Thursday, July 08, 2010

Good News for Seniors: the Most Powerful Man in the Medical Industry Has a Love Affair with Urine- and Feces-Soaked Beds

For the first time in memory, a President has bypassed the Senate confirmation process without so much as a hearing. Obama used a recess appointment to name Donald Berwick, an extremely controversial pick, to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He thus becomes the single most important man in the health care industry, wielding incredible power to set prices and regulate every aspect of health care delivery.

Berwick would never have survived Senatorial confirmation because of his infamous, bizarre and blatantly socialist statements.

"I am romantic about the NHS; I love it. All I need to do to rediscover the romance is to look at health care in my own country... [it is] such a seductress... a global treasure."

"[Among] the primary functions [of health regulation is] to constrain decentralized, individual decision making [and] to weigh public welfare against the choices of private consumers."

"Please don’t put your faith in market forces... In the United States... competition is a major reason for our duplicative, supply-driven, fragmented care system."

Berwick has routinely mocked the very free market and private enterprise systems that produce 75% of all medical and pharmaceutical innovations on the planet. The breakthrough devices and drugs aren't coming from the U.K., a simple fact Berwick appears to have conveniently ignored.

Furthermore, the NHS is crumbling as we speak.

The families of 1,200 patients who died prematurely in recent years while in the care of NHS doctors and nurses might beg to differ.A shocking 2010 report by Queen's Counsel Robert Francis found that NHS patients were left unattended "for unacceptable amounts of time" in urine- and feces-soaked beds. At one NHS hospital, four members of the same family -- including a newborn girl -- died within 18 months of each other because of medical blunders.

And the numbers for UK health delivery are dismal compared to those of the U.S.

British cancer outcomes don't just trail U.S. results; "they rival those of Eastern European nations." A 2008 study showed that cancer survival rates in the U.K. trail far behind those of the United States. American men, for example, "have an 80 percent better chance of surviving prostate cancer than do their English counterparts... [and there are] similar disparities in comparative survival rates for victims of breast, colon and rectal cancers."

• Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom.

• Some "56 percent of Americans who could benefit from statin drugs, which reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease, are taking them. By comparison, of those patients who could benefit from these drugs, only 36 percent of the Dutch, 29 percent of the Swiss, 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Britons, and 17 percent of Italians receive them."

• "British cancer patients are substantially more likely to die of the disease than those in other western European countries because of poor access to the latest drugs, according to an authoritative report to be published today." (Cancer survival rates worst in western Europe: Telegraph (UK) 2007)

England's health care is primitive compared to that of the U.S. And they don't pay as high a price for their care because they freeload on American innovation. If we utilized their systems, Americans might worry less about paying for health care, but we'd get 1996-level care and long lines. Those are the immutable laws of supply and demand. Government monopolies don't innovate. Only the free market innovates.

In an interview last year in the journal Biotechnology Healthcare, [Berwick] said, "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open."

Even the New York Times has taken notice of Berwick’s controversial nomination. Robert Pear reported last month: “Long before the uproar over ‘death panels’ last year, Dr. Berwick was urging health care providers to ‘reduce the use of unwanted and ineffective medical procedures at the end of life.’"

Why would Berwick -- against all evidence -- prefer Britain's NHS over America's system?

Because for Berwick, care is secondary to wealth redistribution. His well-publicized statement, "Any healthcare funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate."

Berwick prefers the misery, desperation and death endemic to the bankrupt NHS. The Marxist underpinnings, for him, are all that count. Wealth redistribution is paramount and health care is a distant second in importance.

Berwick is a menace to seniors and an utter disgrace as a bureaucrat.

So it's another first for Barack Obama. They were right when they said his Presidency was "historic". Just not in the way they anticipated.

Democrat Health Care By the Numbers
Gee, I can't wait for ObamaCare, NHS-style

1 comment:

Assisted Living said...

With 15,000 people turning 60 every day in the US, this is a ticking time bomb...
assisted living