seated in a reclining bed and talked to by a nurse in about 25 minutes, and the doctor arrived to help me in about 40 minutes. The reason the doctor took 40 minutes?: there was a severely injured woman who needed his attention more then I did. This is what rationing is, understanding when your needs can’t always be put first. So if rationing means that relatively healthy people have to wait longer so really unhealthy people can recieve [sic] treatment, then I am proud to say we ration medical care in Canada.TPJ: So while the name "rationing" sounds scary it's not what it sounds like and certainly not what many on the right define it to be. So while his injury was clearly painful he received pain meds I'm sure to enable him to wait those 40 minutes. I've waited longer in American hospitals. He also makes a good point about increasing the number of doctors. My chiropractor was discussing this with me the other day and suggested something that I thought would help this lack of doctors problem.
Also, throughout this whole ordeal not once was a bill or any talk of payment mentioned. Finally, our long wait times have a lot to do with a lack of doctors, which can be remedied by increasing funding to med schools. Why havent we done that? Supply and demand, if healthcare is unaffordable because those who provide it are scarce (and therefore, valuable) why dont we just continue to increast [sic] the number of doctors until the premium they charge for service comes down? Kind of a blunt instrument, but could be effective.
Include in the public option health care bill a way for med students to have their student loans paid for in exchange for working a certain amount of years at remote hospitals where they need more help. So when the right-wing talks about wait times they're mostly referring to elective surgery. When they refer to "rationing" it simply means that emergencies cases are seen before relatively healthy citizens who can afford to wait a bit are seen. This is determined by the doctors who are trained in triage, which is the less loaded term for "rationing." And finally, we don't have to have our system exactly like Canada, France or the U.K.--those are models from, which to use as a foundation to build our own system unique to America's needs and I think Obama is on the right track for doing just that.
Obama isn't saying we have to choose one system or another. If he has said it once he's said it a MILLION TIMES--If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. If you like your private insurance provider then you can keep it but he (and his supporters of this plan) want there to be a public option for those who can't afford private health insurance. So if you're someone who wants to be able to get a hip replacement the second you want it then stick with the expensive premium private plans but you better pray that they pay for it. And leave those who want to be on the public option to do so. But think about this-Do you want to have to take the risk of having a plan where you can get any elective surgery you want but can't afford it anyway and thus can't have it at all? At least on a public option you eventually get that hip replacement even if you have to wait it out a bit and suck up some pride and sit in a wheel chair. It will do you some good to see what permanently disabled, wheel chair bound citizens have to face for the rest of their lives.
Obama is giving us a choice between two plans--how is choice socialism? It's not and anyone who has taken a basic history or political science class knows that. Some on the right say that you won't get to keep your doctor because people will be "forced" to go to the public option plan. Hmm, force? Sounds like Communism!!! But wait, how could Obama force people to do that? He can't. People would choose to leave their private plan. So why would people choose to leave their private plan? Well clearly because the public option plan would be cheaper for them. People would see the savings they'd make and switch over. So the argument now is that the public option plan is bad because---it's cheaper???
So they argue the public plan is too expensive but at the same time people will flock to the public plan because it's cheaper to afford. So why is that bad that people save money while getting similar cover to those in France who are sitting at 65 deaths per 100,000 versus our current level of 110? Also, how is it expensive AND cheap at the same time? Also, so what are they suggesting that we force people to stay in their expensive private plans that they can't afford??? Isn't that the very thing that they are accusing Obama of doing? Forcing people into one plan? The fact of the matter is that this public option brings the best of the public and private sectors together to offer people greater choice for their dollar. Besides, we are all paying for the uninsured now to the tune of $1000-1200 per family extra in our health care premiums to pay reimbursed care for those uninsured.
What they're really afraid of is private insurance companies becoming fewer but more competitive. Ahhhh!!! See now we're getting to what they REALLY care about!! The private health insurance companies, which finance their campaigns won't be able to fund them as much anymore. So they'll be less influenced by lobbyists. How is that bad? It's not unless you're a corrupt member of Congress!! Thus, instead of private insurance having a lock on 100% of the health care market they'll have to compete--NO!!!!!!!! But wait, I thought competition was a principle of Capitalism? It is. But I thought the public option was Socialism? It's not. But then why do Republicans who claim to be the party of Capitalism stand against choice and competition? Well, you'll have to ask them. As for those Conservative Democrats, well, they are in the same bed as the majority of the Republicans so on this issue they are basically Republicans.
Besides, If people can afford to pay higher costs with their private plan right now and get all these goodies that the right-wing claims they are getting--Why would they switch to the cheaper plan, (the public option) which these same Republicans claim is horrible coverage?
In conclusion I wanted to share this from someone known as "Last Man Standing" in a comment section on a health care article:
"There already is rationing of health care in the US. It is called money:
- If you don’t have employer insurance, you don’t get full health care.
- If you don’t have any insurance, you don’t get full health care.
- If you don’t have money, you don’t get full health care.