From Nicholas D. Kristof’s Thursday column in the NY Times…
Rick Scott, a former hospital company chief executive, leads a group called Conservatives for Patients’ Rights. He was forced to resign as C.E.O. after his company defrauded the government through overbilling and is now spending his time trying to block meaningful health care reform by terrifying us with commercials of “real-life stories of the victims of government-run health care.”
… Mr. Scott’s public relations initiative against health reform is led by the same firm that orchestrated the “Swift boat campaign” against Senator John Kerry in 2004. These commercials are just as false, for President Obama is not proposing government-run health care — just a public insurance element in the mix.
No doubt there are some genuine horror stories in Canada, as there are here in the United States.
But the bottom line is that America’s health care system spends nearly twice as much per person as Canada’s (building the wealth of hospital tycoons like Mr. Scott). Yet our infant mortality rate is 40 percent higher than Canada’s, and American mothers are 57 percent more likely to die in childbirth than Canadian ones.
So it seems that higher expenditures on health care do not guarantee better outcomes. Read Kristoff’s entire column to get the story he tells of an American living in Canada and her experiences with both Canadian and American health systems…
It seems to me that the scare tactics being used by groups like Scott’s hearken back to the “red scare” theme of the Cold War. The strategy: call anything proposed by the federal government that threatens the huge profits of big corporate interests “Communism” and hope that politicians will be cowed into submission. I know, that may be an oversimplified take on it, and the “big corporate interests” would surely publically deny this, but in my bones, I feel there’s more truth than fancy in this notion…what do you think?