Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Coburn Report

Yay, Senator Coburn!  My husband forwarded me an article from the Wall Street Journal about this senator from Oklahoma who I believe has the right idea.  Even more brilliant is the fact that he is a doctor and challenging the proposed new health care system.  Ah.  Maybe we can trust a doctor to talk about the health care system.  I certainly wouldn't trust a pilot to tell me how to reform health care.

This universal health care systems scares me in one of the worst ways.  What scares me most is the number of people who think it works so wonderfully in the countries who already implement this type of health care.  Make no mistake - the United States has some of the best physicians in the world.  Many of the wealthier people in the afore-mentioned countries come here to take advantage of our superior health care.  We have some of the best health opportunities in the world because of competition which results from a capitalistic environment.  Only in a capitalistic environment is there so great an incentive to improve your craft and be better than the next guy.  A philanthropic heart helps too, but don't underestimate the ability to pay ones own bills, plus have a little extra to go on a nice vacation.

My boss loves to tell a story about a recent visit to Eastern Canada.  His tour guide glowed about how good the health care is in her area giving the example that her mother needed a stint and she only had to wait a month to get it.  Really?!  

My family used to take a week-long ski trip in Montreal, and everyone in our group knew that if you needed medical attention you'd better hope it could wait until we got back home to the States because the medical care is so notoriously slow and poor in Canada.  

I tried to explain all this to my coworker yesterday who looked lost as he asked "But I thought they were suppose to have great health care?  It's suppose to be free and everyone has it".  Yes.  Everyone has it.  Yes.  It's free.  But this is a situation where you get what you paid for.  What incentive does a doctor have to work in a system that binds your hands every time you turn around.  They'll decide who is entitled to what drugs and what care they get.  Do you want a politician be involved with determining if you are entitled to certain treatment.  I hope you're not a smoker, or heaven forbid you're an older person.  Do these supporters of a Universal Health Care plan realize that in Great Britain there are some cancer drugs that are simply not available to patients there because of cost?  

Let me clarify.  The current health care system in the U.S. is not perfect.  It needs help.  It needs change.  Most of this change is necessary because of the burdens that have already been placed on it by the none other than - our government.  And let's not turn a blind eye to the overburdening of the system by malpractice suits.  This has a lot to do with why doctors' fees are so high.  The insurance required to be a doctor due to these rampant lawsuits has reached outlandish proportions.  Can we do something about that, or have the trial lawyers invested too much in our politicians for them to speak up?  Sokolove got your tongue?

I could write for days and days about this, but I need to limit my ranting time.  After all, I'm the mother of that very adorable little boy featured here.  I've got stuff to do.

But stay tuned.  I have an interesting proposition coming for anyone with military connections.  I need to do some more research on an interesting tidbit I heard today in the office.  There's nothing worse than a call to action based on an "I heard from someone who read somewhere and I think we should all start a riot over it".  It still may not come through much better than that, but I'll try.

Until then... don't let anyone spoonfeed you information.  If something sounds good, it's Ok to say "yeah, that sounds like a great idea", but look into it.  Make sure you're not giving your constitutional rights away over a good sounding idea.  Do your homework.  It's terribly tedious, but the alternatives are quite a bit worse.

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