Here Are 50 "Peeks" at Our Healthcare Future from Past Foreign Experience

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obama.jpg"Why did efforts to centralize healthcare fail in the early 1990s but succeed today? One big reason is that baby boomers are now older, grayer, and scared out of their wits by the economic crisis's effect on their retirement. Therefore, they are more open to the idea of using the coercive power of the state to force others to pay for their medical care."

That's a question that Christopher Westley asks (answers) at the Ludwig von Mises Institute's blog. Westley is an adjunct scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and he teaches in the College of Commerce and Business Administration at Jacksonville State University.

Westley has done us all a favor by aggregating 50 horror stories about how Soviet style central planning of healthcare (as exists in the UK and Canada). It amazes me that the ObamaCare passed despite the fact socialized medicine does not work. Again, just read Westley's collection. He reckons that baby boomers are to blame, as he notes in the quotation I ran at the top of the story. But I also think people just don't understand simple economics. And that is, everything (every single good and service) must be paid for. That's probably obvious to you, financial advisors. But not so to too many people.

Healthcare isn't free despite what people in Europe may tell you. For example, I have an Italian aunt who lives in Rome. She keeps telling me how great the healtchare there is and "it's free," she says. I keep telling her that, no, it isn't free, that you pay for it in your high tax rates. You just don't "see" the itemized invoice from the Italian gub'ment. And, anyway, my nonno (grandfather) died in 1978 of a stroke (a second stroke) but the Italian system declined to admit him to a long-term care facility because he was too old and, I guess the authorities figured, "not worth" taking up a bed at a rehab center. So, he spent his remaing year or so after his first stroke living in an extra bedroom at my aunt and uncle's apartment in Rome, mostlly out of it and in bad shape. Luckily, my aunt and uncle (who was an Italian judge) could afford to have a private nurse and we had relatives who would help take care of my grandfather. And that's fine: Families should look after their own. But the larger point is: The Italian system rations healthcare to those whom the bureaucracy decides are worthy.

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