Why Aren't Women Fighting the Health Care Trojan Horse?

Reader Robert Hammond, who always sends me good stuff, pointed out this article from the Evening Standard about proposed new health care rules in England.  Frequent readers will know that I have long argued that nationalized or single-payer health care is a Trojan Horse for fascism (and much more here) in the form of micro-management of individual decisions.  If your personal choices that in the past only put yourself at risk now cost other taxpayers money, then those other taxpayers are going to try to redirect your choices.

Failing to follow a healthy lifestyle could lead to free NHS treatment being denied under the Tory plans. 

Patients would be handed "NHS Health Miles Cards" allowing them to earn
reward points for losing weight, giving up smoking, receiving
immunisations or attending regular health screenings.

Like a
supermarket loyalty card, the points could be redeemed as discounts on
gym membership and fresh fruit and vegetables, or even give priority
for other public services - such as jumping the queue for council

But heavy smokers, the obese and binge drinkers who
were a drain on the NHS could be denied some routine treatments such as
hip replacements until they cleaned up their act.

Those who
abused the system - by calling an ambulance when a trip to the GP would
be sufficient, or telephoning out of hours with needless queries -
could also be penalised.

The report calls for a greater
emphasis on the "citizen's responsibility" to be healthy and says no
one should expect taxpayers to fund their unhealthy lifestyles

Here is the real problem:  This is absolutely logical.  There is nothing at all incorrect about the last statement for example.  This is not an abuse or an excess.  This is a completely predictable result of single-payer health care.  Any single-payer is going to have these incentives, but when the single-payer is the government, they not only have the incentives but the full coercive power to do something about it.  I am exhausted with the statist defense against such outcomes that "well, its just the particular individuals in charge -- if we could get the right guys in there, it would work great."  No.  The right guys are never in there, despite technocrats' big dreams, in part because the incentives in place turn even the right guys into the wrong guys. 

One of the reasons we spend so much on health care today is because most of us can do so without any personal financial cost.  Few of us (I am an exception, with a very high deductible policy) actually have to make cost-benefit trade offs in each of our health care purchases like we do in contrast for ... absolutely everything else we buy except health care.   The results are predictable.  We get pissed off when our insurance company denies coverage on some procedure or cost, we is part of the base-level of discontent that health care "reformers" draw on.  But it is stunning to me that people who have discontent with their current insurer feel like things will be better with the government!

Hey, this sounds like a women's issue!

What this article really shows is that by going with a single-payer government system, each of us would be ceding the decisions about our health care, our bodies, and even lifestyle to the government.  So surely women's groups, who were at the forefront of fighting against government intrusion into our decisions about our bodies, is out there leading the fight against government health care.  WRONG!  Their privacy arguments stand out today as sham libertarian arguments that applied only narrowly to abortion.  It's clear that as long as they can get full access to abortion, women's groups are A-OK with government intrusion into people's decisions about their bodies.

So please, dedicated feminists are urged to comment.  How do I relate this T-shirt from the NOW web store:

With this button from the NOW home page:

And a bit of text from their site:

People need and deserve universal, continuous,
and accessible health coverage that is provided by a single payer and
does not require full-time employment and a beneficent employer.
Learn more with our action toolkit....

With the recent release of Michael Moore's new movie, "SiCKO", and the
introduction in Congress of a bill to provide health insurance to all
U.S. residents, the movement for universal single-payer health
insurance is gaining momentum. This toolkit is provided to help you
take action on this important issue....

Health care is a right, not a privilege.


  1. JG:

    Oh its worse than this. Note this excerpt from the U.K.:

    "Social services' recommendation that the baby should be taken from Fran Lyon, a 22-year-old charity worker who has five A-levels and a degree in neuroscience, was based in part on a letter from a paediatrician she has never met.

    Hexham children's services, part of Northumberland County Council, said the decision had been made because Miss Lyon was likely to suffer from Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy, a condition unproven by science in which a mother will make up an illness in her child, or harm it, to draw attention to herself.

    Under the plan, a doctor will hand the newborn to a social worker, provided there are no medical complications. Social services' request for an emergency protection order - these are usually granted - will be heard in secret in the family court at Hexham magistrates on the same day.

    From then on, anyone discussing the case, including Miss Lyon, will be deemed to be in contempt of the court.


    The case adds to growing concern, highlighted in a series of articles in The Sunday Telegraph, over a huge rise in the number of babies under a year old being taken from parents. The figure was 2,000 last year, three times the number 10 years ago.

    Critics say councils are taking more babies from parents to help them meet adoption "targets".

  2. dicentra:

    Health care is a right, not a privilege.

    Right. That would make going to medical school a duty and an obligation, not a choice. Same with running a pharma, making medical equipment, and running diagnostic labs.

    Perhaps we should instate the draft to make up for the nursing shortage?

  3. Jim Howe:

    I recently wrote a letter to our local paper about this topic. In a nutshell it argued that when taxpayers pay your insurance, taxpayers own your body. Single payer is a nanny-state lovers dream and a nightmare for everyone else. Just yesterday I read a quote from John Edwards where he stated that under his plan, people would be *required* to have annual checkups and diagnostic procedures. It's really scary that most people don't even think about the deeper implications.

  4. Mesa Econoguy:

    This is offensive:

    People need and deserve universal, continuous, and accessible health coverage that is provided by a single payer and does not require full-time employment and a beneficent employer.

    Bullshit. Absolute steaming putrid bullshit.

    To everyone who supports this:

    I demand one room in your homes dedicated to me wherever you live. I don’t care where you are, I need to have some place to stay, without having a home of my own. I need at least one room everywhere, and anywhere I want to be, because shelter is right, not a privilege.

  5. Joshua Sharf:

    For the records, I do not believe that any of the studies showing long-term adverse health effects of abortion are conclusive. I do not believe abortion is a risk factor for cancer, for instance. But let's suppose, just suppose for the sake of argument that it were a risk factor for some long-term health problem. Cancer, or depression (since the left wants to include mental health coverage under any socialization.)

    Would anyone at NOW seriously entertain the idea that coverage for said cancer or depression should be denied or reduced for women choosing to have abortions? Or would we be told that such coverage is simply the cost of safeguarding a right to choose?

    Look, I'm not an abortion fanatic. But I think the *real* answer to my question, is that I shouldn't be asking it.

  6. Xmas:


    I could argue that an unplanned pregnancy that a woman wants to terminate is an unhealthy lifestyle choice that shouldn't be covered.

    I, personally, don't agree with that statement, but I could argue it.

  7. Common Reader:

    There is actually a reason for the disconnect. In one particular area, socialized medicine is better for women because in this particular area, the cheapest care happens to be the best care. Most countries with socialized healthcare cut obstretics costs by paying for the kind of care for birthing women that reduces the c-section rate and reduces subsequent maternal and infant hospitalization (homebirth, midwifery, rooming in, lactation support). Countries without socialized medicine tend to have very high c-section rates because power lies with doctors' professional associations, not with a taxpayer-funded bureaucracy, and those professional associations act to restrict or even criminalize midwifery. Countries without socialized medicine also do not have a compelling state interest in reducing formula use. Because of this, short-sighted women's groups who are already very lefty look at Norway or the Netherlands and they see a tiny c-section rate, a high breastfeeding rate, fewer maternal deaths, and a lower infant mortality rate, and they're sold on socialized medicine.