National Healthcare: Socialism at its finest - Part 4

Posted On: Tuesday - June 15th 2021 7:57PM MST
In Topics: 
  Liberty/Libertarianism  Healthcare Stupidity  Socialism/Communism

(Continued from Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.)

Big Health Care:

Peak Stupidity noted the point of this series in the 1st post, that the changes for the worse in American healthcare have been on the business/economic side, not the scientific/technical side, and these two issues should be kept separate in a discussion of what's wrong. In the 2nd part and the 3rd part, we discussed what Nationalized or Government-run ("single-payer" for the obscuration-euphemism inclined) and the beauty of the old American nearly free-market system, respectively.

This post will be about what to do to change direction from the Socialist road we have gone far down back to something resembling real markets. The quick answer is "nothing". We can't do a u-turn now. I will expound on that just a little.

Socialism is made to be an irreversible process. (The 3rd law of Thermodeolgy?) I don't say that's intentional by all parties. Your Bernies and such perhaps are just so hooked on this ideology that can produce a Utopia (A Utopia, I tells ya!) that it's not necessarily their intention to lock people in. "Look at Sweden. They were a unified society with high altruistic tendencies... etc... " "You'll like our Socialist programs so much, you'll get tired of #LIKING them!" I still say that forcing the responsible to take care of the irresponsible is not the way to go.

Within the government agencies developed to run Socialism, and especially within the higher ups, of course there is an intention to sign up more taxpayer dependents and keep the existing ones. It's job security for those bureaucrats, and it's a way to expand one's fiefdom for the higher officials. Politicians such as the scumbag Lyndon Johnson have admitted that the idea is to create dependencies that will have these "niggers voting Democrat for the next 50 years." It's been 56 and counting, so, you gotta admit, the man was right about that part, his ruination of the nation notwithstanding.

If you get enough Americans dependent on any Socialist program, you've now got that many additional votes for the program than you had when it was voted in (well, by somebody) to begin with. Take Social Security, please. Yeah, that's an old joke, but I'm not counting on seeing any REAL money out of that deal, so if they did take it, it's not gonna surprise me or bankrupt me. Yet, I have friends who are just plain counting on the Social Security Scam, ... errr, Scheme(?)*, when they should have known better and could have saved better. They will not support trashing the whole system.

Well, back to the topic, the Socialist Government Healthcare plans will be the same. The Big-Gov/Big-Biz partnership in control of this huge industry** have created dependencies that make it difficult to back out of these programs, whether intentionally or not. The irreversibility is inherent.

Why even bother to write about "the way it was" and the bureaucracy of Exhibit A, the British NHS then? For one thing, at this point, there is still room outside the system to pay cash for services. One can still be on the hook via his taxes to support the stupidity, yet, work outside the system for better care. One can do that in Britain too, and people do, as we've noted. However, the more government control that is put on the medical field, the more those outside that system may be squashed. It'd be best to still try to stave off more of it.

Secondly, people, especially the young who don't have the imagination or knowledge to understand there's a better way out in the world, ought to be taught otherwise. As with the writing of Ron Paul columns, we need to get to the root of our problems, even if we can't just flip a switch to go back in this society, just for the record. The only way we'll ever see anything like the 1960s American healthcare world again is after a separation or reset.

* See also Part 2.

** The "Statista" site says it is 18% of the GDP, but then GDP is a squirrelly number. It includes those very 11 people out of 50 at that friend's medical practice that do nothing but bill collection. Is that really a product or a service?

Ian Prosser
Saturday - June 19th 2021 3:02AM MST
PS You may find this relevant, dealing as it does with cancer treatment in the USA financed by private insurance schemes:
Thursday - June 17th 2021 1:26PM MST
PS Private insurance might well have been able to adapt to medical advances if it could have figured out a reasonable way to deal with pre-existing conditions and catastrophic expenses as with premature babies and serious burn cases. There would have had to be an exception for Negroes, because the majority of Negroes were always going to have to be subsidized in one way or another for their major life expenses. But with the population of Third Worlders (and that includes the ever-increasing population of Chinese, despite their IQs) that we have now, there’s no chance of anything but a statist approach.
Thursday - June 17th 2021 9:20AM MST
Norway: "Immigrants constituted 14.7% of the population at the start of 2020."

Tipping point. Norway has nothing but decline ahead of it.
Adam Smith
Thursday - June 17th 2021 6:49AM MST
PS: Good morning Dieter...

I agree. My Norway example is grossly oversimplified and quite abstract. There are many more factors involved than what I could possibly know or even try to address in such a quick comment. I was merely trying to point out some glaring differences between a country like Norway and the U.S.

I hope you have a nice evening.

Adam Smith
Thursday - June 17th 2021 6:37AM MST
PS: Good morning Mr. Moderator...

You and I are both guys who shun debt like the plague. I (dare I say we) tend to think of being “in debt” as being in a “negative net asset position” or in a situation where your liabilities exceed your assets. Unlike the U.S. which has been in a state of perpetual bankruptcy since the 1930's and is in a “negative net asset position”, Norway is in a “positive net asset position” meaning their assets exceed their liabilities. They could pay off the debt if they wished, but for whatever reasons they are running some debt load.

Let me use Alaska as an example. Alaska is $5.7 billion “in debt”. Alaska also has what they call the “Alaska Permanent Fund” which has $64 billion in assets. The “Alaska Permanent Fund” is a sovereign wealth fund or more specifically it's a constitutionally established permanent fund managed by a state-owned corporation that is funded by oil revenues. The “Alaska Permanent Fund” is used to pay every resident in Alaska an annual dividend that has averaged about $1600. Some people describe the Permanent Fund Dividend as a sort of mincome or UBI. Alaska is in a “positive net asset position” and could pay off their $5.7 billion debt if they wished, but they carry this debt for whatever reasons.

Or, imagine someone who has $500,000 cash in the bank but would like to buy a house for $250,000. This person could buy the house with cash, or they could put 20% down and take a 15 year fixed mortgage at 2.35% knowing that they will be paying down their mortgage with devalued dollars in the future. Meanwhile they could invest in AT&T which pays a 7% dividend leaving them a 4.65% gain. Even though our hypothetical home buyer is “in debt” (carrying mortgage debt) they are not really “in debt” (in a “negative net asset position”).

I'm still a little sleepy headed and I'd imagine others could explain it better, but I hope I've helped clear up what I meant to say.

And I hope you have a great day.

Dieter Kief
Thursday - June 17th 2021 6:36AM MST
PS My point against your analyses of Norway's Public Health Care System is short: You can't figure out Norway on such abstract terms. Put differently: That it works just fine is something deeply rooted in the Norwegian - 1) history and 2) mentality and 3) culture and 4) tradition (add a fair bit of European traces to that mix too). In even other words: Institutions are (never) just institutions. Look wherever you want.
And the outcomes can be surprising. One simple example: Italy spends considerably less per person for its Public Health Care System than Norway, but they still managed to achieve even higher average death ages than the Norwegians. - With the help of at times incredible methods like selling antibiotics over the counter of their local pharmacies...thus creating the highest rate of antibiotic-resistances in Europe (together with Spain) - but: Nevertheless, their old ones outlasted those in Norway by more than a year.
Dieter Kief
Thursday - June 17th 2021 6:21AM MST
PS Thee seems to be something not quite right, when things like that happen: Please wait six years for consultation for post cancer treatment in Belfast
Thursday - June 17th 2021 2:54AM MST
PS: Mr. Smith, I have one small question regarding your informative comment on Norway. How are they in 170 billions $ in debt, if they also have that huge sovereign wealth fund? I'm not big-money finance guy, so I am probably missing something.
Adam Smith
Wednesday - June 16th 2021 9:23PM MST
PS: Good evening everyone...

Everyone points to Scandinavia as an example of what a positive version of socialism looks like. I think Norway is an interesting example of what mostly socialized healthcare looks like in a less diverse, majority white society.

Now, I really don't know anything about Norway or their health care situation, but they do have a system that seems to work for them. (They certainly have a system that they are working with.)

Like anything, there is always room for improvement, but according to the internet...

“The people of Norway enjoy good health status, a life expectancy of 81.53 years, which is above the EU average of 80.14, and the gap between overall life expectancy and healthy life years is around half the of EU average. The health care system is semi decentralized.” and “The share of government spending in Norway as a share of total spending on health has remained relatively constant over the last decade between 83 and 85%. This is one of the highest in the OECD and above the OECD average of 73%.” By many estimates, Norway ranks high in health care outcomes when compared to other developed nations.

Norway is (hopefully still is) a mostly homogeneous high trust society made up of mostly intelligent, mostly hard working Norwegian people. Norway has a population of 5.328 million people. As of 2020, a government study shows that 75.2% of the total population are ethnic Norwegians (born in Norway with two parents also born in Norway). The national minorities of Norway include: Scandinavian Romani, Roma, Jews, and Kvener, as well as a small Finnish community.

Immigrants constituted 14.7% of the population at the start of 2020. In the last decades, Norway has become home to increasing numbers of immigrants, foreign workers, and asylum-seekers from various parts of the world. Norway had a steady influx of immigrants from South Asia (mostly Pakistanis and Sri Lankans), East Asia (mainly Chinese), and Southeast Asia/Pacific Islands (e.g. Filipinos), Eastern Europe (e.g. Russians) and (Central Europe Poles), Southern Europe (Greeks, Albanians and people from former Yugoslavia etc.), and Middle East countries (especially Iraqis and Kurdish Iranians), as well as Somalis, Turks, Moroccans, and some Latin Americans. After ten Eastern European and Baltic countries joined the EU in 2004, there has also been a substantial influx of people from Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Fortunately, only 131,700 people in Norway are immigrants from Africa. Unfortunately, there are 131,700 Africans in Norway.

In 2020 Norway had a debt of ~ 170 billion U.S. dollars or ~ 40% of their GDP. (Which is higher than I'd prefer, but then again, the current system subsidizes borrowers at the expense of savers, so...?)

However, The country is endowed with natural resources such as oil and gas, fish, forests, and minerals. Norway has a nice steady stream of oil/petroleum revenue and a sovereign wealth fund valued at ~ 1.3 trillion or about $248,000 per citizen. Norway is the world’s second largest exporter of seafood, after China.

Norwegians enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. With their current revenue streams, smaller less diverse population, (hopefully) high trust society and intelligent people they can probably afford a national health service that provides quality health care to everyone no matter their luck/unluck in life, at a reasonable cost per capita. (There can be a whole lot of savings if you can cut out the “government”, the insurance cartel, the bureaucracy, the other middle men and the other fraudsters that plague a systems like the one found in America.)

Unfortunately what work's in a place like Norway is unlikely to work here, especially at the feral level.

For reasons.

Wednesday - June 16th 2021 8:55PM MST
PS Mr. Chairman, I wish to amend my remarks.

Most of us know what ails the health care system, just not how to fix it.
Wednesday - June 16th 2021 8:52PM MST
PS Good Point Mr. Moderator, about the welfare state. I’m at a loss to prescribe what ails the health care system- Mr. Blanc’s points about how much better it is are well taken, but boy, I don’t want St. Anthony of Fauci in charge of a health care system.

Mr. Blanc also observes that small homogeneous countries run pretty good systems, but for sure that ain’t us!
Wednesday - June 16th 2021 7:33PM MST
PS: Mr. Ganderson, I'd started that reply to Mr. Blanc before I read yours, got distracted, and then submitted it. In regards to those people living messy disorganized lives, I submit that without Socialism backing up anything they do, there would be much less of this.

No matter how bad the work ethic taught to you, or your lack of planning ability due to genetics, if there are family members who've seen bad times warning you that you better get your shit together to some degree, and some sleepless nights in which you wonder how you will get money for groceries, you will likely become just neat and organized enough to make it. The black "community", for example, has always had their problems, but I believe it was the Socialism introduced in the mid-1960s that made it so much worse.
Adam Smith
Wednesday - June 16th 2021 7:32PM MST
PS: Good evening everyone...

Mr. Moderator, I was pretty sure that's what you meant.
I like it and I like it spelled both ways.

Thermodeology Thermoideology

Any way you spell it, it's a new word.

Wednesday - June 16th 2021 7:25PM MST
PS: Mr. Blanc, first of all, I really meant that comment about the irresponsible to apply to welfare. I get your point about the new medical technology and its costs. OTOH, some of this technology has take lots of costs and risks OUT of the picture, such as MRIs vs. more exploratory surgery and surgery done via small incisions with new tools vs, massive operations of the past.

Much of the big money is in cancer treatment and in end-of-life hospital stays. No doubt, you would have died in the past with some of the cancers from which people recover from now.

As I wrote in that Part 3 post, I'm a firm believer in insurance. I also believe that people would be a whole lot more responsible* in getting and keeping up with insurance, at least the simple, ACTUAL, insurance for catastrophic healthcare, were they really going to be on the hook, and in serious long-term debt were they or their family members in a bad wreck or what have you. You could say that insurance is a way of spreading the risk among the poor and wealthy alike.

* This is in the same way that families with low income or single Moms might be thinking really hard and getting good advice on family members about possibly not just popping out children were there no W.I.C., subsidized housing, etc.
Wednesday - June 16th 2021 7:00PM MST

Mr Blanc makes good points. Fully cognizant of what government supplied anything means, I’m not knee jerk opposed to national healthcare, however one of the main problems our system (and others too) has is that’ we have a large population of people who live tremendously messy and disorganized lives. Probably the cliché example of this is people going to the emergency room for a hangnail. I don’t think national health will solve that and it might even make it worse. In many ways issues of healthcare are like issues with the schools- nobody really has a clear idea of what to do.
Wednesday - June 16th 2021 6:52PM MST
PS: Bill, I have a post coming (well, sometime) about GDP. In addition to your example, the big thing is what kinds of services it includes. A class action suit that nets the lawyers $20 million is part of the GDP - $20 million in services provided, yes sir! The effect on the business they sued it another story.

Then there is the fact that I don't seem to see them give a "real" GDP rise, vs nominal.

Adam, that was supposed to be a combination of Thermodynamics and ideology. ?? Supposed to be, note.
Wednesday - June 16th 2021 3:23PM MST
PS When you say, “I still say that forcing the responsible to take care of the irresponsible is not the way to go”, you seem to be suggesting that becoming ill or the victim of an accident is the result of irresponsibility. In many cases, they surely are, but in many other cases they surely aren’t. In many cases, it’s just the luck of the draw. It seems to me that in the significant difference between medical care then (say, a century ago) and now is that now there are so many more things that they can do to cure illness and repair injuries than there were then. And many of those things are very expensive and require substantial capital investment. Medical care was less expensive then because there was a lot less that they could do for you then. The cost differential between being lucky and being unlucky was much less then than it is now*. Then, the rich guy and the average Joe were pretty much in the same boat. Now, there’s a lot more that the rich guy can afford to buy that the average Joe simply can’t. A lot of people don’t want to live in a world in which whether you get the medical treatment that you need depends on your net worth. They want the risks to be evened out by some means or other. Now you can say that they are wrong to not want to live in a world in which, etc., but that is a value judgment, not a factual question. If we were a more homogeneous people with a much more common value system (such as the Scandinavians, or at least as the Scandinavians used to be), this question wouldn’t be as daunting as it is. But we’re not.

* There are other factors, of course, some of which are remediable without too much effort, but technological advances are the principal factor.
The Alarmist
Wednesday - June 16th 2021 1:32PM MST

☀️Good afternoon, all.

Socialism, like diabetes, is a progressive disease. It is reversible, but who wants to tell the proles they have give up the “free” addictive sweets and carbs?
Adam Smith
Wednesday - June 16th 2021 8:15AM MST
PS: Good morning Mr. Moderator...

Thermodeolgy? 🙂

Bill H
Wednesday - June 16th 2021 7:17AM MST
PS GDP is completely bogus as a measure of our economy in that it ignores increasing debt. If I generate $1 million in revenue from making products, but incur $1.5 million in debt doing so, am I a positive influence on the nation's economy? According to the way GDP is measured, I am.
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