I happened across a recent In Business column from Madison real estate mogul Terrence Wall. Using a personal anecdote about his and his father’s experience with the health care system in France, Wall lambasts any notion of a governmental role in health care in the U.S.. He flatly ignores the failures of the private health insurance system with his reliance on mischaracterizations and misinformation.
Wall takes the typical conservative route of ignoring the realities of the current private system to criticize a public plan as imagined by Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Sarah Palin. ‘GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE COST THE LIFE OF MY COUSIN in the CANARY ISLANDS when they denied him treatment for throat cancer,’ he writes. I wonder if Wall is aware of the fact that PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANIES deny health coverage to AMERICANS in AMERICA EVERY SINGLE DAY and that nearly 45,000 people die every year because they lack health insurance.
He goes on to say:
‘Eventually only those with life-threatening emergencies receive immediate treatment, while everyone else waits, regardless of the pain, suffering, or inconvenience. The government also becomes the final arbiter of who lives and who dies, because the government has the final say, which it then formalizes into rules, regulations, and policies.’
Wall actually raises the specter of government-run death panels. Unbelievable. But unlike the mythical gubmint-run death panels Wall writes about, private health insurance death panels are real. Private health insurance companies regularly decide to whom and for whatever reason not to provide health coverage.
Wall concludes his argument with a blatant falsehood. ‘Did you notice,’ he asks, ‘that the Congressional committee that reviewed the Obamacare legislation voted to exempt themselves from the system.’
To answer your question Mr. Wall, no, I didn’t. But that’s because Congress didn’t do any such thing. In fact, they already have the option to take a public-financed plan or deal directly with a private insurer.
Mischaracterizations? Misinformation? Obamacare Death panels !?!?!
Who does Terrance Wall think he is, Glenn Beck?
And for Wall and anyone who may be interested in health care in France compared to U.S., beyond the anecdote of a real estate mogul, here are some interesting statistics from the World Health Organization:
Infant Mortality Rate (per 1,000 live births):
US – 6.37 deaths/1,000 live births
FR – 3.36 deaths/1000 live births
Under-5 mortality rate (per 1,000 live births):
US – 8
FR – 5
Adult mortality (probability of dying between 15 to 60 years per 1000 population):
US – 109
FR – 91
US – 78
FR – 81
Healthy life expectancy:
US – 69
FR – 73