Thursday, February 21, 2008

Where Obama Would Take Us...

My readers know well how I detest the thought of a government-run healthcare system. So, in the interest of balance, I bring you an article from a news organization with the opposite view (the New York Times):

Although the government is reluctant to discuss the issue, hopscotching back and forth between private and public care has long been standard here for those who can afford it. But a few recent cases have exposed fundamental contradictions between policy and practice in the system, and tested its founding philosophy to its very limits.

One such case was Debbie Hirst’s. Her breast cancer had metastasized, and the health service would not provide her with Avastin, a drug that is widely used in the United States and Europe to keep such cancers at bay. So, with her oncologist’s support, she decided last year to try to pay the $120,000 cost herself, while continuing with the rest of her publicly financed treatment.

By December, she had raised $20,000 and was preparing to sell her house to raise more. But then the government, which had tacitly allowed such arrangements before, put its foot down. Mrs. Hirst heard the news from her doctor.

“He looked at me and said: ‘I’m so sorry, Debbie. I’ve had my wrists slapped from the people upstairs, and I can no longer offer you that service,’ ” Mrs. Hirst said in an interview.

This describes one of the many inevitable problems with a non-competitive healthcare system. In short, in England you have a choice: you can either have free government-supplied healthcare (but you have to live – or die – with their restrictions and limitations), or you can pay for all of your healthcare yourself. You can't participate in the national healthcare system, but pay for your own extras. Oh, no. That would be so unfair – to have better healthcare simply because you can afford it!

The commonly-held notion that healthcare would be better if the government ran it is so risible on its face that I stumble trying to rebut it. Can you think of anything that the government runs better than private industry? Let's see...

Post Office? I don't think so!

Education? Gimmee a break!

Street repair? Surely you jest...

(add your own 35 examples – it isn't hard to do!)

So why does anyone believe that government-run healthcare would be better? I just don't get it...

No comments:

Post a Comment