March 30, 2010
She called in to Sean Hannitys radio show yesterday. Sean gave her extra time. Good thing.
The lady identified herself as Bridget, and what a story she told. She is a medical speech pathologist, one who works with stroke victims and those who, for one reason or another, have speech impairment. She is also a military wife, familiar with TriCare, the militarys health care system (which, of course, is government-run).
Most interestingly, she described her two years working in the British National Health System. There, the doctors and nurses education is completely underwritten by the taxpayers. With free medical education, young people with a desire to serve others pursue their studies just as any other college students elect their majors. For them, free education and job security afterwards are not a bad deal.
Bridget said that she did not think you could graft the British NHS onto American free enterprise. Thats because the young people who go into medicine here are taking out loans, seeking to become respected professionals. In a way, our doctors are mostly small business entrepreneurs. And they are innovators.
Thats why we have the best medical care in the world. Thats why New York City alone has more MRIs than all of Canada, whose government-run system is modeled on Britains.
Its also why Premiers of Canadian Provinces (equivalent to our state governors) like Robert Bourassa (Quebec) and, more recently, Newfoundlands Danny Williams choose American hospitals when they can.
The decision by Premier Williams to seek treatment in the U.S. prompted a controversy in Canada. I was warned by my staff that this could be an issue, Williams said. The Premier said that the heart surgery he needed was highly specialized and not available in Newfoundland.
The heart procedure he chose to get in Florida was less invasive and involved just two small incisions near the breast area. The traditional method of dealing with heart murmurs like that experienced by Mr. Williamsthe one Canadian docs assure us is available north of the 49th parallel, if not in Newfoundland—requires surgeons to crack open the sternum.
Cr-aa-a-ck! Cant you just hear the sound now? Who wouldnt prefer those two small incisions?
And what about recovery time? Danny Williams is, after all, a public servant. Does he want to face a prolonged recuperation that could put him out of action as the provinces chief executive? What might that do to his political recovery?
Bridgets call to Sean Hannity was one of the most intelligent and informed discussions of health care I have ever heard. What she wanted us to understand is that the long-term consequences of ObamaCare may not appear immediately. The short-term will be bad enough.
The longer term result will be that the U.S. will lose its competitive edge. We wont even develop those advanced medical techniques that have made us the medical Mecca of the world. And we wont even attract the same entrepreneurs and innovators into our health care system.
Im deeply concerned. I agree with Bridget. And I am worried, not just for my own family. Im worried about all those dear Canadians. Where will their ailing Premiers go for world class treatment under ObamaCare? As Danny Williams said, hes a strong supporter of Canadas nationalized health care: But this is my heart. Its my health and my choice.