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Opinion: Will healthcare reform torture our sickest seniors?

By Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D.

Water boarding – holding someone’s head underwater until he thinks he’s drowning – is called torture when done to terrorists.  But 400 billion dollars in Medicare cuts as part of the new government healthcare “reform” may end up causing a horrible and frightening death for our sickest senior citizens.  How?  One stated method of saving money is to deny hospital readmission within 30 days to someone suffering from Congestive Heart Failure or CHF.  If not treated rapidly, CHF causes a person to die by drowning in his or her own body fluids.  Not OK for terrorists, but OK for our own citizens?

This is Washington’s idea of health care reform?  Cutting costs by choking and drowning our sickest seniors?  Or making them wait in pain, unable to walk, until their turn in line comes up for a hip replacement?  Americans don’t understand that a Canadian-style government run healthcare system will drastically reduce services, delay getting treatment, and eliminate the private pay options and choices that most citizens in the US expect.

Think About This:

·     The $400 Billion cuts in Medicare will RATION back surgeries, antibiotics, MRI’s and CAT Scans.  Like the Post Office or DMV- “Take a Number” and wait and wait and wait….
·     America will become like Canada where Colonoscopies and Mammograms and new cancer drugs are so rationed or delayed that patients die because they cannot get treatment.
·     It is torture to live in pain and fear for a year or more waiting to get a CAT scan or MRI to find out what’s wrong.
·     It is torture to feel your body failing and not know what is wrong – and you can’t see just chose a doctor or get the tests you need.
·      A nationalized system will eliminate private pay options and private insurance.
·      Does a public option cut costs?  NO – Medicare has a 40-Yr track record (since 1970) of costs rising 34% MORE PER PATIENT, than the combined costs of ALL private health care.  And that’s BEFORE the BABY-BOOMERS FLOCK INTO IT.

We’ve lost so much in this country.  Do we also have to lose this fight for our literal lives?

Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D. is a women’s health specialist and patient advocate in private practice, in Dallas TX and Tucson AZ.

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One comment

  1. Please. Let’s use scare tactics to keep things the way that they are.
    This opinion is ridiculous.

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