Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America, has an op-ed in the Washington Examiner today regarding nationalized health care and the detrimental effect it would have on special-needs patients, including her new son:
When my son Gunner (pictured above with Mommy and Daddy and left) was born, it was the best day of my life. But it was followed soon after by the worst day of my life -- when he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease. Gunner was just over two months old. I was shocked; I had never known anyone with CF.
Adding to this shock was finding out how Gunner would be impacted by the new nationalized health care system proposed by President Obama and Congress. It was worse than I'd ever imagined....
In our search for the best hospitals and treatments for CF in both the US and abroad, we came across frightening statistics from countries with government-run health care systems. While the current life expectancy for an American CF patient is 37, in Ireland, the rate is 27. In the words of the Irish Times, this is a scandal.
A report by the British Cystic Fibrosis Trust found that none of the 38 CF centers in Britain reported that they received enough funding to provide government-recommended levels of care for patients.
According to President Obama and the Democrats in Washington, a nationalized health care plan isn't so bad. But the examples above make it clear that for patients like Gunner, a nationalized system would mean the difference between life and death.
Here's where my son loses his battle: President Obama has specifically said that the "chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80% of the total health care bill." Therefore, we need to have a "difficult" and "democratic conversation" to give "guidance" as to what patients will receive life-sustaining, and expensive, treatment.
Should President Obama get his way, the life of my son and millions across the country who are elderly, chronically ill, or require expensive medical treatment, will be in the hands of some bureaucrat in Washington.
I want my family and my doctor to control my son's health care decisions, not a government-appointed committee. I want my son to have access to life-saving drugs and tests, which would be limited. And I want my son to have access to CF nurses and doctors without long wait lines or delayed or denied treatment, which could decrease his life expectancy.
Gunner deserves to have the best chance for life and the best care available. At the very least, he deserves compassion. And yet one thing is clear: All of this will be stolen away if Washington takes over health care.
For more information visit: healthcareforgunner.com
[Photo attribution: healthcareforgunner.com/ photographyforvalerie.com; theiowarepublican.com]
There is another thing to note here as well ... a national heath plan would fund the approved/orthodox procedures only and not fund any novel (even research) approach. This is as it is now, but 'nationalizing' health has the added view of being 'the best' one is offered.
I find it odd that most 'orthodox' physicians are not schooled at all in the use of herbs or vitamins, let alone acupuncture, or chiopractic, but it does not seem to prevent them from dissing any helpful approach that is not orthodox. The underlying snub is: that these are not as good as the best (orthodox). Why is 'the best' in medicine = the most expensive?
You may think that those with CF to be rare, but when we have literally thousands of 'rare' conditions ... as a whole, folks like me are far-from-unusual. PC'er, will you support my choice to live?Posted by: John McDonell at July 15, 2009 2:56 PM
Please will Ms Stanek consider the danger of the FOCA Act entering into effect, through the health care bills threatening in Congress today ? http://www.catholicleague.org/release.php?id=1643
Presumably the Freedom of Choice Act is one of the very worst clouds in the US sky today ? Please may I say, I am in the middle of 5 days fast against it.Posted by: William Jolliffe at July 15, 2009 3:17 PM
Gunner is lucky to have good health coverage. I wish I was. As it is I pay good money for a plan which covers hardly anything, because insurance company bureaucrats come between me and my doctors.
I'm perfectly OK with any health insurance not covering chiro or other forms of woo.Posted by: Auntie Matter at July 15, 2009 3:33 PM
I want my family and my doctor to control my son's health care decisions, not a government-appointed committee.
Unless the author here is independently wealthy, her son's health care decisions are made by an insurer-appointed committee. If she is wealthy enough not to care about such things, she'd be wealthy enough to buy her way out of any public healthcare system.
I want my son to have access to life-saving drugs and tests, which would be limited.
It is limited already, by the invisible player in this story, the insurance company. But people currently because of insurance company paper-pushers, in significant numbers.
And I want my son to have access to CF nurses and doctors without long wait lines or delayed or denied treatment, which could decrease his life expectancy.
The current system in the States provides very good care for a select minority, poor care for a large number of others, and emergency-only care for the rest. It does this while costing twice as much as systems that have better outcomes.Posted by: grendelkhan at July 15, 2009 3:56 PM
But what about those who have no health insurance as is? Their quality of life certainly does suffer.Posted by: Pro-life atheist at July 15, 2009 5:25 PM
I'm really tired of all the people who take all the government handouts right now! I don't know how this plan will affect things like free healthcare for the "poor" but I'm a little tired of my husband working his butt off so we can pay for others to be lazy and get free handouts.Posted by: welove5kids at July 15, 2009 5:30 PM
Pro-life atheist, there are existing programs for people who can't be insured by traditional means because of health or income. The problem is that many people don't know they qualify for these programs, and thus go without treatment.
Welove5kids, I have no problem paying for someone else's health insurance if they truely can't afford it or if they have a condition that precludes them from coverage through a private plan.
My issue with government run healthcare is that it is substandard. Look at VA hospitals, medicare/medicaid, and the "healthcare" given to those on reservations. It's all terrible.
I don't want to sign our whole country up for that horrible mess!Posted by: Lauren at July 15, 2009 5:38 PM
Let's be very clear. If we want to have the very best medical procedures and all options available when our loved ones get sick or are severely injured, we DO NOT want big brother at the helm deciding who gets what.
Secondly, the rich and the powerful (you better believe Senator Bib Lib and has cronies will take care of their families)--these will not face the same limitations we do. It is you and me that will lose our options, one by one. Not at once, but the long trek towards declining medical care for the middle class begins the day BHO signs a so-called health "care" bill.
This bill will lift up the nebulous, undefined "uninsured" at the expense of quality care for the majority. This is all about imposing Obama's agenda of European socialism here in the United States. We already have a trillion dollar deficit (hey, where are the deficit hawks now??). How is this going to be paid for?
We need to work like "h" in 2010 to get these abusers of power out of office.Posted by: Jerry at July 15, 2009 5:55 PM
The Democratic plan for health reform is nothing like the Irish or British systems, so the comparison is irrelevant.
Under the Democratic plan, Gunner's family can keep the health insurance they have, and their insurance company will not be allowed to unfairly cancel their policy as they could now. And if they should ever lose their coverage, insurance companies will not be allowed to refuse to cover Gunner's pre-existing condition.
Reform will mean that Gunner's family will pay less for insurance in the future, and all children like Gunner will be able to find coverage. Reform will save the lives of thousands of American men, women and children, and will keep millions of families from going bankrupt due to medical bills.
Reform will improve care, control costs and help our economy thrive.Posted by: reality at July 15, 2009 6:58 PM
My experience with government health care was in the USAF. I don't one hand to count the number of times I actually saw a doctor in 4 years. Most of the time it was an enlisted (as in no college) "physicians assistant."
The reason Dems claim they want to keep the "private option" is so they won't look like the hypocrites they are when they pay for private health care to avoid waiting in line behind their maids and nannies for health care. Only the very well off will be able to afford private health care.
My nephew with down syndrome will most likely be sent home to die the first time he gets seriously ill. Had he been born after BO-Care, he would have die within days of birth because the open heart surgery he required when he was just 5 days old would have been deemed not cost effective.
My mother-in-law who will finish her life in a nursing home due to multiple problems that only get worse month to month. If she gets an infection, treatment of any kind will be deemed not cost effective.
And now BO appoints an avowed eugenics believer as Science Czar. He supports mandatory abortion of "undesirable babies."
There can now be no doubt that BO's health plan will make group homes and nursing homes obsolete.
And big kudos to Gunner's mom.
Lauren, my problem is why people can't "afford" healthcare. The people that I see using government paid (taxpayer paid) healthcare just don't work enough, they want their own business and 16 years later they still can't afford to heat their house for the winter. Fuel assistance. Now, they are getting a new hot water heater, new furnace, new windows in their home, every single lightbulb in their home replaced, new freezer and on and on.... They don't pay a dollar for any emergency room trip they take, and they go more than once a month!!! Give me a break, are there no regulations.
This whole health care plan is so stupid. It's simply government making the call as to how much we will be paying into the pockets of insurance companies and pharma. companies. They are making billions while those of us who keep our world going, pay for it all.
Living in Canada, I have always been used to a government health care plan. My daughter now lives in Texas and she says that the health care in the US is infinitely better than ours in Canada. She gets to see her doctor quickly; we have long waits. When my cardio tests came up irregular, it was 6 months before I saw a cardiologist. Hip surgery here in Nova Scotia is a two year wait. The only thing that gets quick attention is breast cancer because of the lobbying that women have done to accelerate the treatment.
So looking at your system as compared to ours, I would have to say that the US system looks a whole lot better than Canada's.
Any system that is going to mean more government regulation can't help but mean a more difficult system to manage. The more govt involved, the more cumbersome it becomes. I certainly hope that you don't have to learn the hard way. Because back-tracking, once you have gone the socialized way, is next to impossible.
The crux of the problem with health care is the overwhelming amount of regulation and CYA paperwork. Medicare and Medicaid have created huge bureaucracies of paper pushers which are really where the expenses are incurred. How is it that 20-30 people must be involved in the treatment of one patient (by handling all the paperwork?
How much sense does it make to have up to 6 different billing/accounting systems for one patient visit which required all of 5 minutes of care (and close to twenty minutes of paperwork!)? Soon the nurses, PA's and janitorial staff will have their own billing systems, all pushing the paperwork up to a faceless bureaucracy which will rubber stamp approvals.
Go watch the movie Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa or Il Posto by Ermanno Olmi.
My wife was actually billed for "potential" anesthesia services for childbirth delivery, even though she never required it, or wanted it. There's no end the amount of stupidity that enters once the actual payment is taken out of the hands of the customers.
And if they should ever lose their coverage, insurance companies will not be allowed to refuse to cover Gunner's pre-existing condition.
Posted by: reality at July 15, 2009 6:58 PM
If they should lose their coverage, they will be forced to go on the public plan. The dem's bill prohibits private insurance companies from enrolling new members after the date the public plan becomes law.
Go to ibdeditorials.com and take the "It's not an option" link to read more.Posted by: Fed Up at July 16, 2009 1:22 PM
Reality: Actually, nationalized health care will increase the number of deaths due to low quality health care. It is called "rationing." When my 91 year old mother was hospitalized 2 years ago she was given every chance to live ONLY because we were there to monitor her care. Under rationing protocols her situation is exactly the type of scenario where the compassionate Big Brother Care will soothingly direct that "nature takes its course." There will be no options. Every nationalized plan, bar none, has some type of rationing and price controls. These things result in the witholding of care, hence premature deaths.Posted by: Jerry at July 16, 2009 6:55 PM
"If they should lose their coverage, they will be forced to go on the public plan. The dem's bill prohibits private insurance companies from enrolling new members after the date the public plan becomes law."
"Go to ibdeditorials.com and take the "It's not an option" link to read more."
I'm so glad you mentioned this. I heard the same thing today on Hannity's radio show (Sorry, I don't know who Hannity was interviewing on the subject.) The plan will create 41 NEW federal agencies. That should be enough to keep anyone from supporting it. Where will they get the money to pay for the added bureaucracy? Higher taxes, of course, and it's included in the plan. Earners of as little as $9,000 a year will be taxed to pay for healthcare.
It's worth repeating - if people want private insurance in the future, they'd better be employed and covered by that private plan on the day nationalized HC law takes effect. It was also mentioned (on the radio) that in ten years, private insurance will be a thing of the past. Insurance companies won't survive. Can you imagine the added unemployment?
***Call your representatives and ask them NOT to support the current healthcare plan and ask them to read it before they vote on ANY plan. (Duh.)***
if people want private insurance in the future, they'd better be employed and covered by that private plan on the day nationalized HC law takes effect.
Hi Janet. I would agree with you if the only reform taking place was payment for health care. But the feds will also be regulating health care delivery. Private insurance may be advantageous in the beginning, but ultimately there will be problems accessing health care whether you're privately or publicly insured.
In reading the text of the bill, it looks like private insurance carriers can issue new policies after the effective date of the legislation, but only if they participate in the health insurance exchange program. If the insurance company doesn't agree to strict federal oversight, they can't enroll new members. At least that's how I understand what the bill says.Posted by: Fed Up at July 17, 2009 1:32 AM
So basically, no new members unless you agree to big brother looking over your shoulder.Posted by: Lauren at July 17, 2009 11:23 AM
Every nationalized plan, bar none, has some type of rationing
Posted by: Jerry at July 16, 2009 6:55 PM
I found an interesting article on the Heritage Foundation's blog. It links to defeated amendment proposals that would prevent rationing of health care based on comparative effectiveness research. Replace "dot" with a "."
blogdotheritagedotorg/2009/07/10/senate-committee-blocks-anti-rationing-amendments/Posted by: Fed Up at July 17, 2009 1:46 PM
..and the republican plan for heatlh insurance reform is...? /crickets..
By the way, you already have a beaurocrat making your health choices. They just work for the insurance industry. Every heard these phrases, pre-certification, in-network vs. out of network...
Don't give me a bunch of hyperbole about rationing.
I regularly communicate with several people in canada. (Western part, to be exact.). I have heard countless examples of where there were problems found and they were granted access to health services immediately. Now, if they wanted a nose job, sure they would have to wait. They get in to see the doc immediately.
No matter what side you are on, one things for sure, the real casualty in this debate is the truth.
That's really sad that you guys are using falsehoods in order to scare people in this debate. Especially sad, considering that you guys are supposed to be all christianly and such!
By the way, you already have a beaurocrat making your health choices.
Wrong. The insurance company bureaucrat makes decisions about payment for care but doesn't have authority to deny care. And there is an appeals process for denials of payment. The dem's bill puts the government in a position to make decisions about reimbursement and denial of care. Big difference. Nice spin though.Posted by: Fed Up at July 20, 2009 8:39 PM