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The problem with socialized medicine is that eventually you run out of other people’s money

The problem with socialized medicine is that eventually you run out of other people’s money

The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.  The problem with socialized medicine is that eventually you run out of other people’s money, too.

In Britain, they have run out of other people’s money, so the National Health Service has cut back services.  According to this story in The Guardian, NHS cuts have affected patient care say four out of five doctors:

Doctors cite hospital bed closures, pressure to give patients cheaper, slower-acting drugs, cuts to occupational health support, and reductions in community health services as examples of recent cost-cutting measures., a professional networking site to which almost all British doctors belong, asked medics: “Have cuts to staff and/or services affected patient care in your department, area or surgery during the last 12 months?” Of the 664 doctors who responded, 527 (79%) said yes and 137 (21%) said no.

Among 440 hospital doctors, 359 have seen cuts, while 168 of the 224 family doctors said the same.

The ultimate question though, is it “fair”?  Because if everyone is getting screwed, it’s a good thing, apparently.


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It is already happening here. Maine’s Governor LePage is correct when he stated that Maine has more residents on welfare, MaineCare, Medicare etc… than actual taxpayers.
In essence the taxpayerts of Maine are slaves for the nonworking assistance recipients.

Article link here:

    GrumpyOne in reply to OccamsrazorX. | December 30, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Good read… I really like Governor LePage who is another who tells it as it is.

    Wouldn’t he be a great VP candidate? A not-career politician with a business background!

    Yes… Let’s draft LePage!!!

I experienced nationalized medicine and dentistry in Japan … it’s great … until you get seriously ill or have a toothache.

I have had one root canal so far in my life. By the time my wife finished high school, she’d had six. That is Japanese dentistry.

Our Japanese-American dentist (who has never been to Japan) said she has had many patients from Japan, especially exchange students studying at nearby Santa Monica College, where they are a sizeable portion of the student body.

She asked me why Japanese dentistry is so bad and outdated, given the country’s famed technological prowess.

I knew the answer because years ago my wife was having work done at a different dentist and a visiting Japanese dentist affiliated with UCLA was observing. She asked him why dentistry in Japan was so comparatively awful and he told her it was because it was nationalized and that the sorry state of Japanese dentistry embarrassed him.

Why did she have so many root canals at such a young age? Higher reimbursement rate than simply filling a cavity, he told her. Problem is their technique is so outdated that the root canals often become infected and have to be redone … at great difficulty because their methods are so outdated.

Shortly before we moved to America, my wife was in an accident and spent two weeks in the hospital after having surgery on her leg. She’s experienced the American medical system since then. We both agree … if we are living in Japan in the future and become seriously ill, we want to receive our health care in America. Trips to America would also probably involve trips to the American dentist.

    LukeHandCool in reply to LukeHandCool. | December 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I should clarify that by “socialized medicine,” I mean Japan’s system of national health insurance.

    The visiting Japanese dentist I mentioned told my wife that reimbursement rates were so low for some procedures that dentists often performed needless and more expensive procedures.

    Lose-lose situations are inherently equal !!

The term “other people’s money” is too vague; none think this vague term is about them.

Get specific; the problem with Socialism is you will run out of your own money, your own family’s money, your own children’s money, your own friend’s money and your own neighbor’s money.

The Medicare set runs to the doctor for hangnails and as social activity. Medicaid recipients bring in kid for annual checkup and get sent for hundreds of dollars of unnecessary lab tests (another fee for the doctor for followup office visit). And the self-employed small business owners don’t go to the doctor until they have heart attacks. That’s the problem.

Its strange in this day and age, you can find educated people who still believe in socialism. You walk them through economics, logic, data points, history all illustrating why it can’t possibly work, that in effect you are killing people for a fleeting promise of security. That everyone, absolutely everyone is worse off. They will just sit there in silence, trying to see how you pulled the wool over their eyes, until they realize you are right, you just connected all the dots. If you get down to the core of it, modern liberalism is a religion with a blind faith in the government. That with the right High priest, I mean “public official” you can turn rock into water. Science and reason don’t need apply.Even as the bodies pile up in Britain from the NHS, they still won’t change. the only think will be a determined group will get into power and just end it. rip the bandaid off. Things will get better, and no one will want to go back for another 20 years.

Great column Professor, thanks.

Comrades, please. Do not waste time worrying. The state worries for you. Just grab your ankles, gird yourselves, and put on a nice big ‘we’re all in this together’ smile.

I agree, this was a great post, and I appreciate the irony of a link to Britain’s leftist newspaper of record. But the good professor’s last comment is most telling:

“The ultimate question though, is it “fair”? Because if everyone is getting screwed, it’s a good thing, apparently.”

As ridiculous as it sounds, that really is the ultimate litmus test for many people on the left. I’ve encountered this many times, not just in regards to health care, but also income distribution, taxes, etc. It seems that with many progressives, the concern is less over helping the poor or the working class in any demonstrable manner than in sticking it to the wealthy and even the upper middle class. Sometimes, I think this is a rationalization: if one of their noble social programs is a failure, their stock response is “well, at least it’s more fair”, along with “well, at least we ‘did something’!”. Yeah, great…

But, I think there is more to this attitude than post hoc rationalization. I think many progressives deeply despise the affluent and take great pleasure in seeing them suffer. If said progressive is affluent himself, his desire is often more intense: after all, he has to atone for the sins of his wealth, but he’s not going to do it unless he drags his peers down with him!

This is a deeply disturbing and rather juvenile attitude: the poor remain poor and have even less opportunity to advance out of poverty, but, “Ha, ha, Mr. Millionaire, you are (marginally) worse off too”.

    This is ultimately why I’m a conservative. It is literally the belief of many of my more liberal friends that income inequality is bad in and of itself, which is an irrational proposition. They seem stuck in this mindset that the world is a zero-sum game, that there’s a set amount of wealth in the world, and if one person has some, it’s at the exclusion of others.

    Of course, that’s not the case. If someone gave me some farmland, and I was charged with growing crops on it, there would be significantly less wealth in the world than if you gave it to my old neighbor who knows how to farm. Efficient allocation of resources is a greater good than equality of distribution, which is hardly a good at all.

Liberalism promised equality of results. They did NOT promise that you’d like those results. Truth in advertising – if the people in the UK voted for it, they get to live with it. I’m glad to read that this stuff is finally getting some press – maybe it’ll generate a positive result in 2012 elections.

The principal problem with socialism and other regimes born from left-wing ideology, is that they are, by design, incapable of preserving individual dignity. At the same time they diffuse marginal wealth and power among the general population, they also concentrate the same in an “elite” class of authoritarians and their supporters. As it marginalizes and eviscerates competing interests, it is predisposed to oppression and worse. Since it is principally funded through redistributive change (i.e. involuntary exploitation), it tends to promote progressive corruption of individuals and society.

It is the end which comes from permitting corruption in the exception to fester and progress.

Is there an ‘Individual Mandate’ in Japan?

Something else to consider when dreaming of the ideal fiction of an egalitarian society: not everyone will enjoy a beachfront property in Hawaii.

In a world with finitely accessible resources, both natural and human, the market, whether limited to an “elite” party or the general population, always rules.

I wonder if this underlies the progressive decay of Western society: unreasonable and incompatible expectations… premised on dreams of instant gratification.

BannedbytheGuardian | December 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Hehe – The Guardian !*?.

The NHS has a history. The British chose it post ww2 & were prepared to throw out Churchill to do it. Time has changed much in Britain but the British still love the access to healthcare that was denied to them for centuries.

BTW – All citizens & visitors can buy private cover which is considerably cheaper than USA.

One thing is for certain – French hospitals provide the best food food. Next comes Japan. Britain last.

BannedbytheGuardian | December 29, 2011 at 4:50 pm

May I also refer readers to the Israeli healthcare system. Wiki entry is a good place to start.

Yes -universal . Yep – works for it.

And why am I so cynical as to suspect that that new super Vicodin is exactly what Dr. Obama ordered?

Don’t offer treatment. No new hips, knees, surgeries to repair.

Drugs. Just drugs.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Tea Party at Perrysburg. | December 29, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    May I reply.

    Hundreds of thousands of people were very upset to have had this drug taken away from them. For them it was great medicine & the side effects either minimal or outweighed by the benefits.

    I don’t agree it is Obama directing this. It is accepted principle in the western world that surgery is a last resort. I can remember Obama not wanting his grandmother to have a hip replacement . She went ahead & was dead soon after anyhow. Fat lot of good that did her.

“The problem with socialized medicine is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”

Yes, but, Romnycare had the Feds to help and for Obamacare the Feds will keep printing or borrowing money.

The reason that Greece et al have problems is that, being tied to the Euro, they cannot print more money.

The UK can keep printing money but the conservatives must be tightening up the purse.

Don’t think it can’t happen here, because it already is.

Check this out:,2933,392962,00.html

Key quote:

“Since the spread of his prostate cancer, 53-year-old Randy Stroup of Dexter, Ore., has been in a fight for his life. Uninsured and unable to pay for expensive chemotherapy, he applied to Oregon’s state-run health plan for help.

Lane Individual Practice Association (LIPA), which administers the Oregon Health Plan in Lane County, responded to Stroup’s request with a letter saying the state would not cover Stroup’s pricey treatment, but would pay for the cost of physician-assisted suicide.”

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Aarradin. | December 30, 2011 at 1:28 am

    I read that but that is not enough details to attach such a headline.

    Questions not answered -what stage cancer & to what organs . Radiotherapy & surgery are the most common treatments. If chemotherapy is being advocated then it must be very widespread.

    But standard chemotherapy is very cheap – most are out of patent. Some delivery advances eg central lines & pumps means little hospitization. But usually just a 3 week ly outpatient visit.

    There is a very new very expensive British drug used by the Libyan Lockerbie guy that has prolonged his life. (irony?).

    However if the prognosis is indeed <5% then hey that is pathetic odds & hello morphine.

All of these countries that have socialized health care can, (well they think they can), do so because they benefit directly from the US defense umbrella.

If we were to send ’em all a bill every year their policies would change in a hurry.

Soooooo… Yes, it is someone else’s money, ours providing for their security.

Time to stop the free ride…