This is what single-payer health care looks like, America. A 12-year old girl in the UK was denied a second round of chemo because there was no cash designation for second-round cancer treatment.
When I was in high school, I used to volunteer at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital (BBCH) at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. While volunteering there, I encountered dozens of sick kids, including those stricken with cancer. Some of them beat their illnesses. Others did not, in spite of their tremendous bravery and fight.
When certain patients took a turn for the worse, they were sent to Boston Children’s Hospital for more intense treatments. Everybody tried all they could to make sure that these kids got better, and many times they did.
Not every child is this lucky. Take for instance, Vanessa Riddle, a 12-year-old from Scotland. I first heard ofVanessa’s story on Twitter, and my heart broke when I read it. Vanessa was diagnosed with Stage 4Neuroblastoma in February of 2009, when she was only eight years old. Her prognosis was grim. After 12 rounds of chemotherapy in addition to other treatments, Vanessa was deemed “all clear” in April of 2010.
Unfortunately for Vanessa, things were not all clear. Neuroblastoma is a very tricky form of cancer and relapses are common. Vanessa relapsed in December of 2011, with cancer strewn throughout her body, including her spine, legs, and skull. Even worse for Vanessa was that the National Health Service (NHS), the single-payer healthcare system in the United Kingdom, did not approve of any relapse protocols for treating her disease due to no government investment for treatments. Basically, Vanessa was out of luck if she wanted to get treatment at home. Her doctors said that her survival rate was now under 10%. Without treatment, she will die.
However, they’re happy to grant all sorts of other things free of charge, including breast implants:
The NHS, however, finds it necessary and prudent to pay for things like a prostitute in Amsterdam for a man with learning disabilities, breast implants for people who are “unhappy with their breast size,” and caretakersfor the super obese, rather than pay for treatment of one of the more common forms of infant and childhood cancer. This is a disgrace.