08 July 2007

Let the backlash begin

In "Doctors wary of 'socialized medicine,'" the docs interviewed manage to parrot possibly every lie there is about single-payer.

In fact, the Gainesville Times, which probably has a reputation for intellectualism and progressive thinking equal to that of North Florida itself, has published a piece that manages to not find a single proponent of comprehensive reform — despite the fact that 57 percent of medical students and faculty are in favor of a single-payer system.

"Single-payer health care would do more harm than good. It's not going to do anything to contain costs," says one laughably ignorant doctor. In fact, every study ever done show both existing and proposed single-payer systems cost less.

"I certainly do not want a single-payer system, because customer satisfaction would go down," says another doc. "In a government-run system, there's less of a work ethic." Oddly enough, the studies also refute this guy — although you'd never know it from the enterprising reporter, who didn't bother to look into the facts on either of these statements. If her interview sources had claimed the sky was actually green in Great Britain, and tigers roamed the streets there, would she have also simply repeated it within quotation marks as though it were common knowledge?

When local experts insist that the evidence is against global warming, I bet she goes along with that as well.

Another doc has worked as a physician in Germany, Israel, and England, all of which have some form of nationalized care. "In all of those places, the political elite gets the best service. No one else gets care except on the most basic level," he said.

Which probably explains their longer lifespans, better outcomes across the board, and healthier populations. Counter-intuitive, sure...

Some more quotes:

"...the single-payer model has been "a disaster" in every country that has tried it.... "It doesn't work," he said. "It bankrupts the government, and people abuse it."

"I don't deny that there are a very large number of people without insurance. But many can afford it and choose not to buy it," he said. "I can't see changing the system for everybody just because a few people have a need."

"You would have no control over who your doctors are or what kind of care they provide," he said. "The current system may be confusing, but that's the way competition is."

"There's no consumer choice, no incentive for innovation or cost control," he said. "And individuals aren't motivated to improve their health because they're not paying the bill."

... Reynolds acknowledged that it's tough for people with pre-existing conditions to get affordable insurance. But he said that's an unavoidable fact of life in the United States, where the health care industry is big business. "Insurance plans can't accept everyone who applies," he said. "If they did, the companies would go bankrupt."

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