Dr. David Gratzer: Fighting the Good Fight against Marxist Medicine
Winnipeg-born-and-raised David Gratzer, a 30-something physician licensed to practice in both Canada and the US, has become America’s most trusted voice in the conservative fight against socialized medicine. With Michael Moore’s latest fraudumentary “Sicko” opening in theatres, and with all Democratic 2008 presidential candidates promising universal health care in some form, this is sure to become the hot-button issue of the next few months.
Gratzer was commissioned to counter Michael Moore by the Wall Street Journal on the opening day of Moore’s film. Read it here,
…Canadian doctors, once quiet on the issue of private health care, elected Brian Day as president of their national association. Dr. Day is a leading critic of Canadian medicare; he opened a private surgery hospital and then challenged the government to shut it down. “This is a country,” Dr. Day said by way of explanation, “in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years.” Market reforms are catching on in Britain, too. For six decades, its socialist Labour Party scoffed at the very idea of private medicine, dismissing it as “Americanization.” Today Labour favors privatization, promising to triple the number of private-sector surgical procedures provided within two years. The Labour government aspires to give patients a choice of four providers for surgeries, at least one of them private, and recently considered the contracting out of some primary-care services–perhaps even to American companies.Other European countries follow this same path. In Sweden, after the latest privatizations, the government will contract out some 80% of Stockholm’s primary care and 40% of total health services, including Stockholm’s largest hospital. Beginning before the election of the new conservative chancellor, Germany enhanced insurance competition and turned state enterprises over to the private sector (including the majority of public hospitals). Even in Slovakia, a former Marxist country, privatizations are actively debated.
Under the weight of demographic shifts and strained by the limits of command-and-control economics, government-run health systems have turned out to be less than utopian. The stories are the same: dirty hospitals, poor standards and difficulty accessing modern drugs and tests.
Admittedly, the recent market reforms are gradual and controversial. But facts are facts, the reforms are real, and they represent a major trend in health care. What does Mr. Moore’s documentary say about that? Nothing.
Americans need to understand: as their would-be political leaders and liberal media elites proceed with the push for socialism, the rest of the world is slowly returning to market freedom.
(For more on Gratzer, including links to dozens of his articles and op-ed pieces, click here to view his Manhattan Institute bio.)