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President seeks to take absolute control of healthcare

Obamacare: the shape of things to come

By --June 16, 2009

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While the nations lap dog media breathlessly proclaims each and every musing of celebrity President Barack Obama as a masterstroke, saner minds show that most of the Messiah’s plans are doomed to backfire.

So it is with Obamacare, as the President seeks to take absolute control of healthcare, which represents over one-fifth (or $2.5 trillion) of the nation’s GDP.  The ostensible motivation for such a move is to ensure that all Americans receive proper healthcare and to rein in escalating healthcare costs, as well as give individuals “additional choice’ in the development of their healthcare decision.

To say these reasons are specious is a mild understatement in that they form the framework of a gigantic lie.  While the current American system of healthcare admittedly does not offer coverage to all Americans, as some 20% of the population is not covered under any insurance plan, enacting a vast omnibus array of healthcare reforms in efforts to guarantee all Americans healthcare coverage will neither provide adequate healthcare to all Americans nor will it result in reduced healthcare costs.  The only logical outcome that a government takeover of healthcare in America can have is to devolve into a single payer system such as is currently found in Cuba, North Korea and Canada.

I do not know what condition the Cuban or North Korean healthcare system is currently in, but I do know about the Canadian healthcare system, as I am doomed by law to trust my healthcare needs into that system.  Having recently undergone knee replacement surgery under the Canadian model, I can attest to the fact that it was (almost) free of charge, except for the cost of medications and post-operative treatment.  The downside of getting “free” surgery under a government controlled system is that if one expects to survive the post-surgical hospitalization, it is important to have a family member or other patient advocate present in the hospital room round the clock to ensure that the care plan is enacted.

What’s more, since Canadian healthcare costs have escalated at an alarming pace over the past two decades with little or no improvement in outcome, most individuals working within the Canadian healthcare system are demoralized to near catatonia.  Imagine a hospital where everyone is fanatically concerned with the sterilization of hands, lest infections spread, yet no one seems to care about, much less be aware of the dirt and filth that pervasively cover nearly every surface within the hospital.

The floors of patient rooms are littered with plastic seals that nurses take off IV packs and carelessly toss to the floor.  Bloody bandages are removed from patients’ wounds and tossed into a corner to stay there for days.  Spilled food and drinks are left to be ground into the floors and no one seems to care.

Bed linens are changed once and that’s prior to the arrival of a new patient.  If that patient occupies that bed for a week or longer, then the bed linens stay on until such time that the patient is discharged and a new one takes his place.

During my stay in hospital, the gentleman occupying the bed next to me started to complain about having a painful prickly sensation in his back.  Upon carefully examining his back, his wife discovered that he had the point of a broken needle embedded there, which he apparently picked up from his mattress.  The needle tip had to be removed from his back in the emergency room, where red-faced doctors identified is as a broken tip from a syringe.

This is not some Third-World hellhole we’re talking about, but an ultra-modern hospital in Toronto, which is Canada’s largest and most modern city.

A skeptic might say that there is no guarantee that the institution of Obamacare in the US would necessarily result in the kind of degeneration that we have witnessed in the Canadian system.  But then, no one in Canada foresaw the waste and bureaucratic gridlock currently plaguing our system when the Canada Health Act was first passed back in 1984.  It’s interesting to note that advocates of the single payer system in Canada were using the same arguments and tactics as the Obamites are using today in efforts to advance their agenda.  They vilified doctors to the point that many skilled physicians said “no thanks” and left for greener pastures, namely in the US.  The argument was about the containment of costs and improvement of quality, none of which anyone would argue against.

But the reality of the Canadian healthcare system is that out of 30 countries Canada’s expenditures on healthcare is 3rd highest in the world, while healthcare outcomes are a dismal 28th.  Currently Canada spends nearly half of its government budget on healthcare, with little or no improvement in outcome and the mantra that we aren’t spending enough is recited with the conviction of a Greek chorus by Canadian healthcare workers’ unions. 

No amount of money will improve the Canadian system any time soon, as the problem isn’t so much a lack of money as it is a lack of physicians.  Currently one in 4 Canadians (over 7 million) do not have access to a primary care physician, while wait times for routine life-saving procedures are commonly in excess of two years.

Obamacare may sound like a good deal to someone who currently isn’t covered under any health insurance in the US.  But in terms of an overall improvement in outcome vs. expenditure, it could prove to be one of the single most disastrous decisions ever made on behalf of Americans.  In this case, the admonition that you should be careful what you wish for because you just might get it, is a warning that can’t be made strongly enough.

Klaus Rohrich -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Klaus Rohrich is senior columnist for Canada Free Press. Klaus also writes topical articles for numerous magazines. He has a regular column on RetirementHomes and is currently working on his first book dealing with the toxicity of liberalism.  His work has been featured on the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, among others.  He lives and works in a small town outside of Toronto.

Older articles by Klaus Rohrich

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