Monthly Archives December 2007

NHS TURNS A DEAF EAR ON THE DEAF

Great Britain has provided yet another glimpse of the horrors to which patients are subjected under socialized medicine. The latest victims of the NHS are the hearing impaired: Patients across the country are waiting more than two years for a hearing aid, and up to five years to have old-fashioned equipment replaced by modern technology. And, for anyone out there [...]

OPEN-MINDED PROGRESSIVES

This isn’t about health care, but I couldn’t resist a brief post about the consternation with which the “progressive” blogosphere has responded to Bill Kristol’s addition to the NYT stable of columnists.  Here’s a typical example: One of the world’s most prestigious news outlets has apparently given this thug space on the most valuable media real estate in existence. This is what [...]

UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE CLAIMS ANOTHER VICTIM

Japan has a “universal” health care system not unlike that which many faux-progressives advocate for the U.S.  Like all government-controlled systems, it boasts a strict price control mechanism that produces provider shortages. As AP reports, such shortages can have tragic results for patients is dire need of care: An 89-year-old woman died after an ambulance crew spent two hours [...]

STOP LYING ABOUT THE ECONOMY, PLEASE!

Today, I’m going to diverge from health care to address the tsunami of BS emanating from the media concerning the economy. The major “news” organizations are subjecting the public to a fictional narrative that portrays the economy as bad and getting worse. In reality, the economy is in far better shape than anyone could have [...]

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME AT THE CALIFORNIA HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION

That the latest version of Arnoldcare has been lambasted by both free-market and single-payer advocates suggests that the plan has serious problems. And it does indeed offer the worst of both worlds: heavy-handed government interference in the health care market and preservation of private insurance monopolies. But, being a hospital finance type, I was really taken aback by the proposed 4% tax [...]

A VOTE FOR RON PAUL IS A VOTE FOR HILLARYCARE REDUX

I have said before that Ron Paul will never voluntarily give up his newfound notoriety, even after he is resoundingly rejected by Republican primary voters. He again made that clear last Sunday on Meet the Press.   Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) refused to rule out the possibility he may run as a third-party candidate during an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.? Like most [...]

SCHIP BROKE UP ON THE SHOALS OF PUBLIC OPINION

At the Health Affairs blog, Sarah Dine affects mystification at the failure of this year’s SCHIP expansion effort: The failure to reauthorize a SCHIP program that allows states to continue the flexibility represented by the Republican frontrunners’ home states and indeed many of the fifty states remains one of the great political mysteries of the year. [...]

OVERTREATMENT: IT’S THE LAWSUITS, STUPID!

When dealing with the problem of medical overtreatment, ”progressive” policy wonks always manage to tiptoe around the elephant in the room: malpactice abuse. A typical example of this phenomenon can be found at Economist’s View. In a post about Shannon Brownlee’s book, Overtreated, Mark Thoma insinuates that the overtreatment problem is caused by greed: Essentially, the argument is that [...]

GREG MANKIW ON HEALTH INSURANCE MANDATES

Harvard economist Greg Mankiw offers some useful observations on the zealotry with which ”progressive”  health care wonks push insurance mandates: Some analysts, when discussing health reform plans, make a big deal over the issue of insurance mandates. They suggest that it is crucial to have mandates to solve the adverse selection problem and that plans without mandates will not work. [...]

MITT, WIT, AND REAL-WORLD CHOICES

Last week, Shakespeare’s axiom about brevity being the soul of wit was once again proven correct. In the Bard’s idiom, the word “wit” meant “sagacity,” and that quality is plentiful in GruntDoc’s six-word post on health care reform:  Price, Quality, Access ……………….. Pick any two. That pretty much sums up the central dilemma of health care reform. No matter how much BS [...]