***Italy, Canada, GB, Washington, Vermont*** 

Single-payer Means Rationing, Idiotic Price Controls, Death by Waiting

“…There have been at least five strikes called against single payer (SP)…”

Strike #1: Italy’s price controls

“…Drugs that used to cost people $300/month were suddenly and artificially priced at $5-10/month.”

“…As a result of government price controls, Italy now must buy its pharmaceuticals from elsewhere, pay what is charged, and then subsidize their patient population for the difference between their artificially low consumer price and the true, market-based cost. This may seem affordable to the individual, but that money must come from somewhere, and eventually “somewhere” means the Italian people…”

Strike #2: Avoidable deaths in Canada

“…The budget — not patients’ medical needs — drives the availability of medical care in Canada…”

Strike #3: Medical rationing at the NHS

“…Great Britain has a single-payer system, called the National Health Service (NHS)… the NHS rations medical care by denying authorization for care…”

“Great Britain’s single payer system employs death-by-budget.”

Strike #4: VA system in the U.S.

“…Washington controls both supply and demand.”

“The result is too few care providers to serve our veterans,… not enough prosthetic limbs or complex drug therapies; and too few burn beds as well as operating rooms.”

“…It does not fix the root cause, which is the single-payer approach…”

Strike #5: Vermont’s single payer

“…In the 2012 gubernatorial election there, the major issue was single-payer healthcare . Peter Shumlin, the Democrat candidate, vowed to “make it happen.” …”

“On December 17, 2014, Governor Shumlin announced that he was cancelling Green Mountain Healthcare. It was simply too expensive and would have imposed crushing new taxes on the citizens of Vermont…”

Next Strike: Medical rationing coming soon to the U.S.

“…The next pitch will come from ACA’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)…IPAB was based on England’s NICE. We know that NICE is the medical rationing arm of the NHS…”

“In single payer systems, the budget wins every time over the welfare of patients.”

“…Single payer is a proven failure…”

“…It [Vermont] tried single payer and found that it doesn’t work…”

“It is crystal clear that single-payer healthcare systems provide neither affordable nor timely health care to the people they serve. Single payer is out!”

Five Strikes Against Single-payer Healthcare

Dr. Deane Waldman MD




Venezuelan Hospitals Short on Supplies, People Dying as a Result

  – “It’s the government who is responsible for my wife’s death….”

“For Jose Perez, a Venezuelan taxi driver from Caracas, the hardest part about watching his wife die from heart failure was knowing just how easily she could have been saved.”

“For a day, the family enjoyed a glimmer of hope after a nationwide search uncovered one such device [prosthetic artery], but Carmen needed two and a second one was nowhere to be found. She died two days later.”

“For Venezuelans like Mr Perez and tens of thousands more awaiting medical treatment around the country, the magic realism of Hugo Chavez’s great Bolivarian socialist revolution has turned to bitter reality…”

“Mr Chavez might be dead, but as one of Latin America’s most charismatic political performers, he is far from forgotten.”

“He promised the people the riches of the revolution, and for a while he was able to deliver, thanks to his country being blessed with the world’s largest proven oil reserves.”

“For families like that of Carmen Perez, and 13 other Venezuelans who doctors at the Caracas University Hospital say have died as a direct result of medical shortages, the crisis is no longer about inconvenience, but the worth of a human life.”

“In another consulting room, we listened as the father of a boy with leukaemia was told that the hospital had only three of the five chemotherapy drugs his son needed, and that one of those was a substitute that would cause horrible side effects. As a young doctor pointed out though, the boy was lucky to be getting anything at all.”

“Such is the speed of Venezuela’s downward slide that policy analysts, Western diplomats, economists and opposition activists interviewed by The Telegraph this week all admitted that no one knows where, or when, it will end.”

“At the hospital they know only that if things don’t improve fast, more lives will be lost.”

‘“There are 600 to 700 people on the cardiac waiting list,” said a doctor, who detailed shortages of everything from gauzes to sample tubes. “If they don’t receive the surgeries they need, more of them will die.”’

Venezuela’s ‘socialist paradise’ turns into a nightmare: medical shortages claim lives as oil price collapses

By Peter Foster

03 Feb 2015



Personal Story:  A Brush with Soviet-Style Medicine

Comment:  Lots of Americans seem to think that Communist medicine, as found in the USSR and Cuba, should be our role models.  “Universal” health care, they cry! Read on…

Clinging desperately to their collectivist yearnings, American social-medicine activists focus their love on Cuba’s “free” and “universal” health care system.  Funny, how none of them are going to Cuba for health care now that the travel ban has been lifted.

The Cuba apologists seem oblivious to “Socialist Realism,” a philosophy that censors everything from news to art, forbids portraying Communism as anything less than perfect, and is backed by harsh criminal penalties.  If our leftie-idealists weren’t so blinded, they would understand what I saw in late 1993, when I had the first-hand pleasure — if it can be called that — of experiencing health care, Cuba-style, in Eastern Europe.

On the flight over from Washington, I’d swallowed a pill that lodged in my throat, resulting in what amounted to a chemical burn.  Luckily, my physician was a a retired American cardiac specialist visiting his son, one of my U.S. Embassy co-workers, for Christmas.  He thought I was OK, but decided on an EKG — just to make sure.

The local docs arrived in a scary-looking Soviet ambulance that looked, inside and out, like something time-warped from the early 1950s, as did their weird, throwback white garb.  They poured out of the back of the ambulance like clowns in a circus skit, bearing a portable West German EKG machine with absurd reverence, even considering the scarcity of such equipment in the Eastern Bloc.  (“Universal” doesn’t mean “high quality” or “technologically-advanced,” Cuba fans!)  They seemed less like doctors than primitive technicians.

Under the American doc’s critical eye, the local talent hooked me up to the EKG.  Fortunately, everything was normal.  Then the head socialist medico began tumbling around the American doctor like a puppy dog seeking approval — there’s no other way to describe it.

My American doctor observed this act with distaste.  Such ingratiation was probably important in the socialist bureaucracy, where professional competence is (obviously) a secondary consideration, but his American counterpart soon grew tired of it and departed.  I was translating; to me, the local doctor sounded pathetic and idiotic.

The local quack then took me aside, and lectured me at length about the need to eat oatmeal.  He also kept insisting on a vitamin shot.  As he went for his bag, I looked in terror at my boss, who shooed the whole circus out of the apartment.  “No way I’d have let those witch doctors give you a shot with one of their recycled needles!” he laughed later.  (Socialized medicine fans become disproportionately enraged with this kind of cost-cutting in free-market medicine, but are remarkably forgiving when it happens in socialized medicine, where needle recycling is a relatively minor health violation, as these things go.)

Why was the doc so insistent on the vitamin shot?  Money.  Or rather, even more money.

Renting the EKG machine cost $100 — cash up-front, a half-year’s salary for the average local.  During telephone negotiations that took the better part of a half-hour, the Great Socialist Healers made clear that the money was for them.  In short, government-owned healthcare equipment was lining their own pockets on the sly.  They were far more interested in — and skilled at — graft than medicine, these fine “universal access” medicine docs who made sure to collect their five twenty-dollar bills the moment they stepped out of the ambulance.  Otherwise, they assured us without a trace of humor or embarrassment, they’d have turned around and disappeared.

And that, comrades, is “Socialist Reality!”

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