Single-payer health care may seem like a great idea in the abstract to some, but it doesn’t work out that way for patients in the real world. So explained a former emergency room physician-turned-congressman on Wednesday.
During a hearing of the House Oversight Committee about the Trump administration’s ongoing Obamacare lawsuit, Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., shared the personal experiences he had as a doctor that turned him against the idea of government-controlled medicine.
Green’s remarks began with a story of a gang member who came into his ER with a gunshot wound in his lower abdomen.
“The guy was punching at the staff and yelling at us all; meanwhile, we’re trying to save his life,” Green said. “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.'”
However, his shift wasn’t over after that, he said, and a later patient’s story gave him a different perspective.
“I had a woman who had just a few days prior gotten her dose of chemo” and was going through life-threatening complications as a result, Green continued. “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, I realized that early detection had saved this young woman’s life,” Green explained. “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 have been significantly less in a socialized system.”
Green did his residency in emergency medicine at the U.S. Army Aviation Center. He would later become a special operations flight surgeon. In 2009, he founded an emergency room management company.
During his Wednesday remarks, the House freshman also recalled the story of a Canadian CEO he once treated who “hopped on his personal jet, flew to Nashville, Tennessee, and came to my ER because he could have been seen faster flying to the U.S. than waiting on a government-run health care system in Canada.”
“True story,” Green continued with a scoff, “in Canada you can get an MRI for your dog that day because there’s a free market in veterinarian care, but you can’t get one for grandma’s knee; you’re gonna wait six months.”
During his remarks, Green also clarified that Obamacare is not government-run medicine in that it is insurance-based, but that it is driving the United States toward socialized medicine.
And that’s bad news for the United States, Green explained, because “socialized medicine does not work.”
“The government is not the answer,” Green concluded. “Government health care is rationed care, late detection, and worse mortality.”
Video of Green’s remarks is available here:
At Obamacare hearing, former Army and ER doc @RepMarkGreen shares the personal, real-world emergency room experiences that turned him against socialist health care.
— Nate Madden (@NateOnTheHill) July 10, 2019