Free Markets, Free People

Government Health Care, Please

Another anecdote that makes you want government run health care so badly you can just taste it:

The full extent of the horrific conditions at an NHS hospital where hundreds may have died because of ‘appalling’ care was laid bare yesterday.

Dehydrated patients were forced to drink out of flower vases, while others were left in soiled linen on filthy wards.

Relatives of patients who died at Staffordshire General Hospital told how they were so worried by the standard of care they slept in chairs on the wards.

The ‘shocking’ catalogue of failures was released yesterday after an independent investigation by the Healthcare Commission.

It found Government waiting time targets and a bid to win foundation status were pursued at the expense of patient safety over a three-year period at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust.

The commission’s report – revealed in yesterday’s Daily Mail – said at least 400 deaths could not be explained, although it is feared up to 1,200 patients may have died needlessly.

Nice. And I’m sure, somewhere, some politician or bureaucrat will claim that the problem, naturally, is “lack of regulation”.

And by the way, if you’re wondering how much the American version will cost, here’s the first estimate.  Remember, when looking at it, how often these sorts of estimates are so low they’re not worth the paper they are written on – figure anywhere from 2 to 4 times the figure once the government gets done being “efficient”:

Guaranteeing health insurance for all Americans may cost about $1.5 trillion over the next decade, health experts say. That’s more than double the $634 billion ’down payment’ President Barack Obama set aside for health reform in his budget, raising the prospect of sticker shock at a time of record federal spending.

Thus the nice “downpayment” with money we don’t have. 


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9 Responses to Government Health Care, Please

  • I read crap like this and realize that The Clown™ is dead set on imposing his will on everyone, and making us all into Obamaton robots. Four years of this and we will all be destroyed.

    As Anthony Newley said, “Stop the World – I Want to Get Off.”

  • Woohoo!  Can’t wait to get me some of the guv’mint health-care.  It’s free, ya know!

  • Yeah, I can taste it.  It tastes like I threw up in my mouth.

  • Everyone knows that the British system is the worst.   I have a doctor friend in Germany (a conservative who nonetheless strongly supports the German health care system) who is appalled by what goes on in Britain.  To think that any national health care program would be like Britain’s ignores the other programs out there!

    • To think that it couldn’t end up that way, or move in that direction, ignores reality.

      • Then again, it could end up like Germany’s, or one of the more effective health care systems.   Very few people deny that our system is broke with a myriad of stories of poor care, hospitals on the brink of failure, bad insurance coverage, etc.

        • Then again Scott, it could end up perfect, where everyone lives forever with no health issues AND a pony.  Let’s put all possible outcomes on the table since they are all apparently equally probable, at least in the Wishful Thinking School of Thought.  I mean, after all, YOU’VE got a friend in Germany – a CONSERVATIVE no less – who STRONGLY supports their system.  Please, let’s stop wasting time debating when health care nirvana is right there for the plucking.  Should you or I call Obama and ask him to wave his hand and make it so?

    • Canada’s system blows too.  

      You will be on waiting lists until you die.  
      2.5 years for a hip replacement.  
      3 months to wait for an MRI, 1 month to get it analyzed. 
      2 weeks for the average doctors appointment.  
      Most people are unable to find family doctors because the Canadian trained ones are going to practice in the US.


  • Everyone knows that the quality of care in the U.S. is the best (this study defines actual health care provided as Responsiveness).  As long as the goal of the health care system is to have the best overall care available to the most people; the U.S. system works better than any in the world. Only when the goals are changed to include monetary factors or overall health of the population (which, in a system that values individual liberty can only be helped by education, but never regulated) . 
    Basic economics would dictate that for the highest quality you pay the highest cost. And it’s not a linear effect, costs increase  faster than the difference in quality for almost any commodity. In this study, seven of the top eight countries in quality of care were in the top eight for cost per capita, with the other one finishuing 13th (out of over 190 countries). The US was finished ahead of all other countries for quality of care and also paid the most. Germany was fifth in quality of care and third.
    The question is what is the best way to lower the cost? One way is to lower the quality of care (the most likely result of a governemnt mandated system. 
      A second method would be to change the malpractice system. If you lower the cost of malpractice insurance, you lower the overall cost of care. Of course, this must be accomplished without allowing for any rise in leniacy for actual malpractice. If the government must be invovled , I’d rather have them mandating the maximum financial amount awarded for an individual case of malpractice.  Couple this with heavier professional penalties for doctors that commit malpractice (quicker suspensions and revoking of liscences) and perhaps that could result in significant savings without a decline in service.
      Of course, the best option is to push all the other developed nations to rise to our standard of service.  The more countries that approach our system, the more the cost of research and top end equipment is spread out. This would improve health care for the greatest amount of people and lower our costs at the same.