Health care seems to be the talk of the day. The Republicans have an opportunity to replace President Obama's failing Affordable Care Act (ACA)with a health care bill that fully restores medical treatment to the free market. However, with public figures like the wildly popular Bernie Sanders, many people question whether we should move back toward the free market or take a step further down the road towards the ACA and socialized medicine.
According to many people, free market health care is cruel. Opposition to free market health care argue that people should not have to go bankrupt because of a medical bill. They state that people should not be denied treatment that, perhaps, only the super rich can afford. (By the way, people are not denied treatment in the United States under the free market. We just keep fighting against our current system without recognizing reality) That sounds reasonable. After all, socialized medicine ensures that anyone can go to the hospital and receive medical treatment, right? This is the wonderful fairy tale of socialized medicine. Ladies and gentleman, I give to you the horrifying nightmare - or the reality - of what socialized medicine truly brings.
Say hello to Charles Gard. Charles is an 11 month old boy, who has lived his life in a hospital. Aside from being deaf and blind, Charles also has a rare mitochondrial disease that could take his life. In a last ditch effort to save their child, Charles' parents started a fund me page, where they raised millions of dollars to purchase an experimental treatment in the United States of America. All things were looking good, until the United Kingdom's health care system stepped in.
The hospital has refused to release Charles to allow him to venture to America with his parents to receive these treatments and several courts in the UK have supported their decision. The court ruled that such a journey could cause the boy to suffer and experience pain. Maybe he is already experiencing pain. Maybe the journey to the United States could put an end to his pain and save his life. Is it unreasonable to factor this into the bureaucratic equation?
It is a tragic situation that words cannot describe. The UK government describes the situation as "complicated." Is it really that complicated? Great Britain does not have the resources to treat this child's illness, but the United States does. The British health care system will not pay for Charles' treatments, but the parents have raised sufficient funds to get treatment elsewhere. This story should tell us everything that an American needs to know about socialized medicine.
Here's a small list of the lessons to be learned:
1) The U. S. health care system has been scrutinized day-in and day-out by foreign governments, as well as single-payer advocates in America. However, the United Kingdom, whose health care is run by the government, and who is a first world country of high reputation, does not have the treatment needed to help this boy. Their socialized medicine has not brought about excellent health care. Government run programs are always terrible, compared to what the free market (in this case, in the United States) can provide us.
2) Socialized medicine is unjust. It takes our freedom to live and puts it in the hands of a corrupt government. The court has found one justification after another concerning why they will not release Charles to the United States, let alone to his own parents. The courts formerly ordered that his life support be removed and that he would be allowed to die in the hospital. His parents asked to take him home, or at least to hospice, and the courts refused their requests. If the child is going to die anyways, why must the hospital keep him under all circumstances?
3) Politician after politician in the United States have advocated for a single-payer system claiming that the free market allows for people to die in the streets if they cannot afford health care. This case proves exactly the opposite. The government is too stingy to cough up the money needed to save this boy's life. Furthermore, private citizens donated money to ensure the survival of Charles. The free market allows for charitable efforts by individuals to save the lives of those who could not otherwise afford necessary treatments.
Looking at the history of the ACA, in America, stories like this should be of no surprise. Remember when Obama told the daughter of an elderly woman that the ACA would forgo life saving treatments for her mother in favor of a pain pill? Remember when Sarah Palin claimed that the ACA would create death panels to determine what patients would live and which ones would die? If not, I am certain you remember the promise that the ACA would reduce premiums and deductibles by thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, those promises were lies and people's payments increased upward of 100%. Today, the ACA has not created affordable health care and has hardly provided insurance for anyone. If anything the high deductibles and ludicrous premiums have ensured that people, although having insurance, will not receive health care.
Ladies and gentlemen, please pray for baby Charles and his parents. I can only imagine the anguish they must be experiencing as their baby slips away from them. Pray that the courts realize their errors and release Charles back to his parents. Sadly, I am extremely pessimistic in this instance. The problem is that, according to Great Britain's health care system, Charles' parents are no longer the responsible party for his well-being. Life or death is in the hands of the government. This is a place where you never want to find yourself.