Friday, July 14, 2017

A Tale of Two Health Systems…

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times in the area of Medicine for two countries.

One country had a health system that was based on the capitalistic principals of supply and demand. Because of the entrepreneurial system, Medical Care was valued around the world, as long as you could afford to pay for the privilege. This country will be called Callous.

In another country, the populace trusted their government with their Healthcare. No one went without the basics, but due to finite resources, not all could receive treatment. Compassion came with recognition that some will die so others may live. This country was called Enlightened.

Into these countries came two sick little boys that highlighted the successes and failures, the winners and losers, in Medicine today.

The first little boy is named Ethan. Ethan is a precocious 3 year old boy, the delight of his parents.

Little Ethan has endured many surgeries for his condition and takes daily medications to keep him alive. His latest surgery resulted in a bill of $231,115.00.  Since his parents had health insurance, their financial responsibility was only $500.00 and thanks to the parent’s health insurance, little Ethan is assured of receiving medical treatment for the remainder of his life.

The other little boy is Charlie. Charlie is 10 months old and was born with Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome. Charlie is very sick and has not received any treatment, other than basic life support. Without life support he will die and even with treatment, the prognosis is not good.

Now one boy lives in the country that has Health Care that is each individual’s financial responsibility and the other boy lives in the country that takes cares of its populaces Health Care without a financial drain on the individual.

Reading the scenarios, Ethan is fairing much better than Charlie. He is receiving treatment and living and thriving. Ethan lives in the United State of America and has the benefits of all the Medical Care he could want or need, without the government interfering in his decision. Charlie lives in England, where the Health Care is directed by the National Health Care System, which determines how the medical dollars will be spent and on whom, without input from the patient.

Which country is which from our opening? …. Well Dear Reader, I am sure you have figured out that Callous is the USA and Enlightened is England.

These two cases focus in real time the benefits of the Health Care System in America and the flaw in any Socialist Health Care (such as that which currently exists in England. In any Socialist System, there is INFINITE NEED with FINITE RESOURCES. England has chosen the compassionate route for Health Care, taking the financial burden from individuals so all can benefit. The only problem is that when there is only one pot of money then only the strong will survive. When individuals rely on themselves, instead of the Government, then there are INFINITE RESOURCES to deal with all needs.

There is a footnote to these stories: Ethan is lucky enough to have one parent who is an American and one parent who is Canadian. Given the choice of the two health systems for Ethan’s care, his parents picked America. They purposely chose Callous over Enlightened.
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