September 15, 2009

None Dare Call Them Death Panels...

I recommend this piece by Fred Barnes, An Unnecessary Operation:

...Even if you're not seriously ill, American doctors have more to offer. The two most significant innovations for patient care in the past decade are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT), according to Dr. Scott Atlas, chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical School. The United States has 27 MRI machines per million Americans. Canada and Britain have 6 per million. The United States has 34 CT scanners per million. Canada has 12 per million, Britain 8.

And utilization of MRI and CT technology has become routine in America. My wife had an X-ray after injuring her ankle last spring and the diagnosis was she'd broken a bone. When it was slow to heal, she had an MRI, which revealed she'd actually torn a tendon. Now her ankle is healing.

Our share of the cost was minimal. Health insurance pays for tests, and you don't need a Cadillac policy to be covered. A little-known fact: Out-of-pocket expenses by American patients amounted to 12.6 percent of total national health spending ($2.24 trillion) in 2007.

That's one of the lowest percentages of private out-of-pocket spending among the world's advanced countries--lower than Germany, Japan, Canada, and most countries in Europe, including those with government-run health care systems. Why do Americans get more and pay less? Because their insurance policies provide broader coverage than most government plans, says Tom Miller of the American Enterprise Institute....

Remember those stats: "The United States has 27 MRI machines per million Americans. Canada and Britain have 6 per million." Who decides how many MRI machines there will be in the US? Can anyone tell me that? (We know who decides in Canada and Britain; death panels.) Of course there is no easy answer for the US, because there is no "central command." That's how markets work. They self-organize. (Yes, I know, health care is far from a perfect free market. But market forces are at work.)

And that's a lot of why Leftists always want "single payer." They don't care about human beings, they want the power.

Posted by John Weidner at September 15, 2009 8:03 AM
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