Thursday, February 21, 2008

NHS reveals real motive for nationalized care.

There is an article in the New York Times which gives away the entire philosophy behind nationalized health care. And it isn’t pretty.

Let me recap the story that they tell before getting to the key part.

Debbie Hirst has breast cancer and it has metastasized. Her oncologist wants to treat her with Avastin, a drug which is used widely in the United States. But the National Health Service has said that they won’t provide it. Please remember that. That proves that one of the selling points of socialized health care is a lie: that everyone should have the health care they need and they will get it with socialized service.

That isn’t how it goes with socialist health care at all. Never has been that way and never will be that way. The reality is that people are routinely denied treatment under socialized health systems.

Hirst talked with her physician and said that she and her husband will do what they can to private raise the funds to pay for the drugs that she needs. It’s a lot of money and family taxes to pay for “free” health care are already taking a big chunk of their income. But when your life is on the line you will do what it takes. So problem solved? Not really.

The National Health Service told Hirst and her physician that she will not be allowed to purchase the drugs privately unless she also pays for all her health care privately -- something that is not possible. Remember Hirst has already been paying the NHS for her entire life for “free” care. Yet the care she needs they refuse to supply and they forbid her to buy it privately unless she dumps all the care she is getting, and which she paid for already in taxes.

Imagine a car insurer doing the same thing. You have an accident and the car is dented badly and the window cracked. You bought a policy that covers the dent but doesn’t cover the window repair. They tell you that window repairs are not covered. You accept that and say you will have the window repaired elsewhere. Now they threaten to withdraw the insurance which you have paid for in response. They say that if you have the window fixed privately they will no long cover the dent either. That would be consider fraud.

Of course government “insurance” is never held to the same standards of honesty that apply to the private sector. The reality is that if private insurers acted the way governments routinely act they would be arrested and imprisoned for fraud. But with political services the rule of “do as I say and not as I do” dominates.

The New York Times explained the British government’s reasoning for condemning Hirst to die by refusing her the drugs she needs and forbidding her from purchasing them herself without given up all her health care in the process.

Officials said that allowing Mrs. Hirst and others like her to pay for extra drugs to supplement government care would violate the philosophy of the health service by giving richer patients an unfair advantage over poorer ones.
Patients “cannot, in one episode of treatment, be treated on the N.H.S. and then allowed, as part of the same episode and the same treatment, to pay money for more drugs,” the health secretary, Alan Johnson, told Parliament.
“That way lies the end of the founding principles of the N.H.S.,” Mr. Johnson said.

Consider the reality of what is being said here. The purpose of nationalized health care is not to give everyone the treatment they need at all. It is to make sure that no one has better treatment than anyone else!

The motivation for socialized care is not compassion for the sick at all. It is envy directed against those who can afford their own care.

In Hirst’s case she can’t afford the care but what choice does she have. She was putting her home up for sale to pay for the drugs which “free health care” won’t provide her.

One of the most powerful motivations for socialism has been equality. But what sort of equality. It is not the upliftment of the needy, which is a very hard thing to do. It is the destruction of the well-off. They don’t level up but level down. They aren’t promising prosperity for all just equal misery.

There was lots of publicity over Hirst’s case and the government found a loophole -- sort of. Further examinations found that the delays in receiving the treatment means that the cancer has spread throughout her body. Now they say they will provide the Avastin even though it is now too late to be of much use. As Hirst said: “It may be too bloody late.”

She was denied the drug when it could have done the most use. And only given it when it wasn’t likely to be effective. What Hirst doesn’t understand is why she was denied the drug due to costs. ““I’m a person who left school at 15 and I’ve worked all my life and I’ve paid into the system, and I’m not going to live long enough to get my old-age pension from this government,” she said.

Reasonable if you look at this as a form of insurance. But then it isn’t really insurance. As we’ve already noted: the main purpose of nationalized health care in England wasn’t to provide health care to all but to make limit the ability of some to get better care than others. The goal wasn’t provision but equalization. And that is a very different thing.

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