Report By Richard Geno
Sally Pipes attracted the largest Conservative Forum audience in history other than the special Global Warming debate held in November, 2008 (where we had 660 attendees at another venue). Approximately 260 people proved that we need to consider a larger venue as Sally Pipes provided a common sense free market approach towards any necessary healthcare reform.
Sally started out by telling us that all Americans want affordable, accessible quality health care. It is a matter of whether it is going to be accomplished with patient-centered solutions that focus on the patient and the doctor, or whether the program is going to be run by bureaucrats who would determine who gets care and what type of care will be available to everyone.
Sally pointed out that the government already provides 48% of the medical care in the country right now through Medicare, Medicaid, S-Chip, and the Veteran's Administration. It is clear that President Obama and the leading Democrats want a single payer system - Medicare for All. She pointed out that only two governments in the world have a pure Single Payer system - Canada and North Korea.
As a United States citizen who was born and raised in Canada under the single payer program, she is very familiar with how health care is delivered in Canada. UK and France also have universal health care. She pointed out that in UK, France and Canada that there are long waiting lists for all services. In each of these countries, there is rationed care and a lack of access. In Canada alone, with a population of fewer people than California, there is a current waiting list for health care services of 695,000.
The average wait for an MRI is 16 weeks in Canada. Canada is 25th in number of MRI machines per population, and 19th in CT Scans. 30,000 Canadians leave the country each year for health care. Danny Williams, the premier of New Foundland, a province of Canada, announced just this week that he plans to travel to the United States to have heart surgery. The challenge for Canadians is "Where will they go for serious health problems if the United States adopts a Single Payer Rationed Health Care System?"
Sally related the story of her mother who died of colon cancer because the Canadian system told her that she "could not get a colonoscopy at her age." Sally referred to this as something as close to what Sarah Palin referred to as "death panels" as one could get. Every politician who supports or opposes the "public option" agrees that it will lead to a Single Payer system.
Over 80% of Americans like their health care system. The latest polls indicate that somewhere between 56-60% of Americans do not want the health care system proposed by President Obama, or included in either the current Senate or House bills. 52% of Massachusetts voters voted for Scott Brown because of his objections to ObamaCare.
Of all of the numbers bantied around, the number of people who are chronically ill without healthcare for two years or more in the United States is 8 million - not 46 million or even anywhere close to 31 million. Sally Pipes pointed out that the current healthcare reform being discussed in Congress will result in significantly higher taxes, higher deficits and rationed care.
Sally Pipes recommended the following five-step solution:
1. Empower patients and doctors with a portable, non employer-related system.
2. Increase funding to the states for high risk pools.
3. Medical malpractice reform.
4. Enable insurance to be purchased across state lines.
5. Expand Health Savings Accounts.
Sally concluded by saying the choice should be quite clear. We either have a patient-driven universal choice, or we have a government bureacracy run Single Payer system.
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