100 Stories of Victims of Government Health Care Expose Truth About President Obama’s “Public Option,” Group Says

Washington, DC – If President Obama is, as he said in his speech tonight, concerned about “heartbreaking” examples of a health care system gone wrong, he can find plenty by looking at the countries that have already adopted his so-called “public option” for health care, says the National Center for Public Policy Research.

The National Center has just released a compilation of 100 stories of victims of government-run health care, “Shattered Lives: 100 Victims of Government Health Care” available for download at www.nationalcenter.org/ShatteredLives.html.

“In his speech tonight, the President complained about the ‘scare tactics’ of his critics while telling the stories of several Americans who have had struggles with the American health care system,” said Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center and co-author, with Ryan Balis, of the compilation.  “The President also unflatteringly compared the U.S. health care system to systems in other ‘advanced democracies.’  But people who live in those other advanced democracies would love to have the quality and quantity of care Americans routinely take for granted.  And the stories the President shared, touching as they are, are not by any means worse than the stories we have collected about the trials faced by people in Canada, Britain, Australia, Japan, Sweden and other nations with public systems.”

“For example,” said Ridenour, “The White House released a guest list of people who were to sit with the First Lady during the speech that included a gentleman whose insurance company delayed a colonoscopy for several months.  We agree that colonoscopies, when called for, should not be delayed, but a few months’ delay is commonplace in countries with government medicine.  In our collection, we tell the story of a man on Australia’s public system who was told he had to wait TWO YEARS for a colonoscopy.”

“Furthermore,” added Ridenour, “The President evoked the sad hypothetical case of an American having to tell a loved one, ‘there is something that could make you better, but I just can’t afford it.’  In Britain, it is estimated that 25,000 people die prematurely every year because the British government-run health care system ‘can’t afford’ cancer drugs Americans take for granted.”

“A few weeks ago, the President famously claimed that a noteworthy expense of the U.S. health system occurs when doctors unethically try to make money on the sly by performing tonsillectomies unnecessarily,” said Ridenour.  “Although the President’s allegation was preposterous, it wouldn’t even be a credible lie in many countries with government-run systems, where it can be difficult to even get a tonsillectomy.  In one of the stories we’ve made available for download, a small child in a public health system abroad waited TWO YEARS simply for a tonsillectomy.”

“If Americans choose to adopt a public health care system, as the president recommends, as the stories in our collection attest, they will soon regret the decision.  The President complained in his speech that people oppose his public option because of ‘politics.’  NO.  People oppose his public option, including triggers and government-backed co-ops, because they fear what government-run health care always brings: pain, misery and death.  Anyone who doubts it should download a free PDF of our new book and read for themselves what President Obama’s co-called ‘public option’ would really be like.”

A free PDF copy of “Shattered Lives: 100 Victims of Government Health Care” can be downloaded from www.nationalcenter.org/ShatteredLives.html.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation established in 1982.  It is supported by gifts from over 100,000 individual Americans and receives less than 2% of its budget from corporate gifts.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.