Goozner's column focused on 12-year-old Deamonte Driver of Prince George's County, MD, who died as a result of an untreated tooth infection. The left has been using Driver's death, not terribly convincingly (given the facts of the case), as an argument-by-acecdote in favor of socialized medicine.
What Goozer should have forseen, had he not been blinded by his liberal ideology, is the type of comments his online commentary in favor of government medicine would receive when published in a nation, Britain, that has suffered under government medicine for decades now.
Read Goozer's column alone and you are left with one impression. Read the public's comments underneath, and you wouldn't go near a government-run health care system if it were free (literally free, that is).
One commenter, for instance, points out the story of five-year-old Finn McEwan-Paterson in Wilmslow, England, who was suffering through great pain with a tooth abscess (the same condition that led to the death of Deamonte Driver). Finn's mother was told he would have to wait six months for a simple tooth extraction under Britain's National Health Service. After doing everything possible to get the waiting line shortened, including begging the NHS to ease her son's suffering, she got the wait cut down -- to 13 weeks.
Another commenter quoted from a letter in the British Dental Journal (2006):
Sir, I am writing to report an alarming increase in the number of patients presenting to oral and maxillofacial surgery services with dental sepsis requiring admission for incision and drainage under general anaesthesia. Anecdotally the numbers appeared to be increasing, therefore the numbers presenting to Hull Royal Infirmary in 1999 and in 2004 were audited.Another commenter wrote:
The number of patients presenting with dental sepsis on an emergency basis increased from 17 in 1999 to 25 in 2004 (patients from Hull postcode area only). Patients treated under local anaesthesia or with cellulitis were excluded from the audit. While the figures may not seem large, in percentage terms this represents a 47% increase...
The article takes a singular event and extrapolates from it that America's health care system is broken. Tell that to all those Canadians who come to America for operations that they would have no wait for in Canada's vaunted socialized medicine. Tell that to all those Canadian doctors who are emigrating to America to earn a better living...The Guardian closed comments on Goozner's post after three days. It says that's its standard policy.