Friday, 21 August 2009 00:00
Mr. Frangos’s letter in last week’s Manhasset Press entitled, “Let’s Do Health Care Reform Piecemeal” succinctly expresses many of the concerns and fears of the majority of us. Fear of an exploding bureaucracy, evidence of which we have ample examples, cannot be ignored. It is for real and everyone knows it. And what about the timeliness and quality of care?
England and Canada both have socialized medicine. In England a doctor could have a private practice on the side, which essentially meant that if you had money you could get treatment sooner. So it really wasn’t totally socialized. We were on a two-year assignment in England some 10 years after this socialization occurred. I once went to a doctor, the father of one of my associates. The waiting room was painted light green. There were wooden benches along three walls with no cushions. The walls needed washing. The doctor’s son, my associate, said that the system did not even pay for office cleaning, nor any refurbishing. I can tell you that you really did not want to touch anything.
Later when Canada went socialized they decided to fix that problem by not allowing doctors to have a private practice. We have heard of the horrendous delays for treatment in Canada. In many cases, if a Canadian has money, he is advised to come to the USA for treatment. Money talks. The delay in providing services is further aggravated because many of the best doctors in England and Canada choose to emigrate to the USA.
Mr. Frangos’s idea to go at Health Care Reform piecemeal is excellent. He is right in saying that he doubts that many of the Congressmen have even read the 1,000 page proposal and I will add that few who have read it really understand what is going on.
Yes, let us go at it piecemeal. Start with proving that the billions of dollars they claim can be saved on Medicare and hospital and doctors fees are for real. Mr. Frangos feels that this is delusional, and I agree.
While it is well-known that the vast majority of Americans are against most reform proposals I do not think that this is because they do not want to foot the medical costs of the poor but rather because they quite well understand the inefficiencies and costs of just about any government-run system. There is no easy answer.