Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Big Lie About Universal Health Care

Set up: I'm only using Virginia Foxx's statements as an example of the talking points that so many Republicans and their brainless followers are regurgitating.

I want to highlight some "socialized" health care testimony from someone who would know---a Canadian.

But first...

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC): “There are no Americans who don’t have healthcare. Everybody in this country has access to healthcare,” she says. “We do have about 7.5 million Americans who want to purchase health insurance who can not afford it,”

More Foxx..: Some people think that the solution involves a Washington takeover of your relationship with your doctor where Washington tells you what treatment you can or cannot have. That may sound good until you get a letter from Washington informing you that you’ve been denied a procedure or medication because it’s not approved. Not approved by who? A bureaucrat, not your doctor.

Still more Foxx..: The Republican plan would "make sure we bring down the cost of health care for all Americans and that ensures affordable access for all Americans and is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government."
Oh how I long for the days of Clinton...

The following is from a thread at SoulForce called "The Big Lie About Universal Health Care."

It was started by a user named offog who is from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. I found it quite illuminating and asked if I could post it here, and hooray, offog said yes:

offog: I was watching The Daily Show on Wednesday night, and one item stuck with me. It showed several short clips of people saying that government-run health care would mean government bureaucrats standing between you and your doctor. That was pretty much the wording each speaker used. It seems to be a big talking point these days for opponents of universal health care. One guy even added, "like they do in Canada." Whaaat? I'm a 50-year-old Canadian gal, and I've never had to deal with government interference in my health care.

I'm appealing to the folks in blogland to help spread the word that this talking point is totally BOGUS! Why do I care? It's all about my favorite motto: "What we desire for ourselves, we wish for all." The quotation is from J.S. Woodsworth, one of those EEEVIL Canadian socialists who was a Member of Parliament during the 1930s.

I'd like to give a couple of examples of how things really work with Canadian Medicare. Back in 1992, I found a lump in my breast. I went to my G.P. for an exam, and he referred me to a specialist. The specialist examined me and scheduled me for a biopsy on the spot. Within a couple of weeks, I was in the hospital for the surgery. Shortly after that, I got the result. (Fortunately, the lump was benign.) All I had to do to get this treatment was show my health card.

One winter morning a few years ago, I was walking to the office when I slipped on a patch of ice, fell backwards, and hit the back of my head really good. I didn't feel any dizziness, so I though I was okay. Then late in the evening the next day, I came down with a severe headache and nausea. I was worried about a possible concussion, so I called the Health Line. That's a 24-7 hotline staffed by nurses. I explained my situation to a nurse and asked if I should go to the Emergency Room. She said I should. Fortunately, the nearest hospital ER is just a few blocks from my home.

When I got to the ER, I went to the reception desk, showed my health card, and explained the problem. The person at the desk filled in a short form. I had to wait only about half an hour or 45 minutes for someone to see me. They scanned my head, told me I was okay, and gave me a couple of pills for the headache and nausea. By then, it was after midnight and I was a little nervous about walking alone that late. A staff member got a nice security guard to give me a ride home.

At no point in either case did anybody have to contact any government office for permission for exams, tests or treatment. No big long forms to fill out in triplicate. No endless sitting on hold on the phone, waiting for some bean-counter to get to my case. No having to worry about coverage being denied. Ya hear that? No bureaucratic interference!

Last year I watched the Michael Moore movie, Sicko. I saw all kinds of bureaucratic interference from the insurance company bureaucrats. One poor woman was denied coverage for her breast cancer treatment because the insurance company decided that she was too young to have cancer. Stuff like that happens all the time in the U.S., and Americans are supposed to believe that "government bureaucrats" are going to be so much worse?!

First, I'll take my chances any day with a government bureaucrat over a private company bureaucrat. If a government bureaucrat screws me over, I can at least complain to my Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) or Member of Parliament (MP), and they have to answer to the voters. Governments have to answer to the voters too. Secondly, with Canada's universal health care, government bureaucrats don't interfere with everyday health care decisions. The decisions are between you and your doctor, honestly!

I've heard opponents of universal health care talk about how health care decisions should be left to doctors and patients. Well, you sure don't get that with private health insurance. Insurance company employees will deny people benefits for the lamest reasons, and get bonuses for doing so.

Americans are the savviest consumers in the world. They don't tolerate shoddy products and service from retail stores, car dealers, or auto repair shops. So what are you folks doing putting up with this crummy service from the private health insurance companies? Come on, everybody; you're in the land of Ralph Nader!

Don't let people scare you with the "government bureaucrat" boogeyman. Tell your families and neighbors the truth about universal health care. Tell them that Americans deserve better than they've been getting. Spread the word on your favorite blogs. And tell your Senators and House Representatives that you won't be fooled by the misinformation campaigns.
Aaaaaand, one for the road:

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