Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Sources for my health care claims

To the editor:

In a recent letter, Iva Mace wonders what my sources are, then admits that she gets her information from a couple of advocacy groups. These groups generally come down strongly on one side of an issue, and don't usually include the unpleasant side effects of their pet programs.

So what are my sources? The account of the Vancouver woman who had to

have her baby in Edmonton due to a shortage of maternity beds was a

general news item reported in many newspapers, as was the account of

the Newfoundland prime minister who went to Florida (not Boston) for

medical treatment. This fellow was severely criticized in Canada for

his action, because? Well, because it reflected poorly on Canada's

medical care system. Indeed!

The example of the delay in receiving a hip transplant came first hand

from a Canadian woman who came to the United States several years ago

for that procedure and paid for it herself, so she wouldn't have to

endure severe pain for the six to eight months it would take for her

Canadian doctor to get back to her. Her experience is far from unique.

Ms. Mace asserts that governments with single payer health care systems

do not ration health care. My examples from real life show that they

most certainly do. They have to; it is one of the few methods available

to them to keep health care costs from spiraling out of control.

Oregon's own health care program rations health care. There is a list

of procedures that will be covered; there is another list of ones that

won't. Even if you qualify for benefits under this program, if the

procedure you need is on the wrong list, you have to do without.

It is expected that Medicare will become bankrupt in 10 years or so.

What will happen then? Like it or not, rationing is a definite


Remember the phrase, "Good enough for government work?" Advocates of

single payer health care systems want us to start using that phrase for

our own health care.

Pete Sundin

Baker City