The Spectacle Blog

Health Care Notes

By on 8.21.08 | 4:45PM

Now that my health-care story from our July/August issue is online, I just wanted to include a few updates.

In my article I discuss how the health-care issue should be of significance to every branch of the conservative movement, and note that social conservatives should be concerned about the fact that if government dominates this $2 trillion sector of the economy, it will be put in the position to decide who lives and dies in some cases because of the need to ration care. Since writing the story, I found this disturbing report from Oregon, where it turns out that the state denied care to some terminally ill patients, but offered them doctor-assisted suicide.

My piece discusses the problems with the single-payer healthcare systems in Canada, the UK, and France. Since writing, I came across the website BigGovHealth, which has video testimony from patients who have suffered under government-run systems.

Also, I wrote at length about how liberals in general and Barack Obama in particular plan to achieve a single-payer, or socialized*, system through an incremental approach. At a campaign stop this week, Obama made it even more obvious that single-payer is his ultimate goal. I blogged about it here, and the WSJ has now weighed in.

*Some liberals will draw a distinction between single-payer and socialized medicine by arguing that government being the sole purchaser of health care isn't the same as the state actually running the system, but I view this as a distinction without much difference given that in any case government picks up the tab and thus sets regulations and decides how to ration care.

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