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Tuesday, 18 August 2009


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I'm beginning to think the wheels are coming off even faster than I dared hope...

Knock on wood!!!

Bring the jubilee!

Well, I will keep a bottle of bubbley on ice!

No chance. In fact, the term limits will be repealed by popular demand and he will rule for 100 years, bringing about a slightly more liberal and equal society.
If only

Hello, 'Hairy Prole', good of you to visit D&N, and don't worry, you won't catch anything!

To be serious, the Team Obama do seem to have made a complete hash of things so far. That's not to say that his presidency is finished (despite my hopes) because maybe they will learn, but somehow, there is an arrogance I detect in both him and the people round him which may bring him down. We shall see.

It's not arrogance, so much as narcissism..

Hmmn, probably a mix of the two, Julia, and either one can be deadly but the two together . . .

The American dream is just that, a dream. They don't want to pay for it, they don't want to admit that a modified plan, such as Obama-lite, might actually work; because they just won't accept that a system such as the British N.H.S., when it was first established, did work! These days, the whole routine is run for the benefit of the N.H.S. employees, with the vast bureaucracy built up to check pages and boxes; but it did work, and I'm old enough to remember what it replaced!

Yes, Mike, but it was doomed to failure even in those early days for exactly the same reasons that all government-run enterprises are doomed. It seems to me that America needs to rethink the whole exercise from basics. They should start with two inviolable rules: that the direct link between customer (patient) and provider (doctor/clinic) be re-established - no thrid party intermediaries such insurance companies or government; and that it is the duty of a wealthy society in this day and age to provide some sort of medical cover for their impoverished citizens - the definition of impoverished, of course, being the thin end of a potentially huge wedge.

All government-run organisations fall prey to producer capture. All organisations that interact with the government become rent-seekers. From a sociological/economic standpoint those rules are set in stone. It's the distilled essence of Public Choice Theory.

And David Duff: read what you wrote. 1) there is to be a direct link between doctors and patients with no third party involvement 2) wealthy societies should provide healthcare for impoverished citizens. Which is it to be? The two aims are mutually exclusive. The very existence of healthcare provision for those that cannot afford it compels a third party to be. If someone pays, whether it be an insurance company, government, Lady Bountiful's Fund for Sick Peasants or the mythical and evanescent 'society', then that is a third party by definition.

Seems to me that the best solution is to split the difference: those that can pay for their healthcare do, and those that can't are supported via a general societal levy. Of course the prudent among the first group will wish to amortise any future costs via some sort of fund, and those in the latter will need to be subsidised out of the societal fund.

So, private insurance and Medicaid, basically. Whoops!

Think on, lad.

'DG' (to avoid confusion with our names), it is never easy in brief comments to be absolutely clear, so let me expand.

First, I believe it is important that teh customer/provider relationship is re-instated between patient and doctor so that the one pays the other not some 3rd party be it government or insurance company.

Second, I do think that in these times of unprecedented wealth a society should provide health cover for the 'needy' - I use that old-fashioned and imprecise word to cover those who are impoverished, or sick, or whatever, and I do realise that definition will be crucial.

The question is how to do it. Alas, right now I haven't the time to expound on it but watch this space because I think I will write a post on the subject.

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