The Health Care Housing Project

The looming federal government takeover of health care as proposed by most of the major presidential candidates will be far worse than anything we have seen yet from government programs.  Take this example:  In the 1960's, the federal government embarked on massive housing projects for the poor.  In the end, most of these projects became squalid failures.

With the government housing fiasco, only the poor had to live in these awful facilities.  The rest of us had to pay for them, but could continue to live in our own private homes.

Government health care will be different.  Under most of the plans being proposed, we all are going to be forced to participate.  Using the previous analogy, we all are going to have to give up our current homes and go live in government housing, or least the health care equivalent of these projects.

Think I am exaggerating

One such case was Debbie Hirst's. Her breast cancer had metastasized, and the health service would not provide her with Avastin,
a drug that is widely used in the United States and Europe to keep such
cancers at bay. So, with her oncologist's support, she decided last
year to try to pay the $120,000 cost herself, while continuing with the
rest of her publicly financed treatment.

By December, she had
raised $20,000 and was preparing to sell her house to raise more. But
then the government, which had tacitly allowed such arrangements
before, put its foot down. Mrs. Hirst heard the news from her doctor.
"He looked at me and said: "˜I'm so sorry, Debbie. I've had my wrists
slapped from the people upstairs, and I can no longer offer you that
service,' " Mrs. Hirst said in an interview...

Officials said that allowing Mrs. Hirst and others like her to pay
for extra drugs to supplement government care would violate the
philosophy of the health service by giving richer patients an unfair
advantage over poorer ones.

Patients "cannot, in one episode
of treatment, be treated on the N.H.S. and then allowed, as part of the
same episode and the same treatment, to pay money for more drugs," the
health secretary, Alan Johnson, told Parliament.

Here is the poll question I would still love to see asked:

Would you support a system of
government-run universal health care that guaranteed health care
access for all Americans, but would result in you personally getting
inferior care than you get today in terms of longer wait times, more
limited doctor choices, and with a higher probabilities of the
government denying you certain procedures or medicines you have
access to today.


  1. BlacquesJacquesShellacques:

    C'mon you Americans, take the plunge. You've been flirting with the socialism the rest of us are abandoning as fast as we can stifle our morons.

    Jump in with your usual enthusiasm, the water is great.

    You guys are too fat, rich and happy anyway, you need to be brought down a notch or two and 'universal health care' will do that just fine. Osama wasted his time with the WTC, he shoulda subsidized Hillary and Obama - way more destructive.

  2. Scott:

    Coyote, I have a list of various socialized healthcare nightmares compiled from Moonbattery posts. Have a gander:

    And while we're at it, you might have heard of this guy:

  3. tribal elder:

    Will the Post Office become the new walk-in clinic ?

    Imagine a line of Americans in hospital gowns, some missing ties, holding specimen cups and paperwork, in front of flashing sign "Wait here for next doctor".

    Monica Lewinsky's ex-boyfriend's wife probably knows which federal warehouse already has the signs. They're bilingual.

  4. Ian Furst:

    Debbie Hirst's case raises and interesting dilemma -- who is the relationship between; the doctor and patient or the doctor/patient and insurance provider (whether socialized or private). I deal exlcusively with the wait time problem Wait Times Blog and can only say that Canada has it's own issues with access to family doctors and basic care. In the end it will always come down to cost vs access. On our part we are trying to improve the way primary care is delivered so that it is more efficient. If the same efficiencies are applied in the current US systems would it not reduce costs? Is it ok to allow some wait times to increase to cut costs?

  5. Steve:

    This is really more of a general comment than a comment supporting "nationalized" health care.

    What we have now is broken. Other countries seem to be doing a better job than we are. Is it possible we can learn something from them? Our existing health care cost structure is like a tax that is choking the economy and makes us less competitive. Competition is not and has not done anything to help address this because the market for health care is not a competitive is an oligopoly market.

    Look at Bush's genius Medicare drug benefit program where the program ends up paying more for drugs than private companies, veterans (VA), medicaid, and even the health insurance for government employees. All in the name of "competition" saving the day. Guess what? It isn't working.

    Leaving this problem to industry to solve hasn't worked for 50 years.

    I am the last person in the world to say we need nationalized health care, but we do need to do something radical and we need to do it now. Does anyone have any suggestions other than a regulated approach?

  6. DG:

    Steve said: "I am the last person in the world to say we need nationalized health care, but we do need to do something radical and we need to do it now. Does anyone have any suggestions other than a regulated approach?"

    Yes. I suggest a totally unregulated approach. End all health care regulation in this country and let the chips fall as they may. Fire all of the bureaucrats and if they refuse, deport them to the nationalized health care paradise of their choice. I have confidence in the economic theory, both that of market and gift economies, that the aggregate utility will be greater than it is now in our current hybrid system o'crap.

    However, if I am wrong, THEN we can apply our newly gained empirical knowledge to properly address the problem, either through the market or minimal regulation.

  7. ColoComment:

    Let the market work:

    Detach health insurance from employment, and/or level the pre-tax/post-tax playing field between employer-subsidized and individually-purchased coverage, and then let the consumer purchase the coverage that fits his needs, wants and budget. That is, get rid of the extravagant 50-state mandates for everything from in vitro fert. (I'm a 62-yr. old female, why should I have to pay for that?) to acupuncture, and let me buy what I want & can afford. Or, not buy, if that's my choice. I'm using a HSA high-deductible account and coverage, and it's a great incentive to make my life-style a healthy one - if I get sick, it's MY money that I spend on basic health care.

    Put $1.00 (or some other small sum) of each annual premium towards a state-administered fund for those who are truly indigent to access health services, but those funds should be spent for basic health care, NOT elective services, and there should be strict means testing to participate. If you choose to go without coverage that you can otherwise afford, then when you get sick, it's your problem not mine: Sell your flat screen TV, your second car, and forgo that travel vacation. Learn responsibility. TAKE responsibility.

  8. BlacquesJacquesShellacques:

    "Our existing health care cost structure is like a tax that is choking the economy and makes us less competitive."

    The structure needs one, and only one, fix: make deductible all payments to buy medical insurance. Right now you have the lunatic idea that an employer can deduct an insurance premium for an employee, but the employee can't if he pays the premium directly.

    Ah, the sweet, sweet logic of socialism.