Thursday, August 13, 2009

'This could be Guatemala'

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Opponents of the health-care "reform" in Congress are correct when they portray it as a mess.

The Congressional Budget Office is probably correct when it says the plan won't contain costs.

And for anyone who cares about the value of unborn human life, the plan is a non-starter if it isn't going to keep in place the strictures against federal funding of abortion.

But faced with scenes like these from Los Angeles this week, the conservative opponents' alternative to our present logistical and moral nightmare would be . . . ? It is obvious to the world that America's present health-care delivery system is a broken, bureaucratic mess.

IT IS EQUALLY CLEAR that medical rationing is going on now, with no government meddling to blame. For the "lucky" insured, this rationing goes on at the corporate level -- at the insurance companies. And the motive isn't "cost-control," it's profit maximization.

On a societal level, rationing goes on when the uninsured just don't go to the doctor or dentist. A wildly unsuccessful scheme -- unless they croak before someone can get them to an insanely expensive emergency room to deal with a problem that could have been dealt with much more cheaply before it became a full-blown crisis.

Lots of nations in the Western world have health-care systems that work, and work well. You'd think someone might study those and pick one -- France, for example, ranked No. 1 in the world -- and set about creating an American version of it.

PROPOSE THAT, however, and you'll get called an idiot and a socialist by the outraged right (a group which seems not to be taking advantage of all its insurers' mental-health benefits).

Then again, I'd rather be an idiot socialist that to look at scenes like those broadcast tonight on the NBC Nightly News and be just fine with that.

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