National Healthcare: Socialism at its finest - Part 2

Posted On: Tuesday - June 8th 2021 11:12AM MST
In Topics: 
  Healthcare Stupidity  Socialism/Communism

(Continued from Part 1.)

I present Exhibit A, your Honor:

In Part 1 of these words of warning about government controlled healthcare, Peak Stupidity first made clear that the improvements in the science and technology must be looked at separately from the changes in the healthcare business end. This post is about the deleterious effects of a lack of any free market and free choice on the customer. For his important area of life, being a customer means being a patient, being someone with some possible problem he may be worried about, or just being someone who wants to STAY healthy and not have to deal with most of it.

As I wrote last time, young Americans in particular, even so-called Conservatives, seem to not see any problem with Big Gov running this whole business. One wonders how much time they've ever spent at any Feral Government offices. I try to avoid that myself, but when I do go, I keep my eyes open and extrapolate what I see to the multi-million employee Fed Gov in general. Perhaps one could go down to the Highway Department to find fix a title on a car, and see bureaucracy and "customer care" by those who don't really answer to the customer in action. That's local or State government, but it only gets worse at the higher levels.

It's not as if "Single-Payer" (a nice euphemism of obscuration there), errr, Nationalized Healthcare is a new bright idea. We've had examples all over the world to observe. The "NHS" in the image above is the British National Health Service. I have never been to England, but I've been to, well, my car mechanic's shop, and this is a guy who has experience with the Canadian "free" healthcare, and no, the shop is not in Arizona ... He doesn't say it's a particularly bad experience going to the Doc's for regular check-ups and that. He's from a particularly white part of Canada though. When it comes to serious problems or work, the care is rationed. Those who really need something done can go to private physicians or to the States. I would like to hear from commenter "The Alarmist" who may have a good boots-on-the-ground nonwoven-hospital-slippers-on-the-floor report to give us.

The reason Americans hesitate to go to the doctor for "wellness" visits, aka, regular check-ups, is because our whole system is so distorted, money-wise, by this point, that prices are much higher than they need be, and higher than they WOULD be, in a free market. I had something I wanted to go to a specialist on, but the whole rigmarole of having to go to my "regular doctor" and get a referral turns me off, as I don't have any such regular doctor. Were I able to call this specialist, get a price, and just go the hell in there, I might have.

The "single-payer" proponents will tell you "Well, I can put up with some bureaucracy*, because now it's not for profit, and it'll be FAIR!" Yeah. I just read Animal Farm (more about that coming), and it's pretty old news that, though all patients are equal, some will end up more equal than others. (Those will be the ones getting private care out of the system.) That aside, even in a country full of trusting unified people, as in 1970s Sweden, the problem is that there is no incentive for the medical staff to excel. All care gets dragged down to a fair, but equal, level.

Also, there is no reason medical care should be "fair". I should be able to get more, better, and even quicker treatment by paying more money. I did that one time. I paid cash and got in the front of the line for something. I mean CASH cash, as in a stack of twenties, and I don't feel at all bad about getting put in front. I will say, that I was advantaged in having a doctor who a trusted friend had referred me to. This doctor trusted me not to make any thing about it, so the cash truly paid him well for his time.**

The fact that people go outside the system in Canada and Britain for better care does not say so much good about that system. There's on more important reason that National Healthcare is a BAD thing. That is the government's ability to control us with it.

Do you want to visit a doctor and see a nurse of your, let's say "persuasion" rather than some recent immigrant you can't relate to? Do you want the old-fashioned White man, or an Oriental or Jewish doctor you have general trust in, even before you know him well?

Not only is it the case that within a government-run healthcare establishment that you can't just go picking and choosing the personnel, but you're going to get in trouble even asking to. Were you to make that mistake, or maybe even just post something on the internet about it, you may not get the best care in the future. When you have no choices, you are subject to the whims of the government establishment, and this establishment is extremely hostile to our kind right now.

Nah, I'd rather make decisions on who I want to treat me on my own. I'd rather not have the government intrusion that goes along with any program run by it.*** I'll get into whether a free market in healthcare can actually work next post.

PS: I realize this anti-Socialism stuff may not be the favorite of the readers here, as we cover very different flavors of stupidity that are not so ideological posts. I've got to finish what I've started here though.

* Yes, I do know there's plenty of bureaucracy here, but that's because the government is already involved to a large degree, in concert with Big Biz insurance.

** Though it did save him a bundle, of course, the lack of taxes charged and paid was not really the biggest benefit for both of us. I just think there was no way this Doctor could have put a payment on his books so easily without all of it being in the same fund that pays for the illegal alien deadbeats and such.

*** Let's not forget your political views being used for political aims by this government-run industry. Did you tell them "yes, I own a gun or two"? You may end up being treated for something you are pretty sure you don't have, such as schizophrenia. At least in America right now, I can tell the office to "take this form and shove it up your ass." Actually, I have, minus the "up your ass" part. I can go elsewhere.

The Alarmist
Thursday - June 10th 2021 1:59PM MST

5m out of a total population of circa 70m is nothing to sneeze at ;)

And if you did, you’d have a hard time seeing a doc in person.
Thursday - June 10th 2021 9:32AM MST
PS: Bill H. I hope you are able to improve. That 4 flights of stairs (I assume up, haha) was pretty good.

Alarmist, I was about to paste that whole thing into another post (Part 2-a), but because it is a temporary problem due to the Covid hysteria, confusion, and general stupidity, I'll leave it out, so as to only discuss the general problem with government-run healthcare. Thanks. That was interesting.
Thursday - June 10th 2021 9:27AM MST
PS: Mr. Blanc, the first 60% of your comment is right along the lines of what I will put in Part 3. On the free enterprise part. I guess that depends on how you define it. I would not at all call the huge conglomerate hospital companies a part of free enterprise. They have crowded out the small guys*, and as usual, all the rules made by them and government make it hard to start anything in competition.

Yes, charities ran hospitals, and that was truly non-profit, but "non-profit" is all in the accounting too. It helps a lot when the people are not taxed so heavily and otherwise forced to pay for others for charity to flourish. I'll get to this stuff in that post.

* One of them almost bought all the hospitals in town besides the VA. Then one deal fell through. This is bad for both the customers and employees. For the latter, if you leave on bad terms, you basically have to move for another job.
The Alarmist
Thursday - June 10th 2021 3:08AM MST

Here’s something from The Guardian for your part two


Number of people on England’s NHS waiting list tops 5m for first time

The number of people waiting for hospital treatment in England has exceeded 5 million for the first time, highlighting the growing problem of long waits for NHS care.

NHS England’s latest set of monthly performance figures, published on Thursday, show that the waiting list stood at 5,122,017 in April – up 171,720 in a month.

The total has risen from the 4.95 million who were on it in March, which was itself almost 252,000 up on the 4.698m recorded in February – a month-on-month rise of 5.4%.

The number of people being forced to wait at least a year for treatment in hospital, especially surgery, has fallen for the first time in over a year but remains a serious problem. Thursday’s figures also show that 385,490 people have now been waiting more than 52 weeks, 50,637 down on the 436,127 who were in that position last month.

Such long waits are a new phenomenon. In contrast, in March last year – before Covid-19 triggered a suspension of much NHS care – just 3,097 patients had faced such an unusually long delay.

Ministers, NHS chiefs, medical groups and health charities are worried that growing numbers of patients are facing lengthening waits for vital care including cancer treatment, a hip or knee replacement, heart operations and surgery to remove cataracts to improve eyesight.

Thursday’s statistics underline the huge disruption to normal NHS services the pandemic has wrought since last spring and the huge scale of the backlog of care facing hospitals.

Last month’s figures led the Royal College of Surgeons to describe the number of patients now on the waiting-list as “stomach-churning”. It warned that the NHS staff who are under pressure to tackle the backlog as soon as possible were “running on fumes after an unimaginably difficult year helping out on Covid-19 wards”.


Bill H
Wednesday - June 9th 2021 11:53AM MST
PS Having Covid was no fun, but I've been sicker. Temp peaked at 103.9 and lasted about a week. I was down and out for about four weeks altogether. Not eating led to a 15 pound weight loss. Left me with a runny nose 15 months later and I am considerably more short of breath. I used to be able to do 4-5 flights of stairs and only breathing modestly heavy at top, now have to stop and regain my wind after only one flight.
Wednesday - June 9th 2021 11:17AM MST
PS With the wonders of modern medicine (yes, there’s a whiff of sarcasm there), demand for medical care will always be greater than supply of medical care. It will always be rationed, one way or another. By price, by waiting time, by a triage doctor, by diversity pokémon points, or by something else. Our choice, or it would be in a more perfect world. In my youth, you had hospitalization insurance. If you were lucky. (It was mostly supplied by your employer; a result of WWII). Hospitals were almost all run by nonprofit, mostly religious, organizations. If you were simply seeing your doctor in his office, you paid cash. When I was going through my late mother’s things some time back, I came across a receipt from the early 1950s for an office call to the family doctor. (Mum saved everything.) $2.00. Someone decided (I wasn’t asked my opinion) that doctors’ visits should be covered by insurance, as well. What’s an office call now? As far as picking your doctor, fat chance. There might be a handful left in private practice, but most of them are wage slaves for medical conglomerates. You get referred to whomever you get referred to. Is this an optimal system? I don’t know. It’s certainly not “free enterprise”. Nor is it state controlled. It’s what those who rule us decided that we should have. Actually, it’s not the system that they wanted us to have. They wanted us to have HMOs, in which choice was even less. But people resisted, so now we have PPOs, where we pay a bit more to have a bit more choice. I never had to use the NHS in the two years that I lived in Britain, so I can’t comment on it. I had to see an ophthalmologist for an eye exam to get my US driving license renewed, for which I paid cash (or maybe my employer paid for it; I don’t recall). I do recall having seen an article in the Economist a couple of years ago which claimed that the only thing keeping the NHS afloat was the Romanian doctors who worked more cheaply than British doctors would. Without a report from a Brit, we’ll have to be in the dark regarding the NHS.
Wednesday - June 9th 2021 9:39AM MST
PS: Alarmist, thank you for your take on the NHS. I guess almost all countries are full of people who can't help but "rah, rah, rah, for our side!"

Rex, that is a very good point. I've heard people spout that "human right" thing many times. Your last sentence goes with what I'll write in Part 4 - it's hard to back out of these kinds of things. No one can imagine another and a better way anymore.

Bill, I'm also sorry to hear of your conditions. Did the Covid affect you that much? All that lack of regular treatment for you and others will shorten lives in the medium run. Where does that fit into that "excess deaths" graph? If you are using the VA, I don't know if there are any co-pays, etc, but I do not that my healthcare plan was waiving co-pays AND deductibles (even more important if you're health enough) for people claiming the Kung Flu. It sounds like they wouldn't take you no matter what you said, but then I agree with Alarmist. Even in normal times, the less time spent in the hospital, the better.
The Alarmist
Wednesday - June 9th 2021 9:11AM MST

@Bill H, Sorry to hear that.

The UK NHS also became a COVID care system. Most routine care visits were cancelled, as were things like cancer screenings. That’s why there were more than a few TikTok videos of empty hallways or with medical staff doing choreographed dances. They prosecuted at least one woman that I know of who had the temerity to walk into a hospital and walk around videoing the empty wards and halls. BTW, COVID was one time where you didn’t see people dying in the hallways because they were dying at home or in the old folk homes. People are now still wait-listed for months to a couple years for routine treatments, so it went from bad to worse.

Not going to the hospital was probably to your benefit, because there was a huge financial incentive in the US for hospitals to push as many people into ICU and onto ventilators and ultimately to death in 90% of cases, and the only thing that slowed them down was a lack of ventilator technicians. I recently saw a video of brand new ventilators still in their original packaging dumped in a landfill ... there obviously no shortage of machines.
Bill H
Wednesday - June 9th 2021 7:25AM MST
PS For all practical purposes, this nation has no health care system. We have a Covid treatment system. If you don't have Covid, you are on your own.

I have Parkinson's Disease. I used to see a neurologist every six months. I have not seen a neurologist in more than two years, and there is no indication when I will see one again.

I have advanced lung disease, with more than 40% function loss in both lungs. I used to see a pulmonologist every 6-9 months. I have not seen one in more than two years and there is no indication as to when I will see one again.

I actually had Covid. I am 78 years old and reported emphysema and prior heart attack. I was told to go home and self isolate. I was not told to see a doctor. I was specifically told NOT to go to a hospital. I was not given a measure of symptoms at which point I should see a doctor. I survived, but it was in spite of our "health care system," not because of it.

We would be better off with the UK's system of letting you die on a gurney in the hallway. At least they acknowledge that there are health conditions other than Covid.
Rex Little
Tuesday - June 8th 2021 6:40PM MST
PS The root cause of the problem is the widespread--make that damn near universal--belief that health care is a human right. Given that, and the fact that the proper function of a government is to protect and secure the rights of its citizens, socialized medicine follows logically.

There will not be a free market in health care as long as that belief is paramount. Needless to say, I don't expect that to change in my lifetime.
The Alarmist
Tuesday - June 8th 2021 3:45PM MST

Let’s just say that the relationship between Brits and the NHS is complicated. I would liken it to Battered Spouse Syndrome. They might not really be so keen on one another any more, but heaven forbid you as as outsider intervene or comment on the relationship.

I watched my friendly English colleagues turn vicious when I commented on people dying on gurneys in the hallways of NHS Trust hospitals, and got an earful about how at least they aren’t dying in the gutter gasping for air like they would in America, ignoring the fact that they were nevertheless dying on gurneys in the hospital hallways ... many gasping for air. At least our dying poor do it in fresh air and sunshine.

I’m privately covered, and I’m curently decamped to the Continent, so I have a little more freedom to choose where to die, including the US, assuming I test negative for the Coof or secure a waiver.
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