I don't know how many people have noticed the recent blunder by Investor's Business Daily surrounding healthcare reform. Personally I found it hilarious.
Their article about the dangers of healthcare reform highlighted the NHS and made a point of mentioning that were Stephen Hawking British (which of course he is) he would have died long ago.
Hawking promptly responded that: "I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS".People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.
The article, now updated, is still full of gross exagerations and straightforward lies. The most obvious of these being their claim that under NICE (a regulatory body for the NHS) regulations 6 months of life is valued at $20000, if care will cost more than that it is alleged that you will not receive care. This is also quite simply untrue.
As you can see in the highlighted quote below, this is totally untrue.
Investor's Business Daily wrote:The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) basically figures out who deserves treatment by using a cost-utility analysis based on the "quality adjusted life year."
One year in perfect health gets you one point. Deductions are taken for blindness, for being in a wheelchair and so on.
The more points you have, the more your life is considered worth saving, and the likelier you are to get care.
The British are praised for spending half as much per capita on medical care. How they do it is another matter. The NICE people say that Britain cannot afford to spend $20,000 to extend a life by six months. So if care will cost $1 more, you get to curl up in a corner and die.
What are people supposed to believe about healthcare reform when much of the criticism leveled at it is just made up lies?
The Telegraph wrote:Allegation: NHS patients over 59 years of age cannot receive heart repairs, stents or bypasses.
Response: A national audit on cardiac surgery showed that one in five of all patients was aged over 75.
Allegation: Women under 25 "not allowed" to be screened for cervical cancer.
Response: Patients in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland regularly screened from the age of 20. In England, women under 25 could be screened if there was judged to be a clinical need.
Allegation: Ted Kennedy, 77, would not be treated for his brain tumour in Britain because he was too old.
Response: "The NHS provides health services on the basis of clinical need irrespective of age," said a Department of Health spokesman.
Allegation: Four in 10 NHS cancer patients do not have access to an oncologist.
Response: Figure is 15 years out of date, said Macmillan Cancer Support. Number of cancer specialists in the NHS has risen by 59.6 per cent since 1997, said the Department of Health.
Allegation: The NHS judges that six months of life are worth $22,750 (£14,000).
Response: "We don't put a limit on the amount the NHS can spend on an individual," said Andrew Dillon, the chief executive of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), the Government's drugs rationing body. "The basis of Nice's system of appraising drugs and other treatments is simple: something will be recommended for use if the benefits to patients are worth what the NHS is being asked to pay."
Last edited by Bertster7 (2009-08-13 12:11:10)