Carol Platt Liebau: When Government Runs Health Care

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

When Government Runs Health Care

For anyone who might even be considering the merits of single-payer health care (or the newest Hillary plan, which is the first step on that road), check out this piece.

New guidelines from Britain's National Health Service dictate that

doctors and midwives should recommend that women have their labour, where possible, in birthing pools instead of taking drugs for pain relief. They must also be warned of the dangers of pain-relieving epidurals.

Right. No "intervention" in childbirths unless absolutely necessary, because it's just too expensive. Thanks, but no thanks. Unbelievable -- the government telling a woman to forget the pain-killing drugs and just hop in a "birthing pool." It's like rolling medicine back to the early 20th century . . . the only difference is that, rather than not having the medical know-how to help laboring women, doctors will simply be instructed not to use it. Disgraceful.

2 Comments:

Blogger jfarr said...

There are good reasons for doing this outside of politics. Epidurals are actually dangerous to babies during delivery and have led to a lot of C-sections. My wife is in the industry and has seen this firsthand many times.

4:41 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Look, I'm no great fan of government-run health care; I think that the first step should be the elimination of tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, which redistributes wealth from consumers to employees.

However, I think you have completely misunderstood the purport of the article. You made two errors:

1. You misread the degree of preference stated. The article clearly states that the birthing pools should be recommended and where possible, but you misread this as not "unless absolutely necessary" and that doctors are "instructed not to use it".

2. You claim that the incentive for this is that "it's just too expensive". The quoted material makes it quite clear that the true incentive is "the dangers of pain-relieving epidurals". This is obviously a health measure, yet you misconstrue it as a cost-saving measure.

Disgraceful?

8:12 AM  

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