Saturday, April 5, 2008

Another Empty Headed Idea From NHS In The UK

For years the Government in the UK has been trying to control the the spiraling costs of health care inherent with any "free" government service. Once again like a third rate Doctor they chose to try to treat the symptom rather than the underlying disease, making the patient sicker over the long run. Imagine how long your going to have to wait to pick up your prescription at the pharmacy counter because the chemist is to busy looking at the sore throats and runny noses of the line of people going from the pharmacy counter out the door and down the street. Then because the chemist is to busy with patients the MP's will have the idea to hire Chemist assistance to do the real Chemists job. and of course they will have to hire more clerical people to get all the paperwork done, which will require a whole new layer of management. Or maybe creating a completely new Ministry is in order, perhaps we could call it the ministry of silly chemistry. They will need their own building....................

Chemists to relieve pressure on doctors

High-street chemists are to become “healthy living centres” providing a range of services, under plans outlined in a White Paper (David Rose writes). The NHS could save £3.5 billion in a decade if pharmacists, rather than doctors, diagnosed and treated minor illnesses such as colds, ministers believe.

Pharmacists could also provide flu vaccinations and tests for sexually transmitted infections, as well as health advice. GPs spend the equivalent of an hour a day dealing with minor ailments, equivalent to 57 million consultations a year. Chemists are expected to take care of half of these cases within three years.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Shouldn't It Be Every Citizen's Right To Be On A 2 Year Waiting List

Canadian health wellfare coming apart at the seems.

A cynic might characterize Canada’s medicare system as the universal, free, democratic and egalitarian access to a two-year waiting list. You jump the queue only if you have the bucks and the referral to jump over the 49th, unless a life-threatening emergency sends you to the OR. America’s health care system, on the other hand is discriminatory and expensive, but it offers immediate access to the best medical treatment in the world.

In both cases timely care for everyone is an elusive goal.

In any event Michael Moore’s take on Canada is superficial, euphoric and unrealistic. New technology, abuse and the insatiable demands of an ever expanding clientele of elderly relatives sponsored by Third World immigrants is breaking the bank. It has been calculated that each sponsored immigrant in that age group will cost the Australian medical system $250,000. Since roughly 75% of Canadian immigrants and refugees, drawn from largely “non-traditional” sources, in fact consist of their unskilled dependent children, a terrifying portrait of the toll that Canadian immigration policy is taking on medicare could no doubt be drawn.

A recent article featured in the London Free Press (Thursday, March 13, 2008 “Hospitals forecast deficits”) recognized population growth as one principal reason why the Canadian health system was on the brink of deficit financing, with half of Ontario’s hospitals facing service cuts to meet the legal requirement for a balanced budget. Seventy percent of Canada’s population growth is driven by immigration.

It was economist Milton Friedman who commented a decade ago that “It’s just obvious that you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.” As Robert Rector explained, to be properly understood, Friedman’s observation should be viewed as applicable to the entire redistributive system of benefits, subsidies and services that lower income groups disproportionately enjoy at the expense of higher income groups.

Unfortunately, this superstructure of benefits and services rests not only on an economic foundation but a cultural one as well. A people that is very much alike is more inclined to trust one another, and this trust translates into a willingness to vote for redistributive policies. But we are no longer a mostly ethnically homogeneous society with a shared respect for institutions and a shared sense of civic obligation. When a significant portion of the population is from another hemisphere, another culture or even another generation with different values, the welfare state is perceived as an unlocked candy store with services to be exploited to the maximum.

Redistributive policies like medicare are inversely correlated to cultural diversity. Rather than confront this reality, Canadian leftists demand yet more financial IV injections into the morbid body of the health care system. They refuse to acknowledge that even the Swedish Social Democrats, their role models, were forced to discover the “Laffer curve”. That is, push the tax rate up beyond a certain level and tax revenues fall in response. Tax payers will not keep working and producing if they can’t keep enough of their income. There are limits to what can be funded.

The Canadian model is not sustainable. It works only if there is enough public money to fund it and not enough patients with doctors to help them abuse it.

Those days are gone forever.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Toast. To The Acompishments Of Socialized Medicine

Thought this article quite interesting reflecting just how far down an industry can sink after it is Nationalized. Of particular interest to me are the "Grubby Drunken Nurses" and the lack of hand washing in a hospital.

Tory peer vindicated after Norovirus shuts three wards at 'grubby' hospital he attacked

By OLINKA KOSTER - More by this author » Last updated at 21:38pm on 11th March 2008

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Lord Mancroft: The peer, who says he is lucky to have left the Royal United hospital alive, feels he might have 'lifted the lid on something'

When a Tory peer launched a stinging attack on the "grubby and drunken" nurses he encountered in the NHS, the hospital employing them defended them to the hilt.

It demanded evidence of Lord Mancroft's damning allegations and still says it has found not a shred of truth in his complaints.

But yesterday it had to defend its standards once more as it dealt with its third disease outbreak in five months.

Another bout of the norovirus - the winter vomiting bug - has forced three wards to close at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

Last November, the bug forced two wards to close, and a second bout last month shut nine wards.

The highly infectious virus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, spreads through closed communities rapidly if patients and staff fail to wash their hands.

Last month, Lord Mancroft, the 50-year-old vice-chairman of the Countryside Alliance, spoke of how appalled he had been by the "filthy" state of the wards at the Royal United, during his treatment there for gastroenteritis.

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Virus alert: The Royal United Hospital in Bath has been forced to close three wards as it has been hit by its third norovirus outbreak in five months

He said he was dismayed at the heartless attitude of "lazy and promiscuous" staff and that apart from "one or two wonderful ones" the nurses were "mostly grubby with dirty fingernails and hair".

In a Lords debate on patient care, he said: "It is a miracle that I am still alive. The wards are filthy.

"The wards, the tables, the beds and the bathrooms were not cleaned."

The peer, who hunts with Prince Charles, said a splash of blood in the bathroom and a piece of dirty cotton wool under a neighbouring bed were there for the entire seven days he was in hospital.

The Royal United said staff were left "extremely distressed and upset" by the peer's account, in which he said he heard a nurse say: "I really shouldn't be here because I had so much to drink last night and I feel like I'm going to be sick."

The Royal United is one of at least 40 hospital trusts to be hit by the norovirus this year.

Relatives ringing the hospital or visiting its website have been told that visiting is banned unless strictly necessary, and reminded to wash their hands at all times.

Last night, a spokesman for the hospital, Helen Robinson-Gordon, said: "Norovirus is extremely prevalent in the community at the moment and other hospitals have been affected by it.

"Of course it is linked to hygiene and cleanliness in that we should all have clean hands at all times but it is coming into the hospital from the community.

"Because it is so highly infectious, once it is here it passes from person to person very easily.

"We recently had two spot checks at the hospital for cleanliness and passed both with flying colours.

"We still have no factual basis for Lord Mancroft's evidence whatsoever. We have asked him for a meeting which he has agreed to but we are still awaiting a date from him."

Lord Mancroft said last night: "I am not the person to comment on this because I am the amateur - it is up to them to sort themselves out.

"But I can say that subsequent to speaking out I have had the biggest postbag I have ever had since I have been in the House of Lords.

"Quite a lot of those letters are relating similar stories in the same hospital. Some relate to other hospitals.

"I suspect I have inadvertently uncovered or lifted the lid on something."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Health Care Cons

Below is an excellent article on the down side of socialized medicine from an economists point of view.

by Sheldon Richman

Sheldon Richman is the editor of The Freeman and "In brief," and a contributor to The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. TGIF appears Fridays. Comments welcome.

The economist Joan Robinson (1903-1983) wrote, "The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists."

A better reason to study economics is to avoid being deceived by politicians; they are the far greater threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When you consider that the typical political campaign is little more than a series of confidence games, understanding basic economics is a matter of survival. Without such an understanding one is an easy mark.

Case in point: How would one see through the flimflam served up as health-care policy without a working knowledge of economic principles? When politicians promise "universal and affordable" medical care and insurance, how else are we to know that those promises can't be kept. Indeed, attempting to keep them would gravely damage our medical care (even more), our prosperity, our liberty.

What we call medical care/insurance is a bundle of goods and services that have to be produced. They aren't found superabundant in nature. Production of those things entails real opportunity costs in terms of resources (labor, intellectual capital, machinery, and more, which could be used in alternative ways. The people engaged in this production are (so far) free to do other things if they choose. They can't be compelled to practice medicine, run hospitals, invent medicines, or offer insurance policies. This sobering thought should be kept in mind when analyzing politicians' plans for medical "reform." Any proposal that would drive medical service providers and resources into other lines of work could hardly be said to be in the general interest.

However, one group can be compelled to participate in a government plan: the American people in their dual capacities as taxpayers and consumers of medical services. This is the key to any political "solution." That's why Hillary Clinton insists against Barack Obama that any program must be mandatory. Given the premises both candidates share, Clinton has logic on her side. Without compulsion, any government program must fail even on its own terms. You might think that's a good argument against government programs, but politicians and most other people don't believe physical force perpetrated by government is objectionable. Go figure.


Candidates who promise universal and affordable medical care don't really believe they can lower the true costs of the relevant goods and services. Instead, their plans contain methods, overt and covert, to shift some people's expenses to others. The overall price tag won't shrink -- indeed, it can be expected to grow -- but the money price to selected individuals would diminish. (Non monetary costs, such as waiting times, would increase.)

The problem for those who promise universal and affordable health care is that medically we are not all created equal. Because of genetics and lifestyle, some people are more likely to get sick than others, and some people are already sick. This upsets the politicians' plans, and they must do something about it. Clinton declares, "I want to stop the health-insurance companies from discriminating against people because they're sick."

One doesn't know whether to laugh or cry at a statement like that. Is it ignorance, stupidity, or demagoguery? Real insurance lets people hedge against financial ruin by pooling their risk of misfortune with others. For reasons that shouldn't need explaining, people who present a low risk for whatever is being insured against would reasonably be charged less for coverage than people who present a high risk. For one thing, low-risk customers would be unwilling to pay premiums that overstated their perceived risk. I recall reading that the first fire-insurance company, founded by Benjamin Franklin, set premiums according to how fire-resistant a building was. Was that a reasonable or outrageous thing to do?

The depth of the lack of understanding about insurance is on stark display whenever someone demands that the terms of coverage for a sick person be the same as those for a healthy person. Risk grows out of uncertainty. But if someone is already sick, there is no uncertainty about his need for medical care. "Insurance" in this case would not be real insurance but rather a subsidy provided by others or prepayment for future expenses.

To be actuarially sound, insurance must discriminate on the basis of risk. If the government bars insurers from such price-discrimination, they really wouldn't be in the insurance business at all. It would be more accurate to call their activity a forced subsidy. We should at least call a thing what it is.

Nondiscrimination Principle

Where would the Clinton principle of nondiscrimination lead if the government seriously enforced it? If an "insurer" is allowed to charge only one price regardless of risk, it would have to set the price high in order to be able to cover the riskiest customers. But that would not honor the politicians' promise of affordable coverage. Moreover, young, healthy people would opt out, preferring to spend their money otherwise or to save it in order to self-insure. So the government could not let this stand. To "fix" things, it would compel everyone to participate and force the taxpayers to subsidize low-income people.

Even with subsidies the politicians wouldn't let insurers charge market prices for long because this would anger voters and break the budget. So inevitably, the Clinton principle must lead to price controls.

We know what price ceilings bring: shortages. Why would a company that cannot charge enough to cover its costs and earn a competitive profit continue in business? Thus the principle of nondiscrimination combined with price controls would inevitably dry up the supply of private "insurance." At that point, the politicians would declare that the "free market" failed and that government must step in to be the sole health insurer. Then government could have full control over who gets what kind of medical attention. It would be in the triage business, a terrifying prospect for sure. It would also dictate prices to doctors, hospitals, and drug companies, speeding up the exodus from that profession and those industries. As supply withered and demand inflated (because of the illusion of low prices), government would impose more and more draconian controls.

There's a lesson here. When the government seeks to enforce a counterfeit right -- such as the "right" to medical care -- no expansion of freedom results. Instead, government power expands -- to every one's detriment.

One way for politicians really to keep their promise of lower medical costs would be to uncover all the ways the government artificially raises costs today. It does this in a variety of ways: restricting supply through licensing, boosting demand by lowering the apparent price of services, promoting third-party payment for even expected routine services, raising drug-research expenses, imposing coverage mandates on insurers, forbidding interstate competition in insurance, and on and on.

But politicians don't talk about those things. They presumably wouldn't get credit merely for repealing destructive interventions and letting the competitive free market provide universal affordable medical care -- as it has provided so many other things universally and affordably.

In fact, the politicians love those interventions. So they promise to lower medical costs through direct controls. Even a modest familiarity with how markets work reveals that this would make things worse. Is it too late for Americans to see through the con game?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Darwinism Fact Or Theory

The Florida State Board of Education is considering a mandate that will force teachers in public schools to teach evolution as fact and not theory. In my view this dangerous line of thought shows we may be headed for the downslope side of a bell shaped curve representing the era of freedom in the United States. It is almost systematic the way the left enlists the State in order to secularize our children. History has reveled that when a nation wishes to attack freedom it must control and limit education. There are a few reasons I would like to share why I believe this is a horrible idea.

First and perhaps least threatening is it cannot be proven as fact. Even as a theory it can't hold water. There has never been a shred of evidence to suggest that a species of any kind has evolved from a different species. The process of natural selection states that through genetic mutation species evolved from a lower order to a higher order. This violates the physical laws of thermodynamics. Even the secular humanists should see this and agree with me, don't they after all worship the laws of physics.

Second, the very process of evolutionary theory is based on the strong survive and the week parish, thereby leading to a better and more robust species. At this point it may be appropriate to examine just two of the great champions of Darwinism, Hitler and Stalin. There has never been two greater students of evolution and thats why I think the long term effects of such teaching becomes quite dangerous. And as a sidebar the next time some spews the false rhetoric that " more people have been killed in the name of god than for any other reason." Please please please point out that more people were murdered by these two in 25 years than all the people slaughtered before or since combined. Don't make that statement Make em squirm and ask that as a rhetorical question and wait for their answer in silence please.

The secularization of our children is a dark road to travel. Apparently as the State grows larger and more powerful even a great republic can decay into a totalitarian nightmare. As a free nation the institutions that the Government has imposed on our educational system in the last few decades have been designed as an assault on the family unit. All nations derive their strength from the strength of the family unit. This is a case once again to reduce parental influence and increase the influence of the State.

Finally with the systematic DeChristianization of America comes the Amoralization of America. Darwinism as fact taught in our primary school promotes this. By Amoralization I mean the promotion that there are no absolute truths. That the only truth is whatever is best for me at any given time i.e. lying if it serves my purpose, slander if I feel thats whats best for me, even murder if it will promote my interest. Darwinism as fact and moral relativism are a recipe for a bloodbath. How long will it be? If this line of thought is allowed to continue, sooner rather than later I'm afraid. I wish these liberals would start reading some books worth reading. I think The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich would be a good start.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Is Government A Good Steward

In the last post we see the police power of the State used to take tax from income in the form of withholding a portion of the citizens paycheck. In the FICA section they also collect a matching amount of this tax from the employer, most employee's don't know this. This stops the employed citizen's from taking the withheld portion and using it for pretax investment. The Government then takes the taxpayer's money by force before the taxpayer is even payed. This I believe is wrong morally. One question that we should ask ourselves is Does any Government use the money wisely. If you give a child a bike that you payed for he may if he loves the bike take good care of it, especially if you make it clear that if the bike is damaged there will be no replacement. But if he knows that a replacement bike is automatic, and at your expense. It is an automatic that that bike will be abused and broken in short order. This is human nature. It's not just children who behave that way it's people who behave that way including and especially those who have been public officials most of their lives.

Government uses other people's money for everything they do and therefore all Government purchases are third party purchases. In all third party purchases the purchaser cares less about value and cost than would a first party ( the person who worked for and earned the money being spent ) person. When a person would come to my office seeking elective surgery the first question was does my insurance pay for this? If the answer was yes not once did anyone ask for a cost breakdown, or seek a way to save the insurance company money. Why bother a third party is paying for it. When a third party purchase is made the purchaser cares little about cost or value. All Government purchases are third party purchases. The Government cares little about cost or value when using YOUR MONEY! You have $8/capsule tylenol in hospitals and you have $400 hammers in Government. Would you pay $400 for a hammer.

So we can say that all dollars used by Government are NOT used at peak value. And that the dollars used by the private citizen are used at peak value because as the money earner the citizen cares a great deal about cost and value. So why on earth would anyone want to vote for a Clinton or an Obama knowing they want to raise taxes. Some rhetoric suggests that they will raise taxes on the wealthiest people and "redistribute it to the non wealthy" in the form of programs and plans to make life better for the less fortunate. I believe the less fortunate would be better off with more higher paying jobs and opportunities not more Government.

Lets just assume one of the reasons the wealthy are wealthy is because they care deeply about cost and value and thats one reason why they are wealthy. This is probably a true assumption. Money maximizes it's usefulness when it can be leveraged to make more money. It becomes more than a commodity and becomes capitol. Capitol is used to create all kinds of industry, new companies, retooled factories, whole new industries.

Now compare that with Governments use of Capitol. Lets take Social Security for example. Assuming there is money in the SS fund it is due to run out within the next 30 years. Now SS was instituted many years ago under FDR. Workers began contributing to the fund and at the time of it's inception there were 33 worker contributing to 1 retired person. What a windfall for Government. And you know the rest of the story, right. The SS administration invested the money wisely in various funds and bonds and securities and watched the fund grow and grow and grow, right. WRONG! They squandered it and now there are just 3 workers contributing for every1 retired person and the baby boomer's have not begun retiring in force yet.

Our votes have consequences. Now I know Obama's a good guy, tall and handsome and I have to admit I like him. He seems to have character and integrity but his ideas if implemented will have dire effects. And then theres Clinton, if only she was an M. Thatcher. But she's not by a long shot. I think she's even more dangerous than Obama. According to the above article it would be stupid to vote for anyone who wanted to vote for a tax and spender. You know that liberals feel that conservatives are evil and conservatives think that liberals are stupid. I lean toward the latter rather than the former.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Taxes And Extortion

Extortion is a form of theft under which the victim is placed at a disadvantage and threatened usually with violence if he does not comply. It is an ongoing form of theft commonly used in organized crime e.g. The families goon's shoe up at the local haberdasher's shop every week same time same day to pick up their percentage of the gross receipts, if the owner fails to comply a terrible accident is to be expected. In general there are only two kinds of people who are of the poor moral character to steal your money. Number one would be a thief, the second a government.

Let us examine the two: A thief will leverage a weapon such as a gun or a knife. A Government uses the police power of the state which also has guns and jails if we do not comply. The extortionist expects payment on a regular basis. In exchange for the payment the extortionist provides the service of accident control. He may be part of a crime syndicate that provides various services for the neighborhood. The Government uses the police power of the state to secure regular payments from the hard earned paycheck of the working stiff in exchange for providing the above stiff a stay out of jail pass as long as he complies.

What shocks and concerns me the most is that the people of this country have grown to except and even expect this. Patrick Henry must turning over in his grave. Didn't the founding fathers fight a war over a half a percent tax. I watched on television the other day and some gentleman who didn't look particularly stupid said "I like Obama because he just came out and said he would raise taxes, I'm voting for him". I almost soiled my jockeys. I guess looks can be deceiving. How did we get here? Now I understand Obama has a list of things he thinks the government would do a great job on improving and maybe he feels the government should come up with some more of their great programs. But isn't that a little scary. I mean after all aren't the ten most dreaded words in the English language " Hi I'm from the government and I'm here to help".

If you add up all of the taxes the average working person pays like federal income, FICA, State income, property taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes etc..... the working man or woman now works until July the 4th for the Government. This is appalling. But whats more appalling is the fact that so many people lately are looking to the Government for solution to problems it has no business trying to solve. So many people would be OK with working until October for the Government if they run health care. My next post I will explain why this is a dangerous line of thought.