Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Universal health care; Don't go there

Socialized health care is probably inevitable in the United States, as public opinion is pulling even Republicans down that insidious path -- another bad idea whose time has come. Never mind that we already have the best health care in the world, or that empirical evidence shows that socialized health care doesn't work.

The latest evidence is reported in the Daily Mail of London, where patients are left "waiting for days in casualty [what American's call "emergency," I assume] or being kept on trolleys in corridors."

Does this sound like something we want to model our health care system after?

But not to worry, the English government has found a . . . well . . . government solution to the problem: a simple decree that no patient shall be made to wait more than four hours before receiving treatment.

As "solutions" go, I'd say this isn't one. How would you feel about rushing your son or daughter to the emergency ward only to have to wait around for four hours before getting the care they need?

But wait, there's more. How do English hospitals manage to comply with the four-hour-maximum-wait decree?
Seriously ill patients are being kept in ambulances outside hospitals for hours so NHS trusts do not miss Government targets.

Thousands of people a year are having to wait outside accident and emergency departments because trusts will not let them in until they can treat them within four hours, in line with a Labour pledge.

Problem solved!

Except for the fact that patients are waiting just as long for treatment, and now the ambulances are not available to respond to other emergencies.

When will we acknowledge that government is inherently inept? With little incentive to do things well or efficiently, why should we expect anything but poor performance?

How many things can you name that government is really good at? Now ask yourself why you'd want to put something as important as your family's health in the hands of that government.

[via QandO]

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