Socialized medicine

I heard on Dennis Prager today a call from a British man who pointed out that, in the 10 years of Tony Blair’s socialism, every major institution in Britain declined.  And the more the government meddled, the greater the decline.  Today’s British papers offer yet another example:  The dental portion of the National Health Service was in trouble, so the government, rather than releasing market forces, interfered even more than before (which is hard to imagine, but nevertheless true).  This is the horrible result of maximum government meddling in what should be a thriving supply and demand marketplace for dental care:

The shake-up of NHS dentistry has been a disaster with standards of care dropping and almost one million fewer people being treated on the health service under the new system, a damning report by MPs has found.

Dentists now have no financial incentive to treat complex cases and patients are being pushed unnecessarily into the hospital system

Instead of improving access to NHS dentistry the reforms have made it worse, the report by the House of Commons Health Select Committee found.

The number of dentists working in the health service has fallen, the number of NHS treatments carried out has dropped and in many areas patients are still experiencing severe difficulties in finding a dentist to treat them.

Worryingly, complex treatments carried out on the NHS have dropped by half while both referrals to hospital and tooth extractions have increased.

This suggests dentists are simply removing teeth rather than taking on complicated treatments because they have become uneconomical to provide.

The report said that in the two years following the introduction of the new contract in April 2006, 900,000 fewer people saw an NHS dentist than in the last two years of the previous system. Even this could be an underestimate, it said.

Ministers introduced the reforms to the dental contract despite widespread concern they would not improve access to care. The contract was so unpopular that more than one in ten dentists refused to sign it and more than a third signed it in dispute.

However, the then health minister in charge of dentistry Rosie Winterton insisted: “The reforms will improve access, encourage more preventive dentistry and provide a stable income for dentists.”

You can read the rest here.  It’s depressing reading and should be read with a part of your brain holding on to the fact that Barack Obama wants to put the American government bureaucracy in charge of your medical and dental care too.

The Left’s faith in government control is truly impressive when one considers that, with amazing consistency, after a brief bump from the infusion of vast amounts of taxpayer cash (or, in the case of Europe, American funding), the systems inevitably collapse under the weight of a government ineptitude, inflexibility, and corruption.

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  1. Deana says

    My favorite part of the article is this:

    “They were also designed to simplify the payments system, so that instead of being paid per treatment, dentists were given a flat annual salary in return for carrying out an agreed amount of work known as units of dental activity (UDAs).

    However, the select committee found that as a result of the changes, dentists no longer had any financial incentive to give appropriate treatment.

    The volume of complex work like crowns, bridges and dentures had fallen by 57 per cent, it said. ”

    You’re kidding!!!! Who would ever have thought that forcing someone to be paid a flat salary for their work would result in them having less incentive? What a surprise!!

    What I love about all of this is that the evidence is right there in front of us. And yet, the left is being quite successful at convincing Americans that everything will be much better if we just do what the Europeans have done.

    Our current system is not perfect and could definitely use some work but my fear is that if, God forbid, Obama becomes president, we will tear apart all that is good and works with our current system.


  2. says

    The allure of these systems is that everybody loves to get something for nothing. But you end up getting nothing for nothing. And if you happen to have money you’d like to spend to get the care the government can’t give you, it’s against the law for you and a willing doctor, let’s say, to take it into your own hands.

    Welfare systems and entitlement programs are turning us into a nation of freeloaders. That’s a perfect populace to elect Obama.

    And the more the economy suffers, and the more afraid people become that they won’t be able to afford the basics of life, the more they seem to want somebody to take over and provide it for them anyway. And it doesn’t seem to register that they never get what they were promised.


  3. Ymarsakar says

    In war, you may lose everything very fast. In peace, you can lose things, except over a very long term.

    Yet socialists prefer peace to war, ostensibly. I wonder why, when they are attempting their enemies’ defeat with so much alacrity.

  4. Ymarsakar says

    And the more the economy suffers, and the more afraid people become that they won’t be able to afford the basics of life, the more they seem to want somebody to take over and provide it for them anyway. And it doesn’t seem to register that they never get what they were promised.

    The cycle of thugocracy and banana republics uses such a principle.

    It took a lot of effort to create, grow, and mature a system of government that could withstand human tendencies and flaws.

    It won’t take nearly as long nor nearly as much effort to destroy that system.

  5. Oldflyer says

    I just read on another blog an apparently serious suggestion for dealing with the “oil shortage” in which the government would give more fuel efficient cars to low income people.

    This provides a troubling glimpse at the mentality that triggers the outrages that eventually become overwhelming.

    Even more frightening, I just read in the Washington Post that Fairfax County, Virginia is actually considering buying up foreclosed houses and providing them to low income people with some sort of advantageous financing scheme. Fairfax has also been a regional leader in providing a welcoming enviroment for “undocumented” aliens. Fairfax County, has consistently been among the country’s wealthiest but has spent itself into a bind; has a deteriorating school system; and a myriad of other problems that are legitimate concerns for county government. But, undaunted they are thinking of branching out into the real estate business.

    Ymarsakar is absolutey right. They creep up on you with smiling faces.


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