« Cutting police budget would betray trust | Main | Merit pay for teachers »

March 23, 2009

The ‘right’ to health care

The Obama administration evidently thinks that everyone has the “right” to all of the medical care they need or want — except those who have earned it. That reflects the ghastly moral corruption that government brings to its control of health care. Thank you for calling attention to this (3/20, Opinion, “U.S. has obligation to veterans”). The plan was not “unfair” but outrageous.

First it must be stated that the treatment of combat injuries is not welfare but a richly deserved moral commitment to those who have risked their lives defending our freedom. As it is, politicians who maintain that everyone has a “right” to health care really mean that no one has a right to any health care unless they get it from the government.

When we see how the government cares for combat veterans, what should the rest of us expect when the government controls and rations all health care?

Richard E. Ralston
Executive director, Americans for Free Choice in Medicine
Newport Beach, Calif.



Can I borrow the Whispering_to_KC decoder ring? I haven't the slightest clue what he's talking about. Posted by: Roger Lambert | Mar 24, 2009 8:59:23 PM

Roger Lambert: "I haven't the slightest clue ..."
Admitting you have a problem is the first step to overcoming it. Congrats.
Posted by: whispering_to_kc | Mar 24, 2009 9:44:05 PM

An intellectually dishonest socialist. Congrats.


What are the income tax rates in France and England? NO THANKS.


Indeed we should follow in the footprint of Cuba which is well known for it's premium healthcare and Saudi princes are frequent at Havana Memorial. Funny that the socialists that advocate government run healthcare are against flat tax. It's only fair when someone else pays their share.


There is no such thing as free healthcare, someone pays for it. Nationalized healthcare has proven to be unsuccessful in other nations. We already have a lack of medical professionals in some of the most critical areas of medicine, Geriatric and Pediatric discplines. Government setting the "rates and charges" for these professionals will only cause more to not practice in these areas. On top of that physicians have to worry about the the bottomfeeders looking for that big case whether fabricated or not. We already have national healthcare it's called Medicaid and Medicare, both of which have some real issues. Medicare should be renamed MadoffCare because it is a Ponzis scheme.


Didn't I just hear Obama say health care cost are going to bankrupt the nation? And he was talking about just the costs associated with Medicare and Medicaid. How does he propose to reduce these costs? And if these costs are so severe how can the government assume all health costs for less than it now spends? It seems to me the only possible answer is "rationing".


Roger Lambert: "I haven't the slightest clue ..."

Admitting you have a problem is the first step to overcoming it. Congrats.


“For-profit health insurance is only a social and economic parasite. They produce nothing.” – I’m wrong

And a big time socialist too. Our government is a social and economic parasite. They produce nothing. They collect taxes, redistribute funds and they provide services. Come to think of it for-profit health insurance provides a service too. Access to health care.

“The argument is over "health insurance", not "health care".” – I’m wrong again

This is like saying the argument is over “driver license”, not “driving a car”. So now I’m to believe that the argument from the pro-UHC is having mandated “health insurance”. Just mandated “health insurance”. No health care, just insurance. Wow, I guess that’s one way of avoiding the obvious: our social and economic parasitic government hasn’t produced anything worth while in the form of health care.

I’ve always supported the idea of a government BC/BS equivalent insurance program as long as it was funded in total but it’s members. Keep me, my family, my employers and my money alone, I say go for it. Prove to me it’s a better health insurance program on the open market and I’d join. However, we all understand that a BC/BS equivalent health insurance has never been the goal of pro-UHC. It's always been about health care.


"Smarter" Than You is engaging in more name-calling and sleight-of-hand to distract from the fact that he or she knows we're talking about two different things here. Obama has proposed nothing like what's going on in England. I pointed that out earlier. Since "Smarter" apparently can't dispute that, we go for a ride on the Talking Point Express.

What's the tax rate in England? Who cares? We don't live in England and our President hasn't proposed anything remotely like their health care system.

Here's an idea, "Smarter." Prove me wrong about that. If you have anything adult, original or honest to say, I'm all ears. Otherwise, stop spinning.

Roger Lambert

Can I borrow the Whispering_to_KC decoder ring? I haven't the slightest clue what he's talking about.


The argument is over "health insurance", not "health care".

For-profit health insurance is only a social and economic parasite. They produce nothing. They do no one any good but themselves. They only exist to enrich themselves from other's pain and illness.

Ralston has a dent in his forehead ...


... from where he was dropped on his noggin as a child? That's how most Ayn Randers came to their cult, after a serious head injury. I'd bet some of the regular rightwingers here have a similar dent in their heads?


“Having a VA level healthcare plan for those that are unable to afford insurance is better than what we now have for them," - KC Educator

“I do, however, find it humerous that to most anti-UHC types, government care for veterans, the elderly, and the poor is completely acceptable, but any mention of the same care for the rest of the population is heresy.” - Marctnts

Ahhhh, KC Educator is a prt-UHC type. Pro-UHC view the garbage called VA Hospitals to be completely acceptable for veterans, the elderly and the poor. Indeed, I find the pro-UHC insistence that the same care should be inflicted on all the population to be heresy.

The fact of the matter is anti-UHC holds up the current standard of government care for veterans or the elderly as the prime example of why government can not be trusted to run a UHC.

Smarter Than You


Jimbo, not sure what he’s defending, now takes the “if Obama says it’ll work it’s good enough for me” tact. What you have, Jimmers, are several examples of different government sponsored health programs that aren’t a panacea. Then there’s always that pesky cost thing. What is the tax rate in England?

Your fish won’t swim, Jim.


KC Educator
I'm not sure how good a measure of the effectiveness of health care is given by life expectancy. If we eliminate deaths due to accidents and violence how do the life expectancies of the US and the UK stack up?


Red Herring Alert!!!

It's a little strange to see people tearing down the single payer health care model with such zeal when that isn't even what Obama is proposing.

Yesterday we were warned that Obama was trying to marshall support for a health care plan we knew nothing about, because he has no details. Today, those same people seem to think they know everything about it, and that it's just like the European/Canadian/Cuban single-payer model.

Not surprisingly, they're wrong on both counts. While the plan is far from detailed at this stage, the overall principles and framework of it are pretty clear, and it's nothing like the single-payer boogeyman everyone's wasting their time talking about here.



Everything I’ve read about the French health care system says that it’s good, but they seem to have avoided the wait times that plague CHS and NHS by charging co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses to the patients. It seems that a good percentage of the French population also carries private insurance to help with those costs. And the last article I read said that the French government anticipated wait times to increase due to budgetary concerns.

But Cuba’s system? No, thanks.

Here are a couple of videos taken in a hospital for “regular” Cubans – not the facilities for foreigners and tourists.

Here’s the outside of the hospital http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihN9rA0Jz18&feature=related

And the patient rooms http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8T4SinsfWQ

And the hallway http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta3UYkPiW9U

This is supposed to be better than KU Med?


I won't totally defend the national health system in England because you're right that it is far from perfect. Everyone over there knows that to get the best care and see a doctor when you want to see one, you need to have some private insurance, which by the way, doesn't cost as much as it does here. My husband's family is English. My 20-something stepdaughters, who might not otherwise have any health insurance, use the government provided healthcare system and are satisifed with it. My late sister-in-law carried private insurance and got very good care when she had cancer. It wasn't the fault of the system that she died. She lived longer than we expected she would.

For many, it's better than no care at all. But I know many many people in England, and almost all of them carry some sort of supplemental insurance.

Smarter Than You

The elephant in the room is that when American companies have ex-pats in England we provide private health care because of the unacceptable quality of the government UHC.

To be fair, Congress has done such a bang-up job with Freddie and Fannie I want them in charge of our health care. The fact that Social Security/Medicaid/Medicare et al. are all fully funded and solvent makes this the perfect time to add more entitlements. In the words of the two chaps from Guinness; “Brilliant!”


On the 18th of this month, the British Government apologized for conditions at one of their hospitals: “Stafford Hospital in central England was found to have appalling standards of care, putting patients at risk and leading to some dying, according to a report on Tuesday.
Between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected in a three-year period at the National Health Service (NHS) hospital, according to an investigation by the Healthcare Commission watchdog.” http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.09affc88c9815310300a92378aed0564.2f1&show_article=1

Roger Lambert


If the US has the most responsive care, but not the highest life expectancy, then do you draw the conclusion (per PutKidsFirst) that less responsive health care would increase the life expectancy for Americans? That's rhetorical, but you can answer if you'd like.

I argued below that unhealthy living habits (food, exercise) lead to Americans' shorter life expectancy. If we were to scrap our current system and move to socialized, less responsive care, it's hard to see how our life expectancy or quality of life would improve.


Here's the data from the WHO comparing the United States and the United Kindom. All rankings are out of 191 member nations:


Life Expectancy (DALE model): #24 (70.0 yrs)

Responsiveness of Care (which would include lack of waiting times): #1

Health Care Expenditures Per Capita: #1


Life Expectancy (DALE Model): #14 (71.7 yrs)

Responsiveness of Care: #26

Health Care Expenditures Per Capita: #26

As the figures illustrate, the US is #1 in spending, but #24 in life expectancy. Weighed against the UK at #14, however, the difference is only 1.7 years. Additionally, the US ranks #1 in responsiveness of care, indicating that according to the WHO, the US beats the rest in terms of wait times, etc.

Costs are exploding and something needs to be done, but I'm not sure a complete scrapping of a private-based system is the answer.

I do, however, find it humerous that to most anti-UHC types, government care for veterans, the elderly, and the poor is completely acceptable, but any mention of the same care for the rest of the population is heresy.

About KansasCity.com | About the Real Cities Network | Terms of Use & Privacy Statement | About Knight Ridder | Copyright