May 8, 2021

Why Socialized Medicine Doesn’t Work

Young Teenage Mother Woes

“Universal Health Care.” It all sounds great, doesn’t it?  It has this way of rolling off the tongue.

President Obama has put a placeholder in his budget for socialized medicine.  He wants to make sure that everyone has coverage, and though he doesn’t know exactly what form it will take, he’s setting aside money for it.  Well, he set aside money for the start of it in the stimulus package he rushed through Congress so fast that no one had a chance to read it… but I digress.

The problem is that socialized medicine doesn’t work.


How many jobs are out there that pay as well as a doctor or nurse?  There aren’t many.

People always get sick, they don’t want to feel pain, and they want an answer.  So, doctors take a lot of classes, amass huge chunks of debt, and then make wages that only sports stars and CEOs beat.  Some of them actually care for people, some of them do it for the money.

The point is, America’s health care system thrives on supply and demand.  You pay more for more rare treatments, and people have to take more classes to administer them.

When the government takes over the health care system, and it starts finding out that things cost more than they budgeted for them, what do you think government will do?

  1. Increase taxes, so that it can afford to pay doctors more
  2. Force the doctors to take less money so that the government can afford it
  3. All of the above

If you answered 3 you get a gold star.

Now the doctor, who has high school bills, will not be able to pay them off as fast.  You’ll lose the whole segment of doctors that are in it mostly for the money, and that means that there’ll be fewer doctors.

Personal Experience

England has socialized medicine, and in 1987 my family and I got to see it first hand.  My brother was riding down the street on his bicycle when he hit a curb and flipped over the handle bars.  His entire face was bloody, and we headed off for the emergency room—although there wasn’t one.

Right, we were in one of the bigger cities of England and we had to drive almost an hour to get to an Urgent Care.  Once there, we waited another 3 hours to be seen by a doctor.  And he didn’t do much about it.

Doctors in Britain have their pay capped—unless they are at one of the expensive hospitals that only the rich can afford.  They’re understaffed, and though they care more about people (they have to because they aren’t paid to care), they are stretched thin.

There’s no way to do it “right”

When any patient is told that they can go to hospital X and get free treatment (or really cheap treatment) or they can go to hospital Y and pay for their treatment, where do you think the majority is going to go?

This has the effect of putting an overwhelming burden on a hospital that cannot raise rates, and having less at the more expensive hospital (thus driving the price further up) because of lack of clients.

Just last week I was talking with my sister-in-law who is a nurse, and their children’s hospital is behind millions of dollars because of Medicaid  payments from the state haven’t come in—the state is behind.  They are looking for excuses to lay people off, and wondering how they will survive.

This will be the case for many more hospitals if we switch to health care.  It’ll be exactly the opposite of what Pres. Obama promises.  Instead of free and accessible health care, we’ll be driving hours to get to the nearest place where we can be waited on by the few people who care enough to help people regardless of the cap on their wages.

And don’t even get me going about how the government will regulate what kind and if you’ll get treatment…

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14 thoughts on “Why Socialized Medicine Doesn’t Work

  1. Universal health care scares the daylights out of me…and you’re so right! It sounds soooo great when you just hear the term “universal health care,” but when you get down to what has to happen to make it a reality, it’s downright bad!!

    Lois Lane IIs last blog post..Random facts via pictures

  2. @Rachel: I thought you wanted my opinion on all of this stuff? It really is a lot that our new President is trying to do, the only hope is to bring these things to light and have people stand up against them. Are you saying that you need a break?

  3. NO NO NO! I don’t need a break! I was kidding about all the posts – it’s the subject matter that makes me have an ulcer!

    This man, this president of ours… I just have no words. I hope the people are happy, because they are definitely getting change!

    Rachels last blog post..Apathy, Folgers, and a Prayer Request

  4. That’s what they mean by redistribution of wealth. Or health. Those who don’t have any insurance now will get it for free, and that drives the quality down for everyone. And once you go down that route, it’ll be almost impossible to back out it.

  5. wow talk about Henny Penny and the sky is falling! And people have accused Obama of instilling fear!

    Part of the reason why health care costs are so high right now is directly due to the vast number of uninsured people in this country. Our health insurance ends up paying for us and the non/under insured. You fail to make any mention of that in your “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” post.

    Mass. now requires all people in the state to be insured. They haven’t fallen into a hole of despair, so it’s possible. I’d expect you to be advocating for the poor and downtroden so that they can have access to quality health care. Yet another contriction, I suppose.

    Musicguys last blog post..Happy Darwin Day!

  6. @Musicguy: There’s actually three different issues here, so I’ll address them separately.
    First, your explanation for why the health care costs in this country are “so high” shows that you’ve boiled down a very complex figure into one area that you wish to argue. If you were to examine why things cost what they do, you would find that the price of health care does take into account paying for people that are not/under insured (which comes from the state, medicare, etc) but there are also malpractice insurance (high because of the government payouts, especially in the OBGYN realm), because of complying with regulations and regulatory bodies (some regulations being what is definitely needed, others just wasteful in terms of time, forms and resources), and the fact that we don’t deal with doctors directly, but through an insurance body.
    My post wasn’t to talk about all of these, just as your comment didn’t refer to all of these, my point was to illustrate that if you create a situation where the government takes control of the industry (which is inevitable if the government enters as a player in the system), then eventually there will be cuts in care or taxes raised. I was addressing a single, high level concept, not attempting to propose a solution.
    Second, Mass. is not a good state to compare against– since they have only recently enacted this legislation and have yet to have to perform the cuts that I forecast will happen. Again, that’s why I contrasted to a first hand account in a foreign country which has the system that I’m speaking to. Look at the health care situations in Japan and Europe, then come back to me with your argument.
    Third, I’m not opposed to helping the sick, poor and downtrodden, but I am against any system that encourages people to stay that way. The Bible says “He who shall not work, shall not eat” and the problem with government solutions is that the hand outs (for the most part) encourage people to stay on the public dole. Why should anyone find a job when, if they do, they’re unemployment checks dry up, they have to pay for health care, food, etc. and if they don’t find a job the government will give it to them for free? Where’s the incentive there to better themselves?
    Plus, I don’t believe it’s the government’s business to be taking care of the poor– I mean, how long has it been since the War on Poverty and we still have poor around us. Jesus said the poor will always be with us. Let charities and churches care for the poor, not the government.

  7. @MInTheGap

    First of all I’d like to point out that quoting the bible is ridiculous when it comes to politics. The bible says “Those that don’t work, don’t eat”, but the people that wrote the bible thousands of years ago didn’t predict the recession that we are in right now. I say this because many people want to work, but have been laid off, and can’t find a suitable job. therefore it is not there fault that they cant pay for health care (or as the bible puts it “eat”). It makes me sad that you honestly feel that people deserve to die if they can’t afford health care. Also putting religion in your argument is pointless anyways because religion isn’t supposed to be intertwined in politics. And yes i know what you’re thinking; “It says In God We Trust on our money!” But, what people fail to realize is that our paper currency came about much after our founding fathers (many of which despised religion in itself, with quotes such as “This would be the best of all possible worlds if religion weren’t in it”-TJ). Jesus(If he even existed) may have said “The poor will always be poor” but he also widely championed the poor. he didn’t allow them to die if their insurance company didn’t cover a certain cancer treatment. Also, saying that the churches should take care of the poor is laughable. How could churches take care of the poor? the answer is the tithe, which is essentially a church instituted tax. So if your worried about the govt. taxing us to pay for the poor, then the church taxing us to pay for the poor is almost the same thing. Money has to be taken from us somehow to pay for the poor, or we could just let them die like we are doing now, and I doubt anyone wants to be apart of a system that allows people to die… except Hitler.

    Religion aside, you also mentioned that you don’t think it is the governments duty to protect the poor… I think I’m definitely going to have to disagree with you, seeing that (if you look back into ancient history) governments were created in the first place solely to protect its people.

    You (and basically everyone that disagrees with universal health care) also mentioned that you don’t feel that health care will be quality if the government runs it, basically because there is no profit motive. but, what people fail to realize is that we have many socialized institutions in our OWN government that have been extremely successful. Do you know anyone that wants to be, is, or was a police officer? You probably do, and guess what? The police force is socialized, and millions upon millions of people are competing to become police officers. Other socialized groups include, firefighters, postal service, etc. You also hint that doctors would be underpaid if the government were to run our health care. but the truth is, they really wouldn’t be. Your average family doctor in England lives in a $1,000,000 home, has a nice car, flat screen TV’s etc. I mean shit I would be extremely happy with that. If your average family doctor can live in a $1,000,000 home, imagine what i heart surgeon would make! Also lack of profit motive can be pretty easily fixed. In Britain, there is a pretty new system that pays more to doctors that do the most good. For example, if a doctor gets a lot of people to stop smoking, he gets paid more. If that isn’t profit motive, I don’t know what is. You also mentioned that your relative waited three hours in the doctors office once, and all I have to say is that I’ve waited three hours under America’s “top notch” health care system plenty of times.

    About the whole “drowning in taxes thing” that everyone is worried about; Yes, taxes will be pretty high, but you have to realize that it will no longer cost up to $60,000 to reattach a finger, or cost hundreds to thousands of dollars for life saving medication. Altough a decent amount of money will be paid in taxes, it will be spread out evenly. Unlike that capitalistic health care system that is long periods of no spending, always with the fear that someone might get cancer, or AID’s, or anything of that nature that could put a family on the streets, or even cause death.

    The reason people abide by the Capitalistic health care system (and this is just my opinion) it makes us feel patriotic, because we are following the same system as our founding fathers. What people don’t realize is that members of congress and even George Bush (while he was president) were bribed by the health care companies, basically to advocate this system. Some congress men even left congress and went to the health industry after certain bills were past. This means that they got legislation past that would allow them to be greedy and make profit, then they quit there government jobs so they could go make that profit, while they were supposed to be benefiting the people all along.

    1. This is way too long for me to comment here, and you bring up too many issues in one comment to be clear about anything. I’ll attempt to break out salient points in future posts and reference this comment.

  8. @MInTheGap

    I forgot to add something in my last post:

    You made a HUGE contradiction. First you implied that the public option would be inefficient. Then you implied that the public option would be SO efficient that it would drive out all the other competition.

    1. Perhaps I missed the HUGE contradiction. I see nowhere in this post where I implied that the government system would be so efficient as to drive out other competition. I did make the statement that private hospitals would not be able to compete with free hospitals, so that would drive them out of business (or make them fewer) and I did mention longer lines and having to drive to find places that were free…

  9. @Lois Lane II

    Why would universal health care scare you? I don’t really think health care can possibly get any worse that it is now. Little babies dieing painful deaths because their mommy’s insurance found a pre-existing condition? That is freaking devastating. You just don’t realized how bad it is because our health care system hasn’t killed anyone close to you yet, and if it ever did you would quit advocating it.

  10. How do you not see the contradiction? You said that government run systems always prevail over private companies (which would obviously mean that they are doing things better). But then you said that government run companies have huge lines and stuff.

    P.S. I re-read my post and realized that some people might misunderstand my Hitler statement. I don’t mean that people who disagree with me are like Hitler (basically all of my friends in school disagree with me), I just mean that I don’t think people realize how much damage our current health care system is doing. Just trying to clear that up before I get accused of anything rash.

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