Thursday, September 25, 2008

PatientPower Wins Blog Contest #4

Brian Schwartz's PatientPower blog was the winner in Week 4 of the Anti-Socialized Medicine Blog Post Contest.

The winning entry was his post, "Single-Payer Health Care: Immoral and Deadly". Congratulations, Brian!

The contest host also linked to this good piece, "That's One Hard Pill to Swallow". Here are a few excerpts:
...Under a "free" healthcare system, there are no barriers to entry. Insignificant coughs, sneezes and short-term, low-grade fever are all valid reasons to see a physician. No longer is anyone held accountable financially for their inability to discern a true reason for visiting the doctor from a serious illness that requires examination. Accountability fails because no one pays attention to the pre-tax payroll deductions taken from their income. And there’s no accountability when no one has to pay anything up-front.

With a service that has no accountability by its users, there are two ultimate choices that must be made by the governing body to continue to provide "free" healthcare. The first, and probably the easiest, is to increase tax revenue to pay the physicians for the increased patient load and free presciptions. The second is to decrease the number of available doctors or, worse yet, cut the salaries of doctors on staff in a bid to keep expenses down. While increasing taxes to pay for your neighbor's expensive habit of visiting the doctor every other day for watery eyes or a splinter may be annoying, having open heart surgery by someone who just had their pay slashed 30% to meet budgetary contrains is scary. With either option, it's still one hard pill to swallow.
He is absolutely right. Whenever the government attempts to guarantee a good or service like health care as a "right", it will inevitably also seek to control it. The result will be restrictions and rationing, just as we've seen in every other country with "universal health care". The only difference is the exact form such rationing takes. Americans should learn from the examples of Canada, UK, Sweden, Germany, France, etc. and not go down this dangerous and deadly path.