Economic ignorance, willful or otherwise, is the death of cultures. The systematic destruction of incentives for progress - engineered by those who do not care to realize they are pulling the house down around their ears - will be the death of you and I as well if it continues. If we permit the ignorant to rule over medicine and medical research, destroying it in the process, then we deserve our fate:
A plan to outlaw private health insurance in California has been proposed by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles). Senator Kuehl's bill, SB840, proposes to create the California Health Insurance Agency, a state government run single payer system for financing the health care of all Californians. Her bill, if enacted, would abolish all private health insurance in the Golden State.
Remarkably, Kuehl's proposal to socialize California's health care is being made just at the time when the Canadian system it resembles is falling apart at the seams. For instance, Canada's single payer system is projected to absorb more than half the budgets of most Canadian provinces. In addition, the amount of time a Canadian patient must wait before receiving medical care is notorious. "This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years," said Dr. Brian Day in a recent New York Times article on Canada's health care crisis.
Looking at the fine print, you find that Kuehl's government-run single payer system will be cheaper because it will actually ration health care. In other words, decisions about what treatments will be available to Californians and when they will become available will be in the hands of government health care bureaucrats. Just like the Canadian socialized health care system, the new California Health Insurance Agency will determine how much it will pay pharmaceutical companies for new more effective medicines. This means that Californians, like Canadians today, will wait a long time, possibly forever, to get access to modern therapies.
Doctors are like anybody else; they work less when they get paid less. If Kuehl's system is adopted, you will eventually see waiting lines lengthening and doctors treating fewer and fewer patients. California doctors and other health care workers will leave for other states where they are better compensated, and few new doctors, nurses and other personnel will be attracted to California. Another side effect will be that many of California's innovative biotech companies will relocate to friendlier business environments.
Today, as the Canadian health care system implodes, more and more Canadians are seeking private medical care across the border in the United States. Within a decade after Kuehl's single payer system has been adopted, I predict that many Californians will similarly be fleeing across the border into Arizona and Nevada looking for modern private medical care in state-of-the-art hospitals and clinics.
Why put your life and health into the hands of people who have no interest in helping you? Why think that socialism in medicine will work this time, when it has failed miserably everywhere else? As time moves on, those of us reading this now will become increasingly reliant on the new medical technologies of healthy life extension for health and longevity. If the future of medicine is socialist, then we won't be seeing much of that future - the destruction socialism and centralized, regulated systems bring to research and progress will see to that.