The Evil of Socialized Medicine
By Andrew Bernstein (Washington Times, September 26, 2004)
That Bill Clinton could get the emergency heart care his survival required within 3 days underscores a life-and-death difference between medicine under capitalism and under socialism.
Under the system of socialized medicine in Canada and Europe, people die because waiting lists to see doctors are too long to permit them to receive cardiac care in time to save their lives. In Canada, for example, a patient typically must wait 24 days for an appointment with a cardiologist--and 15 additional days for the type of emergency bypass surgery that saved Bill Clinton's life. Similarly, a Swedish government survey showed that Swedes can be forced to wait as long as 11 months for a diagnostic heart X-ray and up to 8 months for essential heart surgery. The upshot, according to one research cardiologist, is that at least 1,000 Swedes die each year for lack of heart treatment.
The moral belief in the right to health care beyond what an individual can afford--health care at other people's expense--leads inevitably to demand for unnecessary or superficial care that clogs doctors' offices, overfills hospitals and tasks the health care system beyond its capacities. The predictable result is the endless waiting lists of socialized medicine.
The choice facing Americans is stark: the rights-respecting free market of capitalism, where goods and services are produced in abundance, including health care--or the chronic disasters of socialism, where thousands die because of continuous shortages.