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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

If it's the government failing to provide somebody's health care, is that somehow better?

Writing at, Merrill Matthews lists several examples of nations with “universal” health care failing to provide care:

The Times of London ran a story in 2006 asserting: “Patients are being denied appointments with consultants in a systematic attempt to ration care and save the NHS money, The Times has learnt. . . . Leaked documents passed to The Times show that while ministers promise patients choice, a series of barriers are being erected limiting GPs’ [general practitioners] rights to refer people to consultants.”

…Health care reformers often claim or imply that the U.S. health care system is terrible, while countries like England provide quality care for everyone, and for less money. That’s simply not a balanced assessment.
Matthews notes, as I have in the past, that our system isn’t perfect. Under our system, people can and sometimes do go without. But people can and sometimes do go without under “universal,” single-payer, government-run health care, too.

At least in our system, we can work to get better insurance, more money, etc. We can improve our own situations. Once the government's taken over, though, everyone's gone just as far as it's possible to go.