Human Organ Harvesting in China

 

If you need a new kidney in the U.S., the average waiting time is 679 days. If you need a new liver, the average waiting time is 239 days. These statistics are from the 2017 Milliman Report on organ transplant availability.

But in China– if you’ve got the money – the wait may only be a few days! How could this be possible?

The answer appears to be involuntary organ donations – from prisoners of conscience (Falun Gong members, Uighur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists and “underground” Christians) according to Benedict Rogers, deputy chairman of the U.K. Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission and an adviser to the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China, writing in The Wall Street Journal.

These crimes are difficult to prove since the victims’ bodies are disposed of and the only witnesses are the doctors and prison guards involved. Naturally, the Chinese government is not forthcoming.

Rogers describes an undercover operation led by former Canadian politician and prosecutor David Kilgour, attorney David Matas, American journalist Ethan Gutmann and a team of researchers that posed as patients in Chinese hospitals. They say Dr. Huang Jiefu, China’s former vice minister for health and chairman of its organ-transplant committee, ordered two sparelivers as backups for a 2005 medical operation. They were delivered the next morning. In other words, three prisoners died to guarantee one patient a new liver.

In 2016, these investigators published a report, “Bloody Harvest/the Slaughter: An Update,” which summarized their work since 2006. This update estimated that between 60,000 and 100,000 organs are transplanted each year in Chinese hospitals.

Chinese officials tout “the largest voluntary organ donation system in Asia” and claim to have stopped prisoner donations in 2015. But Rogers is skeptical, noting the lack of any tradition of voluntary organ donation. In 2010 only 34 people donated their organs and even in 2018 the official number was only 6,000 donors who supposedly donated 18,000 organs. But this is far from the number of organs being transplanted as estimated by the “Bloody Harvest” researchers. The authors have confirmed that 712 hospitals in China carry out liver and kidney transplants.

Even death-row inmates cannot explain the number of transplants. China executes more people than the rest of the world combined but still only a few thousand a year. Since Chinese law requires prisoners be executed within seven days of sentencing, there is not enough time to match their organs to patients on the organ donor waiting list and have them ready for transplant.

The obvious conclusion is that involuntary donations of organs by prisoners of conscience continues, despite Chinese official denials. Israel, Taiwan and Spain have banned “organ tourism” to China. United Nations officials have called China to account for the sources of their organs but have received no response. The price of political dissent can be very high in China.

The Medicare for All Trap

 

You know you’re onto the truth when even the opposition pundits agree with you.

The mainstream media is so in love with the Democratic Progressive movement they won’t tell the public the truth about Medicare for All. But less biased liberal journalists are now speaking out.

William A. Galston, a reliable defender of liberal ideology for The Wall Street Journal, is honest enough to declare, “Medicare for All is a Trap” in his recent column. He puts it this way, “A political party is asking for trouble when it embraces a position on a high-profile issue that most Americans oppose.”

Galston, unlike most mainstream media journalists and progressives, has done his homework. He looked beyond the polls used by Medicare for All supporters, that claim up to 70% approval, to the details that show support for this socialized medicine proposal drops precipitously when people understand what it really means. For instance, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll of voters of both parties reported 56% approval of Medicare for All, but support dropped to only 37% when people were told it would mean elimination of private health insurance.

Early Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand all declared support for Medicare for All. But recent candidates Amy Klobuchar and Sherrod Brown have declined to endorse the plan and others considering running, like John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet have also expressed concerns.

Galston says the dilemma for Democratic candidates is that polls of only Democratic voters show they still favor Medicare for All when they are told it will eliminate private health insurance. They even continue their support when told it will “require most Americans to pay more in taxes.” Yet the electorate as a whole will not support these ideas.

Therefore, Democratic presidential candidates must decide if they are going to tell their supporters the truth or simply support the ideas they like, even if it means defeat in the general election. Galston says, “If Democrats back single-payer healthcare, it could assure Trump’s re-election.”

Since Galston’s column was published, Senator Bernie Sanders, the avowed socialist and author of Medicare for All, has announced his presidential candidacy. His entrance into the race will put even more pressure on other candidates to declare their support for Medicare for All. This is exactly what Galston fears.

He recommends Democrats focus on improving and protecting ObamaCare rather than promoting Medicare for All. He suggests an alternative plan might be “Medicare Open to All”, which would enable everyone to buy into Medicare if they choose, but keep their private health insurance if they prefer. There is polling that seems to support this idea.

The rub for Progressives is opposing the elimination of private health insurance and higher taxes. Their ideology always favors more government control and more taxes to support that government. They’ll have to admit this approach isn’t the best if they want to win wider support in the general election. That may be “a bridge too far” for them to accept.

What’s Wrong With Medicare For All? – Part V

 

In previous posts of this series, Part I addressed the false claims of supporters of Medicare for All that it would provide universal access to healthcare. In Part II I continued with more discussion on access to healthcare and the claim that this would eliminate approval of medical treatments. Part III addressed the impact on increased taxes and healthcare costs for patients and the government.

In Part IV I talked about the impact Medicare for All will have on the quality of healthcare delivered in America if this government-controlled system is enacted. Poorer healthcare outcomes can be expected, as experienced in every other country with socialized medicine. In Part V, I will discuss how popular this system will be.

Support Depends Upon Words and Understanding

If you listen to Democratic pundits who support Medicare for All, you’d think the whole country loves this idea. Every declared Democratic candidate for president thus far supports it including Senators Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren. Of course Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders originated the idea and may run again for president. It has almost become a litmus test for Democratic presidential candidates. Liberal Democrats Howard Schultz and Michael Bloomberg were both excoriated by Democrats when they expressed opinions Medicare for All is unreasonable and unaffordable.

Supporters point to recent polls like the January Kaiser Family Foundation poll that found 56% of Americans favor “a national health plan, sometimes called Medicare for All, where all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan.” Only 42% opposed the idea when so worded.

Karl Rove, writing in The Wall Street Journal, says support drops quickly when people hear about its possible effects. Support dropped to 37%, with 60% opposed, when respondents were told it would “eliminate private health insurance companies” or “require most Americans to pay more in taxes.” Support fell to only 32% when respondents were alerted it would “threaten current Medicare.” And it crashed to 26% if those polled heard it would lead to “delays in people getting some medial tests and treatment.” Since all of the above are true, it can be deduced that real support for Medicare for All is only about 26% of the population.

Labeling also matters. In a November 2017 Kaiser poll that did not mention negative effects, “Medicare for All” drew a 62% favorable rating. But labeling the same idea “single-payer health insurance” dropped support to only 48%. Support dropped further if it was labeled “socialized medicine” – 44% favorable and 43% negative.

Supporters of Medicare for All are trying to keep the public in the dark. They know these polling numbers, too, so they prefer to talk about Medicare for All but avoid saying “single-payer healthcare” or “socialized medicine.” They also don’t want to talk about the real cost of this proposal.

Sanders refuses to say how much it will cost. His acolyte, Rep. Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, calls fiscal concerns “puzzling.” She told Jorge Ramos of Univision last November, “You just pay for it. We’re paying more now!” Then she later tweeted that two-thirds of Medicare for All could be paid for by cutting wasteful Pentagon spending. The total Pentagon budget is about $700 Billion – only about 20% of the estimated annual cost of Medicare for All! Clearly, her math falls far short of reality.

These and other supporters of Medicare for All are pushing this idea because they are either ignorant of the truth, unconcerned about real healthcare improvements, or willing to demagogue the issue for political gain. The supporters of this proposal are grossly exaggerating the benefits and grossly underestimating the costs and its impact on taxes and healthcare access.

The American people will not accept this idea when they become fully informed of its repercussions. Since the mainstream media cannot be trusted to inform the people, it is incumbent on Republicans to make this a campaign priority.

November Election Results

In the recent November mid-term elections, Medicare for All was a hot topic. It was a useful idea to support in Democratic primaries where enthusiastic progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley and Kara Eastman beat a centrist Democrat in Nebraska.

But Medicare for All did not fare as well in the general election, according to Sally Pipes, writing in Forbes. She notes 111 Democratic candidates in House races backed Medicare for All but only 19 won their elections. Just eight flipped their districts from red to blue. So Medicare for All supporters won just one in five House seats flipped by Democrats. Five of the eight seat flips were in true-blue California, where only one in four voters is registered Republican. Two seat flips happened in Pennsylvania districts that had been redrawn to make them Democratic strongholds. Presidential candidates might want to review these results more carefully before going too far out on a limb to support Medicare for All.

The Truth About Medicare for All

In summary, the truth about Medicare for All is it will result in:

  • Universal healthcare insurance but reduced access to healthcare
  • Government control of all healthcare treatment approval
  • Government control of all healthcare payments to providers
  • Government restrictions on costly new treatments and technology
  • Huge tax increases that will lower take-home pay for everyone
  • Higher healthcare costs for most patients and the government
  • Lower quality healthcare and long waiting times due to rationing

 

We have the best quality healthcare in the world. Why would we want to ruin it by implementing Medicare for All? Actually, most Democrats, according to the latest Kaiser poll, would prefer to focus on passing improvements in ObamaCare. Only 38% preferred to focus on passing Medicare for All, while 51% thought it more important to improve and protect ObamaCare.

Improving ObamaCare or replacing it with market-driven reforms that protect treatment of pre-existing conditions while lowering healthcare costs makes much more sense than single-payer healthcare, socialized medicine or Medicare for All. By any name you choose, it represents a disastrous choice for our country!