Thursday, November 15, 2012

The War on Women: Part Deux

Promise her anything, the old advertising tag line begins, but give her… socialized medicine.

I have already remarked that Barack Obama won the young, unmarried women’s vote because certain Republican senatorial candidates indulged in flights of monumental stupidity on the subject of rape.

But, Obama also won that demographic by offering to dedicate taxpayer money to a higher cause. He promised that he would pay Sandra Fluke not to conceive.

Regrettably, when politicians talk of women’s health issues they seem only to be talking about how to prevent an inconvenient birth.

Be that as it may, the election has made Obamacare the law of the land. There’s no going back.

It will be an unhappy day when Americans finally discover that Obamacare will produce what socialized medicine has engendered in Canada: less medical care.

Once medical professionals enter into the employ of the government, or once their practices and compensation are dictated by bureaucrats, the incentive to practice medicine diminishes.

It becomes too expensive and too burdensome to continue to practice medicine.

Recently, the Canadian press has been reporting about the calamities caused by doctor shortages, nurse shortages and understaffed hospitals.

They might not impact a woman’s right to choose or her right to have free contraceptives, but they do make it very difficult for her to schedule surgery if she has cancer.

For some cancer patients the wait will seriously compromise their chances at recovery.

CTV News reports:

Women battling cancer in Quebec are facing a dire situation, with wait times for cancer-related surgeries having skyrocketed to three times the expected delay.

Operations expected to be scheduled within four weeks are now taking up to 12, leaving some oncologists baffled.

Susanne Poulet spent the past decade battling recurring cancer. “I’m practically not living,” she said, filled with anxiety and a fear of death.

Even so, Poulet considers herself one of the lucky ones. Recent statistics show that surgery wait times are just too long in Quebec, specifically for women battling ovarian, cervical and breast cancer.

Dr. Dominique Synott, a woman who saves lives, said she feels helpless.

“Every day I have women crying in my office, on my shoulder, because I won’t be operating on her fast enough,” Synott.

She used to operate three days a week, now she's down to one a week; if it's not cancelled. The situation is so bad that Synott is considering leaving the province. Cancer-related surgeries should be completed within four weeks, but the reality is far from it.

“We’re near 12 weeks and that's too long, and it’s not medically accepted, but what can I do?” asked Synott. She can’t do much when hospitals have reduced operating room hours for surgeons, in addition to a shortage of operating room nurses.

Canada is not a third-world country. It is not a poor country. It is an advanced industrial country that has overpromised medical care.

In the debate over Obamacare millions of column inches were devoted to explaining that all the health insurance in the world counts for little when you do not have access to health care.

Putting millions more people on Medicaid does not matter if fewer physicians accept Medicaid patients.

The same will apply to Medicare if the government continues to reduce the reimbursement rates for Medicare providers.

At that point, one hopes that everyone will find sufficient consolation in the fact that Sandra Fluke has received free birth control pills.


Anonymous said...

Sandra Fluke is a luckluster whore. Enough about that. Great post but women will never get it. Not in sufficient numbers. Or rather they do get it but won;t acknowledge it. They will suffer cancer all day before they cop to any of this.

Anonymous said...

More accurately, the horrors of not training enough physicians.

America graduated new physicians at a flat rate of 16K/year, from 1980 to 2009, while the population increased more than 50%. The number of residencies stayed flat, at the 1977 rate, from 1977 to 2009. These things happened because the AMA, during the late 1970s, was concerned that a "doctor glut" might be developing. The Obama administration has been quietly working with the medical schools, numbers are up, and we are on track for a 30% increase by 2016.

Is your physician expensive to see? Do you have to wait a long time, past your appointment time, to be seen? That's because we haven't trained enough physicians; supply and demand. The idea that Quebec has long wait times because they have socialized medicine is illogical. It's like saying your car ran out of gas, because you weren't wearing your seat belt. American clincians of all stripe get paid roughly twice what they'd earn elsewhere in the G7. That's why there's a long wait for treatment in Quebec; the clinicians head down south to make more money in the AMA monopoly.

click here said...

Wonderful article. I have enjoyed reading it.

Ari said...

C'mon, Doc, think of the upside. Those free contraceptives will make it so that those women dying of cancer won't have any motherless children to mourn them!

Stuart Schneiderman said...

A note for Anon2-- if Canada has socialized medicine and Canadian physicians move to America because they can make a better living in a nation that does not have socialized medicine, doesn't that prove my point-- that socialized medicine produces a doctor shortage.

One might even ask whether the physicians who move to America are the best or the worst of the Canadian lot. And one might also ask whether a lower paying profession will continue to attract the same candidates as would a higher paying profession.