Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Health Care - Be Careful What You Ask For

Walter Williams has a piece out on health care info from other countries that have socialized medicine: Affordable Health Care

Want to Obamatize Health Care? Think again.
Think our health care is totally privatized? 50% of all health care expenditures are made by the government.

Most things in life are a series of trade-offs, not magical solutions.

Health Care is such an example: there is no magical solution. We need to make cost-benefit decisions about our own health care, because there are precious resources involved - the doctor's time, new medicines, hospital rooms, etc.

Because there are precious resources involved, we cannot screw up the supply-and-demand situation: too much demand drives up prices. Too little supply drives up prices and increases wait times. There's no way around that, as Williams shows in his stats...


The Vancouver, British Columbia-based Fraser Institute's annual publication, "Waiting Your Turn," reports that Canada's median waiting times from a patient's referral by a general practitioner to treatment by a specialist, depending on the procedure, averages from five to 40 weeks. The wait for diagnostics, such as MRI or CT, ranges between four and 28 weeks.

According to Michael Tanner's "The Grass Is Not Always Greener," in Cato Institute's Policy Analysis (March 18, 2008), the Mayo Clinic treats more than 7,000 foreign patients a year, the Cleveland Clinic 5,000, Johns Hopkins Hospital treats 6,000, and one out of three Canadian physicians send a patient to the U.S. for treatment each year.

Currently, 750,000 Brits are awaiting hospital admission.

Mrs. Easton says, "more than 70,000 Britons -- known as 'health tourists' -- have gone as far as India, Malaysia and South Africa for major operations. This figure is expected to rise to almost 200,000 by the end of the decade."

We have health care problems in the U.S. but it's not because ours is a free market system of health care delivery. Well over 50 percent of all health care expenditures are made by government. Where government spends, government regulates. It's truly amazing that Americans who are dissatisfied with the current level of socialized medicine in the U.S. are asking for more of what created the problem in the first place. Anyone thinking that an American version of socialized health care will differ from that found in Canada, Britain, Sweden, France and elsewhere are whistling Dixie.

If you like this article, click the buzz button below.

No comments: