A Nation Full Of Little Charlies

Little Charlie Gard is the British infant who suffers from a genetic illness.  He has made international news because his mother and father want to take him to the United States for medical treatment and the British medical system will not let him leave.

Little Charlie’s condition is generally terminal.  The British hospital says that moving him is not in his best interest.  The British system, which is a state-run single payer system, has decided that Little Charlie should die.

The British are not cruel.  They plan to take Charlie off his ventilator and make him comfortable but it is their decision that he should not receive any further medical treatment.

Little Charlie’s mom and dad disagree.  They have not given up on him…and neither has an American hospital, New York Presbyterian Hospital.  They believe that the treatment that they have developed has a chance to improve Little Charlie’s condition and get him off of the ventilator.  It is not a guarantee but it has worked in a percentage of the children that they have treated with the same condition.  Charlie’s parents want to take the chance but the British hospital will not let Charlie leave.

They have decided that it is Little Charlie’s best interest to die.

Almost eight years ago, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin talked about death panels under Obamacare.  Although there is no provision for such panels, they are not outside of the realm of possibility as America heads toward a single-payer medical system.  Recall in 2009 that President Obama told a woman, in a town hall meeting on health care that her centenarian mother should be made comfortable rather than be given further medical treatment.  Around the same time, the New York Times ran and editorial rationalizing “Why We Must Ration Healthcare”.

As Obamacare requirements drive up premiums and insurance companies go out of business, as a result of these regulations, America’s medical system inexorably slides toward a single-payer system.

Medical technology is expensive but, in America, it is abundant.  Most people, however, cannot afford to pay for medical treatment without the help of health insurance.  Unfortunately, Obamacare is killing the health insurance industry and when it dies, the federal government will be forced to take over medical care in America.  Once that happens, government spending will increase dramatically to cover the medical costs of over 300 million people.  The government will be reluctant to raise taxes enough to cover the cost of all the medical services that the people require and the US government will do what the British government does now, ration healthcare.

Meanwhile, until the government takes over medicine, American medicine will be innovative, with new treatments and new medicines being constantly developed.  This is the free market forces at work.

Whenever there is competition, any business will strive to deliver a better and more cost-effective products.  Businesses do this to get more customers than their competitors.  You see it every year with new car models that have more features.  Five years ago cars did not have backup cameras, lane drift warnings and blind spot signals.  Now they are standard.  But do you think these features would be in cars if automobiles were designed by government employees each year?  Let’s be frank, government employees are not known to be innovative.  What you have now is generally what you will continue to have.  A continuation of the status quo is more typically what you would get with a government run health insurance system.

That is why Little Charlie must die.

Little Charlie suffers from the treatment of a single-payer medical system that does not have the innovative drive of America’s free market, competitive system.   New York Presbyterian Hospital can offer Little Charlie’s parents hope because their drive to be better than other hospitals leads them to develop new treatments.  All throughout America, hospitals, laboratories, pharmaceutical companies and research centers are doing the same thing.  It gives Americans the best medical treatment available anywhere in the world.  That is why people come here from around the world to get care.  That is why Little Charlie’s mom and dad want him to come here.

When we devolve into a single-payer system, where will our medical innovations come from when there is no more money, no more motivation?  We will be no better than any other country with socialized medicine.  America will be a land of death panels, a nation full of Little Charlies.

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