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Another Face of Single-Payer

Sometimes it's just too easy to point at England's health care system and its flaws and to use it as an example of why ObamaCare is so bad, but it's hardly my fault if they keep tossing more and more fuel on the fire.

For example, this tale.

A woman was concerned about her 80-year-old mother -- and with good reason. Mumsy was diagnosed as terminally ill, in the last stages of pneumonia. The doctors did what they were trained to do -- made her as comfortable as they could until she died.

The only problem was, she wasn't exactly terminal.

No problem -- we can't let trivial things like facts get in the way of policy. Simply withhold any treatment beyond palliative -- no antibiotics, no feeding tube, just painkillers and whatnot -- until Nature takes its course.

The daughter didn't agree. She thought Mumsy had some good time left in her, and wasn't about to let her go gentle into that good night. She argued with the doctors for weeks -- weeks when her mother stubbornly refused to accept their "dead within days" prognosis -- and finally got her transferred to a nursing home.

Once again, the terribly flawed American system would not have had things play out this way. In the American system, the woman's daughter could have the mother transferred to another hospital, with different personnel and different rules. She could have gone to the media and said "my mother has been there for two weeks. They said she'd die within days, but she's still going -- and they are refusing to even give her food!" She could have threatened to sue the hospital into providing the care they are legally and morally obligated to do.

But not in England. Transfer to another hospital? Forget it -- they're all run by the same central authority. Gone to the press? Who would have cared? Threatened to sue? Look up "sovereign immunity."

This story, unlike Saturday's, had a happy ending. The mother survived the casual "just hurry up and die" attitude of the hospital, and is still around for her family.

But she didn't do it because of the glories of a single-payer system. She did it purely in despite of its best efforts to get her to quietly die.


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Comments (19)

1. We're not even ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

1. We're not even considering anything like the system they have in England (even though the majority of people there are quite satisfied with it).

2. If you don't like the treatment you're getting in a state-run hospital (which is what we have here for Veterans) you can get private health care in England.

But those things don't matter. Let's scare Grandma out of spite.

When you don't have anythin... (Below threshold)

When you don't have anything better, you'll accept what you get and be grateful for it.

Guess Grandma was just dete... (Below threshold)

Guess Grandma was just determined to live out of spite. Anytime a person is allowed to die from a common ailment that is normally curable, purely based on age the system that allows it is to sick to live.

To argue whether the "O" an... (Below threshold)
recovering liberal democrat:

To argue whether the "O" and the liberals are trying to copy Great Britain's or Canada's is ridiculous. The simple fact that our population is ten times Canada's and five times Great Britain's tells you that. The burden on the economy would be devastating and a majority of Americans are realizing that.
It's all about control. The liberals can't win in the arena of ideas so they need to create a block of dependent voters to win. What's coming next is amnesty for immigrants.

In fact Adrian Obama very m... (Below threshold)

In fact Adrian Obama very much wants National Health Care. He said so at an SEIU event before he said that he was not for single payer.

They hold up these other countries that have single payer systems as shining examples of what we SHOULD have.

The only reason your statement has any truth to it is because even democrats in the congress cannot agree on it. Therefor they had to water down the bills to make the dissenters more comfortable. In reality however there are plenty of people in high places "considering" something like the NHS. They just know they cannot get it passed yet, they have to bleed private insurance first with a thousand papercuts then proclaim it a national crisis.

If you cannot see that plan based only on their words then you have been hitting the kool-aide a little to hard.

Sounds like Grandma was awf... (Below threshold)

Sounds like Grandma was awful selfish, thinking only of herself.

JustRuss,They have... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:


They have private healthcare in England -- it is not illegal. It is a thriving, stable, business. The state run hospitals haven't killed it.

Grandma can get all the healthcare she can afford in England just like in the U.S. She can get private health insurance like in the U.S. and she can just pay for private care like in the U.S. Or, she can beg for private healthcare just like in the U.S.

In England, Grandma has a safety net.

"In England, Grandma has a ... (Below threshold)

"In England, Grandma has a safety net."

With a great big fucking hole in it, looks like...

Adrian,Nothing thriv... (Below threshold)
recovering liberal democrat:

Nothing thrives in Great Britain. Except for high taxes and government regulation. In Great Britain and Canada, to an extent, you are a servant to the crown,(government). We threw that idea off with the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and a war.

Adrian Browne,You'... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Adrian Browne,

You're missing the point. Pneumonia is life threatening, yet quite treatable. Any system that refuses to treat an 80 year-old for Pneumonia is failed system. You say that she could have gotten treatment from private insurance, but if you think you have healthcare that you pay for through your taxes then who is going to carry private insurance? Thus, the UK healthcare system not only failed this woman, they lied to her. Little wonder elderly people are skeptical about healthcare reform especially when Medicare is on the chopping block to the tune of 400 billion.

Private Health Insurance in... (Below threshold)

Private Health Insurance in England.

Right, if you can afford it, especially if you are over a certain age. And after you pay taxes into the system.

Private schools are still readilly available in the US even though you are forced to pay taxes for public schools. In most places you have to pay on top of those taxes in order to go to private schools. The same with health insurance in the UK.

When you make a "public option" for everyone with only an expensive way out then have to lower the quality or availability of care in order to stay within budget it does not make for a wonderful system.

Most of the people happy with NHS are young people who don't use it often. If you get sick and have to wait in line for emergency care, or if you take an ambulance and are moved to the front of the queue then you don't see the months long waiting list that others do.

AB: "In England, Grandma ha... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

AB: "In England, Grandma has a safety net. "

Wow, that's some 'safety' net:
'The doctors did what they were trained to do -- made her as comfortable as they could until she died.

The only problem was, she wasn't exactly terminal.'

So AB considers that a safety net. Get ready for the same type of 'safety' net with Obamacare.

The "safety net" = private ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

The "safety net" = private health insurance.

It's time to stop talking a... (Below threshold)

It's time to stop talking about healthcare reform and start SINGING about it!! See "Healthcare Fighting (King Fu Mix)" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nc1VwJOb9Y

Adrianne,saftety n... (Below threshold)


saftety net = private health insurance?

So your saying they can put their faith in private insurance as opposed to the government? Hmm...why not just not allow the government in on healthcare in the first place and let private insurance be trusted with healthcare. Sounds like you are saying its safer.

AB: "The "safety net" = pri... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

AB: "The "safety net" = private health insurance."

Say what? That certainly isn't the spin the Dems have been pushing. It's good to see you finally admitting Govt Care won't be a safety net, though.

So we will only have a 'safety net' for those wealthy enough to afford additional private insurance?

So then why would we let the govt take over healthcare in the first place?

Even more govt control over our lives and no safety net unless you're wealthy. Great, just great.

a browe [nose obama] - ... (Below threshold)

a browe [nose obama] - "They have private healthcare in England -- it is not illegal. It is a thriving, stable, business. The state run hospitals haven't killed it."

Not dead, just on life support:

A survey of MPs published today has revealed that they expect a greater role for the private sector in helping the NHS in meeting the UK's healthcare needs.

The survey also revealed that the predicted new intake of largely younger MPs at the next election will be expected to support a greater role for the private sector."

"The survey results show that, behind the political rhetoric, younger MPs tend to have a more practical view about a closer working relationship between the public and private healthcare sectors. This is perhaps driven by their appreciation that, if nothing changes, it is their generation and those of their children that will be funding massive increase in public health spending as the population ages and the number of tax payers diminishes," commented Adrian Fawcett, Chief Executive of General Healthcare Group.
Sound familiar nitwit, gov intervention ain't gonna fix it?

Situations like this were b... (Below threshold)

Situations like this were best covered by Monty Python: "I'm not dead yet," and "It's pining for the fjords" come to mind...

Satirize the idiot Dems who want to kill em young, kill em old, stack em like cordwood...

Small catch, there, Adrian ... (Below threshold)

Small catch, there, Adrian Browne:

.... the (scam) they have in England (sic) ... and in the rest of the united kingdom - of which England is but a part - are (by Limey "standards") "healthy."

And even in England - as in the rest of once great britain - the majority of people, being as they're all healthy, don't need the quaintly named "national health 'service.'" And may therefore be described as being) "quite satisfied with it." .... ""

But let 'em get sick and hear them howl.

And watch them all fall like flies from the filth, poor care, blunders, brand new afghan "doctors" and such very ordinary british hospital killer germs as Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus and necrotizing fasciitis!






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