BarroMetrics Views: Capitalism to Blame for Sub-Prime? II
In yesterday’s blog, I considered how good intentions can have unintended consequences when they come in the form of a social agenda and are enforced by law. The US attempt at providing an universal health system paid for the taxpayer seems to me to be another such ‘good intention’.
From what I have read, the failed Obama initiative is very similar to the one passed by the Whitlam (Australian) Government in 1975. The main difference is the Obama version had an opt-out clause.
What were the results of a Government-run medical health scheme? It took 30-years for the full effects to be felt but felt they are – now. Last time I was back, I was told stories of country doctors mortgaging their homes to pay for medicine for the Government hospital patients. At the time, the papers were suggesting that the NSW health system was bankrupt.
This time, in the two days I have been back:
I first read a story on Tuesday where Erin Crocker, 29, had been bleeding internally for 10-weeks. When she went for her pre-booked surgery at Royal Prince Alfred, she was told:
- book a room at a hotel for 48 hrs and
- if a bed wasn’t available in 48 hrs, she could take the 5-hr drive home.
Erin is a triple transplant patient and was booked in for second transplanted liver and a kidney. Not what you would call minor operations. It was also reported that the Opposition health spokesman claimed that Erin’s experience was being repeated across NSW because of bed shortages and operating theatre closures.
(After the story broke, the Hospital admitted Erin for her operation).
By the way, in case you are wondering, the Royal Prince Alfred is probably Sydney’s major public hospital.
Today, I read a report on another major public hospital, Hornsby Hospital. Last year doctors complained of:
- Possum urine on the walls
- dangerous cables across floors
- ceilings collapsing from rain damage.
To date, none of these complaints have been addressed. An independent review, this week, found the hospital to be unsafe.
But the politicians who pushed through the National Health Scheme are no longer around to see the effects of their good intentions. The very people the National Health Scheme was intended to assist are its major victims. Standing on the sidelines now, observing what has come to pass, I can only wonder if the US will follow the same path as Obama attempts to resurrect his own National Health Plan.
Sir Evelyn de Rothschild on CNBC Feb 12 2010