Letters to the Editor for June 27, 2011

By Baker City Herald Readers June 27, 2011 06:45 pm

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 possibility.
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