Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

What Socialism Does to Hospitals

September 22, 2009

In all the healthcare debates, my prayer is that whatever we end up with, we will have something that glorifies God in our treatment of His children.  All humans need to be treated with respect as God’s much loved children.  They need kindness, dignity, compassion, and to be served with excellence.  In America I have volunteered and worked in several nonprofit hospitals.  Most of them were faith based organizations.  I saw a lot of people get first rate, compassionate care, and I know they never paid a cent for their care.  Thats how non-profit hospitals work.  They charge for the care they provide, but at the end of the day those who have no insurance or inadequate insurance end up paying according to what they can afford.  Many times that is nothing.  The hospitals write off the difference as part of their non-profit status.  What keeps them in business is the full pay patients who either have “good” insurance or pay a portion of their bills themselves because they can afford to do so.  What is likely to happen if we have a single payer system like England had for years, is these hospitals will be driven out of business and taken over by the government.  If they are government run, everything will be done with cost savings in mind.  And thats what is wrong with socialized healthcare, such as I lived with for years.  The care given is the minimum mandated by the national government.  The care is not based on values of love, compassion, kindness, dignity and respect, but on budgets and mandates. 

In this country some non-profit healthcare institutions rely on large donations for some of their revenue.   In a socialized system, the high, high taxes leave much less left over for donation.  After having more than half one’s income paid out in taxes, people tend to be in a less generous mood, even if they can still afford some additional generosity.  And lastly, since things are run by a government bureaucracy, its all about the good of the masses, not the good of the individual.  Read about the debates in England right now.  Doctors are being encouraged to consider first the good of society over the good of their patients.

Whereas some insurance companies treat people like statistics, at least the hospitals have maintained the ability to be more personal.  A good bit of that is lost if the hospital is a government hospital.  There is always a lot more mandate than money, and the stresses on the hospital show in the treatment of patients.  So, whatever the United States decides it wants to do, my prayer is the outcome will be something pleasing to our Heavenly Father, who is so concerned for persons, He knows the number of hairs on our heads and every tear we shed.  May we as a society be compassionate and kind, not a further coarsened culture.

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A Prayer About Healthcare

August 10, 2009

Lord, we know you are in control, and you influence kings and governors for your purposes.  We approach you at this significant time in our nation’s history and ask you to impress your thoughts on our congress as they make decisions about healthcare reform.  Open the eyes of our lawmakers to writings of our forefathers.  Let them consider the things that made this country great.  Please let their decisions be compassionate, let them honor and dignify all human life, let them give dignity to all persons and let them honor our human rights.  Don’t allow them to make government so strong over us that it becomes our god, for whenever government has taken the place of God, it has always become a cruel tyranny.

The First 100 Days

April 30, 2009

The first 100 days reveals the national dive into the socialist pool.  I have been through this and I know how it will turn out.  I lived in England in the eighties and early nineties.  It was a time of high prices, high taxes, high unemployment and a nearly bankrupt economy on every level.  Even the most basic government services were in desperate straits.  Unemployment among the under 30s was 40%.  The National Health Service all but gave up on those over 65.  What we in America would consider basic emergency care was unavailable even in medium size cities.  The Emergency rooms were there, but so understaffed that people routinely died who should have received care.  As they would say in England, “we have equal access to waiting queues, not care”  That was just the health service.  Other services were in equally dire situations.  The populist crowd wanted government to run business so it would be more fair–whatever that means.  However, government just isn’t good at business.  Social engineering has consequences for the economy when it gets too ambitious, and eventually the engineers kill the golden goose.

Getting Sick in Europe

February 11, 2009

One wonderful thing about getting older is I get to write about history that I actually saw and experienced.  As I look at our country, the United States, rushing in certain directions, I am both amazed and amused to find such ignorance of lessons already learned.

In the rush to “universal healthcare”, including the new federal electronic surveillance of medical records, we are truly seeing “change” of a magnitude Americans have never before experienced.  I know where we are going, both as a national economy and as a nationalized health system.  Within a few years we will be where Britain was in the 1980s.  I actually lived in Britain in the 1980s, and while I could quote lots of statistics, they are available other places online.  Because I lived it, I can tell you stories of what the reality looked like.

My first experience was touring the local hospital on a public information day.  We toured the Obstetrics unit, and as the ward sister (nurse) enthusiastically spoke of mothers being able to labor on the floor if they wished, I looked at the floor.  It looked as if it had not been mopped in weeks.  It was literally muddy.  Next came the emergency room.  It wasn’t full, with an overflowing waiting room, which I found interesting.  Later on I would learn why it was so relatively quiet.

I made friends with an elderly neighbor.  She had cataracts, and could barely get around.  I decided to help her with her grocery shopping.  Turns out she was on a two year waiting list for cataract surgery.  Once her cataracts became “ripe”,she went on the list.  Trouble is, she was quite blind before her name came up.  After her first cataract surgery was complete, she waited another two years to have the second eye done.  She eventually found a lump in her breast.  She was put on a list to see a surgeon and waited several months for an appointment.  She eventually had a radical mastectomy, but died of her cancer shortly afterward.  I will never know whether seeing the surgeon earlier would have made a difference, but the attitude of her caregivers was she was elderly and had a good life, so what.

I lived across from a children’s playground.  One day a child fell out of the equipment and obviously had a broken arm.  She was in shock and vomiting from the pain.  I convinced her mother to take her to the local emergency room, where they waited all night without being seen.  In the morning they were scolded for coming, and told to go to their g.p. (general practitioner).   Having lived in America, I thought it was unconscionable to let a child suffer in pain that long unattended, but this was how it was done.

A friend was in a motor vehicle accident and it was thought he had a fractured cervical vertebra.  They kept him on a gurney, and put on a cervical collar, but he was unattended for 24 hours–just lying in the hall, not being treated.  After 24 hours with no fluids, no food, and in pain, he convulsed and eventually died.

Another friend, in his 50s, had a heart attack and died in that same emergency room.  He had never had blood pressure medication or statins, although that kind of medication was already standard in t he U.S.  I actually heard a physician say it was a waste to give such medication just to prolong life a couple of years and have a person become senile instead of just dying.

So, look out when the government becomes your doctor.  You had better have good genes, good luck and good knowledge of whatever alternative care you can find for yourself. 

Britain now has a two-tiered health system.  The national health service couldn’t take care of everybody, so working people finally had the option of a system similar to Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and many are now using it.  Remember that the “Hilary Healthcare Plan” wasn’t going to give us that option.  A “single payer system” doesn’t have any other options.