Sunday, August 19, 2007

Quad Births Expose Universal Weakness

A young women in the big rich first world city of Calgary, Canada is told to go to the small city of Great Falls, Montana because Canadian Universal Healthcare does not have four neo-natal ICU beds for the delivery of her identical quadruplets. More than one observer understands that Universal Healthcare is a pretty edifice to cover the ugly reality of rationing treatment within a bureaucratic monstrosity.

Don Surber: The Dionne quintuplets were born on May 28, 1934, to a humble, French-speaking couple in a farmhouse outside of Callander, Ontario, Canada. They were identical sisters and for the first 10 years of their lives, the five girls were the No. 1 tourism attraction in Canada. Then came free health care for all Canadians. Which is why the four identical Jepp sisters were born in Great Falls, Mont., instead of Calgary this weekend. The Canadian parents flew 325 miles to get to an American hospital.

It’s not like Great Falls, Mont., is a teeming metropolis. With 56,215 people, it is slightly larger than Charleston, W.Va. Calgary has more than a million people. This is like being demoted from the Milwaukee Brewers to the Charleston Alley Cats. … Canada’s backup system is in Montana. Americans spend 15% of their income on health care. That’s why Great Falls has enough neo-natal units to handle quadruple births — and a “universal health” nation doesn't.

The problems with financing the demand fees from health care providers are not solved under Universal Healthcare plans. The financing problems are made worse by completely removing the consumer from the process. Kate explains:

Small Dead Animals: Welcome to zero-tier health care. While the sacred cow of "universality" grazes on in the world of the reality-challenged, vast regions of the country are being transformed into zones of health care prohibition. With every new cut, more and more rural Canadians are faced with traveling long distances over crumbling roads to seek emergency care - the "vibrating gurney" of the rural ambulance.

The "not for profit" lie is so bold, so obvious, so outrageous, that it's difficult to understand how it's survived this long. The truth is precisely the opposite. Everyone in the Canadian health-care system, from top to bottom - from doctor, to nurse, to bureaucrat, to cleaner, to kitchen staff - has a guaranteed profit, guaranteed payment, often in wages that eclipse those in the private sector, regardless of quality or timeliness of patient care. … The most powerful check and balance of all - the ability of the customer to refuse payment to protest inadequate service - has been removed from the equation.

Single Payer (tax paid) Universal Healthcare plans will deteriorate the quality of American products and services without solving the problem of linking charges to need and ability to pay. If the United States is the “back up system” for Canada, then who will be become our backup system if we unwisely Canadianize ourselves? My first guess is Saudi Arabia.