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OpenMarket: Business and Government

  • Socialize Medicine, Kill Cancer Patients

    November 24, 2008
    Any American who travels to Europe as I just did is likely to get hit with the argument that the United States is inhumane because the government does not "guarantee" access to health care. But look at the result of nationalized health care systems. Care may be guaranteed, but what kind of care? In Great Britain, for instance, the government's tender-loving care leaves thousands of cancer patients to die unnecessarily. Reports the Times of London:
    Up to 11,000 lives a year could be saved if cancer survival rates in Britain were up with the best in Europe, campaigners will say today. England, Scotland and Wales lag behind most other European countries for survival rates for the disease, something the Government says is due in part to patients not noticing the warning signs of...
  • Too Bad Daschle Isn't at SEC -- Backed Sarbanes-Oxley Relief

    November 20, 2008
    President-Elect Barack Obama just nominated former Senate Democratic Leader Tom to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services. Much is being written about Daschle being a Washington insider, which he certainly is, but after leaving the Senate after his defeat in 2004, Daschle has commendably taken on the Beltway conventional wisdom on an important issue: The Sarbanes-Oxley accounting mandates. In late 2005, Daschle became one of the first Democrats to criticize the 2002 law, rushed through Congress in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom falures, for its unintended consequences on entrepreneurs. In doing so he helped make the cause of Sarbox relief and reform biparisan. In a Wall Street Journal...
  • Daschle: Good, Wrong, and Terrible

    November 20, 2008
    President-elect Obama has named Tom Daschle to head the Department of Health and Human Services. By some measures the largest department in the government, Daschle is sure to take center stage in Obama's inevitable effort to reform the U.S. Healthcare system. So what of the choice? Well, Daschle has some good ideas, one wrong idea, and one really bad one. A quick rundown: Good Ideas: Daschle believes that individuals, mostly, should have to pay for their own health care and opposes the current mixed-economy health-care system that costs a ton but doesn't provide good care for most Americans. The current U.S. health care system--which isn't...
  • Brits Say Care More Expensive, Lower Quality than in Estonia

    November 14, 2008
    Ah, socialized medicine. Everyone is guaranteed care, right? And the government saves so much money that is wasted in America. Well, so much for the free lunch.  Despite a lot of money poured into the system by the Labor government, Britain falls behind Estonia and many of its neighbors.  British care is on par with that provided in several former Soviet bloc states.  Reports the Daily Mail:
    Healthcare in Britain is worse than in Estonia even though we spend four times as much on each person,  according to a Europe-wide league table. And despite the billions poured into the NHS by Labour, the standard of care is on a par with the former Communist states of the Czech Republic and Hungary, which spend far less on health. Long waiting times and slow access to new...
  • Supreme Court Considers Tort Preemption for Medicines

    November 3, 2008
    Diana Levine suffered from chronic migraine headaches for many years. So, in April 2000, when she went to a local clinic to get treatment, she knew what to expect. She'd received the same treatment several times before: an injection of Demerol for the pain, and an injection of an antihistamine called Phenergan to treat the nausea that accompanies both migraine headaches and Demerol itself. Everything was normal -- except for how the drugs were actually administered. The physician's assistant who gave her the drugs accidentally injected the Phenergan into an artery, instead of a...
  • Market Health Care Reforms in Europe

    November 3, 2008
    While the U.S. seems to continue its slow slide towards socialized health care, patients currently suffering under such systems around the world are clamoring for more options.  Johnny Munkhammar writes in the Washington Examiner about market-oriented reforms in the Netherlands.  People must purchase health insurance, but the government relies on private competition rather than public bureaucracy for the provision of care. Explains Munkhammar:
    Most Europeans have followed the American presidential campaign with interest, particularly when it comes to the groundswell of support for...
  • Imagine: Free Health Care Is Expensive!

    November 1, 2008
    Who would have thought it?  Provide free health care and people drop their private coverage.  It seems that politicians are uniformly slow learners.  But after seven months Hawaii has dropped its program providing free health insurance for kids. Writes Grace-Marie Turner in the New York Post:
    HAWAII just had a vivid les son in health-care eco nomics, learning that if you offer people insurance for free - surprise, surprise - they'll quickly drop other coverage to enroll. As a result, Hawaii is ending the only state universal child health-care program in the country after just seven months. The program, called the Keiki (Child) Care Plan, was designed to provide coverage to children whose parents can't...
  • Cheney Diagnosed with an Abnormal Heart Rhythm

    October 15, 2008
    The 67-year old Vice President will be undergoing an outpatient procedure — an electrical shock — to restore his normal rhythm today at George Washington University Hospital.

    Binary Data
    You'd think with a Vice President with a history...
  • Let Uncle Sam's People Go!

    October 14, 2008
    One of most outrageous features of the federal social welfare state is that Uncle Sam doesn't want you to be independent.  For instance, if you would prefer to handle your own health care needs as a retiree, rather than subject yourself to the restrictions and irritations of Medicare, you also would have to give up your Social Security benefits.  Never mind that you've been taxed your entire lifetime to support both programs. Now three Washington, D.C. residents are challenging this rule.  Explains friend and colleague Quin Hillyer, a columnist for the Washington Examiner:
    Did you know that American citizens on Social Security cannot refuse Medicare “benefits” even if they wish to save the government some money by paying for their own medical care? U...
  • British Health (Mis)Care: No Complaints Allowed

    October 11, 2008
    The British government has found the right strategy to cut down on complaints about the National Health Service--convince patients that nothing can be done.  Then the bothersome people will simply go away. Explains the Daily Mail:
    One in seven patients using the NHS is unhappy, but most do not complain because they believe 'nothing will be done', a report reveals. Just 5 per cent of dissatisfied patients made formal complaints last year  -  133,600 about the health service and 17,100 about social care.  Those who failed to voice their concerns said they lacked confidence in the system, believed nothing would be done, or thought that they would be branded 'troublemakers'. The report from the National Audit Office, released today, also...

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