Those of you familiar with this blog know that I am no defender of the current health care “system” in the United States. It is characterized by a mixed economy, funded primarily by the government, while the whole mess is completely government regulated. This is, of course, why quality is not consistent and prices are ridiculously high, as the system is geared to enrich corporate interests more than it is geared to provide actual health care.
I reject the idea that “we just haven’t gone far enough,” with government control and intervention. A free and unfettered market has demonstrated countless times in all industries that no other economic system can more efficiently deliver high quality goods and services, constantly holding price and quality discipline over the producer’s heads, a feature that tends to bring prices into the range of almost everyone.
Those of you who think this is all baloney need look no further than to the plastic or Lasik surgery market to see what happens to prices and quality when competition is allowed. Or you could look to examples such as ours or others in the U.S. who have embraced price transparency and competitive pricing and quality in health care. Or maybe you are one of those folks for whom overwhelming evidence of market success means nothing, as nothing could possibly change your thinking on this.
If you are a health care free market basher or naysayer, perhaps you could embrace the idea of the failure of a socialized system easier than you could entertain the success of a free market one. Read this if you have the courage to possibly change your mind. This article describes the bounty that the British National Health Service (NHS) has put on the heads of the ”citizens” of that regime: 50 pounds per head paid to the doctors for every person they can get to sign a “don’t take me to the hospital, I’ll die at home,” pledge.
After reading this article, let’s consider some questions:
Who are the doctors working for? The 50 pounds isn’t paid to the doctors by the patients, after all. In whose interest is it for these future patients to die at home? It is in the interests of the state, that’s who. The solution, ultimately, for the failure of their state-run health system is to secure promises from future patients to avoid using the “system.” Having deliberately denied and delayed care to help balance the books and even admitted to starving and murdering patients in their beds in order to make room for other potential victims, the NHS has moved from denial of current care to denial of future care. Actually, they aren’t technically denying future care as much as they are securing the refusal of patients to accept “care,” paying their “doctors” a commission for each person they can get to sign such a pledge.
Who benefits from securing these patient refusals? The “state” benefits financially. Ironically, the patients might also benefit, as the likelihood of surviving a severe illness is better when surrounded by caring family members, than surviving the hit squads in the British hospitals, executioners, essentially, administering the “Liverpool Care Pathway.”
Is there any relationship between who pays for healthcare and who decides what it consists of? DUH.
Are there similar powers or clauses in TUCA (The Unaffordable Care Act)? DUH.
Is there a connection between the push to eliminate the private practices of physicians (and promote the hospital employment of doctors) and the desire to wield this type of health authority in the U.S.? Hospital employment of physicians is a step away from the traditional and uncontaminated arrangement between a physician and the patient with the physician acting as an uncompromised advocate. As more physicians work for hospitals and more and more of the hospital revenue comes from the government, physicians are closer all the time to acting as government employees. As such they will do what they are told to do, or….well….or else.
As the state assumes more and more responsibility for our “healthcare” we should not be surprised when they want us to do what is best for them once we acquire an illness and are no longer any good to them: die.
G. Keith Smith, M.D.