The USAToday published a front-page story today arguing that a health care "crisis" looks a lot like Houston, Texas. I would argue, from their descriptions, that a health care "crisis" looks exactly like state-run medicine.
Ijeoma Onye awoke one day last month short of
breath, her head pounding. Her daughter, Ebere Hawkins, drove her 45
minutes from Katy, Texas, to Ben Taub General Hospital, where people
without health insurance pay little or nothing for treatment.
Onye, 62, waited four hours to be seen. Still,
going to the emergency room was faster than getting an appointment. For
that, "you have to wait months," Hawkins says....
The huge number of uninsured residents here means that health officials
must make tough decisions every day about who gets treated and when.
"Does this mean rationing? You bet it does," says Kenneth Mattox, chief
of staff at Ben Taub, the Houston area's pre-eminent trauma care
The article goes on and on like this. The problem is delays and queuing in facilities that provide free care. And the difference between this and state-run health care is what exactly? When a product or service is free, people will tend to over-consume the supply, with rationing taking place via queuing rather than price. This is how every state-run supply system works, from food in the Soviet Union to health care in Canada. And by the way, exactly how upset should I be about people receiving an extraordinarily valuable and costly service for free but having to wait a while to get it?
This article is actually a great rebuttal of the inherent message in
the health care debate that "uninsured" means "denied health care." In
fact, it is clear that even in the spot USAToday picked out as the worst in
the country, the uninsured are in fact getting health care. It is tedious with long waits, but there are no examples in the long article of people going without. Yes some people consume less than they might if it was free and convenient, but that is just the rationing at work. Anyone who says that rationing goes away in a state-run system is bald-faced lying to you.
Remember that national health care does not eliminate queuing and waits for the poor -- it just institutionalizes these waits for the rest of us. Universal Health Care is equivalent to a Great Society housing program where everyone, rich and poor, have to give up their house and move into a crappy public apartment block.
Postscript: By the way, I am sympathetic to certain hospital administrators who have a "crisis" on their hands because the mass of uninsured show up in their emergency rooms. That, however, is a problem manageable far short of government-run health care. They want to blame diversions of critical patients away from over-crowded emergency rooms on the "uninsured" but it is really a function of their own faulty triage.
Update: Michael Moore will soon argue that its better in Cuba. Hah! That is funny. If people really want to believe this, then it is another reason is is way past time to open up our relations to Cuba, so people can see for themselves what a lying sack of poop this filmmaker is.