As I have done several times, an instructive way to learn about what might happen if we are so foolish as to institute a national healthcare program like the one president Obama wants is to look to those unfortunate nations that have already trod that path. To understand what could happen here we need to hear from those leaders elsewhere that once thought they had the solutions that Obama seeks.
One such man is Claude Castonguay of Canada, a man that championed national healthcare for his country when that nation first began to explore the concept. It was full speed ahead as far as Castonguay was concerned. He too thought it an emergency.
In fact, he became known ever after as the “father of Quebec medicare” for his efforts. The Canadian government agreed with him and the plan was entered into with back slaps and hearty congratulations all around.
Yet, four decades later, it was Castonguay that declared that the Canadian healthcare system was in “crisis.” Things weren’t as rosy as he first thought they might be.
“We thought we could resolve the system’s problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it,” says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: “We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice.”
Castonguay advocates contracting out services to the private sector, going so far as suggesting that public hospitals rent space during off-hours to entrepreneurial doctors. He supports co-pays for patients who want to see physicians. Castonguay, the man who championed public health insurance in Canada, now urges for the legalization of private health insurance.
Why is this? Didn’t the Canadians find the perfect solution, the “fair” one for all citizens? If you think bureaucratized, government systems are the way to go, ask yourself if this woman is “worth” saving?
Sick with ovarian cancer, Sylvia de Vires, an Ontario woman afflicted with a 13-inch, fluid-filled tumor weighing 40 pounds, was unable to get timely care in Canada. She crossed the American border to Pontiac, Mich., where a surgeon removed the tumor, estimating she could not have lived longer than a few weeks more.
The Canadian government pays for U.S. medical care in some circumstances, but it declined to do so in de Vires’ case for a bureaucratically perfect, but inhumane, reason: She hadn’t properly filled out a form. At death’s door, de Vires should have done her paperwork better.
Or ask yourself if government has the capacity to address problems when they inevitably occur?
The Ministry of Health declared that British patients should get ER care within four hours. The result? At some hospitals, seriously ill patients are kept in ambulances for hours so as not to run afoul of the regulation; at other hospitals, patients are admitted to inappropriate wards.
Obamacare will bring this mess onto all our heads.
Do situations like this exist today in the U.S. system, anyway? Yes. Can they be easily fixed. No. But the difference is, patients currently have options to be able to “fix” their own situation. Once Obamacare is forced upon us, there will BE no solutions, no “fixes” that the individual can make to help himself. We will all be forced to suffer.
…well, maybe not all. For Obama is exempting government workers and unions from the hell he is about to force upon the rest of us.
Listen to Claude Castonguay. He has already been there. He’s seen the mistake that is national healthcare. Let’s learn from other’s disastrous decisions, shall we?