Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baby Sacrificed for Free Market Believers, as Rural Medical Care Sacrificed for Lack of Profits.

This is one of the most horrific stories of our free market, for profit, private health care system I’ve read yet. Are we really losing our freedoms and liberties, or are we buying into a money driven lie that sacrifices babies and family members for pure ideological reasons?
Wisconsin State Journal: Three weeks before Val Eaton's baby was due … Her husband rushed her to the emergency room in this Great Plains town of 3,200 people east of the Rocky Mountains. She needed a cesarean section, but the hospital had just stopped doing them. A medical helicopter flew her to Great Falls, 110 miles away, where her son was stillborn. "If Cut Bank had been more equipped, my baby could have been saved," said Eaton, 29.
Not profitable enough. Could government have provided the service at loss, and would Americans gladly pay to help? Not under our current political anti-government environment. Freedom? Think again…

In a corner of Eaton's living room, a blue, heart-shaped canister holding Ryker's ashes sits on a shelf. A plaster imprint of his hand and foot hangs on the wall. Framed photos of him are arranged near the onesie he was going to wear home.

"It looks like he was going to have curly hair," Eaton said. She and Kevin, who have an 8-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter, aren't sure they want to try having another child. Other couples in town also are hesitating, she said.

"Before, we used to get pregnant and not worry," Eaton said. "We're scared now."

Now that’s freedom and liberty. Small government too. And when it comes to being able to make your own decisions, I wonder if this is what many had in mind:

When Karyn Thornton, a physician assistant from Brooklyn, south of Madison, arrived in the Big Sky state four years ago, a patient's aortic aneurysm ruptured. He was four hours from the nearest hospital where a doctor could operate, Thornton told him.

The man decided to stay with his family, and he died two hours later. In Wisconsin, he would have received surgery, she said.

At least he was able to make his own health care decision. How would the best private health care system in the world work without government intervention?

In Chester, a town of 800 people east of Cut Bank, Liberty Medical Center closed its nursing home three years ago because the service was losing money, said chief executive officer Ron Gleason. Gleason said Medicare, the federal health plan for seniors and the disabled, didn't pay his small hospital enough to sustain the nursing home, so now some patients must travel an hour away.

A different payment system for frontier networks — perhaps federal grants — could help the smallest, most rural hospitals sustain important services such as nursing homes … in the 1980s, the federal government let Montana start what became critical-access hospitals … including 59 in Wisconsin … They get paid up to 20 percent more than other hospitals from Medicare for certain services.

Without that 20 percent, care would have disappeared. Republicans would also repeal health care reform that now provides the following…
High malpractice insurance rates make it hard to find obstetricians, hospital officials say. Montana and Wisconsin are among about 20 states with mediation panels that review claims before lawsuits are filed, which some studies say can keep malpractice rates down. The new health reform law provides $50 million to states to form such panels or try other programs aimed at curbing malpractice costs.
Malpractice reform, gone.
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