Mr. Speaker, the talk around town is universal health care for all Americans. This is a noble ideal and a great goal, but the real question is: Do we want universal health care run by the government or universal health care run by the private sector? That is the question to be asked and answered.
Even though every Nation that has tried socialized public health care has proven it's unaffordable, doesn't work and provides inferior health care, those who want the United States Government to run every aspect of our lives still demand public health care. Let's look at a couple of examples of socialized, nationalized health care:
Katie Brickell is a young woman who lives in Great Britain where they have government-run health care. When Katie was 19, she tried to get a test for cervical cancer, which is a matter of routine here in the United States. Katie was told that she had to wait until she was 20. When she tried again at 20, she was told that the age was moved to 25 so the government could save some money. While waiting 5 more years because some bureaucrat told her that's what she had to do, Katie got sick and was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Now some bureaucrat is telling this young lady, who is just starting out in her adult life, that her disease is not treatable, all because some bureaucrat said it cost too much. Neither Katie nor her doctor made a medical decision, but this no-named bureaucrat made all of these decisions. This is the British example of government-run, universal public health care.
Charlie Wadge lives in Canada where they have long waiting lines and rationed health care because they have a government-run system. Limping badly, Charlie was diagnosed with arthritis in his hip. When he needed his replacement surgery, the bureaucrats told him he'd have to be on a waiting list for between 18 months and 2 years before he could have that surgery. Charlie paid what we call a private medical broker, who negotiated a price for him to have surgery in the United States, in Oklahoma City.
He had to pay for the whole thing out of his pocket--and it's a good thing he had the money. At least he can walk. Left up to Canada's system of universal-run, government-rationed health care, he would have probably been permanently crippled by now.
Now if we want an example of what health care run by the American bureaucrats looks like, we should examine Medicare, Medicaid, or even the VA. These government programs are now a disaster. They waste so much money, and they will probably completely go bankrupt if they're not overhauled.
The Medicare program trustees just a week ago said the program has ``unfunded liability'' of nearly $38 trillion. That's the amount of benefits promised to Americans but not paid by them through taxes. If we don't fix the waste and inefficiency in Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA, millions of people will not be treated properly. Taxes keep going up but these government-run health care services in the United States keep getting worse.
The kind of government-run health care that is being considered right now will have the same sort of underpayments to doctors and hospitals that we see in Medicare and Medicaid. Even with the massive taxes that would come up with this government health care program, if people think health care is expensive now, just wait until it's free.
The government underpaying for services will force the price of medical insurance so high to make up for the gap in what health care really costs that their employer will no longer be able to afford the health insurance.
Studies have shown the kind of government-run health care being worked on by Congr