The One Minute Case Against Socialized Healthcare

There is no right to healthcare

The United States was founded with the declaration that all men have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The Founders recognized that all men have a moral right to be free from the coercion of others, as long as they allow others the same freedom. They believed that rights do not impose a positive obligation on others, but only the negative obligation to restrain from the initiation of force.

The claim that there is a “right to healthcare” violates the principle of individual rights because it requires that the liberty of doctors and the property of taxpayers be violated to provide for others.

The myth of “free” healthcare

It is a common belief that when government provides something, it is free or cheap. But politicians cannot create wealth – they can only redistribute it. Money for all government spending comes from business – whether by entrepreneurial investment, the wages of patients, or taxes.

Whether by price controls of outright nationalization, when governments make prices artificially low, demand skyrockets, and shortages result. Politicians respond by passing ever more regulations to control costs. These regulations stifle innovation, drive up costs, and force healthcare providers out of business. The end result is to replace capitalism, the greatest wealth-generating system known to man, with an onerous system of central planning.

Capitalism cannot guarantee that all our medical needs will be provided for – no system can do that. But it does give entrepreneurs the incentive to compete to provide the best possible service they can. Centralized socialized systems have no incentive to improve service or to try bold new techniques. Politicians can force prices to be artificially low, but they cannot lower costs – they can only drive doctors, hospitals, and drug companies out of business.

The victims of “universal” healthcare

The waiting time for treatment in Canada varies from 14 to 30 weeks. Waiting lists for diagnostic procedures range from two to 24 weeks. Some patients die while waiting for treatment. To stop sick people from circumventing the “free” system, the government of British Columbia enacted Bill 82 in 2003, which makes it illegal to pay for private surgery. Patients waiting for critical procedures are now forced to seek procedures in the U.S. and doctors are abandoning Canada in droves. Cleveland, Ohio is now Canada’s hip-replacement center. Ontario is turning nurses into doctors to replace some of the 10,000 doctors who left Canada in the 1990’s. 1 2

What will patients do when it is illegal to seek private medical treatment in the U.S.? Politicians are already working towards that goal. State and federal regulation impose onerous regulations which forbid insurance companies from offering services such as basic coverage for emergencies by requiring coverage of many types of procedures. Medicare forces doctors to follow 130,000 pages of regulations. Critics often attack the “capitalist” nature of American health care system. The reality is that the government now pays for 50% of health care, and closely regulates the rest.

Healthcare is only affordable under capitalism

If a society is not wealthy enough to afford healthcare, health socialism will not make it richer. Cuba, a poster child of socialist healthcare schemes, spends $229 on healthcare per person each year, while the U.S. spends $ 6,096.3 Premium services are available only to paying foreigners, while natives must bribe doctors for timely treatment and bring their own towels, bed sheets, soap, food, and even sutures.4

A government can decide to replace individual choice with state-mandated decisions of what goods and services are more important for the “common good.” But it can only spend on one area at the expense of another. If Cubans are not totally deprived of medical treatment, it can only be at the expense of all other goods. A doctor’s salary in Cuba is 1.5 times the median at $15-20 per month. 5 A telling sign of their deprivation is the Cuban suicide rate, which is the highest in Latin America and among the highest in world. Cubans in Miami on the other hand, kill themselves less often than other Miamians.6 When they risk their lives in leaky boats to escape to the U.S., the right to make their own decisions regarding their health is among the freedoms they hope to gain.

References:

  1. “Free Health Care in Canada” by Walter Williams
  2. “Do We Want Socialized Medicine?” by Walter Williams
  3. Reuters: Health care in Cuba more complicated than on SiCKO
  4. BBC: Keeping Cuba Healthy by John Harris
  5. “An Evaluation of Four Decades of Cuban Healthcare” by Felipe Eduardo Sixto (PDF)
  6. Miami Herald: “Study: Suicide epidemic exists under Castro” by Juan O. Tamayo

Further reading:

47 Comments

Filed under Economics, Politics

47 Responses to The One Minute Case Against Socialized Healthcare

  1. L. E. M.

    What about state supported patient centered care? A database that makes patients responsible for their own records in as far as it’s all connected to them and not some private practitioner, but it would have to come from a state/fed agency to be cost effective, (not to mention all the revisions of HIPPA.) Wouldn’t that place the power in the consumer/tax payer instead of the doctor?

  2. mike

    wow, so your saying that we stay here locked in an employer based health system that promotes the private sectors from having to pay out if they don’t have to. insurance is a scam, if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be an occupation(there would be no money in it) its hard for me to see how us, as such a prosperous country be stuck in a state of such a poor health system, i think something like 37th in the latest study by the independent world health organization, keyword there, independent. this case is ridiculous, have you ever had to deal with an insurance company, i have a friend who had to pay for an ambulance ride after being hit by a car on his bike, because he didn’t get the ambulance ride pre-approved, cause that is more important than stopping the bleeding. now i don’t know if a governmental system is the right thing for america, but its a step in the right direction seeing how medicare has an overhead of under 3%, which isn’t too bad. people please put yourself in some one else’s shoes before, the system only works for those it wants to work for, and most of the time that isn’t who needs it the most.

  3. D.J.R.

    “insurance is a scam, if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be an occupation(there would be no money in it)” This man cannot be serious. :shock: So by virtue of making money, what they do is automatically a scam? I certainly hope you don’t make money then, since I wouldn’t want to believe your a con man. :roll:

    “…i think something like 37th in the latest study by the independent world health organization, keyword there, independent.” You are absolutely correct, we are rated 37th by the world health organization. But I am curious, they cannot be talking about 37th in treatment time since we treat people faster than any other nation, wonder why so many Canadians come here to get operations? It might be because you have to wait around 18 months for a simple eye proceedure that gets done in 2 weeks in the United States even though they are rated higher by the World Health Organization. http://www.onthefencefilms.com/video/deadmeat/ that website will provide a video of some personal stories involving the Canadian health care system and how inferior it is to our system.

    “i have a friend who had to pay for an ambulance ride after being hit by a car on his bike, because he didn’t get the ambulance ride pre-approved, cause that is more important than stopping the bleeding.” I wonder if they saved his life before asking him for money. Probably seeing as it’s hard to do paperwork when your bleeding to death. Imagine the nerve of people who save your life than ask you to pay for their saving your life, it’s like their doing a job or something. :roll:

  4. Katja

    “I wonder if they saved his life before asking him for money. Probably seeing as it’s hard to do paperwork when your bleeding to death. Imagine the nerve of people who save your life than ask you to pay for their saving your life, it’s like their doing a job or something. ”

    Ok, emergency services should be provided to people for little or no money, right off the bat. ESPECIALLY if they’re paying for health care already. There are unforseeable events that happen to people all the time and when someone gets hit by a car, or is an accident or having a heart attack is charged simply for the ambulance ride BEFORE they even reach the ER is ridiculous. Of COURSE medical staff should get paid, but for people who go through their lives thinking that they’re covered by their health plans and then get smacked in the face w/ charges for emergency care becuase it wasn’t “pre-approved”? That’s just absurd!

    Also, as for socialized medicine in Canada and the UK, talking to exchange students and relatives who’ve used the system had nothing but great things to say about it. Sure Canadians come to the US for operations. The US has made leaps and bounds in the medical field but in terms of emergency medicine and accsess to treatment it’s pretty bad. In Canada and the UK if you need to see a doctor for something you can see them within 3 days. I don’t know where this 18 months thing is coming from. Emergency patients are moved to the frount of the cue and people expecting cosmetic surgery wait a couple of years. Surgery patients are dealt with in a timely manner depending on the severity of their condition, again the worst of the patients rushed to the front of the line. Mother’s are given a minimum of 7 days rest in the hospital after delivery and arent charged a cent for their stay or the treatment of themselves and their infant.

    A cousin of mine visiting England forgot her insulin at her hotel while exploring the country side. She went to a local hospital and was seen in 15 minutes and was written a perscription for brand name insulin and was able to pick it up down the street for half of what she normally pays here in the states. I personally believe that a Universal health plan can work if appropriately managed. In Germany, England and Canada, these countries still have private insurance and practices that people opt to use instead. Infact, those people who do don’t even pay the health tax since they don’t use the universal system (as it should be, anyone who doesnt pay Social Securiety shouldn’t receive it). So the quality of health care shouldn’t and most probably wouldn’t be affected. the only thing that will change is availability.

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  6. “Cuba, a poster child of socialist healthcare schemes, spends $229 on healthcare per person each year, while the U.S. spends $ 6,096.3″

    That’s actually a scathing critique of the US system. While healthcare in the US is better than Cuba’s, it’s not much better according to the WHO. The US ranks 37 and Cuba ranks 39.

    So why is the US system so inefficient? Cuba does not have much money. It’s a third-world country under embargo after all. Where is all the money in the US going?

    • Kevin Barry

      Have you heard of the J.A.C.H.O. ? The Federal watchdog for all things hospital and patient care. While working for various Hospitals for the past 25 years, we spent MILLIONS of dollars just on our small piece of the Hospital compliance with the Engineering aspect, Emergency Power generation, Fire Life safety systems, HVAC system compliance, domestic water system compliance, etc. These patient support systems have to be in compliance with all Local, State and Federal laws, before a single patient walks through the door. Now the Medical side of this compliance is more complex and equally as expensive. Many think it’s just about Doctors, nurses and care, it’s FAR more complex and expensive than that. You can bet that Cuba doesn’t have a complex a system requirement nor the business that Lawyers have made of malpractice suits.

    • “While healthcare in the US is better than Cuba’s, it’s not much better according to the WHO.”

      Joseph,

      One thing I have learned in life is that statistics and rankings can be very subjective. What EXACTLY is that rank based upon? What is the scale? What was being measured?

      It sounds like Cuba is very much like the United States in terms of health care, doesn’t it? When you put it like that…. US 37, Cuba 39.

      So, tell me Joseph, have you ever been to Cuba?

      Did you find that the difference in healthcare was just very slight, almost imperceptible?

      What procedure did you have performed there?

      Did you feel the doctors were competent? Were you satisfied with the care you received? How long did it take you to see a doctor?

      Were you hospitalized for an emergency procedure or was it a chronic disease?

      Figures and rankings aside, I can tell you that “the proof is in the pudding.” Forget about the rankings. Go there and tell me what your actual impression is.

      I have traveled around the world. I actually lived in Europe for 3 years, and I can tell you from personal experience, not some jacked up, invented statistics that healthcare in the United States is far superior than what I have observed in other countries.

      Sure, maybe it is “free” in say England. But is it really free when you pay over 50% of the fruits of your labor for substandard care?

      Everyone wants the government to “take care of them” they want the nebulous “government” to solve all of their problems.

      Well guess what. The government is incapable of solving all of your problems. YOU are the only one you should be looking to to solve your problems.

      Forgive me for the long dissertation.

      Suffice it to say that your figures mean nothing to me. Let’s talk about the Cuban utopia once you have had some medical service there.

  7. D.J.R.

    “Cuba, a poster child of socialist healthcare schemes, spends $229 on healthcare per person each year, while the U.S. spends $ 6,096.3″

    If by critique you mean meaningless fact out of context, it certainly is. Perhaps you could see how many tests the average Cuban goes through to ensure his health and how many of those Cubans after treatment remain alive. Saying someone spends less on healthcare than us doesn’t say they have “better” healthcare. Do you expect cars that cost less to be better than ones that don’t? :roll:

    The WHO rating system is not based on better healthcare or patient survival rate, it’s based on nonsensical standards like equal availability and the like. Why do so many Canadians who can afford to jump border for treatment come here? So they can get the terrible service? The best way to scout for objectivity in a source is to use some logic.

    Ohh and all the money in the US should be going to doctors because it takes a bit of time in school to get a degree, which costs money and incurs debt, and they save your life. If you don’t reward people who save your life stop expecting your life to be saved. They do not and should not have the responsibility to save your or my life above theirs, since theirs makes my life possible.

  8. Valentino

    This is just pure FUD and false. We can manage to have the second best healthcare system in the world in Italy with almost 200 billion euros of missing profits due to tax bridging (100 billions) and interests on our public debt (thanks to our former leaders, 80 billions). Healthcare should just be public and stop the bu****t.

  9. valueprop

    Ok. Look at Lasik (vision correction) surgery. This is medicine that health care insurance does NOT cover and which the government is not involved in managing. When Lasik surgery first came on the scene 10-15 years ago, the cost of the service was around $5000.00

    Now, in 2007 you can have it done for typically less than $1000. Why? Because government isn’t there mucking up and limiting practices or tacking on extra red tape. That’s called free enterprise, baby, and it works to to bring the best price and encourages competition which helps lower the price. Government mandates do the exact opposite.

    Health care prices didn’t go up until the government got involved.

    Besides, if the US does concede to a national, government run socialized medicine program, where will all the Canadians go to receive good health care? :wink:

  10. Steve

    I have lived in Canada for over 50 years and have a family of 5. I never realized it was so bad up here until I read this article.Are you sure you meant Canada? During multiple trips with the kids,wife and periodically myself to the Emergency Dept. or to my family Doctor, I’ve never waited over an hour.As for surgery, it seems that if it’s really urgent, you get in right away. If not…I had to wait 2 months for a nasal surgery…that didn’t seem to bad..
    As for socialized medicine: Canadians would never stand for it or any other Socialist type of system. I prefer our system where you select your own Doctor, hospital or whatever. The nice thing about it is that serious or not, it doesn’t come out of your pocket. As for coming out of our taxes: Canada spends 11% of our GDP on healthcare and covers everyone (reasonably well I think), while the U.S. spends about 16% I’ve been told and leaves about 40 million people without coverage (I assume that in the U.S., once you’re covered, you are covered for everything forever as long as you’re premiums are paid). As for Candians heading south, I’ve never met any, but I understand that some folks have been sent to Seattle,etc because of a spike in demand here..everything paid at government expense which is nice. I can’t quite grasp the concept of paying directly for your healthcare. What if you’re broke or have Cancer or something serious? Is that covered in the U.S.??? I don’t know but it sure is a frightening concept.

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  13. Reality

    The point is, setting all other views of socializing healthcare and the system existing right now in the United States. We still pay WAY more for healthcare now than anyone else does in the whole world. Regardless if anyone has the money or not, healthcare should not be denied to anyone because of money issues. It is unethical. PEOPLE HAVE DIED BECAUSE INSURANCES WANT TO SAVE MONEY SO THEY DENY PEOPLE THE HELP THEY NEED, THE EXTRA TESTS THEY NEED, THE SECURITY IN KNOWING THAT THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THEM.

    If George Bush is so against ABORTION then why is he allowing millions of people without money to pay for their healthcare needs DIE?

    ANSWER THAT FOR ME!

  14. individualist

    Congratulations on an excellent post for a one-minute reading.

    It’s a bit depressing that many of your commenters are so immature that, instead of addressing the arguments presented in the post, they prefer to make wild statements expressing nothing more than their emotions and their appalling ignorance of basic economics. That’s a sad commentary on our educational system.

    I would recommend the referenced article, Moral Health Care vs. “Universal Health Care” by Lin Zinser and Dr. Paul Hsieh to anyone who seriously wants to understand the etiology of this problem. I’m not certain I agree with their solutions, however. I would prefer to see employers and private insurance companies voluntarily depart the system until such time as government does likewise.

    Yes, health care and health care plans are expensive. But, so are many other necessities of life like food, clothing, housing and transportation. The obvious solution is that we each have a job that will let us pay these expenses. Otherwise, we must depend on charity. Unfortunately, since the New Deal, we’ve become accustomed to government supporting the non-working parasites on the backs of the real workers by taxing their earnings. Socialized medicine is just another variation of that pattern.

    The only bright spot here is that socialized medicine, like the defunct Soviet Union, is unsustainable in the long-run because it flouts economic realities. The uninformed will have only themselves to blame for the pain and suffering they will create if they persist in advancing this scheme.

  15. Rhys

    The idea of a nationalized health care system is a prime example of the problem of the public good. In the case of nationalized health care, individuals can’t select their own ideal quantity – it’s a one size fits all issue. This leaves some people feeling like they have too much and others feeling like they have too little provision of the public good.

    A short anecdote illustrates this issue well. My wife’s father had leukemia back in 2003 and had to travel to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to receive chemotherapy and other life saving treatments. While at MD Anderson, they met a Canadian couple in which the wife also had leukemia. Canada, whose health care system many look too as the model for universal heath care, assessed her situation and made a decision. They said that based on her age of 60 years and her condition, leukemia, they would not be willing to provide her with the life saving treatments she needed. So, within three days of arriving in the US for treatment, the family had spent more than $250K out of pocket! You call that equal access to health care?

    Furthermore, the federal government has no right to tell insurance companies, doctors, or patients how to use or dispose of their property or the manner in which they decide to contract with one another. Milton Friedman would no doubt call universal health care coercive, and indeed it is. The government had no right to decide if that woman would live or die, and they had no right to deny her the chance to live.

    It’s quite simple folks, the government is good at nothing. Everything they touch doesn’t turn to gold, it atrophies.

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  17. jack

    The author of this article has neglected a few key factors.

    (1) The US has a history of supremacy in medicine that will not so quickly disappear.
    (2) Cuba is a communist, third-world country.
    (3) There exists a middle ground between the US and Cuba.

    One can find medical horror stories in our current healthcare system too, with patients being turned down for services simply because they can’t afford lifesaving surgeries and procedures. Hospital administrators themselves have admitted to having participated in such decisions. Using anecdotal examples (from Canada, no less) to argue against universal healthcare in the US is simply myopic.

    As far as doctors suddenly inflating boats and fleeing the richest superpower on the face of this earth, I’d say.. unlikely. A recent study showed that more than half the nation’s doctors (that’s our nation, not Cuba) are not concerned about their salaries in the long term. In fact, many were optimistic about providing over 40 million ineligible americans with quality healthcare. To assume doctors will move to say… the middle east, latin america, because their salaries might be reduced in the short-term assumes the american medical profession is powered on money alone. It is not.

    Finally, there are many countries, including several European countries and Israel, which implement a hybrid system that provides quality healthcare to all and allows people who can afford it to elect private services at their discretion. America will doubtfully slip into a medical black-market.

    Let’s not fall into a libertarian, over-simplification of matters and look at this as a black & white issue. The government can do things well. For starters, it can begin to spend the people’s money on the people’s well-being and not on “liberating” the Iraqis.

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  19. DLopes

    @Reality

    Sounds like someone’s bought stock in Michael Moore……. lol. Yikes.

  20. cura_te_ipsum

    While I will agree with many of you that insurance is too expensive, I have to wonder how many of you have actually worked with the government insurance we already have called Medicare. I have never seen a more inefficient, money eating, rationalized health care model. I can’t fathom why people would want this for every American. Medicare was financially insolvent by the 1970’s. That’s why it must deny care and strip hospitals and doctors of reimbursement causing many doctors to refuse to treat Medicare patients at all. And for the rest of you that think Canada and Britain have a great system, look what their own countries are saying here: http://www.liberty-page.com/issues/healthcare/socialized.html#britain
    And it’s NOT FREE! Just because you can get a free hospital visit does not mean that hospital is working for free. Have you any idea the amount of taxes they pay to offer “free health care”. If any changes should be made to our health care system, it should be an increased use of Health Savings Accounts. This allows people to be in control of their money and it keeps bureaucrats from controlling medical decisions and treatment.

  21. sc

    “The claim that there is a “right to healthcare” violates the principle of individual rights because it requires that the liberty of doctors and the property of taxpayers be violated to provide for others. When the New Deal and Great Society programs forced doctors and taxpayers to become sacrificial offerings to the “common good”, the current “healthcare crisis” was born.”

    Erm… have we ever heard of the Hippocratic Oath? It pretty much says that doctors, by trade, put the good of their patients as their priority, and that they swear to do their best to keep their patients healthy. Besides, I’m pretty sure that the POINT of being a doctor is to ‘provide for others’, but you should check the job description just to be sure.

  22. Chuck

    @Reality
    PEOPLE HAVE DIED BECAUSE INSURANCES WANT TO SAVE MONEY SO THEY DENY PEOPLE THE HELP THEY NEED, THE EXTRA TESTS THEY NEED, THE SECURITY IN KNOWING THAT THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THEM.

    Yeah, It will be much better when the government is the cause of these deaths instead..

    I liked someone else’s comment about how he bought stock in Michael Moore, That’s the truth.. If Michael Moore is pro socialized medicine, then why did he go to a private clinic to loose weight?

  23. cris

    “People have died because of insurance companies…” Actually, people just die, and they were dying before insurance companies or doctors existed, a lot more quickly in fact. Pay less for something better? Pay more taxes for an insurance card that does nothing for you? Sounds like a rip off to me. Come on, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Use some common sense people.

  24. Larry Garett

    Sad to see how a country leaving millions of it citizens with out health care,and millions with partial care. The fear of financial ruin on top of illness, gives me pause to thank I am an Englishman and health care is free at the point of delivery to all. Its the one thing that gives me any pride in my country our NHS, and gives a sense of unity in a very unequal society.No health system is perfect,but the lies from the US right, I can laugh at, but the poor US people without ,such extreme dogma is no joke

  25. Mr.Carrot71

    Enlistment is a contract; but it is one of those contracts which changes the status; and, where that is changed, no breach of the contract destroys the new status or relieves from the obligations which its existence imposes. ,

  26. John Williams

    I worked for the VA hospital system over 40 years. We were a favored agency,who is against veterans,and yet at the end of each fiscal year we had to ration care for a month or so. The VA serves 12 million,those who believe the govenment plan for over 300 million would improve service are confused and naive.

  27. Free Marketeer

    Having a right to health care in no way requires that the liberty of doctors and the property of taxpayers be violated to provide for others. You have to separate merely having a right from exercising that right. Furthermore you are describing only one type of right. There are also legal rights. The right to ‘violate the liberty of lawyers and the property of taxpayers’ is a well-established right.

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  29. Jeremy

    Okay, so that Canada lie has long since been debunked, and if you disagree then go ask a dang canadian.
    Let’s look into the morality of capitalism in healthcare- shouldn’t everyone be entitled to an equal opportunity at health? Should your right to health be regulated by your class?

  30. Jeremy,
    Canadians do have longer wait times and less access to much of the advanced care that we enjoy in America. Compare the wait for an MRI, or just compare how many MRI machines we have in America per population compared to them. Also, when you ask a “dang canadian”, why don’t you ask how much they pay in taxes. My Canadian friends pay about 40-50%. Go to the Canadian (IRS equivalent) website and see the tax breakdown for yourself.
    As for the morality of healthcare, everyone has an equal opportunity for it because no one in America is born into a certain class and forced to stay there the rest of their life (although you are more likely to if you’re living off of welfare because then you never really have to get out and work and move out of that class). Unless handicapped or disabled (who are the exception, but are taken care of) everyone has control over their life and by working hard you can make opportunities for yourself.
    By the way, an ER can’t turn away anyone. That IS an equal opportunity.

  31. @sc
    Doctors cannot provide for others unless they can afford to. Doctors and hospitals have to profit or they’re out of business. Government healthcare does infringe on doctor rights as seen by Medicare reimbursement for example. Even the Mayo Clinic which Obama touted as so great is beginning to not treat Medicare patients. Those that are forced to, such as public hospitals, have to absorb those losses unfairly. You might argue it’s the right thing to do, but when you try to regulate a doctor’s pay and how they practice you get fewer students going to medical school. While you’re arguing about how doctors gave up their rights with an oath, you’ve missed the bigger picture.

  32. DJ

    There is no such thing as free. Perhaps it is no cost to you, but somebody has to pay for it. This is a basic economic concept: TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.
    The time and materials that the doctors and health care professionals and health facilities spend to care for you do cost something!!!

  33. geraldine

    i can see no information that health will iimprove this UNITED STATES because all the people that are benefiting from this does anything to help improve it .the people that are being helped are getting this help won’t even think about going to work they are too LAZY. and want everthing handed to them on a SILVER PLATTER with no questions asked this is a dead issue and no help in sight.

  34. Whilst I have an understanding of your position I cannot really agree with what you have mentioned in this article.

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  36. Robert Smith

    @DJ:

    They do cost something. But our government controls the profit earned by medical institutions (doctors and hospitals). Our doctors earn a very good living here, but nothing at all compared to what doctors in the US do.

    As a result, most are incented to stay. Those who want to earn a higher wage move to the US. (Doesn’t mean they’re better, just means they want to make more money!)

  37. cz

    who the FUCK is this guy?

    the bottom-line of health care is proposed as: providing the best care at the lowest price.

    what its really about is providing the least care at the highest price.

    do you want all these medical decisions made on policies developed and based off of profit? free market is good and great, but not here.

    my dad is a doctor, ive talked with him for years about all the shit he has to do to get his patients coverage.

    nationalized health care is a good thing for everybody but the very top. but people would rather have a 1 in a million shot at being in the top rather than be above average. all of those who can effect change are getting a cut, and all those who can’t are getting fucked.

    inner city riots, hacktivists, and all costs passed on to the younger generation. this republican facade is deadly and stupid

    • cura_te_ipsum

      Is your issue with the health CARE or health INSURANCE?

      I’m sure your dad also has to do a bunch of sh*t to get paid as well, especially if he sees Medicare patients. This is why fewer doctors are accepting Medicare every year. Expanding this program to cover everybody would be disaster not only financially for hospitals, but individual doctors who have no choice but to pass the cost onto the consumer.

      If a doctor doesn’t get paid for his care, is he going to give it for free? If not, should the government force his hand? This is why we see doctor shortages in countries with socialized medicine. Nobody wants to spend years more of schooling, crazy stress and take on hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt to be paid pittance by a government that can no longer afford anything. This is why the “doctor fix” keeps passing in Congress even though it puts Medicare in even more debt.

      But here is the real fault in your argument. Why don’t you go to the government’s sites for the Comparative Effectiveness Research Council. If you read closely, you’ll see that government healthcare is also dependent on profits and that profitability is a factor in whether a procedure is covered or not. This is where Palin got her death panel idea, from the government’s own website (and from looking at socialized medicine in other countries.) The government has no choice, there isn’t an endless supply of taxpayer money to pay for government care, especially in this economy. THESE are the costs that are passed onto the younger generation, who are already saddled with horrendous debt and cannot afford it. Will the younger generation decide to stop paying for the older generation’s care at some point?

      Finally, socialized medicine has only been shown to work effectively when a country is a certain size. The United States is far too large for us to model our system after France or Canada. And obviously, modeling it after Medicare won’t work. Since you think you have all the answers, what do you propose?

      • Robert Smith

        Doctors in countries with socialized medicine do get paid, just not as much as doctors in the US. What doctors and hospitals in the US can extort from people for their services is criminal.

        Profitability has no impact on whether a procedure is covered. Yes, costs must be recovered or the system will fail, and yes, that means that a line must be drawn on procedures at the point where we cannot recover costs, but that’s what keeps the system solvent. Any socialized system, for that matter.

        CZ is quite right in saying that for profit medicine only works well for the very top. Those who can afford to pay whatever it takes and not be financially destroyed by it.

        Again, you don’t need an endless supply of money to pay for this. You simply cap how much doctors can earn for a procedure. Yes, a few will leave, but if Canada is any example, the vast majority stay. Doctors here earn a very good living, just not an obscene one. It is enough for them to pay off their student loans in the same time it takes everyone else.

        As to your concern about younger people refusing to pay, I wouldn’t worry too much about that. They’re in no position to do so, they don’t have any power and won’t until they get older and by then they’ll quite happily impose the same costs on the new ‘younger’ generation. (And BTW, there is nothing wrong with this, again, this is how a society survives.)

        I’d love to see a citation for your suggestion that the US is too large for socialized medicine to work.

        • cura_te_ipsum

          R.Smith,
          1. Doctors don’t necessarily make THAT much. Some malpractice insurance is upwards of $100,000/year plus you must consider the costs and time spent in medical school. Indeed, it is becoming less motivating to be a doctor now with the financial and time commitments to become one. The days of the “rich doctor” are in many cases long gone. Moreover, doctors must continue to get paid well or you won’t get students going through the hell of medical school and pay dearly for it. Our government knows this and that’s why they do the “doctor fix” each time even though it costs the government/taxpayers millions of dollars. Did you not read my previous post??? So the issue isn’t just doctors leaving the profession, but people becoming doctors in the first place. In the UK, they addressed their shortages by shipping in crappy doctors from other countries–who botched surgeries, etc and it ended up badly for a lot of people.

          2. If hospitals extorting from people is so criminal, why have some gone bankrupt? Profitability does impact government healthcare. Did you even go to that government website to see? Medicare is the king of not paying for procedures. Private insurance companies often follow along with what Medicare chooses to pay for. What makes you think that our debt laden government can cover those costs when Medicare alone was insolvent in the 70’s?

          3. The issue of younger people paying becomes a problem when there is a disproportionate amount of baby boomers, who are living longer, coupled with the trend of having fewer kids. The only people who are young and working simply won’t suffice. Look at Japan. Look at Russia. All of Europe for that matter.

          4. Medical costs are in the US are far higher than in other countries and our health is worse. Is this because people don’t have access to high quality care? No. Our cancer survival rates are still higher for one thing. The problem is the American lifestyle which breeds obesity and chronic disease in alarming numbers. (Unless you educate parents about health, your country is screwed when it comes to medical costs.) This isn’t as big of an issue in France for example. Also consider our administration costs to a country our size. Consider who is willing to become a government employed doctor in this country, especially with the outrageous number of patients you’d be forced to see in a day. Do the math of the doctor patient ratio, currently and projected post Obamacare. See a little problem there? Consider how those countries have denied care to people who need it due to the hefty financial burden. I’m assuming you don’t speak French so instead, do a search through the last 10 yrs of UK newspapers and you’ll see what’s happened to their healthcare. This isn’t to say that we can’t do some Americanized form of socialized medicine, but it cannot be based on socialized countries whose citizens are rioting because the government isn’t giving them enough. The difference in cultures alone and the higher taxes demanded would probably insurmountable enough here. Entitlement mentality isn’t working out well anywhere around the world for that matter.

  38. Pingback: The One Minute Case Against Healthcare Reform | One Minute Cases

  39. Martin

    I can’t believe a modern, civilised, affluent country like the US can have a situation where only the rich get proper healthcare and the poor don’t. Are you really a country where such inequality can be allowed to happen? Shame on you!

  40. Donnie Darko

    The problem with universal healthcare is that it’s unrealistic. It’s impossible to pay for every single citizen to have equal health care when we’re already neck deep in national debt. You all know deep down that it’s nothing more than idealistic nonsense even though you deluded yourselves into thinking it’s possible. What has happened to the people of our country? You’re all buying into this Liberal bullshit that we’ve been hearing about for four years now. Has it worked? No! So fuck universal healthcare, fuck Liberals, (in fact, fuck politicians in general) and fuck all the smug bastards out there that keep responding negatively to these articles and bought into Obama’s delusions.

  41. Pingback: How Socialised Medicine May Affect Nursing Jobs in the U.S. » Frost Magazine

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