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  • Nationalized Health Care: Growing the Nanny State

    January 7, 2009
    Advocates of the Nanny State have long been with us.  What was Prohibition but an early manifestation of government treating everyone as children to protect them? But as Paul Hsieh points out in the Christian Science Monitor, other countries use universal health care as an excuse to further regulate the lives of their citizens.  America already has started down the same road.  Nationalizing the medical system would ensure even more government meddling and violations of individual liberty. Writes Hsieh:
    Although American healthcare is only under partial government control in the form of programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, American nanny state regulations have exploded in recent years. Many American cities ban restaurants from selling foods with trans fats. Los Angeles has imposed a moratorium on...
  • Remember, the Government Wants to Manage Your Health Care!

    January 2, 2009
    Just think how wonderful it would be if government guaranteed everyone health care.  Just like in Great Britain! Just ask Lynne Neilson what she thinks of the National Health Service.  Reports the Daily Mail:
    An expectant mother gave birth on a hospital assessment room floor because busy staff failed to put her in a maternity unit bed. Lynne Neilson had been waiting for two-and-a-half hours when she went into labour standing up, clutching the side of a trolley. A midwife who arrived just as her daughter Orla's head appeared put down a disposable mat, caught the baby and unwound the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. Even then, Mrs Neilson had to wait a further hour before being transferred to the labour ward....
  • Killing Without the Smile

    December 19, 2008
    The National Health Service loves to save money.  Too bad that means denying essential medical care and killing patients.  But what's a bureaucracy for? The United Kingdom has become renowned for scrimping on life-saving drugs.  After all, got to keep those budgets down!  In the latest case a woman with two months to live has been told that the government will get back to her within 25 days.  Can't be rushed, now can we!?  Reports the Daily Mail:
    A cancer patient given less than two months to live has been refused a life-prolonging drug until an NHS trust finishes a month-long investigation. Margaret Jones hopes to be treated with Revlimid for myeloma, an incurable cancer of the bone marrow. Her consultant says the drug, which costs around...
  • Antitrust Liberalization May Avert Need for Bailouts; Outdated Laws Deter Efficient Mergers

    December 14, 2008
    In early 2007, the economy was humming along and General Motors was considered to be in the process of a turnaround. To help stabilize itself, the company was considering buying its smaller, money-losing rival Chrysler.
  • Protecting Pets Before People

    December 12, 2008
    Why do advocates of socialized medicine prefer pets over people?  It's hard not to conclude that's the way they think.  After all, in Canada you can get a CT scan or MRI sooner for your "companion animal" than for your child.  And health insurance is a thriving business in Great Britain, which only recently decided to allow people to spend extra to get better drugs than those offered by the National Health System. Reported Reuters earlier this year:
    Forget worming pills and a flea collar -- a trip to the vet in Britain these days could be about heart surgery, joint replacement, chemotherapy or a host of other cutting-edge procedures. Britain is one of the few countries in Europe to offer many of these complex treatments: devoted British pet-owners have fuelled a fast-growing insurance...
  • Effective Health Care Cost Containment

    December 10, 2008
    With the Obama administration preparing to address the problem of health care, they should remember that the most effective form of cost containment is to encourage patients to treat themselves.  Britain's National System has perfected this technique.  As the Guardian reported last year:
    Large numbers of people are going without dental treatment and some even report extracting their own teeth because they cannot find an NHS dentist in their area, a survey reveals today. The Dentistry Watch survey of more than 5,000 people, from the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health, found widespread unhappiness among both patients and dentists despite government reforms to increase the availability of NHS dentistry. More than three-quarters of those who have a private dentist...
  • Abarackadabra! A 21st Century "New Steal"

    December 7, 2008
    JOBS, ROADS, BRIDGES, SCHOOLS, BROADBAND, ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS, ENERGY...blares the Drudge Report. It's President-elect Obama's weekend plan---not to produce, but to transfer yet more of the nation's dwindling wealth to those with political pull. On Sunday's Meet the Press interview he stressed “shovel ready” projects — shoveling from right-hand to left remains the extent of it. Look at...
  • The Wonders of Socialized Medicine, Part LXVI

    December 7, 2008
    The Daily Mail reminds us how government health care is compassionate and efficient;
    So imagine my shock when I saw how some nurses recently treated my elderly aunt. Annie was a stoical Yorkshire woman, and a devout Christian; she'd dedicated her life to helping others, training as a nurse and midwife before moving to Africa, where she set up several hospitals and nursing schools. She was so committed to helping the poor that she undertook a postgraduate study on kwashiorkor - a muscle-wasting tropical disease caused by malnutrition. Yet, with appalling irony, 50 years later my aunt spent her twilight months wasting away in an NHS hospital - as a result of malnutrition. Only this time the cause was a very British...
  • Doug, I think you're partly wrong

    December 2, 2008
    Doug, The situation you describe in the UK here is outrageous however one looks at it. Indeed, it provides a strong case why the United States should not switch to the type of single-provider health care system that exists under the UK's National Health Service. But I'd take issue with your conclusion:
    But turning the entire system over to government ensures that Americans will lack the health care they need and will end up paying a lot more for whatever care the government deigns to provide.
    For at least two reasons, I don't think this makes sense.
  • Health Care Bureaucrats Take Care of Themselves

    November 30, 2008
    For years observers have noted the phenomenon of public school teachers sending their kids to private schools--especially in cities with the worst and deadliest public facilities.  Teachers at government schools might not be able to teach their own kids, but they can send them to safer, better private alternatives.  So it appears to be with health care in Great Britain. Reports the Daily Telegraph:
    The money was used to bring in physiotherapists to help workers recover from muscular-skeletal injuries at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. Bosses said it prevented them from leapfrogging NHS patients and enabled them to return to work more quickly. However, the private treatment, which amounted to £12,116 for 271 appointments over the past year, was...

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