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If We See Obama-Care, You'll Find How Good Health Care Was
The Bulletin ^ | April 3, 2009 | Herb Denenberg

Posted on 04/03/2009 1:06:31 PM PDT by jazusamo

The eloquent and articulate spokesman for fiscal sanity, Daniel Hannan, an Englishman who is a member of the European Parliament, has made many statements on the orgy of spending, debt and deficits now quickly wrecking our economy. But what was most surprising by his statements was what he considered the most important thing he wanted to communicate to Americans.

In a television interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, he said if the viewers only remember one thing, he wants them to remember that the proposed universal health insurance system would be an unmitigated disaster. He showed intense emotion while making the point, again suggesting how strongly he felt about the matter.

When that comes before the multi-trillion dollar spending jag we’re on that will steal from generations to come and sink us into hopeless unsustainable debt, you should get the message about how bad he thinks universal health insurance would be for us, and what its counterpart in Britain, the National Health System (NHS), has been for the British.

We’ve already seen Barack Obama’s administration botch the bailout, botch so many presidential appointments, botch many of its first foreign policy initiatives and make the many mistakes which columnist Thomas Sowell referred to as rookie blunders. We have the most inexperienced, untested, unvetted president in history, and perhaps that’s why he has no limits on his legislative and foreign policy objectives. I’ve often found in dealing with people at all levels, the less they know and understand, the more likely they are to propose grandiose measures and solutions. This is especially true of health care reform, where I’ve found the magnitude of proposals is inversely related to the magnitude of the proponent’s understanding. When you don’t understand the problems and issues, the sky is the limit.

The less you know, the more appealing are such things as Hillary-care, Obama-care and the national health insurance systems of Europe. The more you know, the more you appreciate the complexities and difficulties of making change and coming forth with new ideas. When I was a high school debater, knowing almost nothing about the subject, I most enthusiastically advocated national health insurance or some variation thereof. When I spent many years teaching courses related to the subject at the Wharton School and over three years as Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner knee-deep in health insurance proposals and their implementation, I started understanding the system better. I saw that armchair theoreticians could solve every health care problem, while really understanding none of them.

I’ve noticed one other thing. There are countless academic advocates of national health insurance, most of whom are mesmerized by their own voices. But every time I’ve talked to anyone who actually used a national health insurance system, I found they were overwhelmingly in numbers and strongly in sentiment dead-set against national health insurance.

I’ve also noticed another striking phenomenon. People are swarming into the United States for medical care. But the traffic the other way is definitely on the lighter side. Seasoned travelers, in fact, know they are often are at high risk when traveling abroad because of substandard medical care systems. Many travelers, including doctors, take their own medical supplies, as in many countries you can’t even get a sterile needle, standard drugs, or other supplies … not to mention care. Everyone, of course, is entitled to the care provided by these national heath insurance systems — provided they live long enough to get through the waiting period, provided the medical care they want is still available (rather than no longer provided by bureaucratic pronouncements), and provided they can survive the substandard care long enough for a full recovery.

This all came crashing home to me again when I picked up a new book titled, Welcome to Obamaland: I Have Seen Your Future and It Doesn’t Work. It is by James Delingpole, a British political commentator who has had a full dose of the British system. The book covers a broad range of subjects, but one of the first things he takes up is the British national health insurance system and there’s good reason for that emphasis. He starts out by telling us he had so much envy for Americans:

“You have the best doctors, the best hospitals, the best medical research in the world. You’re free, more or less, to choose what doctors you want; you have private, efficient ‘urgent care’ doctors’ offices dotted around your cities and towns; you don’t have to wait five years to see a surgeon; and your dentists seem to be rather better than ours.”

But he warns that’s all going to change: “Obama is going to bring you socialized medicine (though he’ll call it something else) — and won’t you be happy?” His answer is a definite “no.” Mr. Delingpole says many Brits try to argue their system is the “envy of the world.” But he says our newspapers will start to deliver the kind of news they’re always getting in Britain. Here is a sample of such typical news items in Britain:

• “Husband found by wife lying in same filthy sheets he vomited on when admitted to hospital two days before

• “Hospital cleaners decide they find it more convenient to rinse selected drinking cups with cold water than to wash them with hot, soapy water

• “Chief Executive of hospital where 90 patients have died of infection due to dirty, blood-spattered wards gets $600,000 pay-off

• “NHS $20 billion supercomputer breaks down 110 times in four months

• “Government claims to have reduced waiting lists discovered to be result of fraudulent hospital figure fiddling

• “About 100,000 Alzheimer’s sufferers told NHS cannot afford $4 a day for drugs to alleviate their condition

• “Sixty Britons every day lose their sight to Age Related Macular Degeneration because local health authority refuses to treat them.”

Mr. Delingpole writes he could go on, but you get the idea, and you’ll get a better idea if Mr. Obama’s health plan goes into effect. He writes Mr. Obama says it will cost between $50 billion to $65 billion a year, and Mr. Delingpole is almost certain it will actually cost more than ten times that amount.

Perhaps Mr. Delingpole’s most convincing material is when he relates his own experience with the National Health Service. He was at a party, and was walking outside when he came across a ditch deliberately designed not to be apparent to someone observing the landscape … so he fell into the ditch. He relates what happened then:

“My ankle is in fact broken. But we don’t discover that till at least three hours later. It’s not the drive from deepest rural Wales to a hospital that takes the time. It’s the NHS system. First you must be processed by a miserable, pasty-faced receptionist — not immediately, of course: she has important business to complete, filing her nails, finishing off her Sudoku puzzle, putting in a quick call to her friend about their clubbing arrangements after work — who treats you with a practiced contempt she makes no attempt to hide.”

But then he says the worse is yet to come. You have to wait a minimum of an hour and maybe three or four, before you get any treatment for your pain and misery. While waiting, after being given a mild and ineffective pain reliever, he asks the receptionist if he could have something stronger. He said, “I’ll be glad to pay extra for it.” She replied, “The NHS makes no provision for that kind of additional service.”

His biggest regret is that he has lost all control over maybe “the most important area of my life — my physical well-being — I am no longer a free agent. It is for the State to decide, how much pain I suffer, how long I must wait before I am treated, whether or not the wards in which I’m treated are infested with antibiotic-resistant viruses (MRSAs) which could ruin my life forever.”

He relates another story involving burning his hand, which caused severe pain. But in Britain, the system is so bad even when you desperately need medical care, you may hesitate to get it. He writes: “What would you do n ext? You’d check yourself into your nearest hospital, soon as you could, right? You’d get a trained doctor to look at it, get yourself some pain relief, right?

“Yes. That would indeed be the logical course of action in any halfway-civilized country.

“Not, however in socialist Britain.

“There’s a massive hospital just 10 minutes walk away from where I live. But I don’t want to go there. I’ll do almost anything to avoid going there.”

He calls friends and advisers to see if there is anyway to avoid going to the hospital. Finally, he surrenders to the inevitable: “I go to the hospital and everything pans out just as I feared it would: the long wait; the squalor … the surliness; the tedium; the despair.”

He finally gets treated, but that’s not his point:

“My point is the Third Circle of Hell through which I had to pass in order to get this treatment.

“Was there ever a more damning indictment of a socialist healthcare system? The service is so costly it eats up the biggest part of your tax dollar, but so terrible that even in your hour of greatest need, you’d rather walk barefoot across hot coals than ever have to use it.

“That, my friends, is the health care of your Obamaland future.”

Mr. Delingpole also cites the damning statistics. For example, in 2007-08, the British National Health System swallowed 95 billion pounds — more than any other government department — more than education, more than defense. But the service is so “lamentably poor that 55 percent of senior doctors pay for private medical insurance rather than run the risk of having to expose themselves to the NHS’s tender cares.”

He cites a book by David Craig, Squandered, that found in 11 years, the NHS wasted more than 1.3 trillion pounds.

The statistics go on and on, making a compelling indictment. But even more compelling is how completely experts such as Messrs. Delingpole and Hannan condemn the system. Its failure is burned into their soul, and they find it almost the essence of inefficiency and horrific service. Among all kinds of complaints, the NHS seems to be at the top of the list.

That’s why they so forcibly recommend that the U.S. avoid making the same mistake as the Brits and other socialist countries. We’ve already got a catastrophic dose of socialism, but this is one that could not only figuratively but also literally kill us.

Herb Denenberg is a former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner, and professor at the Wharton School. He is a longtime Philadelphia journalist and consumer advocate. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences. His column appears daily in The Bulletin. You can reach him at

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: denenberg; healthcare; obama; obamacare; socializedmedicine
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The Bulletin is a small but growing Conservative newspaper in Philadelphia and has other good articles, try checking it out at link.
1 posted on 04/03/2009 1:06:32 PM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

Yup. This is the crap that Americans voted for. Vote for the communist. He is a radical communist. Nothing less.

2 posted on 04/03/2009 1:08:08 PM PDT by RetiredArmy (America sits on it's ass while the Marxist - Bolshevik's take over.)
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To: long hard slogger; FormerACLUmember; Harrius Magnus; hocndoc; parousia; Hydroshock; skippermd; ...

Socialized Medicine aka Universal Health Care PING LIST

FReepmail me if you want to be added to or removed from this ping list.

3 posted on 04/03/2009 1:09:29 PM PDT by socialismisinsidious ( The socialist income tax system turns US citizens into beggars or quitters!)
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To: jazusamo
The indicated link doesn't work. Says there is no such site as:

Do you have a link that works?

4 posted on 04/03/2009 1:11:31 PM PDT by doc11355
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To: jazusamo

I seriously want to know how conservatives can successfully end all of the socialistic legislation that has already been created as well as successfully stop all future socialistic legislation that hasn’t even been enforced yet! If conservatives really don’t have any plans to successfully end all of this past, present, and future “leftist crap” on all of the issues, then what’s the point for conservatives to even run for office at any point in the future and at any political level throughout the entire U.S.?

5 posted on 04/03/2009 1:13:05 PM PDT by johnthebaptistmoore (Conservatives obey the rules. Leftists cheat. Who probably has the political advantage?)
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To: doc11355

The link is working for me now. This morning their link wasn’t working so they must be having an intermittent problem.

6 posted on 04/03/2009 1:17:10 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Bumped,pinged,bookmarked and moved to the top....Hows That???

7 posted on 04/03/2009 1:19:34 PM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: jazusamo

HE’s right....

The MEDIA, with the help of hundreds of TAX-PAYER FINANCED Democrat “interest-Groups” has been telling us “How Bad” the US Healthcare system is, FOR YEARS.

They have convinced MANY sheep that Free Healthcare is a RIGHT they are “Entitled” to. And unless you have ever actually LIVED in a country with Socialized Healthcare (I HAVE!), it’s easy to believe them.

Last year, I had to visit a big-city emergency room on a Sunday Morning. It was an EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE, to say the least. Especially when the woman in line in front of me tells the ER Receptionist “I need to see a doctor. I don’t have insurance, and I don’t intend to pay!.”

My jaw just about hit the floor. If you want to know why YOUR insurance is so expensive, you don’t have to look any farther than that.

8 posted on 04/03/2009 1:22:11 PM PDT by tcrlaf ("Hope" is the most Evil of all Evils"-Neitzsche)
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To: t1b8zs

Good job! :-)

9 posted on 04/03/2009 1:22:29 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: johnthebaptistmoore

Think real hard and listen for the first shots

10 posted on 04/03/2009 1:25:28 PM PDT by devistate one four (Cw II on the way! Stand by. TET68)
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To: johnthebaptistmoore

“I seriously want to know how conservatives can successfully end all of the socialistic legislation that has already been created”


You’ll notice the new Democrat Healthcare Proposals all have 5-year limits on them. That is so that EVERY Election Cycle, thier groups can run ads claiming YOU WILL DIE if you elect Republicans, because they will take away your RIGHT to what the Democrats have promised them.


Just look at Social Security. Every single time a Republican even dares to MENTION fixing it, Democrat tax-payer financed “Issue-Groups” come out of the walls with MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF TAXPAYER MONEY to attack them.

Until we on the right have EFFECTIVE Spokespeople, unafraid to take the heat, and our own networks capable of raising the funds needed to strike back in the same manner as Democrats Do, WE ARE SCREWED.

11 posted on 04/03/2009 1:26:39 PM PDT by tcrlaf ("Hope" is the most Evil of all Evils"-Neitzsche)
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To: johnthebaptistmoore
Secede and start over.
That's the only way.

12 posted on 04/03/2009 1:28:07 PM PDT by MrB (Go Galt now, Bowman later)
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To: tcrlaf

Well said! Your example is exactly why premiums are so high and if Obama and the Rats have their way our health care will deteriorate to the level of Britain.

13 posted on 04/03/2009 1:29:31 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: johnthebaptistmoore; Mrs. B.S. Roberts

CONSERVATIVES cannot stem the tidal wave of SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. It is the VOTERS who could, by casting their votes for those who would fight this insanity.
It is the VOTERS who WILL suffer under ObamaCare. It is the voters who will DIE under the neglect of ObamaCare. It is the VOTERS who will cry in pain under the neglect of ObamaCAre. And so on and on and on.
It is VOTERS who will attempt to travel to another country for quality health care...Wait a second...there is NO other country to flee to.
The VOTER is the one who will decide our future..heaven help us.
Continue to vote for a train wreck, and get a large pile of wreckage. Guess who is under it!!

14 posted on 04/03/2009 1:30:03 PM PDT by CaptainAmiigaf (NY Times: We print the news as it fits our views)
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To: CaptainAmiigaf

It will be a tough deal for upcoming med school grads who will work as minions of the Baraqqis and be paid at the middle of the GS range.

15 posted on 04/03/2009 1:34:30 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: nascarnation; Mrs. B.S. Roberts

Here’s another problem. Many, many AMERICANS are NOT sheep and will NOT choose a life of putting up with that kind of crap. My concern is that not only will many, many experienced doctors leave the profession, as many already have, but thousands of families will influence their very bright children to AVOID AT ALL COSTS the profession of doctor, in the FUTURE.
A doctor’s coat carries a target aimed at by the ever more predatory legal profession. Imagine their lives if it means “assault by clipboard” at the hands of bureaucrats.
We will end up with a system shattered beyond help, receiving medical care from doctors who could not gain admission to SMALLTOWN TECHNICAL SCHOOL.

16 posted on 04/03/2009 1:42:42 PM PDT by CaptainAmiigaf (NY Times: We print the news as it fits our views)
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To: MrB

Secede and start over.
That’s the only way.

17 posted on 04/03/2009 2:00:51 PM PDT by mojitojoe ( Idiots elected a Marxist ideologue with narcissistic personality disorder & America is dying.)
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To: CaptainAmiigaf

Not ACCEPTABLE. Socialized medicine is the deal breaker for me. If we can’t stop that, and people are too lazy to stop it as sad as it makes me, we will leave. Move PERMANENTLY to our home outside of the US and become citizens there.

18 posted on 04/03/2009 2:02:27 PM PDT by mojitojoe ( Idiots elected a Marxist ideologue with narcissistic personality disorder & America is dying.)
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To: mojitojoe

Here’s my rules for starting over:

We start with the Constitution and Bill of Rights. We clarify the 10th just a bit further - the fedgov has no powers other than those specifically enumerated. None.

All federal laws are wiped clean. Start from zero.

There is a lifetime ban on any elected, appointed, or hired position for anyone that ever was in the previous federal gov’t in any position.

19 posted on 04/03/2009 2:07:37 PM PDT by MrB (Go Galt now, Bowman later)
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To: nascarnation

I’ve read where doctors in England don’t merit any more respect by he general public than a clerk in a retail store.

In this country, many family physicians are urging their children not to go into medicine. If Obama’s pro-abortion plans become law, how many doctors (obstetricians and gyns) will simply quit?

20 posted on 04/03/2009 3:36:29 PM PDT by goldi
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