Thursday, July 2, 2009

Another reason mandatory medicaid is a bad idea...

I don't have anything against doctors or nurses, or any other medical staff whose primary job is patient care. I do not want anyone to mistake me in that. My beef with the government's healthcare plan, which I term mandatory Medicaid, stems from the cost-cutting methods the government espouses as far more important than patient care.

Proponents of mandatory Medicaid trot out the figure of 46 million uninsured, and whinge about "we need to do it for the children."

Well. The scare tactic statistic has been broken down into more honest numbers: about 10-12 million of those are illegal aliens. Wetbacks and Canuks alike, often here for emergency care that they cannot get in their own countries. Another 16-20 million are the idiots under 25, whose employers don't write insurance into their benefits, and they'd rather buy the next X-Box game than purchase their own. Many of the rest are simply between jobs.

As for the children...anyone ever heard of WIC? I cannot believe it's unique to my state, though it may be called something else somewhere else. It's where women who are pregant, who fall under a certain income level, recieve not only Medicaid for the duration of their pregnancy, but their children receive Medicaid until they're 12, or until their parents income comes up. The children are already eligible.

Speaking of "for the children," government run medical insurance that's only concerned with cutting costs (often by rationing care by restricting supply) frequently hurts children. Two specific cases--one in Canada, the other in Britain--come to mind.

In the Canadian case, a baby born 14 weeks early had to be shipped to Buffalo, New York, for treatment because there were no NICU beds open anywhere in the province (for comparison, my son was born eight weeks early, and was 3 pounds 13 ounces) . Her parents aren't able to be at her side, yet--neither has a passport.

If Canada's system ran on captialism's supply and demand, rather than socialism's arbitrary cost cutting measures, that baby would have not only found a bed in the province but likely the same hospital she was born in, and her parents could be there with her.

I've read bloggers who are proponents of the Canadian system trying to justify that by pointing out that "at least she's guaranteed care." I won't link to him because he's a self-riteous moron: anybody who's that sick in the U.S. is guaranteed care, regardless of ability to pay. Therefore, it is an empty argument made by a socialist apologist that has an even emptier head.

The British case is perhaps a little worse. A little three year old girl was born with an underdeveloped aorta, leading to all sorts of problems for her. She has had several relatively minor surgeries already, but needs major surgery to correct the problem. She's already suffered a stroke at the ancient age of three years, for God's sake. Her parents have been told that she could drop dead of this condition at pretty much any time.

And she hasn't had the surgery yet. It's been scheduled three times, but canceled every time because of a lack of beds in the ICU for her recovery.

Were she in Canada, her doctors would likely have sent her over the border to us for surgery immediately upon discovery of the condition.

So, how, precisely, can the proponents of similar systems being imposed upon us say that similar results will not occur?

Again, I do not speak ill of doctors. Most of the doctors I've ever met will move heaven and earth for their patients. Most hospital administrators, while they're less devoted to the patients' wellbeing, are not heartless. A government which rations how many beds per capita there are in any given department without taking the actual people who will need to use them into account, on the other hand...


  1. Good post.......

    Yes, as far as I know CHILDREN
    in any state can get medicaid/wic medical help.

    In Colorado there is even a
    medically indigent program that provides free care in county run facilities if there is financial need.

    It ain't over 'til it's over!


    Unless I am wrong, Obama's
    health care plans is the only CHANGE that directly effects
    EVERYONE in the country--so he has to appease 300 million people--not going to be easy.

  2. As I've said before, I've been on Medicaid. It sucked far worse than paying for health coverage of a couple hundred dollars a month for all members of a family of three, despite the fight I had in convincing the insurance company that going into labor 8 weeks early was a complication. I didn't have any maternity coverage other than for complications--and paid for the prenatal care out of pocket with little problem. Had I not gone early, our total out of pocket would have been about $4500--around a thousand over the deductible.

    One of my cousins had all three of hers paid for by Medicaid. She wanted to breastfeed, and she was not told that the hospital had a lactation consultant with any of them. I was told immediately, just as soon as I'd dug out my insurance card.

    Again, I don't fault the doctors and nurses--and even if it was their choice, well, they're only human. It was the administration that informed me, but didn't bother with my cousin.