Information technology does not stop bleeding, start IVs, defibrillate the heart, or put in a breathing tube. In an emergency, those are the things that save your life. If you need them, the doctor does not have time to look at your EMR.
It is frequently asserted, especially by groups such as Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), that a “single payer” (government) system could “save” enough money on administration to buy coverage for all the uninsured.
Myth 3. Americans are going bankrupt, and American companies are noncompetitive, because we don’t have “universal health care.”
For years, advocates of “single payer health care” have been warning that middle-class Americans are only “one serious illness away from bankruptcy”—even if they have insurance.
Myth 4: Infant mortality is lower in other countries because they have “universal” tax-funded medical care, and the U.S. does not.
A number of countries report lower infant mortality than the U.S., but it has nothing to do with the source of payment for medical care.
Congress appropriated $1.1 billion—the total worth of 1,100 millionaires—to “comparative effectiveness research” (CER). It promised that CER would not turn out to be “cost-effectiveness research”—and the rationale for treatment rationing and denial—although it defeated a proposed amendment that would have codified that promise into law.
Myth 6: Life expectancy is longer in other countries because they have universal tax-funded medical coverage, and the U.S. does not.
The longest-lived people are probably the Japanese. They have good genes, are seldom overweight, and eat lots of fish. They have had a government-funded medical system since 1927—and they also have a robust private medical sector. Japanese, like all people except Canadians and North Koreans, are not restricted to a “single” (government) payer. How do we know they wouldn’t live even longer without their government medicine?
Myth 7. Universal coverage, enforced through an individual mandate, as in Massachusetts, will achieve universal access and reduce costs.
According to the implicit hypothesis underlying the rush to “health care reform,” the main barrier to ideal care for all at an affordable cost is the absence of universal “coverage”—payment and supervision—by an appropriate (governmental or government-credentialed) third party.
Myth 8. Spending more on prevention and “wellness” will enable us to spend less on medical care while improving health.
The idea of having a “wellness” rather than a “disease” orientation is politically appealing, and politicians on both sides of the aisle promise painless savings of “billions” by “incenting doctors” to “keep people healthy.”
Myth 9. A “public option” is needed to spur competition, keep private plans honest, and bring down costs.
The White House claims that the choice of a public plan operating alongside private plans would spur private plans to improve. It also promises that all plans would be playing by the same rules.
The reason that the President needs to promise that he won’t take away your health plan or your doctor is that he believes that he could.
The 46 million are the “uninsured.” They lack “coverage,” not care.
Myth 12. The uninsured cause overcrowding in emergency rooms, and increase costs for the “rest of us” through cost-shifting.
The uninsured are frequently vilified as “free riders” who receive care but shift the cost onto others—when they are not being portrayed as victims who don’t get as much medical care as some think they should.
If “democracy” means a nationally televised speech by the Leader, the expenditure of tens of millions of dollars by pressure groups, and a frenzied process of voting on a short deadline, then this is a Democratic process—with a capital “D” for the Party in power.
The strategy during the August recess was outlined by Paul Begala, a Democrat strategist close to the White House: “Supporters of reform have to put the status quo on trial”
Based on 173 deaths in the Harvard Medical Practice study, and extrapolating to the entire U.S. population, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has been claiming for almost a decade that as many as 98,000 Americans are killed by medical errors every year.
Myth 16. In countries with government-funded health care, people get immediate care in emergencies, though they may have to wait for elective procedures.
The usual response to concerns about the months-long waiting lists for surgery in Canada and Britain is that this is a mere inconvenience, a small price to pay for universal “free” care.
Everybody in a country with “universal health care” has a “right” to health care, but Americans do not—or so it is argued. “Health care reform” is supposed to correct a moral deficiency in the United States, and, at long last, grant a fundamental human right to Americans.
Myth 18: Proposed health care reform will not hasten the death of seniors, cancer patients, and disabled persons.
The phrase “death panel” does not actually occur in any of the proposed “health care reform” bills. MoveOn.org has seized on Sarah Palin’s characterization of the outcome of “reform” in its mass email piece entitled “Top Five Health Care Reform Lies: and How to Fight Back”:
Spokesmen for the Democrats’ “health care reform” proposals say that all those ordinary-appearing Americans waving hand-made signs are either operatives of powerful vested interests, especially insurance companies, or “political enemies” bent on destroying the Obama presidency.
Obama has promised that doctors, not bureaucrats, will be making the decisions under his “health care reform” plan.
If Obama’s promise is true, why do central planners need extensive data on every encounter with every patient?