Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bernie Sanders And Healthcare

I don't think Bernie Sanders can do anything to improve the American healthcare system because he doesn't know what the problems are that cause it. I think his efforts at throwing taxpayer money at it will make it much worse. He will give us the VA For All. (Even if he could give us Medicare For All, I'd suggest you ask providers what they think of that system before you decide that it should be the national model.)

The first reason for the very high cost of healthcare in the US is cultural. 

Having lived under both the American and Canadian healthcare systems, I seriously doubt that many Americans would be happy with the Canadian one even though Canadians are. That is because of cultural differences. Not many 80 year old  Americans would happily wait a year or more for hip replacement surgery the way many of their northern neighbors routinely do, nor would they like having to go to another country and pay for treatment there, even at a discount, as some Canadians are apparently doing now.  


Americans, and often their doctors, unlike people in other countries who accept death as natural and inevitable and believe in realistic limits on what can and cannot be treated and reimbursed for by someone else, want third party payers to pick up the tab for whatever they believe offers a glimmer of hope even though there is no evidence supporting the treatment. An example of this is the truly tragic story of bone marrow transplants for breast cancer in which one woman successfully sued her HMO for refusing to pay for it and got an $89 million judgement against the HMO. (The amount appears to have been reduced eventually out-of-court, but the woman didn't survive very long, and when the studies were done, they showed that the treatment doesn't work for breast cancer and that it is terribly brutal for the patients who gets it.)

Bernie himself supports naturopaths who practice unscientific medicine and has worked hard to force 3rd parties to reimburse for their services. This is expensive and dangerous. 

When I wrote and told him about the danger of taking silver dietary supplements internally, unbeknownst to me he wrote to the FDA and asked that they study silver supplements. That was totally insane. If his advisors had been real scientists instead of alts, they would have known that silver was very well studied before Bernie was born and that it was discarded by real doctors who realized it was dangerous snake oil by the 1950s. He would have known what a waste of taxpayer money it would have been for any government organization to study it and that if anyone should study it, it would be those who manufacture and sell it.

The other major reasons healthcare is so expensive are the development of so much knew technology, the aging of the population and the obesity epidemic. While Sanders’s supporters may say that other countries also have to deal with new technology, older people and obesity, I suspect that they will soon face the problems that come with those things just the way America did quite awhile ago. Actually, that seems to already have happened in the UK.


1. This is a very unfavorable critique of the Canadian healthcare system. http://www.vthealthcarefreedom.org/sites/default/files/Canadian System - Not a good model2 Dan McC_0.pdf
I have not checked the links or tried to independently verify any of the statements. However, I do know that a great many of the healthcare providers where I live, on the US side of the VT/Que. border, are Canadians. Many live in Canada and commute to work here. They include doctors, nurses, physical therapists and an optometrist.  

2. Sanders isn’t the first presidential candidate to promise universal healthcare. I remember seeing Bill Clinton on TV when he first ran for President saying that within his first 100 days in office he would give the country a Universal Health Care Plan. I thought to myself, “This guy is a liar or a fool or a lying fool. Everyone wants universal healthcare but no one wants to pay for it. That’s why we don’t have it.” I lost all respect for Clinton then and there.

I thought that Bush lost the election to him because of his failure to realize that Americans wanted very serious healthcare reform. I have a cousin with type 1 diabetes who voted for Clinton because she believed he’d deliver on his promise. She wanted to start her own business but was afraid to quit her job. It provided health insurance which she didn’t think she could afford on her own.

Here is a link to the wiki article on Clinton’s Universal Health Care Plan

3. For a look into the world of unscientific, belief-based medicine, the kind no third party should ever be forced to reimburse for, browse through this site posted by an apostate ND, naturopath, the kind Sanders has worked so hard to promote. 


4. This article regarding the UK national healthcare system with the lead line, “Former NHS director dies after operation is cancelled four times at her own hospital” is in a British publication. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1371861/NHS-director-dies-operation-cancelled-times-hospital.html

5. This video shows the advanced lab technology now being used which I assume is expensive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydSAxJoUj38

6. This reports on a surgeon with a degree from the Canadian med school at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario who is moving his practice from Vermont to New York. According to the article, the problem is “the economics” of Vermont’s system.

Bernie Sanders, Medicare-for-all, Healthcare, Bad Healthcare Plan