VIDEO: Former ER Doctor Rep. Mark Green Talks About Ills of Socialized Health Care From Personal Experience

Nick Kangadis | July 11, 2019
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If you’re someone who wants free health care for all people, regardless of whether they can pay or whether they’re even in the country legally, your heart might be in the right place, but your head doesn’t understand basic economics. But, there’s also the practical argument against health care for all - it could kill you just from having to wait too long for treatment.

Former Army and emergency room physician Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) spoke on Wednesday about personal experiences that changed his mind about socialized health care during a House Oversight Committee hearing.

Here’s one story that Green told the panel, who were apparently praising the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare), that steered him away from socialized health care:

My first patient was a gang member. He’d been shot in the lower abdomen. The guy was punching at the staff and yelling at us all. Meanwhile, we’re trying to save his life. After giving this guy world-class care, I walked out thinking, ‘Man, at least with government-payer I’d get paid for the risks taking care of this patient.

But near the end of my shift, I had a woman who had just a few days prior gotten her dose of chemo. She was febrile in what we call neutropenic fever, as the chemo had lowered her immunity system to a point that small infections threatened her life. With her were two children and a worried husband. The woman was only 35 years old. She didn’t have insurance. As we stabilized her, we realized that early detection had saved this young woman’s life. In Europe, socialized medicine has delayed early detection as care is rationed, and that’s why mortality rates for specific illnesses are far better in the United States than they are in Europe and Canada. That woman would not have received timely detection there, and her chances of survival would’ve been significantly less than a socialized system.

This is what people don’t understand. It’s nice in theory and all to want everyone to have great health care, but it’s just not financially feasible. Now, we can absolutely have “health care for all,” but the problem comes in when - eventually - people will have to wait for procedures and care for health issues that directly impact their lives and ability to make a living, all because the system will - again, eventually - become unsolvent. For some people who need health care sooner than later, a socialized health care system might just be their death sentence.

You can watch Green’s full comments below: