Socialized Medicine Kills

The government is by its very nature, wasteful, inefficient, and often provides mediocre customer service compared to private industry. That’s no surprise when you consider the reams of red tape, seniority based promotions, and the lack of accountability that we see in most government programs.

So what happens when your health care is socialized and your doctors and nurses are employed by the same bureaucratic leviathan that produces crabby IRS agents and hebetudinous DMV worker?

People die.

Just look at the comparison between our health care system here in the states and the socialized medicine practiced by our British cousins across the pond, and you’ll see how many corpses are produced when the government gets into the business of “making you well.” Ralph R. Reiland has the goods…

In “Die in Britain, survive in U.S.,” the cover article of the February 2005 issue of The Spectator, a British magazine, James Bartholomew details the downside of Britain’s universal health care system. Among women with breast cancer, for example, there’s a 46 percent chance of dying from it in Britain, versus a 25 percent chance in the United States. “Britain has one of worst survival rates in the advanced world,” writes Bartholomew, “and America has the best.”

If you’re a man diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have a 57 percent chance of it killing you in Britain. In the United States, the chance of dying drops to 19 percent. Again, reports Bartholomew, “Britain is at the bottom of the class and America is at the top.”

Explains Bartolomew: “That is why those who are rich enough often go to America, leaving behind even private British health care.” The reason isn’t that we sue more in America and scare doctors into efficiency, or that our medical schools are better. It’s more simple than that. “In America, you are more likely to be treated,” writes Bartholomew, “and going back a stage further, you are more likely to get the diagnostic tests which lead to better treatment.”

More specifically, three-quarters of Americans who’ve had a heart attack are given beta-blocker drugs, compared to fewer than a third in Britain. Similarly, American patients are more likely than British patients to have a heart condition diagnosed with an angiogram, more likely to have an artery widened with angioplasty, and more likely to get back on their feet by way of a bypass.

…Taken as a whole, Britain’s universal health care system has evolved into a ramshackle structure where tests are underperformed, equipment is undersupplied, operations are underdone, and medical personnel are overworked, underpaid and overly tied down in red tape. In other words, your chances of coming out of the American medical system alive are dramatically better than in Britain.

“Having a diagnosis test beyond an X-ray in Britain tends to be regarded as a rare, extravagant event, only done in cases of obvious, if not desperate, need,” writes Bartholomew. “In Britain, 36 percent of patients have to wait more than four months for non-emergency surgery. In the U.S., 5 percent do. In Britain, 40 percent of cancer patients do not see a cancer specialist.”

Ronald Reagan once said,

“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

If we ever get socialized medicine in this country, many Americans will find out how right Reagan was….

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