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  1. #1
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    White House stands by Obama's claim that single-payer health care works in other countries--It's just not sure which countries Obama meant

    White House (CNSNews.com) - Two days after President Barack Obama told the American Medical Association that in some countries a single-payer health care system “works pretty well,” the White House reaffirmed that people in those countries liked their health care, but also said it did not know to which countries the president was referring.

    “I don’t know exactly the countries. I think if you talk to the people in the countries that have that system, they think their health care is pretty good,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told CNSNews.com Wednesday during the daily press briefing.

    Asked again if he knew specifically which countries, Gibbs replied: “I assume Canada, Britain, maybe France. I don’t know the exact countries, but again, I don’t think the president is going way out on a limb that some people in other countries have a health care system that they like. Just as some Americans like the health care system that they have.”

    President Obama spoke Monday in Chicago to the American Medical Association, the doctors’ lobby that is skeptical about his “public option” health care reform proposal.

    “Let me also say that—let me also address an illegitimate concern that’s being put forward by those who are claiming a public option is somehow a Trojan Horse for a single-payer system,” Obama said on Monday.

    “I’ll be honest, there are countries where a single-payer system works pretty well. But I believe – and I’ve taken some flak from members of my own party for this belief – that it’s important for our efforts to build on our traditions here in the United States. So when you hear the naysayers claim that I’m trying to bring about government-run health care, know this: They’re not telling the truth.”

    The criticism of single-payer health care – primarily as practiced in Canada and Europe – has been that operations and procedures are long-delayed or denied and health care is rationed to control costs. For example, in Canada, the average wait for a 65-year-old man to get a hip replacement is six months, according to the Freedom Works Foundation.

    The average wait time in a Canadian emergency room is 16 hours and 18 minutes. Also, “the average cancer test and radiation treatment cycles vary between 6 to 8 weeks,” the foundation reported.

    John Goodman, director of the National Center for Policy Analysis and author of the book, “Lives at Risk: Single-Payer National Health Insurance Around the World,” has reported that in Britain, “at any one time, there are about a million people waiting to get into hospitals. According to the Fraser Institute, almost 900,000 Canadian patients are on the waiting list at any point in time. And, according to the New Zealand government, 90,000 people are on the waiting lists there.”

    “Those people constitute only about 1 to 2 percent of the population in those countries, but keep in mind that only about 15 percent of the population actually enters a hospital each year,” says Goodman. “Many of the people waiting are waiting in pain. Many are risking their lives by waiting. And there is no market mechanism in these countries to get care to people who need it first.”

    Earlier this year, the Obama administration signed an economic recovery act into law that established a comparative effectiveness council to determine the most cost-effective medical procedures. This economic stimulus bill also included the establishment of a centrally linked electronic infrastructure that would include the medical information of every American by 2014.

    Obama and most Democrats in Congress are pushing for a “public option,” or government-run health insurance program that would compete with private health care companies.

    Many analysts agree that the private, market-driven companies would be unable to compete with a government-run insurance program, which would have nearly unlimited resources.

  2. #2
    sgtbear111's Avatar
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    They mouth the words. The govt elite has written their own health plan that gives them lifetime access to the best there is, or our money can buy them. They also get to bypass lines, and have "staff" to deal with paperwork. The Sovet Union had single payer, but the Party elite had their own separate facilities, or went outside the USSR. We now have a "party elite" who will do what they think is best for us..............

    Single payer works OK in some countries? Perhaps if that single payer is the US taxpayer via foreign aid. The problem with the govt running it, is the govt. Lawyers and bureaucrats who never answered to stockholders or their banker will throw money at problems until they go away. Fixing a problem ? If it goes away- it's fixed, or fixed close enough for govt work.

    Many modern single payer countries have a parallel network of private hosptals and practitioners, paid from supplemental private insurance plans. If you need some serious medical care, done fast, go to the private network or get a referral to the USA. You still pay for the govt plan.

    The best we have in single payer care is the military system. I worry that these faciities will be overloaded by private med. centers shutting down, patients "selected" (as in political influence) from outside, pushing aside the military clientele. This can spill over into the existing VA system, the Indian Heath Service, and PHS. Universities may cut back med schools due to fewer students, and lower standards to hold up enrollment numbers. Expect a lot more PA and ARNP primary providers, and fewer MD or DO specialists. The big money docs might retire early when the govt intrusion reaches too far. When your first name is "doctor", a lawyer or bureaucrat's meddlng with your medical decisions will not be a good thing.

    Govt run nursing homes? That might be better, except for loss of choice, and another govt power over the individual.
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