Tag Archives: Single-Payer

Patient-killing replacing palliative care in Canada’s single payer health care system

Killing patients is an easy way to keep costs down
Killing patients is an easy way to keep costs down

Canada has a pure single-payer health care system. That means that Canadians are taxed (average family pays $12,057 per year), and then the government decides who will get health care. As you might expect, when health care is free, the demand for it goes up. In order to cut costs, Canada decided to stop treating the elderly.

Here’s an article from Canada’s far-left Maclean’s magazine.

Excerpt:

Canadians were asked in 2016 to accept what is now called Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) as standard practice in the health-care system. But as the second anniversary of the federal law sanctioning assisted suicide passes this month, ambiguities embedded in the new regulatory regime are turning end-of-life care into a troubling leap of faith for doctors and patients alike.

Even the Collège des Médicins in Quebec, which sped ahead with its own statute in advance of Ottawa’s Bill C-14, has sounded a strong warning note about patients “choosing” medical assistance in dying purely because their preference for palliative care isn’t available.

That’s Quebec, but there’s more patient-killing going on at the other end of the country in British Columbia:

At the other end of the country in British Columbia, an active proponent of MAiD, acknowledges that she, too, struggled to adapt to the vagueness of the federal law. Dr. Ellen Wiebe says she ultimately concluded she would have to rely on her personal best judgment about whether or not to administer death.

Although there is a shortage of funding for palliative care in Canada, there’s lots of money available for abortions, sex changes, IVF, etc.

I was able to find out about Dr. Wiebe’s worldview from another earlier 2016 article in the far-left Maclean’s magazine:

Much of Wiebe’s 40-year career as a family physician she has spent doing abortions, including at Vancouver’s first abortion clinic, as well as patient advocacy and pioneering abortion drug research.

[…]She was raised in a Mennonite family in Abbotsford, B.C., and Wiebe says,“I know my Bible pretty well. I could quote it, no problem.” Her mother was a homemaker, and her father was a teacher who worked for the Canadian International Development Agency, which meant Wiebe and her three siblings spent parts of their childhood in Asia and Africa with them. They were “wonderful people who loved life,” says Wiebe of her parents, and their Christian beliefs were an “important part of their lives for everything and anything.” But as Wiebe moved through adolescence—precociously so, finishing high school at 15—she abandoned her faith. “I lost all my religiosity by the age of 17,” says Wiebe. “It was just part of being in university, questioning and wondering and learning who you are.”

Looks like her parents were more focused on doing good things for the poor in foreign countries, than on teaching their own child apologetics. Abbotsford is a very conservative and beautiful part of Canada. She must have had an ideal childhood.

The Heritage Foundation notes that in the Netherlands, voluntary euthanasia has already turned into involuntary euthanasia:

For example, euthana­sia is often promoted by its champions as a last resort to alleviate suffering, but the Netherlands already has moved “from assisted suicide to eutha­nasia, from euthanasia for the terminally ill to euthanasia for the chronically ill, from euthanasia for physical illness to euthanasia for psychological distress and from voluntary euthanasia to nonvol­untary and involuntary euthanasia.” Such “ter­mination without request or consent” has been applied to Dutch infants as well. The concern has been that public health system rationing may exert pressure not just to limit spending on certain indi­viduals, but also, either subtly or overtly, to coerce them to be euthanized.

And I’ve already blogged about how the UK’s government-run NHS system pays hospitals bounties for putting patient on an end-of-life track. The new guidelines are even worse, as the UK Telegraph reports:

New NHS guidelines on “end of life” care are worse than the Liverpool Care Pathway and could push more patients to an early grave, a leading doctor has warned.

Prof Patrick Pullicino, one of the first medics to raise concerns over the pathway, said the national proposals would encourage hospital staff to guess who was dying, in the absence of any clear evidence, and to take steps which could hasten patients’ death.

The Liverpool Care Pathway – which meant fluids and treatment could be withdrawn, and sedation given to the dying – was officially phased out last year, on the orders of ministers.
It followed concern that under the protocols, thirsty patients had been denied water and left desperately sucking at sponges.

There’s government run health care for you.

I’m writing about this patient-killing issue today because I think it’s interesting to think about what health care is like in a country that is basically run by atheists, like Canada is. I personally would not like to be forced to pay taxes to pay the salary of a someone like Wiebe, and let her be in charge of my life.

UK police threatens those who disagree with NHS starvation of sick child #AlfieEvans

UK Police enforces the decrees of the government-run NHS
UK Police threatens anyone who dares express disagreement with the NHS

By now, everyone has heard about how an NHS hospital has essentially kidnapped a sick child from his parents, and they are trying to kill the (born) child through asphyxiation, starvation and dehydration. And it’s being performed by the government against the will of the child’s parents.

The parents want the child back so that they can take the child to a country that has modern healthcare facilities and skilled, moral medical personnel. Italy has volunteered to provide these things, and has even sent an air ambulance to transport the child. But the NHS instead wants to kill the child, because they have decreed that the child is unfit to live, i.e. – “life unworthy of life“.

The judge who initially ruled against the parents of little Alfie previously ruled that a patient in a minimally conscious state be starved to death, according to Life Site News. The appeals court judge also ruled against the child because the parents were hostile to the NHS. So, the NHS can’t release the child because his parents are “hostile to the NHS” after the NHS kidnapped and starved their child. This is the kind of legal reasoning that you can expect from the judges in the UK.

Government-run healthcare in practice

In the UK, the government runs a massive health care delivery system called the NHS. The NHS takes your money through taxes and then decide how to spend it according to their own priorities. The less they spend on healthcare, the more they can pay themselves in salary, benefits and pensions. Naturally, it’s very tempting for the NHS to kill their patients in order to cut costs and reduce their workload.

The NHS administration actually pays NHS hospitals “bounties” if the hospitals kill more patients by withdrawing treatment.

The UK Telegraph explains:

Hospitals are being paid millions of pounds to reach targets for the number of patients put on a controversial pathway for the withdrawal of life-saving treatment, according to data based on Freedom of Information requests.

The NHS regularly starves patients to death. Health care is a lot of work, and this is government. Would you go to the Post Office for health care? That’s what people are doing when they go to the NHS.

The priorities of the UK police

The UK police tweeted that they are busy monitoring Twitter for speech critical of the NHS. You might think that they have better things to do, like cracking down on sex-trafficking of underage British girls which happens in many, many UK cities. But it’s not politically correct to enforce laws against underage sex-trafficking, because it makes the UK’s far-left immigration policies look bad.

The UK Telegraph explains what happened in the most recent underage sex-trafficking case:

The newspaper’s probe alleges that social workers were aware of the abuse in the 1990s, but that it took police a decade to  launch Operation Chalice, an inquiry into child prostitution in the Telford area in which seven men were jailed.

It is also claimed that abused and trafficked children were considered “prostitutes” by council staff, that authorities did not keep details of abusers from Asian communities for fear of being accused of “racism” and that police failed to investigate one recent case five times until an MP intervened.

In several other underage sex-trafficking cases, the police also failed to act because it was not politically correct.

The UK police also thought that it was a good idea to arrest a 78-year-old pensioner for defending himself against a burglar who invaded his own home. That’s law enforcement, UK-style.

What does the NHS do instead of healthcare?

Here is an example of what the UK spends health care money on instead of spending it on sick children:

Josie Cunningham checked into a clinic last week to get rid of her unborn child, enabling her to create the face she believes she needs to be a porn and glamour model.

A series of doctors had told her the cosmetic surgery was too risky.

Josie, who terminated the unplanned pregnancy at 12 weeks, told the Sunday People: “I’m having this nose job no matter what gets in my way.

“Pregnancy was a major obstacle and an abortion was the answer to it – so that’s what I did.

[…]She had a £4,800 boob job and botox on the NHS, smoked and boozed while pregnant and ­admitted she had planned to abort her youngest child ­because she had a chance of going on Big Brother.

When government takes over control of healthcare, their ambition is simple. How can we use the money we are collecting for health care to buy votes from the voters so that we can get elected? A sick little child is useless to them, but an escort who wants to be a porn star has great value. She can vote for higher taxes, more government and better salary, benefits and pensions for the NHS employees. So, what she needs is therefore called “health care”. But what the parents of a sick child wants is not health care.

That’s what it means to go to a single payer system. You pay all your money to the government in taxes, and then they decide how to spend it to achieve their goals of buying votes and winning re-election. If you need an abortion, a sex change, breast enlargements, botox, or IVF for single women who can’t be bothered to marry, then the NHS has “health care” to trade for your vote. But if you have a sick child, then you are out of luck.

Fortunately for the NHS, their screw-ups can apparently be covered up by the judges and by the police. No American could accept such restrictions on liberty, security and prosperity. We are not slaves.

The Alfie Evans story might make you recall last year, when the NHS killed a sick child named Charlie Gard. This is not a rare occurence. I have covered literally dozens of NHS horror stories over the past 9 years. You can take a look at some of them here. The conditions in NHS hospitals are absolutely appalling, and the people who work there are lazy and incompetent. The politicians, administrators, judges and police all work together to cover up the failures, so that they can keep giving themselves exorbitant salaries, benefits and pensions at taxpayer expense.

Single payer health care: man denied medical treatment is offered euthanasia

Fraser Institute, 2015: the cost of single payer health care
Fraser Institute, 2015: the cost of single payer health care

What sort of health care can you expect in a system where you pay mandatory taxes to government bureaucrats whose primary purpose is to buy votes in order to win re-election? Can these bureaucrats be trusted to give you the health care that you’ve paid for?

Well, in Canada, health care is paid for by mandatory collection of taxes from those who work. You don’t pay for what you use, you just pay based on what you earn. The more you work, the more you pay in taxes. But paying more in taxes doesn’t mean that you will get treatment. In Canada, you’ll get behind people who don’t pay a dime into the system. You’ll wait for months. And you’ll be waiting in line behind people who want IVF, abortions, sex changes, and free heroine injections. Because in Canada, health care is just vote buying. The healthiest hardest working people pay and don’t use. The laziest and most irresponsible people don’t pay and use too much.

But there is one thing that the Canadian government will do for you – they’ll offer to murder you in order to keep you from draining health care dollars away from the people whose votes need to be bought.

Evolution News explains:

[…][A] Canadian man with serious disabilities has been refused coverage for independent-living services — but offered payment by Canadian Medicare for the costs of obtaining a lethal jab. From the CTV News story:

[Roger] Foley’s request to the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT), where he was directed to apply, was denied last year. Foley asked for a review of that decision, but his lawsuit alleges that the review process has been delayed multiple times as the CILT defaulted on deadlines.

So he hired lawyer Ken Berger.

“We don’t really understand why it’s not being solved and why we’ve had to file this lawsuit for Roger,” Berger, who specializes in health law, told CTV News. “We really didn’t want to reach this stage, but we were left with no alternative.”

According to Foley’s statement of claim, the only two options offered to him have been a “forced discharge” from the hospital “to work with contracted agencies that have failed him” or medically assisted death. Refusing to leave the hospital and unwilling to die by a doctor’s hand, Foley claims he has been threatened with a $1,800 per day hospital bill, which is roughly the non-OHIP daily rate for a hospital stay.

Can you imagine the screaming if a private health-insurance company were alleged to have forced these alternatives on a man with disabilities wanting assistance for independent living? The screaming would be heard in China.

But this is socialized single-payer socialism. So, expect a much more muted response.

Coercion to “choose” assisted suicide or euthanasia will come in many guises. This is one of them. Those with eyes to see, let them see.

Let me tell you something very important. You cannot demand quality from a service or product provider if you have already paid them. The time to ask for a lower price or higher quality is when you have your money in your pocket. That is why we are so happy to buy things from Amazon.com, but not so happy with the Postal Service or the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Where there is competition, there is higher quality at a lower price. The free market works better than a government monopoly.

How well is socialized health care working in Britain?

The National Health Service is government-run socialist health care
The National Health Service is government-run socialist health care

Back in 2009, a radical leftist named Paul Krugman wrote about the health care system in Britain. As a leftist, it’s his view that government-run health care is better than free market health care. Basically, he thinks that people get better health care if it’s run like the US Postal Service is run, instead of how Amazon.com is run.

Let’s see what he says in the far-left extremist New York Times:

In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false. Like every system, the National Health Service has problems, but over all it appears to provide quite good care while spending only about 40 percent as much per person as we do. By the way, our own Veterans Health Administration, which is run somewhat like the British health service, also manages to combine quality care with low costs.

And what about the people who say that the NHS doesn’t provide quality health care, despite getting a huge portion of the all the taxes that are collected in Britain?

At this point, all that stands in the way of universal health care in America are the greed of the medical-industrial complex, the lies of the right-wing propaganda machine, and the gullibility of voters who believe those lies.

Every bad story that you’ve ever heard about socialized health care is a lie, and you’re gullible if you believe those lies.

Well, see, now I’m confused. Because if I turn the page of the New York Times from an editorial to a news story, I read this:

At some emergency wards, patients wait more than 12 hours before they are tended to. Corridors are jammed with beds carrying frail and elderly patients waiting to be admitted to hospital wards. Outpatient appointments were canceled to free up staff members, and by Wednesday morning hospitals had been ordered to postpone nonurgent surgeries until the end of the month.

Cuts to the National Health Service budget in Britain have left hospitals stretched over the winter for years, but this time a flu outbreak, colder weather and high levels of respiratory illnesses have put the N.H.S. under the highest strain in decades.

The situation has become so dire that the head of the health service is warning that the system is overwhelmed.

[…]“The N.H.S. waiting list will grow to five million people by 2021,” Mr. Stevens said in an impassioned speech to health care leaders in November. “That is one million more people, equivalent to one in 10 of us, the highest number ever.”

Over the past week, hospitals have increasingly declared “black alerts,” an admission that they are unable to cope with demand, the health service confirmed, without releasing numbers. Most hospitals have been unable to meet emergency-ward targets of seeing patients within four hours because of a shortage of beds and staff.

Britain spends billions and billions of pounds on health care every year, but it’s never enough. And British citizens already pay far more in taxes than Americans, who get much better care.

Sometimes, statistics are not as good as a good horror story…  On this blog, I’ve written about dozens of NHS horror stories. But Paul Krugman says they are all lies, including this one from the same New York Times article:

“There’s no real system or order; it’s a jungle in here,” said Nancy Harper, who had accompanied her 87-year-old grandmother, who was lying down and complaining of excruciating pain in her lower back.

“It’s been more than five hours,” Ms. Harper said. “We get to the front of the queue and then someone more ill comes in and we get pushed back. It’s outrageous.”

The UK Telegraph had some more information about the NHS health care system:

Every hospital in the country has been ordered to cancel all non-urgent surgery until at least February in an unprecedented step by NHS officials.

The instructions on Tuesday night – which will see result in around 50,000 operations being axed – followed claims by senior doctors that patients were being treated in “third world” conditions, as hospital chief executives warned of the worst winter crisis for three decades.

[…]Trusts have also been told they can abandon efforts to house male and female patients in separate wards, in an effort to protect basic safety, as services become overwhelmed.

50,000 scheduled surgeries canceled. If this were private sector health care, then the patients would have some recourse. But when the government is running health care, good luck trying to sue them for pain and suffering. They’ve already got your money from taxes, too – you can’t get it out to go somewhere else for surgery.

Although this seems horrifying to Americans, this is pretty standard all year round for Canadians, who have a true single payer health care system. According to the Fraser Institute, the average Canadian family pays about $12,000 in taxes for their free health care. And when they need things like MRIs or knee replacements, they have to wait for months. The average wait time there for “medically necessary treatment” is 21.2 weeks. Medically  Necessary Treatment. When I ask for an MRI in America, I get in the same week that I call.

When conservatives like me oppose government-run health care, it’s because we have looked carefully at government-run health care as it exists in comparable countries, and we have decided that it does not work. Progressives need to take a look at reality in countries like Britain and Canada. How well does it work? How much does it cost? It’s no good making policy decisions with feelings instead of facts.

Is Bernie Sanders correct to say that Canada has better, lower-cost health care?

Wall Street Journal calculates cost of Sanders spending plan
Wall Street Journal calculates cost of Sanders spending plan

He seems to be really passionate about raising taxes on working families, and then giving them “free” health care in return. Let’s see how that’s working out in Canada, where they do have a single-payer health care system.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Waiting times for medically necessary health care services under Canada’s single-payer system have hit a record high, according to a report from the Fraser Institute.

[…]The Fraser Institute found that patients under Canada’s single-payer system this year waited an average of 10.9 weeks—roughly two-and-a-half months—from the time they had a consultation with a specialist to the time at which they received treatment. Physicians consider 7.2 weeks to be a clinically reasonable wait time.

The report also found that patients’ wait for treatment after referral to a specialist by their general practitioner was 21.2 weeks, or longer than four months.

“This year’s wait time—the longest ever recorded in this survey’s history—is 128 percent longer than in 1993, when it was just 9.3 weeks,” the report states.

The report, which looks at 10 provinces in Canada, found that there are 1,040,791 patients waiting for procedures. There are also high wait times to receive scans and ultrasounds. Patients waited an average of 10.8 weeks for an MRI scan and 3.9 weeks for an ultrasound.

“Research has repeatedly indicated that wait times for medically necessary treatment are not benign inconveniences,” the report states. “Wait times can, and do, have serious consequences such as increased pain, suffering, and mental anguish.”

According to the report, patients experience long wait times for surgeries, waiting as long as 41.7 weeks for orthopedic surgery, 32.9 weeks for neurosurgery, and 31.4 weeks for ophthalmology.

“In certain instances, [wait times] can also result in poorer medical outcomes—transforming potentially reversible illnesses or injuries into chronic, irreversible conditions, or even permanent disabilities,” the report states. “In many instances, patients may also have to forgo their wages while they wait for treatment, resulting in an economic cost to the individuals themselves and the economy in general.”

Fraser points out that previous studies have found the lost economic output in waiting for joint replacement surgery, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, MRI scans, and cataract surgery totaled $14.8 billion in 2007.

The report also notes that 46.3 percent of patients would prefer to have their procedure performed within a week if they had the opportunity to do so.

The article also quotes Sally C. Pipes, a Canadian health care expert who knows how much Canadian taxpayers pay for “free” health care.

Pipes also refutes Sanders’s claim that Canada’s system offers relatively the same quality of care at a cheaper cost.

“It isn’t cheaper because Canadians pay for health care through their taxes,” Pipes explains. “The average Canadian family pays anywhere between $4,000 and $12,000 a year in taxes for a system where they have to wait over five months from seeing a primary care doctor to getting treatment by a specialist.”

“There’s fewer doctors relative to the population than in all but four other industrialized countries,” she said. “It’s last in terms of acute care hospital beds and there’s doctor shortages, residency spots are down, and waiting times—this is what happens when government controls the health care system, and this is what Bernie Sanders wants for the United States.”

Canadians are also paid less than Americans. Why? Because Canadian employers have to pay a percentage of their employee’s salary to the government for health care. Obviously, the employers are going to take that out of their employee’s salary without telling them.

Finally, it should be obvious that progressive Canadian politicians go South when they’re sick for healthcare. They know that when health care is free, you get the quality you’re paying for.

One thing you need to understand is that if you put health care in the hands of politicians, they they will use it for vote-buying, like they do with any government-run social program. So, if you are young and want an abortion or a sex change, you’re in luck. Because you have a lot of voting ahead of you, and they want to keep you happy with big government. But, if you’re old, and don’t have so much voting left to do, you’re expendable. That’s why countries with big government health care, like the Netherlands and Canada and the UK are always tinkering with euthanasia for the elderly.