Does Single Payer Kill?


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My recent heath care posts have brought on some reactions.  I’ve gotten quite a few spam comments (still in the queue) regarding them.  Most are attempts at lib talking points, but they are nothing if not persistent.  One was kind enough to leave a link in the shoutbox regarding people dying due to lack of insurance.  However, the link comes up as not existing.

Since this claim comes from Rep. Grayson, it might likely be dismissed as pure propaganda, as that is all the left has to offer.

Then, I received this spam comment on my last post about single payer.

This is a disgusting report but you make it out to be like the whole of the NHS is like this? And why?????? You really think that this is how UHC really is and the UK is?? You lot are so amazing that I’m shocked you’re let out for your day release… The problem with UHC is not the concept it’s people like the lot of you who would rather pay millions of dollars in health care just to feel self important. You want everything now, and could not wait that is how Americans are. God forbid if you were told that you had to wait for something like a MRI you would be out suing the government or your insurance company. I feel sorry for you, I really do. Why you don’t want to help your fellow man is beyond me.

A “Wilma Flintstone” sent this comment.  How very creative.

So, since there are some truths to tell, and some trolls to destroy, I thought we might take a look at what happens with single payer plans.

More than 40,000 deaths a year could be avoided if the NHS improved its safety record, campaigners say.

They claim the Health Service is ruled by a ‘ widespread culture of fear’ which puts patients at risk.

Managers are more concerned with hitting targets than improving systems known to be flawed, said the centreright think-tank Policy Exchange.

The NHS kills 40,000 a year???

Using new data from U.S. and European research, Policy Exchange says 78,400 NHS patients a year die as a result of ‘adverse events’  –  brought on by accidents or caused by medication or treatment.

More than half of these deaths  –  43,000  –  could be prevented if hospitals were inspected more rigorously and recommended safety changes were installed.

The figure for deaths is based on ten studies suggesting that 6.6 per cent of hospital admissions each year, around 700,000 patients, suffer adverse events  –  with 11 per cent of them ending in death.

This is bad, right?  I mean, they have been aware of the problem, and have taken actions to correct it.  Well, let’s take a look at what was being said back in 2005.

As many as 34,000 patients a year may be dying from NHS blunders, a bombshell report reveals today.

And he National Audit Office study suggests the toll could even be as high as 80,000.

Figures do not include the estimated 5,000 deaths from hospital infections such as MRSA. Health chiefs admitted nearly a million patients were accidentally harmed.

Half of these could have been prevented if health bosses had learnt from past mistakes, said the NAO.

Well, I see that they’ve really “improved.”

But, the single payer plan cares for patients, right?  Well, let’s take a look at how people die in the caring hands of the NHS.

NFR today calls on the government to launch a major Christmas TV ad campaign warning against the grave and widespread dangers of patient malnutrition and starvation on NHS wards, and insists that the money to pay for it be diverted from the annual drink driving TV ad campaign.

NFR research reveals that while the number of people killed in UK road accidents fell by 7% from 3,172 in 2006 to 2,946 in 2007, the number of patients starving on NHS wards more than doubled.

Not only did the number of NHS malnutrition incidents rise from 15, 473 in 2005 to 29,138 in 2007 but overall, according to the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), almost 70,000 ‘patient incidents’ relating to malnutrition and starvation were reported.

Malnutrition?  Starvation?  That’s certainly a reason to get the public option, isn’t it?

Well, at least folks can see the dentist

The parlous state of NHS dentistry under Labour was exposed last night after it was revealed 1,000 people in a village ended up on a waiting list for a dentist.

Nearly one in ten of the 11,500-strong population of Tadley were forced to wait after a single NHS practice opened in the Hampshire village.

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Their alternatives were paying privately, travelling miles to another NHS dentist – or going without treatment.

Still want single payer?

But they take care of disabled children, right?

Freedom of information figures obtained by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign found children were subject to a postcode lottery in terms of equipment.

Statistics from 54% of NHS trusts in England and Scotland revealed that disabled children in England are forced to wait five months on average for a wheelchair.

The worst performing primary care trust (PCT), East Lancashire, in the north-west of England, had an average wait of two years for an electric wheelchair.

The survey showed 58% of children in England had to wait at least three months for an electric wheelchair and 14% waited more than six months.

Hmm.  Not so good on that either.

At least they don’t ration drugs.

Hundreds of patients with a rare lung disease will be sentenced to death by plans to stop doctors prescribing a range of drugs on the NHS, it was claimed last night.

Campaigners have condemned proposals by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to withdraw the drugs because they are too expensive.

The condition, pulmonary hypertension, affects an estimated 4,000 people in the UK.

Only a quarter of these need the most expensive level of treatment.

Oh wait, yes they do.  I guess sacrificing 1000 people for the good of the rest is OK.  I’m sure that Ezekiel Emanuel would agree.

And single payer plans most certainly never let granny die.

A woman of 61 was refused a routine heart operation by a hard-up NHS trust for being too old.

Dorothy Simpson suffers from an irregular heartbeat and is at increased risk of a stroke. But health chiefs refused to allow the procedure which was recommended by her specialist.

The school secretary was stunned by the ruling.

“I can’t believe that at 61 I’m too old for this operation,” she said.

“A friend has had exactly the same thing done and it has changed his life.

“I feel as though I’ve been put out to grass and surely deserve better than this.”

Wow, I guess they do that too.  By the way, that sounds a lot like a “death panel,” doesn’t it?

So, my liberal trolls, shall I continue?  There are probably ten more stories that I can quote.  Tens of thousands of people every year are killed by socialized medicine in just one country.  And this is the level of care that you’d like to see here?

The lesson here is this; Big government solutions to any problems end up turning into giant steaming piles of fail.  It is universal.  The left says that lack of coverage kills over 40,000 a year.  Is it safe to assume that they would feel more comfortable if the government killed even more?

This really goes back to the fact that socialist “solutions” do not take the needs of the individual into account.  Socialism deals with groups.  So, if  thousands of individuals have to die, or suffer needlessly for the good of the group, so be it.  In any socialist system, you are a number-a statistic, and your life has no meaning, as long as the group, and more importantly, that the elites are able to maintain their power.

“Ms. Flintstone,” is this want you mean about helping our fellow man?  Excuse me, but I’d rather not kill more people.  And by the way, when my Dr. told me I needed an MRI, I got one in two days.  And no, I don’t pay millions for insurance.  How many people in the UK die because diseases were not diagnosed in time?

I don’t feel sorry for you.  You’ll happily go along in life, smug in the knowledge that all is “fair” in the world.  You just have to ignore the waste and death that is the proven result.  If you’re willing to trade lives for a failed ideology, that’s fine, just leave me out of it.

On a more serious note, most everyone agrees that there is a need for reform.  There are plans out there that do not involve the government controlling everything.  But then again, control is the goal for the left.

  • Don

    Excellent article, Matt! Good sources and right to the point, as usual. I too agree that anything the Government touches, save the Military, turns to a bloated, over sized leviathan that feeds on the very people it is supposed to serve.

    • Thanks Don. It wasn’t too hard. The NHS seems to be something of a killing machine. When you think of it, each year, the NHS kills more Brits than we have lost in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. Come to think of it, the NHS kills more people than we lost in all of the Vietnam war.

  • Great article, Matt. It’s hard to argue with the facts.

    • That’s the idea. I am surprised that there haven’t been more trolls show up to try to explain it all away.

  • I’ll put the single-payer cravers up against my AK-47. I’ll bet my AK-47 wins every time, since I made sure to purchase way more magazines and rounds than most people need because … well, the Constitution allows me to do so.

    Strangely, the Constitution doesn’t have dick to say about gubmint’s ability to force to me accept their Kingly health insurance mandates.

    See the naysayer bitches in court … or on my porch. But watch out. My porch gives me high ground.

    • If I ever visit, I’ll be sure to call in advance…a lot!!

  • Not only would the single payer plan be an inefficient behemoth but it would be fraught with corruption. One of the first points – about avoiding 40,000 deaths by improving safety records – that would take money out of some ones pocket who is well connected to politicians so things like that will never happen. Then every time The White House changed hands a bunch of new palms would need to be greased creating more government waste.

    We all know it doesn’t take a scholar to see the mess other countries have a result of the single payer system. Why else do they continue to travel to the United States for major procedures?

    • There isn’t a single logical argument against any of your points, Cracked World. That wouldn’t stop the lefties, however.