Thursday, January 05, 2006

Mussolini's Health Plan: The Cost of State Run Healthcare

It's an immutable law of the Universe: Him that pays the piper calls the tune. In Europe over the last year or so, it has become apparent that this is no less true in socialized medicine. In 2004 the Netherlands issued the Groningen Protocol, a document issuing guidance on when Dutch doctors might legally euthanize infants. The Protocol may be summed up by stating that if the child has no chance of ever contributing a guilder, I mean euro, to the Treasury, and will cost the state money to keep alive during this time, the child may be euthanized. Conspicuously missing from the document was a requirement of parental consent.

On July 28, 2005 the British General Medical Council won authority to deny a terminal patient basic sustenance in express contradiction of the patients will, if, in the doctors' opinion , the treatment would be futile. Notice again: once people become solely capable of being a debit to the Exchequer's Office, let 'em die.

It seems the Continent has found a solution to the coming demographic budget crunch. For people who generally seem to think that truth is subjective, Europeans seem to have a very objective view about quality of life and when it cannot be maintained. Our 'realistic' European friends have come up with a utilitarian solution that denies the basic sovereignty of the individual. It is, or was, codified in the law of Western democracies that no person should be put to death by the government except that they broke the laws of society by positive action, did so knowingly, and were capable of comprehending that such action was wrong. How often has the US been mocked for being a bit "cowboy" about our willingness to put criminals to death? And yet, the only crime of these unfortunate infants and terminally ill patients is that they are destined to be a net loss on the tax balance sheets.

In an article from the 1932 Enciclopedia Italiana - penned under Benito Mussolini's approval - Fascism was partially described as follows:

For the Fascist, everything is within the State and... neither individuals nor groups are outside the State... For Fascism, the State is an absolute, before which individuals or groups are only relative...

This is an almost exact description of the current implementation of Socialized Medicine. The individual's right to live (or at least make a choice about living) is subverted to the agents of the State. Even if these people were technically wards of the State, the decision to euthanize is based on the interest of the state, not the ward.

Government sponsored healthcare and insurance have driven the cost of healthcare in the US beyond the individual's ability to pay for it. In most cases, your doctor makes decisions about your health based on the insurer's willingness to pay. You aren't paying the doctor anymore. Remember the Golden Rule: Him with the gold makes the rules.

Any time Newt Gingrich and Hillary Clinton get in a room rented by Pfizer and start talking about healthcare, I get the distinct feeling that I'm going to pay more money have less decision making power. It is useful to keep in mind what the end result is when someone else foots my doctor's bills.



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL hospitals and health insurance schemes should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the very poor and minimal regulation. Both Australia and Sweden have large private sector health systems with government reimbursement for privately-provided services so can a purely private system with some level of government reimbursement or insurance for the poor be so hard to do?

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