Is this what we want here in America? That’s what we’ll get if Obama-Pelosi-Reid have their way, ramming Obamacare down our throats!
Investors Business Daily editorial – Feb. 26, 2010
Democrats say that what they have planned for U.S. health care is not a copy of the British system. But a nationalized health care system, no matter how it’s tailored, will collapse like other socialist programs. Government-run health care may at times look like it works, but it is unsustainable — and deadly.
Consider the British hospital trust that was the focus of a recently completed independent inquiry. According to U.K. media reports, the review found that at least 400 and as many as 1,200 patients died from 2005 to 2008 because of poor care by Mid Staffordshire National Health Service Foundation Trust, which operates two hospitals.
The final 455-page report did not include those figures (they apparently were used in a draft of the document). But a consultant involved in the inquiry admits that even if no specific figure can be assigned to the number of needless deaths, the fact that such deaths have occurred indicates a serious problem.
The report is filled with examples that should be the shame of the British health system. It documents patient deaths due to apparent cases of neglect and misdiagnoses, and says managers “stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs.” There are records of patients developing infections, going hungry and left sitting on toilets.
The inquiry also noted “serious departures from the standard of basic care which every patient is entitled to expect,” abuses of elderly patients, and the too-common presence of unwashed patients and bedding “soiled with urine and feces for considerable periods of time.” Other sanitation problems included the presence of blood, discarded needles and used dressings.
These problems shouldn’t be unexpected. Last year, the media reported that up to 10,000 cancer patients were dying needlessly in the U.K. each year because their condition was diagnosed too late, according to research by the government’s director of cancer services. Also in 2009, there were reports that the health secretary ordered a probe into “claims that patients are dying due to poor care in at least 27 hospitals around the country.”
From filthy facilities to long waits to the lack of modern treatment and diagnostic equipment, Britain’s health system is in grave need of reform. America’s system needs changes too, but not the kind that plague the U.K. and which Democrats are pushing. Ignoring lessons from over there almost guarantees the same disorder here.