Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dear Dennis Kucinich:

I think I might love you.


P.S. Is it just me or does anyone else feel an uncontrollable urge to smack that petulant snot, Dr. Gratzer? I don't think it's just me.


Dr.Dawg said...

It's his callow youthfulness. You feel like taking away his milk and cookies.

He's the kid who always puts his hand up first. Just reeks of preppy.

Dizzlski said...

What the hell is he a doctor of?

Ti-Guy said...

Another right wing Canadian doing us proud!

What kills me most about it is that sociopath is a psychiatrist.

I'm starting to think the Scientologists are onto something when it comes to psychiatry. Although my other instinct is to believe the old adage: "Psychiatrists are attracted to the practise mostly because they're nuts." This guy, Charles Krauthammer, "Dr. Sanity," Jordan Peterson...

Audrey II said...

Hey, drop the guilt-by-association game, unless you're willing to indict all Canadians, people from Winnipeg, or men by way of profiling due to Gratzer's nonsense.

It bears pointing out that Gratzer was responsible for a particularly ugly bit of libertarian pornography ("The Ugly Truth About Canadian Healthcare") that's since been exposed for the dishonest claptrap that it was. Wingnut propaganda mills like the CATO Institute and The Heritage Foundation regularly cite his anecdotal and factually-challenged work.

Anonymous said...

Figures that he would work for the Conservative Manhattan Institute....

Making up "facts" to suit their ideology....

Ti-Guy said...

Hey, drop the guilt-by-association game...

Never! There's nothing left to explain any of this.

Besides, indicting The CATO Institute (which claims to hold itself to the highest standards of intellectual honesty and scholarly rigour) is a form of guilt-by-association, is it not?


Denounce 'em all and call it a day.

KEvron said...

nice display of insolence, dr. gonna grow up soon?


Anonymous said...

nice display of insolence, dr. gonna grow up soon?
No but he may balloon up like dr roy

Bismark said...

Only if he eats everything on the Burger King menu every day for the next six years...

Mike said...

The lies run deep down south and people don't want to hear the truth.

I'm a libertarian and I think less interference by the government would be good - no arbitrary restrictions of foreign doctors, no regulatory impediments to nurse practitioners and other medical professionals from doing things that are now restricted to doctors (perscriptions for or refilling minor drugs, minor injuries, reference to diagnostics etc).

But I am under no illusions that our system is good and far better than the US (which is much more of a cartel or oligopoly of Insurance companies than even remotely "free market") and works pretty good most of the time.

I've tried to tell the US libertarians not to pretend its Soviet Bread Line medicine or otherwise as horridly rationed as the shills for the medical insurance industry would like one to believe. But they don't want to hear it, because they don't really know how to respond.

I mean, for all the complaint about wait lines for care, at least we have a line. In the US, people are not only waiting in line, but they are doing it on underground, on the fly "medical fairs" that move around the country. If they are in line at all.

No doubt David Gratzer is dishonest as the day is long.

Mike said...

My favourite part: "... I dislike your comments, sir."
Well, boo-freakin'-hoo.

Noni Mausa said...

At first listen I was (and remain) somewhat sympathetic to the doctor's pique, since the constant interruptions must have been deeply annoying.

HOWEVER, as he is putting himself forward as an expert on Canadian health care, Mr. Kuchinick's questions should have been softball pitches over the plate, and rather than spit out numbers, the Dr. waffled and delayed. The time was limited and I am sure the doctor was banking on this.

An expert should be there to provide valuable information, not waffles. "Info delayed is info denied."


expert in Canadian health care, worm's eye view edition

KEvron said...

"since the constant interruptions must have been deeply annoying."

huh. i watched gratzer sullenly suggested kucinich answer his own first question himself, then gratzer started to interupt the congressman upon his second question. witnesses are not guaranteed the right to cross examine the committee members. kucinich's "interuptions" didn't begin until the fourth question, when gratzer made it obvious that he wasn't going to directly respond. but, seeing as it was a house committee hearing, kucinich can't really be accused of interupting, as it's those who sit on the committee who determine how the assembly shall proceed. they ain't hosting a tea party.


The Artful Nudger said...

On the one hand, I'm inclined to think that StatsCan juggled the figures that Rep. Kucinich quoted; my father's principal complaint as a physician and surgeon were the number of times he had to tell someone their surgery/diagnostic scan was going to be a long wait. I imagine that for elective surgery (where the patient's condition is unlikely to deteriorate) or non-vital diagnostic scans, the wait is significantly longer than four weeks/three weeks.

He often would recommend that a patient wanting a diagnostic scan (if they had the money) should go across the border to a private imaging clinic.

That being said, as Noni points out, if those were the doctor's talking points, we should have heard them. Instead, we get "why don't you inform us?"

This (and the doctor's past work and associations) implies that to him, the statistics don't actually matter; to him, the crucial point is that he views single-payer health care as philosophically wrong, and, like a true Conservative, refuses to let annoying things like facts and reality interfere with his preconceptions.

thwap said...

I don't think it's the government that's behind restrictions on foreign doctors or the limiting of what nurses can do.

I think governments are making these regulations at the behest of provincial medical associations.

What our governments ARE responsible for is deliberately under-funding our health care system because:

1) They're just idiots who think that reduced spending is always and everywhere a good thing

2) Many of them are in cahoots with private health insurers and they want to discredit public health insurance

I think Kucinich could have given that guy more time to respond in some instances, but overall that guy was a fraud who doesn't care about the lives he'll destroy. So to hell with him.

Noni Mausa said...

The waiting times I have had personal experience with:

-- office appointment at clinic -- maximum 3-4 days, usually today or tomorrow. Generally my wait time once in the office before being moved to an examining room is longer than a haiku but shorter than a sonnet. Cost/co-pay = $0

-- carpal tunnel surgery, elective -- about 8 months, for a particular very skilled surgeon. I was happy with this, since the condition itself came on over 20 years. Next year I will arrange to get the other hand done, the first was a great success. Cost/co-pay = $0, pain meds about $30.

-- emergency room -- 20 minutes to 6 hours, depending. The shorter time was for an eye injury, the longer for a badly sprained ankle which I thought might be broken. Cost/co-pay = $0

-- blood tests -- less than five minutes. The blood testing area (not the waiting room) has five comfy chairs, and I have never waited longer than 15 minutes to get blood drawn. For an ultrasound in the same department, I waited about 20 minutes. Cost/co-pay = $0

Mammogram -- a couple of weeks. Cost/co-pay = $0

Lipoma removal -- about 10 days. Cost/co-pay = $0


Mike said...

Well I've been waiting now 8 months for my hip re-surfacing and I am likely to have about 4 more months to wait...I don't even have the appointment yet.

My dad has an anuerism in his stomach, which apparently could rupture anytime and kill him. He has an appointment to see the specialist September 28th.

So I don't buy some of Kucinich's numbers either.

But for most people they aren't that bad.


The CMA had a report in 1990 claiming there were too many doctors and convinced the various provincial government's to reduce the number of med students and restrict foreign doctors. They still have ridiculous rules in place that no other country, not even the US, has. In 1990 I switched family doctors 4 times, wait times were not an issue (I was able to get a few procedures done within a few weeks of diagnosis). Today, thanks to the shortage of doctors the CMA and the provincial government precipitated on their behalf, I have no choice to stay with my doctor as I'm lucky to even have one. I would have to stick with a buffoon like Dr. Roy if he were my doctor.

So I'm pretty sure that the government screwing with the system on behalf of doctors is a really big part of the problem, along with their cheesparing funding (to paraphrase Jane Jacobs). Hence the reason I don't trust them to fix the system - look how well they did fixing the sytem 19 years ago...

Veronica Abbass said...

Mike said

"I've tried to tell the US libertarians. . . ."

Do they listen or is "tried" the operative word here?