New Book Profiles Victims of Rationing in Government-Run Health Care Systems

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 24, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Book Profiles Victims of Rationing in Government-Run Health Care Systems

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 24
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — As members of Congress debate a government-run health care plan that pro-life advocates say could result in rationing, a new book profiles the victims of similar systems in other nations. The book, Lives: 100 Victims of Government Health Care, tells the 100 personal stories of victims.

Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, and Ryan Balis, a National Center policy analyst, tell agonizing, real-life stories of victims.

The people hail from Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and elsewhere and they struggled to access government health services and sometimes died stuck on long government waiting lists.

"Some 16 years after Washington last attempted to nationalize health care, some politicians in Washington are at it again," co-author Amy Ridenour said in a statement received. "But if Americans choose to adopt a public health care system, as the stories in this book attest, they will soon regret the decision."

Shattered Lives puts a face on frustrated citizens fed up with having surgeries repeatedly canceled, medicines denied, and patients herded like animals onto gigantic government waiting lists.

Some of the stories covered include how Britain’s government managed National Health Service (NHS) withheld powerful anti-cancer drugs from Barbara Moss.

Dunil Almeida, 42, was suffering from colon cancer but was told he was "imagining" the pain in his stomach over the course of over 50 examinations by the British NHS, which failed to test him for cancer for nearly two years. It was only when Almeida visited Sri Lanka that doctors told him he had cancer. By then, it was too late.

One story documents a woman in labor castigated by a hospital nurse for not giving birth at home.

Numerous elderly patients lost their sight because cataract surgery or drugs were withheld, patients resorted to do-it-yourself dentistry, and other patients seek medical care in the United States that they can’t obtain elsewhere.

"Few disagree on the need for health care reform, but imitating failing health care systems abroad by adopting a so-called ‘public option’ bring Americans pain, misery, fear and death," said Ridenour. "Some government treatment lists are so long, getting on one is essentially a death sentence. This is no model for politicians in Washington to emulate."

Ridenour added, "Washington should be promoting a transparent and competitive market for health care, freeing Americans at the individual level to choose the insurance and medical services most appropriate for themselves and their families.

"There are ways to improve our health care system, but public health care isn’t one of them," she concluded.

Related web sites:
Shattered Lives book –

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