Posts Tagged ‘cost overruns’

Swine Flu Pandemic And Why We DON’T Want Socialized Medicine

May 1, 2009

Let’s see. Obama unveils his socialized medicine plan just as the swine flu hits the headlines. The Teleprompter of the United States of America told Americans that the swine flu proved that $12.8 trillion of government spending isn’t enough. You’d almost think there was a hand on a switch somewhere.

The left – being the ideological partisan demagogues they are – immediately engaged in a “YES WE CAN . . . . blame the Republicans” campaign.

If they didn’t demonize, they wouldn’t be Democrats. And when I talk about “the Dems,” you know I’m referring to “the Demagogues.”

As a matter of practical reality, the administration may be right in not wanting to take the economy-harming step of closing the border with one of our top trading partners (although there are LEVELS of closing the border – and we NEED to do a MUCH better job of protecting our borders). But their argument for not closing the border is absolutely pathetic. They claim that since the flu is now here, closing the border would be tantamount to closing the barn after the horse has left. The problem with the logic of their argument is that there are clearly way too many infected horses in Mexico who are infecting still healthy American horses.

Mexico is a country of over one hundred million people – and it is a country in crisis. The first “American” causality of swine flu was a Mexican child who died in an American hospital. And infected Mexicans are continuing to flow across the border and infect Americans.

The difference in how the swine flue has hit Mexico versus the United States raises a very simple question:

Swine flu worse in Mexico than US, but why?
By MIKE STOBBE
AP Medical Writer

ATLANTA — Why has the swine flu engulfing Mexico been deadly there, but not in the United States?

Nearly all those who died in Mexico were between 20 and 40 years old, and they died of severe pneumonia from a flu-like illness believed caused by a unique swine flu virus.

The 11 U.S. victims cover a wider age range, as young as 9 to over 50. All those people either recovered or are recovering; at least two were hospitalized.

“So far we have been quite fortunate,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday, just hours before three new U.S. cases were confirmed.

Health experts worry about a flu that kills healthy young adults — a hallmark of the worst global flu epidemics. Deaths from most ordinary flu outbreaks occur among the very young and very old.

Why the two countries are experiencing the illness differently is puzzling public health experts, who say they frankly just don’t know.

Conservatives know.

But . . . but . . . Mexico has socialized medicine!

By JAMES TARANTO APRIL 27, 2009

This is a Bicentennial Minute. Eleven Americans, ranging in age from 9 to 50, have come down with swine flu, the Associated Press reports: “All those people either recovered or are recovering; at least two were hospitalized.”

In Mexico, however, the toll has been much worse. “About 70 deaths out of roughly 1,000 cases represents a fatality rate of about 7 percent,” the AP notes. This is far higher than the 2.5% fatality rate from the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19, although the latter was many orders of magnitude more widespread, killing 40 million people world-wide.

“The Mexican rate sounds terrifying,” the AP writes. “But it’s possible that far more than 1,000 people have been infected with the virus and that many had few if any symptoms.” Which is somewhat, though not entirely, reassuring.

The AP dispatch is titled “Swine Flu Worse in Mexico Than US, but Why?” There’s no definitive answer, but here’s one of the possibilities:

Access to medical care has been an issue in Asia, where a rare bird flu–which does not spread easily from person-to-person–has killed more than 200 over the last several years. Maybe Mexican patients have also had trouble getting medical care or antiviral drugs, some have speculated–even though the government provides health care.

Wouldn’t this paragraph make more sense if it ended “. . . BECAUSE the government provides health care”?

You see, we have a successful health care system because we haven’t allowed the government to ruin it yet.

When Obama DOES ruin it by having the government take it over, we’ll be rationing our medical resources, too.

Obama inserted medical rationing into his porkulus package.

It was always such a no-brainer (so you’d think even our no-brain-no-pain liberals would understand): socialized medicine invariably leads to the rationing of health care resources. There were hard facts supporting this over a decade ago.

While Obama is saying, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” on socialized medicine, the very countries we are wanting to be like such as Canada have been saying, “This utopia isn’t working out so well.”

Do you recall the very recent death of actress Natasha Richardson on a Canadian ski resort? She very likely died as a result of socialized medicine, medical rationing, and poor diagnoses as a result of “the very finest care the government can provide.”

As long as there is private competition, you can always take your business elsewhere. That has always – up until Barack Obama and his fondness for nationalizing – led to be tendency of the free market to provide the best services at the lowest prices.

California – yes, liberal, Kool-Aid-drinking California – recently rejected socialized health care.

Allow me to quote myself as to Obama’s plan:

One thing is extremely important to understand: Obama’s health care plan is modeled on the Massachusetts plan. How are things going there? Well, in the three years of the program’s existence, the tiny state is now already facing cost overruns of over $400 million. Does that sound like a rousing success? Massachusetts is facing a projected 85% increase in its costs by 2009 – which should set up a serious red flag that such programs are MASSIVELY underfunded.

And Obama would take those massive cost overruns and multiply them like Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.

Government run health care is based on a fool’s premise: that the government can save money by employing the economies of scale. The simple fact of the matter is that government bureaucracies, government boondoggles, government hyper-regulation, government susceptibility to massive systemic fraud, and government mismanagement will always kill the golden goose of scale. One hundred percent of the time.

Which was why the Senate couldn’t even run a damn cafeteria without going millions of dollars into the red.

The promise is that they will be able to cover millions more people for the same or less money by efficiency. But government is inherently inefficient. Which means they not only don’t SAVE money, they LOSE money. And then they’ve now got millions more people to cover.

Hence rationing. Hence more people die.

Advertisements