Hogan's Alley

Friday, June 29, 2007

Think Michael Moore Makes Sense?

In case there is anyone out there who has just seen Michael Moore's "Sicko" and is all fired up about the wonders of the kind of single payer medical system he advocates, watch this short film (via Andrew Sullivan). It is one man's story about the waiting periods common to all single payer national health systems. The side of the story Mr. Moore didn't tell you about. Or, you could watch Prime Minister's Questions from Britain each week. Not a week goes by that doesn't include tough questions about the status of the National Health Service "Queues", which can be months long.

Americans won't tolerate such effective denials of service, which arise from the government's need to ration the most expensive procedures and equipment. The only way to avoid delays would be for the system to pay whatever it takes to provide the medical industry with the facilities and staffing they think they need. But at what cost?

If anyone tells you it can be done with just some tinkering with the tax code and budget cuts like the space program, ask them to tell you how much Medicare and Medicaid cost increases have been. And those programs ride on the back of the private insurance system at present. That is why MRI's and operations are available so promptly in the US for publicly supported patients.

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