Monday, February 28, 2005

Another Milestone for National Health Care

John Kerry and Hillary Clinton would love to see the US adopt Britain's nationalized health care, but the San Francisco Chronicle reports on a recent comparison. Link.
From the time Tilly Merrell was a year old, doctors told her family she would never have a normal life -- or even a normal meal.

British doctors found that the food she swallowed went into her lungs instead of her stomach, causing devastating lung infections. They said she had isolated bulbar palsy, and their solution was to feed her through a stomach tube. Forever.

But having a backpack with a food pump wired to her stomach wasn't much of a life for a girl whose favorite smell is bacon frying -- a girl who once broke through a locked kitchen door in an effort to sneak some cheese. So her family got help from their community of Warndon, about 120 miles north of London, raising enough money to take Tilly, now 8, on a 5,000-mile journey they hoped might change her life, a journey to Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University.

Doctors at Packard were intrigued that she had no neurological symptoms often associated with the palsy. In all other ways, she was a normal child with a mischievous smile and a truckload of energy. After seeing her Feb. 7, they ran three tests and found out what was wrong with her.

Repeat: NOTHING. She is now home eating normally and living a normal life. But, hey, the family got the treatment in England for free. They had to pay, probably some obscene amount, for the US care. They certainly were a prime example of the old dictum "You get what you pay for."


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