Feed on

Deal with the Pain

An epidural, before insurance, costs about $1,000 in the U.S. – this would not be an unreasonable assumption as to how much the attending doctor makes from administering such a procedure. Estimates are that in Canada the same procedure would leave doctors with only $100 in their pockets.

Would you hang around a delivery room at 4:00am just to be around in case an expectant mother would possibly want an epidural if you could only have a chance of earning $100? If you were a woman in pain, would you be willing to pay more than $100 to have a doctor around just to induce him to be there for you should you need it? Of course? Maybe it would take $200, or $300 or perhaps as much as it would cost in the US. But in Canada, you are S.O.L. You just have to deal with the pain.

If you are lucky enough to be delivering when the physician is there, well, then for $100 you can have your epidural. But if you are not lucky enough to be delivering when an administering physician is there, well, sorry – deal with the pain (what was that about fairness and the veil of ignorance?). In Canada, you are NOT legally allowed to pay for it – even if the doctor would do it for more.

What are the two government options for fixing this problem? First of course is to continue doing it this way – ration epidural procedures by the luck of the draw, or by waiting. Second, if you feel like it is morally horrible for women to birth in pain, is to force doctors to be there in the middle of the night. If you won’t allow market prices to induce them to show up, you simply mandate that they be there. That’s nice – how many of you women would like to have a needle stuck in your spine by a slave? Of course, the third option, which is not in the stomach or mind of anyone in Canada or the US, is to eliminate the entire apparatus. But that is a ridiculous pipe dream. I’m sure I am just cherry picking examples to suit my story, right? We’ll just see about that in the upcoming weeks, months and years.

So, suck it up and deal with the pain.

We already see seniors having to deal with it. And poor people. If a doctor or pharmacy refuses to take Medicare or Medicaid patients because the government reimbursement schedules cause the doctors and pharamcies to lose money serving these patients, it is illegal for customers to pay the doctors or pharmacy in order to take their business. A doctor or pharmacist who tries to charge more than the government set fees for Medicare or Medicaid can be found guilty of serious crimes and pay enormous fines for doing so.

What was that about the “right” to medicine and health care? If you are of the persuasion that getting health care is some natural right that you obtain by virtue of being born, you would think that this right should mean, at the very least, that the looters in government should not prevent you from spending your own money on health care.

But the “right to health care” and the current passage of the health care bill has nothing at all to do with health care. They don’t mean it. What people want is to impose power over others (note that government would not provide it if people did not want it, so I am extending this to all of my neighbors, not just the 535 scoundrels in DC, but to the scoundrels of all stripes who want this reform). They wish to prevent me from making my own choices, they wish to prevent me from exercising the option to exit their violent and cold world. They want the elites to tweak the health care system, to make choices for people, etc. And it is the advocates of the “right to health care” that want government to have lots and lots of power.

If you don’t believe me, then ask why my current health insurance plan has just been made illegal by the passage of the new legislation?

Leave a Reply