The Health Care Trojan Horse

This is what happens under state-run medicine, when your doctor becomes an agent of the government.

Currently pregnant women are asked if they smoke by midwives and GPs but the National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) wants this to go further.

The organisation has recommended that all pregnant women should have their breath measured for carbon monoxide levels when they book in with a midwife.

This would establish which women smoke and provide an added incentive for them to quit, the guidance said.

I am sure all the women's organizations whose principled stand against abortion restrictions were based on protecting the privacy of one's body from the heavy hand of government will now rise up in protest.  Not.

As it turns out, and as I have written before, most women's groups seem to favor total intrusion of government into every facet of individual health care decision-making EXCEPT abortion.  The privacy and libertarian-sounding abortion arguments were really just slights of hand, rolled out to prevent government bans on one particular procedure, and then tucked away when the government proposes to control every other procedure.

  • ben

    The privacy and libertarian-sounding abortion arguments were really just slights of hand, rolled out to prevent government bans on one particular procedure, and then tucked away when the government proposes to control every other procedure.

    The question is: why is that? I have long been fascinated by that inconsistency, there must be a reason for it.

  • TomB

    A women's group hypocritical? Go on. The hypocrisy needs to be pointed out, but it shouldn't be surprising.

  • Gil

    I s'pose if a foetus isn't considered human by a group then they can't complain about women who do activities which will harm their unborn babies. By the same token, a person shouldn't theoretically be able to sue his mother for his lifelong poor health because of what his mother did in utero if the jurisdiction supports abortion. Actually I remember reading a case of a women who lost her unborn baby in a car crash caused someone running a red light and couldn't have the perpetrator charged for the death of her unborn baby because abortion was legal there.

  • http://hertzlinger.blogspot.com Joseph Hertzlinger

    Prediction: If Obamacare sticks around, a doctor will be prosecuted for performing out-of-system medical procedures while claiming they were abortions.

    He is caught when he performs an "abortion" on a man.

  • Yoshidad

    Finding some government peccadillo is really just not that hard. After all, their meetings are public, not like Enron's board.

    Nevertheless, if you're prepared to complain about government-managed healthcare, then I'd say you have a duty to describe how wonderfully well the private sector has managed healthcare in comparison.

    For example, it's not at all controversial to observe that the mostly privatized U.S. health care system is roughly twice as expensive as the single-payer, universal-coverage competitors. Yet U.S. health care produces awful outcomes. The WHO study ranking health care worldwide puts the U.S. at #37 in outcomes produced, between Costa Rica and Slovenia. The ranking is based on a composite measure that includes such things as infant mortality, longevity, patient satisfaction, etc.

    When I mentioned this previously, another commenter on this blog insisted that U.S. health care was better at treating cancer than the WHO's #1 (France). That's true, incidentally. Once you have cancer, the U.S. treatments are more successful. Of course France has a lower cancer rate and a lower mortality rate from cancer than the U.S., but get out your foam finger. We're #1 (in a very narrowly defined type of cure)... Yeah! And we're smarter than those Frenchies too!!! We're #1!!!

    And if that's not enough, read Marcia Angell's work in http://www.nybooks.com (e.g. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2004/jul/15/the-truth-about-the-drug-companies/ or http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2009/jan/15/drug-companies-doctorsa-story-of-corruption/)

    Angell is a former New England Journal of Medicine editor, and clearly someone who knows whereof she speaks.

    The private health care system, even the quasi-private "Obamacare" (actually Mitt Romney's health care plan) is woefully inadequate in comparison to publicly managed, non-profit health care.