Obama has it wrong, the GOP has it wrong, the Federal Gummint has it wrong, and Liberal Scoundrels definitely have it wrong.
Let's look at some facts... Obama claims that the US spends more money than anyone in the world on Healthcare, but we have one of the lowest life expectancies per capita. How can that be? The answer: HEATH LEDGER. Heath died at age 28, adding a very low data point to our mortality schedule. In fact, you are more likely to die in an accident or murder in the US than anywhere else in the world. Americans have an unusual tendency to perish in homicides or accidents. We are 12 times more likely than the Japanese to be murdered and nearly twice as likely to be killed in auto wrecks. In their 2006 book, "The Business of Health," economists Robert L. Ohsfeldt and John E. Schneider set out to determine where the U.S. would rank in life span among developed nations if homicides and accidents are factored out. Their answer? First place.
First Place? So why all the fuss?
According to the Commonwelath fund, as reported by Newsweek, the answer comes down to Primary Care Visits. This report stated that nearly 25% of Americans reported waiting MORE THAN 6 DAYS when trying to schedule a visit with their Primary Care Physician.
New Zealand scored best, with just 3 percent waiting that long, followed by Australia (10 percent), Germany (13 percent), and Britain (15 percent). Canada rounded out the bottom, with more than a third waiting six days or more. Only 26 percent of Americans and Canadians reported being able see their doctor on the day they called, compared with 60 percent in the Netherlands and 48 percent in Britain. "Where we do well is on …selective surgery," she says. Only 8 percent of Americans have to wait four months or more for an elective procedure, and 62 percent wait less than a month. In Britain, 41 percent of patients have to wait four months or more. The disparity between primary and elective care, says Davis, is mostly due to a shortage of primary-care docs in the U.S.; we produce more specialists because specialists earn a lot more.
AHA! The answer is staring us right there in the face... a free market healthcare system drove the best doctors into the higher paying specialties, because they could be compensated at a higher rate for their special talent! But that can't be the entire story... what about the reason why there isn't a swarm of young doctors looking to fill the vacuum in the Primary Care world. Therein lies the question.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) produced an article highlighting medical malpractice lawsuit statistics, with regard to patient deaths:
106,000 patients die each year from the negative effects of medication
80,000 patients die each year due to complications from infections incurred in hospitals
20,000 deaths per year occur from other hospital errors
12,000 people die every year as a result of unnecessary surgery
7,000 medical malpractice deaths per year are attributed to medication errors in hospitals
This totals up to 225,000 deaths each year, due to medical negligence of some nature. And that number is ever growing.
In 2006, a report was produced by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, in which it is stated that medication errors are one of the most common medical mistakes, causing injury or harm to at least 1.5 million people every year.
In a country that has become lawsuit happy over personal injury, and a medical field that has become increasingly complicated and overbearingly understaffed, it is no wonder that the number of PCP is in decline.
What about the 47 Million Poor Souls who are dieing RIGHT NOW because they don't have health insurance allowing them to even SEE a doctor? Well, the following illustration is, in fact, a very accurate representation of the Democrat's "numbers"
Now, let's talk Healthcare reform. I said I was for it... right... so why the Obamacare bashing and the attack of all those in the Fed? Because I want to reform the government OUT of the Healthcare business altogether.
The system, IMHO, should be reformed to eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, and any other agency or program aimed at government regulated healthcare. There should be a private, affordable, and truly competitive set of services that will provide low cost coverage for healthcare needs. The government should reform laws PROTECTING the doctors from malpractice lawsuits - 25% of which are won by the patients, meaning that 3/4 of all lawsuits are most likely frivolous - driving up insurance costs and reflecting in premiums.
Patients and their families need to be more realistic. For instance, a 98 y/o woman has lower G/I bleeding. She is rushed to the hospital, the doctors begin giving her fluids and units of red blood cells. They determine that the best chance is exploratory surgery to find the cause, time is of the essence. They operate, she dies, the family sues for being one of the 12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgery.
What is the RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO HERE? First, start by understanding that Grandma is 98 YEARS OLD. It is most likely that her body was simply failing because it was done living. Nothing the doctors did could have saved her life - but inactivity would have also resulted in a lawsuit, I am sure.
Realistic expectations and responsible citizens are two solutions to the problem. Personal Responsibility of your own health, lifestyle, and habits is another solution. Finally, there should be a referendum of the states which officially cites the 10th amendment and that the Federal Government has NO AUTHORITY to collect taxes for, nor legislate or execute laws or practices related to healthcare.
My solution would encourage more local practices, community doctors, and incentivize healthy communities.