U.K. on ObamaCare: Been there, done that
By J. Matt Barber
A savvy reader with the handle "Jerseyvet" made an incisive observation after perusing my latest column concerning Obamacare:
"Start out with the premise that the demand for health care is infinite, but the supply is finite," he wrote. "So health care has to be rationed. I trust the market, unfettered by governmental restrictions, more than the government. The Canadian and British systems of health care reinforce my belief."
Jerseyvet – clearly one of those acerbate, "un-American" town hall "astroturfers" – has slung an arrow precisely through the heart of the matter.
Even Obama famously gaffed upon this weighty truth with his ill-advised postal services analogy on the free market vs. government care: "UPS and FedEx are doing just fine," he noted, "It's the post office that's always having problems." (Isn't that precious? Seriously – did Joe Biden write that line?)
The president could have saved us all the trouble and just admitted: "Blue Cross and Blue Shield are doing just fine (with room for true free-market reform). It's government health care that's always having problems."
Fittingly, it was British statesman Edmund Burke who observed, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."
Regrettably, unless "we the people" defeat liberals' radical experiment in British-style health care, we're destined to repeat the very dark history under which they (the Brits) presently live and needlessly die.
President Obama is on record: "I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care plan," he assured the AFL-CIO in 2003.
But Daniel Hannan – a popular British member of the European Parliament – recently warned us of what to expect should Obama's vision come to fruition:
"If you want to see what a government-run health care system looks like, you need not look any further than the countries like Canada or Great Britain. They already have in place so-called universal health care, and the results, well, they're not pretty."
And, as you're about to see, with the words "not pretty" Mr. Hannan has secured his spot in the "morose understatement hall of fame."
The following headlines from Britain's three leading newspapers, the Times, the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, bear out Mr. Hannan's ominous warning. Most of these stories are from 2009 and address the U.K.'s version of Obamacare (Britain's "National Health Service," or "NHS".)
For a sobering exercise in reality, simply replace "NHS" with "Obamacare" everywhere it appears:
- "Cancer doctors do not tell patients about drugs which could prolong lives"
- "Patients forced to live in agony after NHS refuses to pay for painkilling injections"
- "A million failed asylum seekers (illegal immigrants) will get free NHS care in human rights U-turn"
- "Ruling 'denies treatment to 100,000 Alzheimer's patients'"
- "Transsexuals win right to sex swap on NHS"
- "Patients risk going blind as NHS refuses treatment"
- "NHS targets 'may have lead to 1,200 deaths' in Mid-Staffordshire"
- "Patients with suspected cancer forced to wait so NHS targets can be hit"
- "Hospital chairman quits over dangerous targets"
- "Patients forced to wait hours in ambulances parked outside A&E departments"
- "NICE could deny drugs to stomach patients"
- "NHS staff face the sack if they discuss religion with patients"
- "11 serious errors a day in NHS surgery"
- "War hero refused treatment by NHS"
- "Cancer patient Linda O'Boyle dies after NHS ends free care over 'top up'"
- "Drug addicts get priority access to swine flu vaccine"
- "Row as terminally ill woman given bed in hospital bathroom"
- "NHS staff 'no longer asked if they would be treated in own hospital'"
- "Beat the NHS queue with a medical trip to Malaysia"
These headlines are the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds more just like them with very real people and very real lives behind each.
Make no mistake: If we don't sink this Obamacare Titanic before it sets sail, we become the headline.
We needn't speculate. History is our crystal ball.
Matt Barber is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Director of Cultural Affairs with both Liberty Counsel and Liberty Alliance Action. Send comments to Matt at email@example.com. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.)