The Face of Health Care Freedom, Part II

Three weeks ago this blog reported the story about two toddlers who both suffer from the same terrible disease, epidermolysis bullosa. This story, which gained quite a bit of reader interest, put the spotlight on the oppressive nature of socialized medicine. One of the two boys, Daylon, lives in California and was granted life-saving treatment by private, charitably funded health care in America. The other boy, Hugo, lives in Sweden and was denied treatment because the government did not consider it worth the cost to save his life.

This story has now taken another bizarre turn. After Hugo’s story broke the Swedish news, some opportunist politician pulled a couple of strings and got Hugo scheduled for surgery – the same type that Daylon in California went through – at the Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. This was good for Hugo and his parents, of course, but the cynicism of government-run health care was not done with Hugo [my translation]:

Exactly a week ago the Johansson family in Karlskrona got a go-ahead from the Blekinge county health administration. Their eight-months-old son Hugo was going to get his [bone marrow] transplant. … The family got a referral to Gothenburg and haev met with specialty surgeon Anders Fasth. The search for a [bone marrow] donor is under way. But today the shocking news came: chief operations offier Ralph Bågenholm at the Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital has put a stopper on the operation. “He has barred us from doing it. I think it is unfortunate because I believe we have the competence to go through with the transplant. I am aware of the budget situation [of the hospital] but I did not think they would make such drastic and short-sighted a decision” says Anders Fasth.

Hugo’s mother is devastated, of course:

Time is running out, we can’t wait many more weeks, let alone months. It feels like you are falling into a dungeon and you keep falling and you never land anywhere.

Hugo is but one of thousands of Swedes that will die because they are locked in behind the Berlin Wall of socialized medicine. The Swedish government has decided that it knows better than health care providers and patients what is best for them all. I sincerely hope that their ideological cynicism will not cause Hugo’s death, but regardless of his fate, this story should be a stark reminder for everyone of the dangers embedded in letting politicians and bureaucrats seize control over our American health care system. If we give in to the health care socialists, then not only will we all fall victim to its fiscal fascism, but the example that we have set to the rest of the world that private solutions work will be lost for generations to come.