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Friday, August 04, 2017

The Big Lie of Socialized Medicine

As the health care debate goes on, Senator Bernie Sanders will toss in a socialized medicine bill.

Bernie’s bill won’t be a realistic piece of legislation. The 1 percenter Socialist from Vermont has three successful bills to his name. Two of those involved renaming post offices. He was a marginal figure during the ObamaCare debate. The financials of the plan won’t work. But they never do.

ObamaCare insurers are losing billions. Aetna pulled out after $700 million in losses. United Health jumped after losing $720 million. The single-payer that Bernie wants to propose will be even worse.

Vermont’s single payer experiment cost $4.3 billion out of a $4.9 billion state budget. The California Senate passed single-payer with no way to cover the $400 billion cost in a $183 billion budget.

Democrats who wouldn’t vote for it faced death threats and accusations that they were “murderers”.

That’s what every argument about socialized medicine comes down to. Either you support it or you want people to die.

Bernie Sanders has been accusing Republican repealers of killing thousands. If ObamaCare is repealed, "36,000 will die yearly". Then he claimed, “up to 28,000 Americans every single year could die.”

Is it 36,000 or 28,000? Who cares? The point is, if you’re against socialized medicine, you’re a murderer. The right numbers, either the budget or the casualties, don’t matter. Emotions trump statistics.

In 2015, the year after ObamaCare took effect, the death rate rose for the first time in a decade. 2,471,984 deaths occurred in this country in 2008. In 2014, we were up to 2,626,418.

That’s a difference of 150,000. And going up, not down.

You would think that if the ObamaCare mandate is saving so many lives, we ought to be seeing fewer deaths, not more of them.

Life expectancy in the year after ObamaCare fell for the first time since 1993. That was, coincidentally, the year of Hillary’s big push for socialized medicine.

Socialized medicine is better at taking lives than at saving them. Just ask Bernie.

The closest the Vermont Socialist has gotten to medical management was his time as VA committee chair. After hundreds of thousands of veterans died waiting for care, Bernie covered up the carnage. He claimed it was a right-wing conspiracy, sabotaged efforts to hold hearings and dismissed the complaints.

"When you are dealing with 200,000 people, if you did better than any other health institution in the world, there would be thousands of people every single day who would say 'I don't like what I'm getting,'" he insisted.

Bernie lied. 307,000 veterans died.

The Socialist Senator was obsessed with the VA because it was another template for socialized medicine. He denounced the criticisms of it as a right-wing plot to privatize the VA. Advocates of socialized medicine respond in this typical tribal fashion to rationing scandals whether it’s the NHS or the VA.

Socialized medicine isn’t a system. It’s an ideology. No amount of deaths or statistics can discredit it. And that is another reason it’s so dangerous. It combines the entrenched bureaucracy that rots all government programs from within with the fanatical conviction that it is the road to utopia.

It doesn’t matter how many people a progressive program kills. It must be defended on principle.

Socialized medicine is sold with a lie. The lie is that you can get all the medical care you need for a low price. Or even for free. But socialized medicine doesn’t have less rationing than the hybrid government-market programs that progressives keep incrementally creating and then tearing down. It has more.

Insurers that offered the most options suffered the biggest losses under ObamaCare. The ObamaCare insurers that made money did it by offering few doctors and low quality health care. The more they rationed services to patients and payments to doctors and hospitals, the better they did. And that’s how ObamaCare was designed to work. Full socialized medicine is even worse.

Socialism always sells the same lie. Take anything, remove the profit motive, scale up taxes and you can distribute it more fairly. But instead socialized medicine cannibalizes the health care market. Patients get tightly rationed health care. Doctors and hospitals are squeezed on reimbursements. The system never rations itself. Instead it rations care and becomes a policy vehicle for social engineering.

Even while Obama Inc. was touting ObamaCare, it was moving forward with cuts to health care services for active military personnel. ObamaCare replaced viable health care plans with unusable plans that were catastrophic care in all but name. Rationing was always the name of the game.

Socialism doesn’t build services, it builds bureaucracy. The bureaucracy rations the services it administers while building bigger buildings, hiring more personnel and expanding its organization. Bureaucrats get nicer chairs while patients bleed out waiting to see a doctor. Medications vanish from the formulary while unions negotiate bigger contacts with more perks. The bureaucracy insulates itself from criticism by identifying its existence and funding with medicine. Oppose it and you’re a murderer.

That’s socialized medicine.

The world was riveted by the drama of Charlie Gard’s death at the hands of British socialized medicine. The director of one hospital was being paid $78,000 a month. Another exec was receiving $55,000. Great Ormond Street Hospital, the institution made famous by Peter Pan, which seemed obsessed with killing Charlie, had a dying child abused by Jimmy Savile, in the Baby P case, Sabah Al-Zayyat missed the fact that an abused child had a broken back and its head of cardiology was booted for molesting young boys. A report had claimed that the hospital couldn’t pay its bills and children were beating treated in hallways and waiting rooms.

Take the worst abuses in a free market system. Then make them permanent. That’s socialized medicine.

The death rate in America is 8.20 per 1,000 people. In the UK, it’s 9.40. The death rate rose in the UK around the same time that it was rising in the US. It was the biggest rise since 1968.

And the NHS, the gold standard in socialized medicine, has death rates 4 times higher than America. Seriously ill NHS patients were seven times more likely to die than they were in the United States.

Almost 10% of British patients died in a surgical study compared to 2.5% of American patients. The head of anesthesia at Great Ormond blamed the NHS' waiting lists for the death toll.

Socialists lie, hospital patients die.

The American left shrieks that without socialized medicine, we’ll die. The facts show that socialized medicine kills. The left promises that socialized medicine will mean health care for everyone. The facts show that it will mean less care, fewer doctors and more health care rationing across the board.

Call it single-payer, Medicare-for-all or any other euphemism, socialized medicine is death.

Members of Congress get their medical care through the Office of the Attending Physician: an institution that dates back to 1928. For a $596 annual fee, you can get your primary care that way. That's where Bernie Sanders' medical note came from indicating he uses it for his medical needs.

Congressman Steven LaTourette came down with pancreatic cancer after OAP doctors failed to notify him that he had a lesion. He died last year. Socialized medicine really will kill you.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

The death rate, Daniel, is actually 100%. Both here and in the UK.

Anonymous said...

Nice summary, Daniel (I wish you could source your data points, which would help in the argument).

Then there's every other country's SM (socialized medicine) - Sweden or Denmark, but their societies are smaller and more homogenized.

Anything that an organization provides for "free", will be abused and not valued. If I now direct that all Ferrari's are free, who's going to make them for free, and when will I get mine? Oh, you can provide only so many a year? I'll have to wait? Same with Health Care.

SM is a mirage, that satiates the masses and lets politicians off the hook. SM is for thee, not for me.

D.D.Mao said...

It's not like this attack by the left is anything new. The left swore that millions of poor would die with the implantation of Reaganomics back in the 80's and again with Republicans pushing through welfare reform and opposing Hillary care in the 90's. So what does the left do besides renewing old empty accusations but come up with a snazzy new slogan for the 2018 midterms that sounds more like Papa John's pizza slogan than a political slogan to get more than only their base to the polls. "A Better Deal, Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages !" Can't you just hear Peyton Manning or Papa John's voice? Obviously Democratic Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia didn't get the memo and added to the overwhelming number of Republican governors by turning Republican this week.

Congress may have a dismal approval rating but for some reason not many people equate it to their own Congressman......it's always the other imbedded members of Congress. So you have to hand it to the Republicans who had a golden opportunity to concoct a program to correct Obamacare over the past 7(SEVEN)years but felt why change their incompetent strategy in mid stream when we get re-elected just making excuses. In 2018 I'm told they will rely on attacking the lying MSM and "fake news" as the reason nothing got passed while owning the House, Senate and the Executive branch. As C.K. Chesterton once said "The whole modern world is divided into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected."

Clorinda said...

"Socialized medicine isn’t a system. It’s an ideology."

Never better said. Like everything connected with the left, SM is just another vehicle to make people "feel good about themselves."

I was arguing about SM with a British poster on the internet the other day. She was livid because I did not agree with it. "What is wrong with you?!" she asked in despair. "Don't you remember what Jesus taught in the Good Samaritan parable?" she predictably added. I love it when socialists - who tell pro-life people that religion is just superstition, oppression - jump on the Jesus wagon when they think it helps the forward their agenda.

I reminded my seemingly born-again Christian interlocutor that the Good Samaritan parable was about doing good in a personal, individual manner. I explained that the Good Samaritan took care of the injured man himself, and paid for all the expenses out of his own pocket. He did not tell the innkeeper, "Send the bill to Ceasarcare."

Still, this woman (of course) would not be convinced. She ended up saying that socialized medicine was a wonderful, compassionate system that takes care of the poor, and that she wanted to be a part of it.

And that, as Daniel said, is the long and short of it. SM is indeed an ideology. One that makes some people - especially the young ones - congratulate themselves for being part of something wonderful and compassionate without bothering about facts and figures, the realities of economy, and all that. "I do my part. I vote democrat/socialist. The government will take care of the rest." And that makes them feel morally superior to us, horrid people, who want the poor to die and children to drink dirty water and breathe foul air.

Socialism, the ideology that purports to be all about caring for and helping others, is really nothing but a exercise in "self": self-centerdness, self-congratulation, self-serving. Stuck on feeling good about oneself, helping others by proxy, rather than getting personally involved in it.

Anonymous said...

My sense is that many of the same fools who voted for Trump will vote for Sanders in 2020. Young people seem to think socialism is the answer, so they will join in. Everyone loves free.

As a Medicare participant, I can tell you that it doesn't work. Most physicians limit the number of Medicare patients they will take because it is impossible to run a practice on Medicare reimbursements alone. Every Medicare participant has faced this. You get a referral to a specialist and you find that that doctor is no longer taking new Medicare patients. Many doctors are opting out of Medicare entirely. Particularly specialists in narrow fields. This is, of course, a form of rationing.

So no one ever asks Bernie how he will get doctors to participate in his "Medicare for all." Does he plan to force them? How will that work? And who will repay their student loans?

Unfortunately, if the Republicans don't have an articulate, literate, experienced candidate in 2020, they will lose to the other demagogue. Bernie will just say that we will tax the rich to pay for all of the free stuff. No one will press him on how that will play out and people will buy it. It will take someone like Ted Cruz, whom I did not support to debate effectively and he has come up with some useful ideas for replacing Obamacare.

Unknown said...

While I almost always agree with you, I can say with great certainty that no one that I know here in Canada would ever trade our socialized health care system for the US system. No one.

Charlie Gard would not have happened in Canada...to use it as an example of the evils of socialized medicine is dishonest. On the other hand...there are untold thousands of US citizens who have gone bankrupt due to a medical procedure that they couldn't afford, and there hundreds of thousands of US citizens who can't afford medical insurance.

You can keep your system, and I'll happily keep ours.

M. Levant said...

In Canada about 42% of budget is health care...new industry is "Waiting Time assessment committees...over 1.3 billion$ spent by tens of thousands of Canadians coming to USA for timely care . DON'T GeT SICK !

Anonymous said...

"Great Ormond Street Hospital, the institution made famous by Peter Pan, which seemed obsessed with killing Charlie..."

Any stick to beat a dog. Contemptible.

Unsubscribing from your RSS feed after 6 years.

Dennis Latham said...

I remember 35 years ago a musician friend from Canada, who moved down here so his father could get surgery, said the wait time for surgery in Canada under socialized medicine was 18 months, and his father got surgery in less than a month in the Unites States. He said Canada would take in refugees from Pakistan and they would bring their entire extended family and they would all get free medical care but the wait times for everyone was often a death sentence. That's what Obama wanted. He wanted to destroy America. Pelosi, "We have to pass it to see what's in it." She should have been charged with treason right then. They don't worry about it. They have top of the line insurance, and Sanders and all the rest of those never had an honest job blowhards should be forced to have the same insurance everyone else has to have. They will kill everyone just to make their self-serving point. We need a Bastille in America.

LondonMale said...

What do you propose as an alternative to Obamacare and the NHS?
The Israeli system seems fairest to me...mandatory private health insurance for all in employment, with a small basic service free of charge safety net for those on welfare.

D.D.Mao said...

I believe a few of the comments here have hit on the idea why socialist medicine is so popular....it's "FREE !" which also has a lot to do with why Conservatism is being questioned. The disagreement between Statist Democrats and Conservatives is about the degree of government intrusion in our lives.

The Good Samaritan was a man NOT a government. A government is not made in Gods image,it has a function NOT a life. Government is a necessary evil. It is necessary because man is flawed and it is evil because it corrupts men and usurps liberty. Unfortunately Liberal's don't feel it is evil and Libertarians don't feel it's necessary. It is the Progressive project to aggrandize government by humanizing it. "Government becomes the life that cares, it feeds and exhibits concern. Our government was not formed nor does not exist to care but to promote freedom and security over the body politics. Perhaps the left should better follow the commandment "Thou shall not covert thy neighbors property" rather than attempting to equate the "Good Samaritan."

Why has conservatism faltered? When you see a man running for political office he has in mind what he can do to better the lives of the people once elected. Progressives feel that all humans are good and the only difference to their outcome is the environment they live in and they can change that. When a Conservative runs he has the intention of providing freedom and downsizing government. Now as some of the commenters pointed out who do you think has a better chance of winning. The Progressive who demands more from society so that they demand less from the public or the Conservative who can only give freedom?

Anonymous said...

Spain (Mostly Socialized Medicine) death rate: 9.1 deaths/1,000 population

Dennis Latham said...

In America if you want free health care just say you are illegal or get shot in a drug war with another gang. If Canada is so great why do people always want to come to America for health care when they are real sick. Socialized medicine is a killer. You will die waiting for care.

Dennis Latham said...

It's amazing how many people don't use their names when they comment. Trolls are everywhere.

Greg N said...

To Dennis L, do remember that Bastille day led to "La Terreur" where hundreds of thousands of "wrong thinkers" perished. Eventually it lead to a socialist France. Be careful what you wish for.

D.D.Mao said...

To Greg N: And if anything is reminiscent of the French Revolution and Bastille day it's this ideology and principle free pitch fork rebellion by the alt-right to overturn the GOP. What did one pundit say ? "Trump isn't the engine he's simply the hood ornament."

EarlW said...

Unknown wrote: "While I almost always agree with you, I can say with great certainty that no one that I know here in Canada would ever trade our socialized health care system for the US system. No one."

I guess you live in a bubble...
As a Canadian, I would gladly trade our socialized system for almost anything else. I have experienced the hours of waiting for emergency care and family members dying due to constantly delayed procedures first-hand.
Our (canadian) system is fundamentally broken. We pay an average of $11,000 per person, for socialized medicine. If you have a life-threatening problem, then you have a good chance of being seen and receiving care. If not, good luck.
The provincial governments control the jobs and salaries. In Quebec, if you graduate, you have to find a government-allowed 'slot' (aka PREM). If you work in a major city, be prepared to have a 30% pay cut.
Hospital nurses are burned out and have never learnt the concept of 'service'. Getting a routine blood test is similar to being a cow at the abbatoir. Overflowing waiting rooms, long lines, automated numbering and oblivious staff.
Socialized medicine is NOT the solution.

Craig C said...

It is a travesty when someone dies because they can't afford treatment, yet somehow virtuous fore someone to die on a waiting list.

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