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Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Whiff Of Health Care Freedom

Big news in Britain. If you move, you no longer have to drop your physician.

Why would you have to drop your physician, you ask. Because in Britain's nationalized health system, doctors are rationed by geographic area and restricted to serving people in that area. As reported in The Telegraph:
GP practices often run very tight boundaries and refuse to take patients who live even 100 yards too far away or on the wrong side of the road and people who move house are forced to change their surgery.

But within the next year patients will be able to choose to remain with a favoured doctor when they move house or register with one near work or school if they choose.

Under new plans to be announced in a keynote speech in London Mr Burnham will say GPs will not be able to refuse to take patients because they live too far away.
The fact that Brits have not previously known even this fundamental health care freedom, the ability to choose and keep your doctor, says so much about nationalized health care.

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  1. Here in Australia we are able to choose our own doctor. However, there is a problem when you cannot get to see a doctor for about 1 week even if you have passed out at work.... (not me, a friend of the family). This is one reason why we find ourselves having to use the emergency department of the local hospital.

    The other week I had an emergency with a tooth. After a few phone calls on the Sunday, and not being able to find an emergency dentist (he was busy with patients) I ended up going to the emergency department of the local hospital. It was a good experience, I got a nerve block which gave relief for a short time... and then I did manage to go to the emergency dentist and found myself $315 poorer....

    Now my friends had an emergency later in the week. It seems that none of the doctors were on duty during the night and the patients brought by ambulance were just dumped in the emergency department. It was an unsatisfactory situation that had developed.

    Keep in mind we have universal health and we have a situation where we cannot get a timely appointment... this then stretches the resources of the emergency department of the local hospital and well.... you can see the pattern that emerges...

  2. But... but... Paul Krugman said those horror stories about universal health care were not true!

    Dang it, you have broken my faith in krugman.

  3. Maggie, you are clearly making all of this up. The Democrats have assured us that under socialized medicine, its nothing but unicorns and goodness. The skies will be clearer, the women prettier, the dogs nicer, and the television shows better. The laws of supply and demand will be repealed, there actually will be such a thing as a free lunch.
    Me, I can't wait to have the same people who run the DMV decide which doctor I get to got to. /sarc/

  4. This is a very dangerous period because Nationalization will still occur even without an overt government run insurance plan like this "public option" provision everyone keeps fixating on - everything else contained in the plan is just as dangerous and is not being discussed in any kind of a targeted manner.

    Here are the core elements what will be contained in the “health care reform compromise” after the so-called “public option” is in all likelihood dropped; both the Bacus and Wyden-Bennett bill contain all of these items:

    (a) Federal Regulation aka HEALTH CZAR/DEATH PANELS/RATIONING
    (b) Employer/Individual Mandates aka NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE
    (c) Government Subsidies aka MIDDLE CLASS MEDICAL WELFARE

    With the Federal Government setting the rules, forcing everyone to participate, and is paying the bills for most of the middle class through subsidies how is this anything other than Nationalization?

    And it’s clearly a government take-over of health care – only the names are changed to make us feel better about the arrangement. Since the government will be controlling the market and setting the terms, health insurance companies will essentially quasi-governmental agencies that get to administer the plan. They will be controlled in the same manner as GM or CITIGROUP and will be private in name only.

    The common thread in all of the so-called "compromise" or bi-partisan plans is the Individual Mandate to force people to buy government dictated health insurance. This needs to be the focus for conservatives now!

    I would strongly advocate to conservatives in the Media/GOP elected officials that they stress three very simple messages:

    (1) The Individual Mandates need to be opposed and need to be the center piece of the opposition message - they are the most political unpopular feature of the Obamacare plan and they hold the whole scheme. Simply put, there is no government takeover without Mandates.

    (2) Health Insurance Companies need to be called out for receiving Bailout money and a Monopoly Market. Health Insurance execs are politically unpopular and this would put the GOP/Opponents on the side of the people and not the special interests. We conservatives have a responsibility to defend the concept of insurance and free markets but not the current government and special interest distorted market.

    (3) Obamacare is a corrupt bargain that benefits big government, powerful Washington politicians, big union, and big companies/industry at the expense (once again) of the taxpayer, small business, the elderly, and the young.

    Particularly, Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate need to understand this as many of the “compromise” plans being discussed contain all of these elements. They need to be forced to go on record as not only opposing the “government option” but these Employer/Individual Mandates too before they fall into the trap of thinking they are acceptable and not government run health care.
    Individual Mandates to buy private insurance sound like a “free market” solution and “individual responsibility” but in this context they are not – they are simply a front for a government run system. Again, the common thread in every liberal/statist health care bill is the Individual Mandate. To see it in action, look no further then how these Mandates in MA work to give government full control and to skyrocket costs. Many conservatives can be easily fooled by this faux “private” front (Mitt Romney was) – there needs to be united conservative opposition to Mandates now!