(HEALTH) THE COMEDY AND THE TRAGEDY

THE POLITICS OF AMERICAN HEALTHCARE
By Dr. Charles L. Armstrong, M.D., in Human Events posted April 28, 2005
Forwarded by BGen Robert Clements USAF (ret)

Within the past few years I have read repeatedly in the opinion sections of newspapers the call for the federal government to provide a “single payer” system for America's medical care. These proposals are classics of left-wing thinking - they work out beautifully in the heads of those doing the proposing.

The comedy occurs when they are subjected to the scrutiny of reality; the tragedy when they become reality.

Government involvement in medicine exacerbates rather than alleviates its ills. HMOs and the government are pre-paid systems that are the cause of the financial crisis facing health care (I mean in addition to the contribution of greedy lawyers and irrational juries).

A caller on a talk show recently commented: “The rest of the world has a one-payer government system, so why don't we?”
The answer: Because then we'll have the same quality of care of the rest of the world.

Socialized medical care is a disaster worldwide for patients who need attention now or tomorrow or by next week, especially if that attention entails a procedure or surgery.

I offer the perspective of a practitioner who has lived through the changes in the system. The cost of health care has increased alarmingly during the decades of my career because of third-party payer systems: HMOs and the government. Health care costs will increase and quality decrease with every increase in government involvement.

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