Wikinvest Wire

Ron Paul doesn't like socialized medicine

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) lays part of the blame for rising medical costs on the Fed (indirectly through monetary inflation) and doesn't seem to think too much of socialized medicine.


donna said...

Well fione, he should give up his health care, then. I'm tired of paying for it, since he thinks we don't deserve it. I don't think he does, either.

Anonymous said...

Blinkered parochial view.
There are several dozen countries in the world doing healthcare better and less expensively than the US with a larger government component. Are we as a country too dumb or incompetent to build a system as good or better than those nations?

Anonymous said...

After living many years in CA, and then moving to NZ and AU. I can say without a doubt socialized medicine is by far the best system both for costs and for service. Socialized medicine is the number one reason to move overseas! Ron Paul needs to do a bit more traveling.

AJ said...

Here are my reactions, as someone who chooses not to label himself along the left/right spectrum.

I'm immediately turned off by the use of the "socialized" bogey man. Sounds like the "deflation" bogey man.

What is the problem with a public option? When everyone discusses the health care plan, they always make it seem like the government will run everything, when it has clearly been stated multiple times that the goal is to increase competition by creating a public option. If the public option sucks, you can still buy your own (hence the word option).

Dr. Paul also thinks it's impossible to increase the number of services while decreasing payments for those services. Perhaps he should explore economies of scale, because then it might make sense, given the massive scale of the public option. Or maybe a concerted effort to train more doctors and nurses could take advantage of supply and demand. I also doubt the government would be as interested in profits as an insurance company.

Any attempts to analyze Canada's health care performance are flawed if they do not take into account the difference in various regions/provinces. That said, I can't help but noticing that they pay about half of what we do (public + private), all the while covering everyone. BTW, we do in fact have wait times here.

He also makes a comment against public education. Is he making this stuff up? Most public schools I know of cost less than private schools.

Chuck Ponzi said...


That's an important point that you raise... and one I hope that Dr Paul would agree with (WRT education).

Many states launched coupon or "voucher" programs that parents could bring to qualified private schools to increase competition in our education. Basically it went nowhere because the powerful lobbying force of teacher's unions rallied hard against it. That would have crimped their power, so they were vehemently opposed to it.

Personally, I believe that an alternative to private insurance would be great to provide competition, but there are 2 big risks; crowding out of free enterprise, and double-dipping. Basically, if premiums are paid out of taxes, I get double-dipped, which would drive companies out of business. In addition, if enough are impaired, then government becomes the only choice, and everybody goes out of business... then there's less competition.

Sadly, there are no easy solutions. Either health insurance companies go bankrupt, or our government will. Sad.


Anonymous said...

"it has clearly been stated multiple times that the goal is to increase competition by creating a public option"

This fundamental misunderstands the nature of competition. How does a private firm compete against a non-economic entity (i.e., government)? The private firm has costs to manage, and has to get a return on the capital it invests, and has to do this in uncertain economic conditions. The government program exists by legal mandate that ignores economic constraints. Government programs do not compete with private industry, they crowd them out since they get to play by different rules.

"If the public option sucks, you can still buy your own (hence the word option)."

At much higher rates, if the public option operates like medicare and shifts costs to private payers, and crowding out diminishes the size and bargaining power of private insurers.

"I also doubt the government would be as interested in profits as an insurance company."

That might be a bug, not a feature. If it isn't concerned about profits, will it be concerned about costs?

Anonymous said...

In the Australian and New Zealand systems everyone gets basic coverage by the government and then you can buy private insurance if your worried about wait times or want coverage for non essential items. This seems like a good option for America to follow. Similar to Canada medical procedures run around 25% of American costs if you go private and public hospitals are free.

Ozzy Ozzy Ozzy!

ip said...

Ron Paul is spewing total nonsense here. "Socialized medicine never works," Canadian crowds running over the border to get to our free market medicine... bizarre. Probably they want to see our TV ads for the restless leg syndrome pills.

We have had a lot to teach the world, and other countries have ripped off the best parts of the American system. That's why Japan earlier and China now have had very fast "catch-up" growth.

Well, since our medical system is the worst among developed countries (judging by cost and results), we should just copy the system of a leader, say France or Germany, no point in reinventing the wheel.

Medicine is not like other goods and services, say cars and TVs. If a poor family can't buy a good car, that's not a big deal, let them drive a '93 Civic. If a poor family's kid gets cancer, should he get the medical care equivalent of a '93 Civic? That would be the free market solution... but that's not the society most Americans want to live in.

Of course waste to society is livelihood to many people. Much is justifiably said of litigation and administrative costs, insurance and drug company profits, but the doctors are overpaid too. They make twice as much as Pd.D. researchers developing new drugs, for doing works that is less intellectually challenging. And that researcher is in fear that his job will move to India, while AMA will surely explain that if a doctor now making $250K starts making $180K it will be the end of the world.

Anonymous said...

Well... there are many confounders involved and I don't believe the solution to be simple, or that other countries with public healthcare have "cracked the code" on how to provide for everybody.


When I was younger, I was a ballet dancer. I had the privilege of touring the world. I remember when I was first touring through Canada and had my first run-in with "socialized" medicine, it was quite pleasant. However, what I experienced was not socialized medicine but a different philosophy of care altogether. On the call board in every venue I played, and this was the same in Europe, there were sign up sheets to see massage therapists, chiropractors and sports Drs. They were available every single night. I thought our company had splurged and was attempting to pamper us a bit. What I found out by asking was that they just showed up. They supported the arts. No money, as far as I was told, just a philosophy of doing good to others. Although this probably was somehow compelled by the gov't, it was told to me that this is "just what they do here". This was amazing as in America, at our home studio, I only got to see these folks once a week and we all had to fight for time slots. A definite difference in how the participants in that career track view their profession.

However, my English friends, when injured, would fly to America, pay for a diagnosis and then fly back to England for treatment. Apparently, injuries are not a priority to a socialized healthcare system. There is a budget that has to be adhered to after all, and sickness probably takes priority over injury. If they were to pay for their diagnosis in England, they could not receive treatment in England because the "system" would assume that they had enough money to pay which they demonstrated by paying for their diagnosis. Apparently, the way to bypass the restriction was to pay for a diagnosis out of country. So pay for diagnosis in America and then receive immediate "free" treatment in England. Or they would remain on a waiting list until the next year to determine eligibility for a diagnosis. Eligibility = is it a budgetable expense? This may be the "flight" to American healthcare that Mr. Paul is referring to. Canuks wishing to bypass the diagnosis waiting list.

I'm not a fan of "socialized" medicine either but at this point, Let It Ride!


Anonymous said...

For those who are not aware, the wondrous Canadian system is actually breaking down. This why Canadians with the means to do so are seeking treatment in the US. There is a strong rise in the number of Canadian private clinics to meet the demand as well. They are most advanced in Quebec out of necessity as that is where the public system is in the most advanced state of decay. Not surprisingly, this is also where taxes are the highest. The medical brain drain is also very significant due to wages being capped. That is certainly one way to hold down health costs, until it causes a worse problem. There are no easy solutions but I am highly sympathetic to Dr. Paul's argument, which is quite simple. There is no free ride. Whether public or private, somebody is paying for it. If you choose public, you give your money to the government to manage for you and in doing so you are effectively ceding control of it. If it is managed competently, there is no problem. If it is mismanaged or abused, it becomes very difficult to correct or uproot. In choosing private, you maintain the control but must also accept the responsibility. This does not preclude organizing with others to create economies of scale and so on. In the long run, I am convinced that this is a better alternative because it can adapt more quickly to changing needs, address a wider variety of needs more effectively and will more efficiently cast aside unsuccessful policies. Oh yes, the compassionate question. On this, we have to consider that someone, somewhere still has to pay for it. And I would rather not cede control of what I would like to contribute on compassionate grounds and where I think it will be most effective. The debate on public education follows a similar logic.

Anonymous said...

Socialized medicine in US = give money to Feds so they can outsource it to a Haliburton Healthcare

Screw that

Anonymous said...

If I were a "young invincible" I would leave this once-great country while I still could. Leave for somewhere where the citizenry have heard the term "TANSTAAFL".

We cannot afford what we consume! Whether that be houses, food, cars, health care, energy whatever! It boils my blood to hear this talk of "insurance" -- it is not insurance, it is shifting the payment to someone else!

Every heard that Asian expression, "The nail that raises its head gets hammered down?"

That is the New America -- some change we got!

Anonymous said...

The first comments made me wonder if this was posted at a socialist summer camp.

Tanstaafl says it all. How do you make something cheaper by making it "free" to all comers?

The problems with health care costs here have to do with the way providers are paid and the attitude that it is an entitlement.

We've isolated providers from the demand/supply equation all businesses face, so that they feel they can be wasteful, promiscuous with money and wages, and still get paid.

The simple posting of a fee schedule on the wall at every provider and encouragement of advertising by low cost providers (instead of the AMA virtually defacto banning it) would do more than any big government solution.

And finally, there is much more medicine to be had these days. More cures, more stuff we can buy. But like anything, you can't have it all just because it exists. Those knee replacements for 75 y/o's paid for by medicare mean someone else has to do without.

  © Blogger template Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP