Annals of Government Medicine

Annals of Government Medicine

Featured image James Freeman documents the inevitable failure of socialized medicine, this time in the U.K.–a story we have covered many times: One of the world’s most celebrated socialized medical systems is doing what socialized medical systems do: limiting patient care. Pending work stoppages could mean that the worst is yet to come for patients of England’s National Health Service. Doctors, who are low-level government employees in the U.K., are going on »

Annals of Government Dentistry

Featured image Socialized medicine has long been a chief goal of the Democratic Party, but it is hard to understand why anyone would voluntarily entrust his family’s health care to the tender mercies of any government, even the most benign. We have tracked the United Kingdom’s experience with socialized medicine in our “Annals of Government Medicine” series, and I wrote here about the current crisis in British dentistry: nine out of ten »

The Evils of Socialized Medicine

Featured image Bernie Sanders wants to bring socialized medicine to the U.S. To be fair to Bernie, though, that is probably the position of nearly every Democrat. As a reminder of why socialized medicine (like socialism generally) is one of the worst ideas in world history, here are two stories that happen to be in the news in the U.K. today. First, former Secretary of Health Jeremy Hunt is blowing the whistle »

Annals of Government Medicine

Featured image The Telegraph reports that documents from Britain’s National Health Service, dated 2017 and 2018, indicate that the NHS contemplated denying medical care to those over 70 in case of a “serious flu epidemic.” The NHS drew up secret plans to withdraw hospital care from people in nursing homes in the event of a pandemic, The Telegraph can disclose. Confidential Whitehall documents show that the NHS plans refused treatment to those »

Annals of Government Medicine

Featured image Under socialized medicine, costs can’t be controlled through competition, so they are controlled by simply denying people care. This is why in the U.K., people will tell you the National Health Service is relatively inexpensive, but no one will tell you it is good. The London Times reports on an investigation that finds a shocking absence of primary care physicians: A national shortage of GPs has left some surgeries with »

Annals of Government Medicine

Featured image The London Times headlines: “Cancer patients face record wait.” Cancer patients are being forced to endure the worst waiting times since records began, official figures reveal. *** In total, 168,390 patients were not seen or treated within the specified times. The figure is up 24% on the same period in 2018-19. Staff shortages, lack of equipment and beds filled by patients needing social care were to blame. *** In September, »

Annals of Government Medicine

Featured image The Rolling Stones are still touring after all these years. But a week ago, they announced a postponement of their upcoming North American concert series because of a heart condition suffered by Mick Jagger. Then, only days later, it was announced that Jagger had undergone a successful transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedure. Jagger tweeted his thanks to hospital personnel: Thank you everyone for all your messages of support, I’m feeling »

Annals of Government Medicine

Featured image From the BBC, an account of 21st Century British dentistry: “We couldn’t see an NHS dentist so we pulled out our own teeth.” The NHS carried out 39 million dental treatments in England last year, but Rebecca Brearey and Nick Oldroyd, who live in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, said no local NHS dentists would treat them. “We’ve been trying for four years but no dentist will take us on. Every time »

Annals of Government Medicine

Featured image At the Telegraph, Simon Heffer reviews the condition of Britain’s National Health Service after 68 years and finds: “The NHS will simply collapse unless politicians have the courage to reform it.” According to Government figures, the £437 million spent in the first year of the NHS’s existence in 1948-49 is equivalent to £15 billion today. Yet the UK total spent on the NHS is now £116.4 billion, £101.3 billion of which is spent »

Grubered Again

Featured image I think “Grubered” should enter the modern political vocabulary along side “Borked.”  If “Borked” has come to mean “obstruct (someone, especially a candidate for public office) through systematic defamation or vilification,” then “Grubered” will mean “systematic defamation or vilification of oneself through one’s own words.” Over on TownHall Katie Pavlich has rounded several more videos where Gruber contradicts what he told the House committee earlier this week, namely, his disclaiming »

Fraud? Did You Say Fraud?

Featured image Liberals who defend Obamacare used to point to the VA as an example of how the government could provide universal health coverage just dandy. Well, that talking point has rather disappeared down an Orwellian memory hole. Another favorite talking point was that the government’s low administrative costs for Medicare proved that private insurance, with their higher overhead, were inefficient profiteering price gougers, etc. That was one reason for Obamacare’s mandate »

Annals of Government Medicine

Featured image A point that we and other conservatives have made repeatedly about the VA scandal is that no one should have been surprised. The problem with the VA isn’t the person appointed to head the organization, and it can’t be solved by a few tweaks to the statute. The fundamental problem with the VA is that it is government medicine. When health care is uncoupled from the competitive market, what happens? »

Obamacare: Who Could Have Seen This Coming?

Featured image Really, who could have seen this coming?  From today’s Wall Street Journal: ER Visits Rise Despite Health Law Health Act Isn’t Cutting Emergency Volume So Far; Government Says It’s Too Early to Draw Conclusions The only thing wrong with the main headline is its accuracy; it should of course read “ER Visits Rise Because of Health Law.”  Anyway: Early evidence suggests that emergency rooms have become busier since the Affordable »

Impeach President Romney?

Featured image Thought experiment: What would the media and the Left (but I repeat. . .) be saying if President Romney was rewriting Obamacare on his own executive authority, delaying the business mandate, etc.?  My guess is they’d be screaming for Romney’s impeachment. Turns out National Review‘s Charles Cooke was way ahead of me—well, at least a day ahead of me—with this same inquiry.  Only he fleshes it out in more detail: »

Oregon’s Obamacare Scandal: Fraud Charges?

Featured image John wrote here a few weeks ago about the fiasco of Oregon’s state-designed Obamacare exchange, and especially how his old college classmate, the current governor John Kitzhaber, walked out of a TV interview when pressed on the issue.  Maybe he walked out to avoid having to admit that the whole situation is worse than had been disclosed–that Oregon may in fact face federal fraud charges.  That’s the allegation reported today »

Pump It Up: An Update

Featured image Another update: my story last week about how the federal government funds penis pumps for elderly gentlemen brought this wonderful note: I teach high school government, and every single year during my unit on bureaucracy and health care policy I have my students use the following prompt as an in class discussion starter: “According to data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare has spent more »

Annals of Government Medicine, With a Postscript on American Liberals

Featured image If you want your health care to be run like the post office, government medicine is for you. Otherwise, not so much. From the U.K., another in a long series of sad stories about government malfeasance, arising out of an inquest into the death of a four-year-old boy: A four-year-old boy who died on a “shambolic” hospital ward was so neglected that he resorted to sucking moisture out of wet »