Socialized medicine for all?

This is my second post on socialism, from National Review’s latest issue. Avik Roy is the President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP.org), a non-partisan, non-profit think tank: “It’s worth defining exactly what “socialized medicine” is, and what it is not. ‘Universal coverage,’ a system in which everyone has health insurance, is not necessarily socialized. Switzerland, for example, has a system of universal coverage in which Swiss residents buy private insurance and receive treatment from private physicians and private hospitals. In contrast to the United States, there are no government-run insurers in Switzerland.

“Canada, on the other hand, has socialized, or ‘single-payer,’ health insurance, in which the government is the only meaningful health insurer. But Canadian-style socialized health insurance is still a minor-league version of socialized health care, because single-payer health insurance can — and frequently does — tolerate the existence of privately owned hospitals and physician clinics. The standard-bearer of truly socialized medicine is the United Kingdom. In Britain, as in Canada, health insurance is the province of the government. But, as it is not in Canada, the delivery of health care is also socialized in Britain. That is, a government health-insurance agency pays a government-employed doctor to send Britons to government-owned hospitals.” The whole mess is called the National Health Service, NHS. This is what proponents of government run health care would lead us to believe works so well. They lie. Read on.

“The NHS is no paradise. Open a random edition of a British daily newspaper and you will likely encounter an article about some egregious problem that the NHS has failed to solve. For example: NHS doctors routinely conceal from patients information about innovative new therapies that the NHS doesn’t pay for, so as not to ‘distress, upset or confuse’ them; terminally ill patients are incorrectly classified as ‘close to death’ so as to allow the withdrawal of expensive life support; NHS expert guidelines on the management of high cholesterol were intentionally not revised after becoming out of date, putting patients at serious risk in order to save money; when the government approved an innovative new treatment for blindness in elderly patients, the NHS initially decided to reimburse for the treatment only after patients were already blind in one eye — using the logic that a person blind in one eye can still see, and is therefore not that badly off; while most NHS patients expect to wait five months for a hip operation or knee surgery, leaving them immobile and disabled in the meantime, the actual waiting times are even worse: eleven months for hips and twelve months for knees (compared with a wait of three to four weeks for such procedures in the United States); one in four Britons with cancer is denied treatment with the latest drugs proven to extend life; those who seek to pay for such drugs on their own are expelled from the NHS system for making the government look bad, and are forced to pay for the entirety of their own care for the rest of their lives; and Britons diagnosed with cancer or heart attacks are more likely to die, and more quickly, than citizens of most other developed nations — Britain’s survival rates for these diseases are, according to an OECD survey, ‘little better than [those] of former Communist countries.’

“One ‘success’ of socialized medicine in Britain is that it has proven impervious to reform. In an attempt to reduce lengthy wait times for emergency-room service, Tony Blair’s Labour government introduced a mandate requiring that patients admitted to an NHS emergency room receive treatment within four hours. Some British hospitals responded by instructing their ambulances to drive around town with ailing patients inside, so as to minimize the number of patients technically waiting for care inside the emergency room. This year, the NHS announced plans to abandon the four-hour guarantee.

“American Medicare works in a different way. American Medicare contains few restrictions on specialist care or expensive technologies. The American Medical Association and other doctors’ lobbies, through a secretive group called the “Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee,” effectively determine how taxpayers pay physicians for Medicare services. These features of Medicare — heavily subsidized premiums and unlimited access — make the program highly popular with seniors. On average, seniors receive more than three dollars in benefits for every dollar they pay into Medicare. But Medicare’s lack of Canadian- or British-style controls has turned the program into an oppressive fiscal burden. Today we spend more on Medicare than we spend on national defense. The program is the biggest driver of our deficits and debt. The Medicare hospital trust fund is already sending out more money than it takes in; according to its trustees, it will run out of other people’s money in 2026. Medicare Advantage highlights socialized medicine’s biggest lie: that ‘Medicare for All’ expands Americans’ health-care ‘rights.’ The Anglo-Canadian version of socialized medicine tramples on individuals’ rights to seek the care and coverage that they want. The U.S. version tramples on Americans’ right to the fruits of their own labor, conscripting them through taxes and debt to fund an unsustainable system.”

Is socialism so bad? Only for those who live under it’s warm embrace.

the beauty of socialism

I will be quoting freely from many of the essays about socialism, from those who know, in National Review’s latest issue. This is my first post in a series.

Theodore Dalrymple, a retired doctor who worked for Britain’s National Health Service. “True socialists do not want a better world, they want a perfect one. That is why they so often view piecemeal amelioration with disdain or even hostility, and why they are willing to sacrifice the happiness of a present generation for the imagined bliss of a generation to come in the distant future.” That’s why I have been using the term “Perfectionist Progressives.” He quotes Oscar Wilde, then Edmund Burke. Can you guess which quote is whose?

Socialism annihilates family life, for instance. With the abolition of private property, marriage in its present form must disappear. This is part of the programme. Individualism accepts this and makes it fine. It converts the abolition of legal restraint into a form of freedom that will help the full development of personality, and make the love of man and woman more wonderful, more beautiful, and more ennobling.

Men are qualified for civil liberty, in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity; in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

The author comments: “The people who lived Wilde’s dream whom I saw close up as a doctor working in a poor part of a British city lived under a socialist regime as complete as, though less authoritarian than, that of the erstwhile Soviet Union. Their housing, education, health care, and income derived from the collectivity, not from anything that they did themselves. They lived in the utmost security — the public services would always be there for them — except, perhaps, when they left their homes, when they might be attacked by their peers. It is true that they clung to a certain amount of private property, but it consisted mainly of clothes, a few white goods, the electronic apparatus of mental distraction, and some valueless furniture. Even Wilde could hardly have meant that people should not possess their own clothes; and in fact they lived in an environment that was remarkably equal. Their material standard of living had been successfully dissociated from any effort that they might make.

“Their sexual relations were precisely as lacking in legal restraint as Wilde had envisaged. In this respect, he was a prophet; but unfortunately, the rest of his vision was sadly lacking in acuity or verisimilitude. The people being deprived of any economic or contractual reasons for the exercise of self-control and believing they would never be any better- or worse-off if they exerted themselves (except perhaps by crime), relations between the sexes, once subject to restraints of the kind that Wilde wanted removed so that the full beauty of the human personality could emerge, became fluid in the worst possible way. It was unknown for the father to remain present throughout the childhood of his offspring; serial step-fatherhood became a very common pattern. Jealousy, the most powerful instigator of violence between men and women, increased to an astonishing extent. Man was not so much a wolf as a sexual predator to man. Trust disappeared and violence took its place. A social environment was created in which a cycle of relative (if not absolute) poverty, which was a supposed justification for socialism in the first place, now existed as a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. If socialists so loved the poor that they wanted to preserve them in their poverty, they could hardly have done better.“ This description is of the mostly white lower class; behavior is clearly more of a class (i.e. economic/educational) phenomenon than a racial phenomenon. For example, the neighborhood in Philadelphia in which I grew up started out entirely white, and gradually became almost entirely black. When I returned many years later, just to visit, the transformation was marvelous. The people who had moved in planted so many flowers and painted all the homes, it looked like a garden compared to the austere neighborhood I left. They also seemed more affluent than the people who had lived there in my youth, judging from the condition and makes of vehicles on the street.

More from Dalrymple: “Socialism is not only, or even principally, an economic doctrine: It is a revolt against human nature. It refuses to believe that man is a fallen creature and seeks to improve him by making all equal one to another. It is not surprising that the development of the New Man was the ultimate goal of Communist tyrannies, the older version of man being so imperfect and even despicable. But such futile and reprehensible dreams, notwithstanding the disastrous results when they were taken seriously by ruthless men in power, are far from alien to current generations of intellectuals. Man, knowing himself to be imperfect, will continue to dream of, and believe in, schemes not merely of improvement here and there but of perfection, of a life so perfectly organized that everyone will be happy, kind, decent, and selfless without any effort at all. Illusion springs eternal, especially among intellectuals.” So does willful blindness, since Stalin and Mao, history’s most accomplished mass murderers, are still figures of popularity, both within their own countries, and the liberal “intelligentsia”.

The dysfunction of dysphoria.

Children play on a giant rainbow flag as they take part in a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride parade in Taipei, Taiwan, October 28, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu – RC1844E08460

Ray Blanchard is an American-Canadian sexologist who served as the head of clinical sexology services in the law and mental health program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto from 1995 to 2010. His research on paraphilias, gender-identity disorders, and sexual orientation spans nearly 40 years. From 2008 to 2012 he was a member of the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. His most recent claim to fame is being banned on Twitter for 24 hours for something he wrote, then being reinstated with a lukewarm, meaningless apology. He is being interviewed by Madeleine Kearns for National Review.

Talk a little bit about the difference between the females and the males with gender dysphoria. You’ve noted in past research that virtually all female gender dysphorics are homosexual. Do you think that is still the case with the new “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” (ROGD) sub-category [a description coined by the medical doctor and researcher, Lisa Littman, in 2018, which describes the unprecedented surge of teen girls identifying suddenly as the opposite sex]?

“I think one of the things that distinguishes the ROGD cohort is a greatly larger proportion of cases who think of themselves as gay men trapped in women’s bodies. This had existed in previous decades, but it was maybe a handful of biological females who said, ‘ I feel like a gay male, and I would like to have surgery or hormones so that I can live my life as a gay male.’ It did exist, but it was very, very rare. Now among the ROGD cohort I can’t give you numbers, but I get the impression that’s it’s much, much more common for the ROGD girls to present that way than it ever has been. I think there have historically been precedents, and they have typically involved more females than males, which is also true like in the ROGD phenomenon. For example, recovered memory was a fad for a while, and ritual satanic child abuse was a fad. Typically, these involved more female adolescents than males for whatever reason. If you want to go a little further back in history and look at the Salem witch trials in the U.S. in the late 17th century, most of the individuals who were claiming to have been attacked by witches and who were executed as witches were predominantly female. While it was older ladies who were hanged as witches, it was young ladies who accused them of witchcraft. So there seems to be something about a young adolescent female population that is particularly vulnerable to certain kinds of psychiatric phenomena.”

Well, he said it, but I don’t disagree. Don’t expect disclaimers from me. I have known many women in my life, most as friends and colleagues, some as lovers, a wife and four as bosses. Perhaps my relationships with the last category are the most telling. They were the best bosses I ever had, our communication was very honest and fruitful, our relationship became more of a friendship over time. I haven’t worked for the last one for 15 years, but we still occasionally touch base. But there was one aspect of their behavior I had to ask each of them to modify before we could truly be authentic: In contrast to male bosses, who would simply tell me explicitly what they wanted accomplished or how I screwed something up–military style–all my female bosses were excessively solicitous and sensitive about what they thought my feelings would be. They would use the “praise sandwich”–praise, orders or criticisms, then praise again. Right in the beginning, I would tell them, “I don’t need the praise sandwich, just give it to me straight.” After that, they were more comfortable in their role with me, and me with them.

I couldn’t resist this one. From Sister Toldjah, Redstate.com: “It’s not unusual for feminist and author Jill Filipovic to join in with other unhinged leftists when they feel their precious “right” to abortion is under attack, and this week has been no exception. Unhappy with the recent fetal heartbeat bills signed into law in states like Georgia and Alabama, Filipovic – who is militantly pro-abortion – took to the Twitter machine Thursday to make vile suggestions regarding men who are pro-life: The mutilation part really requires no response and speaks for itself (and speaks volumes about Filipovic), but note how she puts 100% of the blame for a woman getting pregnant on the man:

Require that a quarter inch be cut off of a man’s penis for every pregnancy he creates ….

Honestly what if we just forced a quarter of men to be incontinent with every pregnancy they created?

So men just magically ‘create’ pregnancies all on their own? I thought women were involved in the process, too. Silly me. In all seriousness, this is just another reason why I will not ever call myself a feminist again and am so glad to have left that movement long ago. You can’t argue that men are 100% responsible for a pregnancy but then say they should have no input into whether the unborn baby gets a chance at life or not.

Amen and amen.