Thursday, February 07, 2008
Before addressing specific fallacies of so called "single payor" (ie government) systems, check this site that includes a graph that corrects life expectancy data for differences in the rates of premature death from non-health-related injury, such as homicide and car accidents. Once these non-health-related injuries are excluded, Americans live longer than anyone else, even with our obesity problem.
First, the hospital infrastructure in England is deteriorating rapidly. Why? Prior to National Healthcare, hospitals were run by private operations and charities who made it a point to maintain and upgrade the infrastructure. There never have been nor are there plans in the British system to update these hospitals. When any institution refuses to build in preventive maintenance, sooner or later the structure will become unsafe. (Source is Weekly Standard). No politician has any incentive to include maintenance funds in any program he/she uses to "buy" votes.
Second, this article by Mark Steyn outlines major problems with the Canadian health care system. The entire article is good; the healthcare issues appear at the end. A key quote below:
Third, there are numerous stories of people being denied health care because of government rationing. Age could be a factor as well as time of year. If you require surgery but the doctor has performed his alloted operations for the year, he can perform no more, period. As my friend's friend said, "You can get diagnosed but can't get treatment - (Canadians) try to treat everything with drugs and pain killers." The email listed example after example after example. When a government rations doctors' pay, by definition they ration services. This talk sounds good but ....
Canadian dependence on the United States is particularly true in health care, the most eminent Canadian idea looming in the American context. That is, public health care in Canada depends on private health care in the U.S. A small news story from last month illustrates this:There you have Canadian health care in a nutshell. After all, you can�t expect a G-7 economy of only 30 million people to be able to offer the same level of neonatal intensive care coverage as a town of 50,000 in remote, rural Montana.
A Canadian woman has given birth to extremely rare identical quadruplets. The four girls were born at a U.S. hospital because there was no space available at Canadian neonatal intensive care units. Autumn, Brook, Calissa, and Dahlia are in good condition at Benefice Hospital in Great Falls, Montana. Health officials said they checked every other neonatal intensive care unit in Canada, but none had space. The Jepps, a nurse and a respiratory technician were flown 500 kilometers to the Montana hospital, the closest in the U.S., where the quadruplets were born on Sunday.
Everyone knows that socialized health care means you wait and wait and wait�six months for an MRI, a year for a hip replacement, and so on. But here is the absolute logical reductio of a government monopoly in health care: the ten month waiting list for the maternity ward.
There's a reason Canadians and others around the world come to the USA for surgery. Our system is better, our hospitals are in better shape, and we have access when needed, not on some government timetable.
It is grossly unfair and unjust when a politician promises something that cannot be delivered by a government as well as it can be delivered today by the private sector.