If It’s Not About Money, Exactly What Is It About?

We have all heard the story of little Charlie Gard who is in the hospital in Britain suffering from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes brain damage and prevents muscles from developing. His parents want to remove him from the hospital and seek treatment in America. The hospital (under the British healthcare system) wants to let him ‘die with dignity.’ The parents have offers of medical treatment and care from the Vatican and from medical facilities in America. The parents evidently have the financial means to get him where he needs to be to receive the treatment. Taking him from the hospital where he currently is creates no financial burden for the hospital. So why won’t the hospital let the parents take Charlie Gard out of the hospital? To me, that is the million dollar question.

The American Thinker posted an article today about the impact of single-payer socialized health care on innovation and alternative medicine. The article reminds us that the passage of ObamaCare in 2009 helped establish the idea that health care is a right.

The article includes the following:

The day after the Obamacare vote, the senior member of the House of Representatives, Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), a strong supporter of government-run health care since he first got elected to the Congress in the mid-1950s, appeared as a guest on a local Detroit radio program. I learned about the Dingell interview courtesy of someone in Detroit who heard the broadcast and posted a comment about it at a blog that I stumbled upon. After some research, I was able to identify the Detroit talk show — it was the Paul W. Smith program on radio station WJR — and locate an audio file of the Dingell segment on WJR’s Web site before it scrolled offline.

Sure enough, as he gleefully celebrated the passage of Obamacare on Smith’s program, Dingell blurted out that the Democrats had finally learned how “to control the people:”

The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.

As I previously noted, the hospital in Britain has no financial interest in keeping Charlie Gard as a patient until he dies–in fact, that is probably against their financial interest. It would seem that ‘control’ might be the only obvious reason for their policy–they don’t want to allow Charlie’s parents to control the medical care their child receives.

The article further reminds us:

Nationalized mandated health care has always been a goal of the collectivist, statist, communist model of governance.

Writing in 2007 in National Review Online, Mark Steyn put it succinctly:

Socialized health care is the single biggest factor in transforming the relationship of the individual to the state.

The article concludes:

It remains to be seen if a new effort by the parents to appeal the court’s decision will prevail. In the meantime, the case illustrates several points. In a socialized, single-payer medical system like the one that has been in place in the UK since the NHS was mandated in 1948, the patient — or in this case, his parents — is not in control; the medical bureaucrats under the color of law have the final say over one’s life and death.

It is also noteworthy that innovative options that might help a patient like Charlie are emanating not from Britain — where socialism and the NHS have hindered medical innovation and impaired successful treatment outcomes — but from the United States, where the practice of medicine has yet to fall under the complete and suffocating yoke of socialism.

We are at a crossroads right now in America. We have a choice. Are we going to be the country envisioned by our Founding Fathers that was a beacon of freedom to the world or are we going to trade our freedom for government control sold to us under the guise of benefits. If the Republicans do not repeal ObamaCare, we can expect to see cases like Charlie Gard begin to appear in America.

 

These Numbers Just Don’t Add Up

On Tuesday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the Veterans Administration scandal that is the Obama Administration’s scandal de jour. The treatment of our veterans by the Veterans Administration hospitals is a disgrace and is inexcusable. However, some of the excuses given by the Obama Administration and its supporters simply do not hold water.

The Washington Examiner today quoted Nancy Pelosi on the scandal:

Pelosi took a shot at Bush while saying that the scandal is a high priority for Obama. “He sees the ramifications of some seeds that were sown a long time ago, when you have two wars over a long period of time and many, many more, millions more veterans,” she told reporters during her Thursday press briefing. “And so, I know that he is upset about it.”

The actual numbers tell a different story–it really isn’t George Bush’s fault.

Investor’s Business Daily has the chart:

The number of veterans is declining and the spending is going up, so what is going on?

The article at Investor’s Business Daily explains some of where the numbers on the chart come from:

Some will argue that the increase in health spending was the direct result of all those wounded warriors coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan.

But these vets aren’t driving VA costs higher.

A Congressional Budget Office report found that they cost $4,800, on average, in 2010 compared with $8,800 for other veterans who used the system.

It also found that while these Iraq and Afghan vets account for 7% of those treated, they were responsible for only 4% of its health costs.

…What’s more, the main reason for the growth in enrollment in the VA’s health service wasn’t those two wars; it was the Veterans’ Health Care Eligibility Reform Act of 1996, signed by President Clinton, “which required the VA to provide care to certain types of veterans, such as those with service-connected disabilities, and permitted VA to offer services to additional veterans if funding permitted,” the CBO report noted.

…That points to the fact that, unlike Medicare, Medicaid and, now, ObamaCare — which rely on private doctors and hospitals to provide subsidized or free care — the VA is a completely government-run system, with its own hospitals, clinics and providers.

As the department notes, it operates the nation’s largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics and other facilities.

For years, proponents of a single-payer health care system lauded the VA for this very reason, saying it was a model for the rest of the country.

“Yes, this is ‘socialized medicine,'” wrote liberal economist Paul Krugman in 2011, “But it works — and suggests what it will take to solve the troubles of U.S. health care more broadly.”

At best, the VA hospital scandal is the proof that socialized medicine is exactly the wrong prescription to solve the problems in the healthcare system in America. It’s not George Bush’s fault–the failure in the VA is due to the fact that socialized medicine does not work.