Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hello Canadian State Run Inefficiency

So we're closer to health care reform. When the Democrats secured the sixtieth vote to support the bill that they jiggered together, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) proclaimed, "We stand ready to pass a bill into law that finally makes quality health care a right for every America, not a privilege."

Where we stand is several steps closer to Canada. What does that mean? Here is a Canadian television report on Lyme disease. Sufferers come to America where "they know what they're doing." Watch both segments (12 and 7 minutes). It is stunning how bad things can be in a state run health system. Perhaps it is not so stunning.

David Leggett, in Part II, is an old friend of mine. Here is the account from the print story of his plight with Canadian doctors.

David Leggett used to love the outdoors. He was a healthy, active, family man who enjoyed camping trips with his wife and two daughters. His job as a high school principal came with a long summer vacation -- the perfect time to enjoy Canada's vast stretches of wilderness.

That all changed in July 2004, after camping in a provincial park near Sudbury, Ont. "We were out hiking and then one day I couldn't hike anymore and my knee ballooned up. I felt really, really strange. I had no energy," Leggett recalled.

By October, Leggett was too ill to work. After doing some research on his own he suspected he might have Lyme disease -- but his doctors told him that was impossible because it was too rare in Ontario and it didn't exist where he had been camping. They were wrong.

These days Leggett spends his time lying in bed, unable to get up to eat or even bathe himself. Most of his Canadian doctors continue to insist he is not suffering from Lyme disease, even though a blood test from an American lab came back positive for Lyme.

When a service becomes a "right," instead of a "good," and as a consequence becomes a service of the government rather than a provision of the private economy, you can expect its management to be politicized, its consumers to be impoverished, and its development to be stunted. But you can expect misery of one sort or another to follow when you use something for a purpose other than God's design for it. God instituted government to punish evil and praise what is good (I Peter 2:14), not as the instrument to provide all manner of human goods from schooling and health care to opera companies and baseball stadiums.

Truly historic health care reform would free up the present monstrous system, so that it is not tied to employers but carried by individuals, purchasable with pre-tax income, and open for purchase across state lines. Go would see greater innovation, not less as you will see under anything that the Democrats pass. American citizens would be more in control of this important aspect of their well-being, not less.

here is Mr. Leggett's blog where he discusses the lyme disease problem in Canada. He writes, "Personally, I have a number of friends who are medical doctors. They care very much about all of their patients, including those that they might suspect of having lyme disease. The problem is systemic. Even if a doctor really wants to do everything possible to help a patient who is exhibiting early symptoms of lyme disease, the tests aren’t accurate, an eager medical response often brings an investigation from the provincial college of physicians and surgeons, and the general medical support infrastructure isn’t conducive to an informed and timely response."

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