Health Care

Down Memory Lane: Remember When Liberals Said the VA Was Proof that Socialism Works?

Featured image At the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto pulls together liberals’ endorsements of Veterans Administration health care. It goes beyond just claiming that VA medicine was top notch; liberals often claimed that the supposed success of the VA is proof that government is superior to the private sector. Taranto titles his post “Socialist Supermodel.” You should read it all, but here are a few highlights: [I]n January 2006, … former Enron »

The Pipes proviso: The VA angle

Featured image A reader writes in response to the congressional testimony of Sally Pipes linked in “The Pipes proviso”: As a former medicine resident and current cardiology fellow, I have spent more time working at various VA hospitals than all but those courageous physicians who make a career of working within its bureaucracy and unions. (As the joke goes, what’s the difference between a bullet and a VA nurse? You can fire »

The Pipes proviso

Featured image When our oldest daughter was in second grade her best friend was a classmate who was the daughter of an ophthalmologist from Canada. He devoted much of his practice to treating Medicaid patients at the county hospital. The family moved to Ottawa at the end of the school year and we traveled to visit them. We had lunch at a deli near the doctor’s office, close by the Parliament building. »

How To Fix Health Care

Featured image In my Forbes.com column this week, I suggest that the field is wide open for a leader of imagination to employ a back-to-basics approach, explaining to Americans how markets are superior to centralized government control especially in health care.  I suspect Americans are much more amenable to this message than Beltway Republicans know.  They’ve been drinking the DC Kool Aid for too long to perceive this. Today’s article in the »

Socialize the Patients First, the Doctors Later

Featured image With Obamacare shaping up as a public policy disaster that is the equivalent of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the Hindenburg, the Bay of Pigs, and Desert One combined, perhaps we should go back and take in Ronald Reagan’s warning about this back in 1961.  Reagan said that socializing health care would require socializing the patients, and voila, we have Obamacare canceling insurance plans previously agreed to between consenting adults. But »

Competitive Medicine Works

Featured image Some years ago, a British filmmaker was visiting us, and we started talking about health care. He acknowledged that the National Health Service is pretty bad, but said that he favors socialized medicine because health care is so important. That’s right, I responded, and because health care is so important, it is vital that we use our best system on it. Our best system is free enterprise. The worst system »

Nothing Is Free

Featured image One of the high points of Mitt Romney’s primary campaign was when he answered a Democratic voter who said: “So you’re all for like, ‘yay, freedom,’ and all this stuff. And ‘yay, like pursuit of happiness.’ You know what would make me happy? Free birth control.” Romney’s answer, which we posted in video form here, included: “You want free stuff? Vote for the other guy.” The new Romney ad that »

E.J. Dionne never disappoints

Featured image E.J. Dionne delivers two pieces of hack sophistry for the price of one in his latest column. One of them is foolish; the other dishonest. The foolish attack is his claim that if you “hate” Obamacare, you “must” return any rebate check you receive from an insurance company as a result of that Act. This, Dionne claims, is “just common sense.” If you believe in free enterprise, then the government »

CastroCare in the time of cholera

Featured image Abe Greenwald cites a report from the Miami Herald that “the first cholera outbreak in Cuba in a century has left at least 15 dead and sent hundreds to hospitals all but sealed off by security agents bent on keeping a lid on the news.” CastroCare is, Greenwald reminds us, Michael Moore’s model heathcare system. Cholera, which was supposed to have been wiped out in Cuba around 1900, is only »

Multiple Catholic dioceses and groups sue for relief from government’s oppressive contraception mandate

Featured image Today, as Scott Johnson noted in an earlier post, multiple Catholic Dioceses and organizations filed lawsuits in federal courts around the country challenging the Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate requiring religious organizations to provide coverage in their health care plans for drugs (contraceptives, including some abortion-inducing drugs) and procedures (sterilization) that are in direct conflict with their religious beliefs. Twelve Archdioceses or Dioceses are participating, each in a »

The Day the Supreme Court Laughed at Liberalism

Featured image One of the historical judgments about the Supreme Court striking down many of FDR’s early New Deal measures—especially the National Recovery Act and the Agricultural Adjustment Act (in an opinion written by a Justice named Roberts!)—is that these Court rulings actually helped FDR because it gave him a quick escape hatch from semi-socialist economic policies that had no hope of working.  At the time the Court struck down the NRA »

The Doctor Is In!

Featured image We are just back from a fun vacation in California. We had a great time in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and parts in between. If I have time I will comment on my impressions of the Golden (but bankrupt) State. For now, here is a photo that I took in a rather scruffy part of Venice. If you have ever wondered how much medicine there is in medicinal marijuana, »

Remy Explains Insurance Mandates

Featured image Our pal Remy Munasifi explains the stupidity of how existing government mandates needlessly drive up the cost of health insurance.  Video is about 2:30 long: »

Is Socialized Medicine Unconstitutional?

Featured image Some liberals have comforted themselves with the idea that if Obamacare is ruled unconstitutional, it may speed the adoption of the liberals’ real goal, socialized medicine, on the theory that “single payer” will then be the only alternative to the status quo. Such thinking is understandable, as it has generally been assumed that whether or not socialized medicine is a good idea, if Congress were to adopt it, it would »

Annals of Government Medicine

Featured image The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on Obamacare today, which makes the timing ideal to consider this news story from the cradle of socialized medicine, the United Kingdom. The article is titled “Elderly dying due to ‘despicable age discrimination in NHS.’” Thousands of elderly people are dying unnecessarily early because “despicable” age discrimination in the NHS is denying them treatment for cancer, a charity has warned. A lack of treatment »

Annals of Government Medicine

Featured image Nature dictates that young people incur little in the way of medical expense, on the average, while old people incur a great deal. Thus every government scheme that strives to supplant the obvious, fair alternative–everyone pays for his own medical care, with the aid of whatever insurance he may have purchased–attempts to do two things: 1) force young people to contribute far beyond their own medical costs, and 2) limit »

When It Comes to Benefits, Give Government the Boot

Featured image The Senate defeated the Blunt amendment today on a 51-48 vote that was almost entirely along party lines. Democrats Joe Manchin, Bob Casey and Ben Nelson voted for the amendment–Manchin and Casey must face the voters in November–and Republican Olympia Snowe, having announced that she will not seek re-election in the fall, felt free to vote with the Democrats. As usual, the Democrats characterized the issue posed by the amendment »