Sunday, February 10, 2008

Spot tries; he really does

What do you try to do, Spotty?

Avoid reading SCSU Scholars, but sometimes his mind drifts, and he winds up reading something like this:

Before addressing specific fallacies of so called "single payor" (ie government) systems, check this site that includes a graph that corrects life expectancy data for differences in the rates of premature death from non-health-related injury, such as homicide and car accidents. Once these non-health-related injuries are excluded, Americans live longer than anyone else, even with our obesity problem.

So, in other words Janet (the author of that gem), if you manage to avoid getting shot or dying in a bridge collapse, you'll do pretty well in the US, longevity-wise. Boy, that's great!

The balance of Janet's little homily is a screed against "socialized" medicine. Let's be sure we know where Janet is, well, coming from.

This morning, Janet's socialized alarm clock (powered by electricity from a private utility whose status as a corporate entity with limited liability for that nuclear accident is provided by the government, and whose ability to distribute that electricity depends on the power of eminent domain it got from the government), puts her size twelves on a socialized toasty warm floor warmed by a gas utility (see comments about the electric company, supra), takes a socialized shit flushed away by a municipal utility, perhaps eats a private-sector breakfast (but there are probably subsidies in there somewhere), brushes her teeth with socialized water, and then drives her car down a socialized road to work at a socialized public educational institution, or maybe church, since today is Sunday.

And then the thoughtful Janet pens a post criticizing Al Franken for suggesting that health care services might be more economically delivered with a "single payer" system. Not single provider: single payer. Think Medicare, which has a much smaller percentage overhead burden than the private Rube Goldberg system that most of us "enjoy."

You see, boys and girls, the word "socialized" is a Very Bad Word to Janet, never mind that she really doesn't know what it means. She's afraid that health care will be "rationed." All economic goods are rationed, one way or another Janet. Otherwise, they are "free goods," like, until recently, air and water. The only real question is how we ration - or allocate - these goods. Janet is clearly a proponent of "all for me and none for thee" school. But is that really the best way to allocate health care? Janet is a known quantity to society in terms of her utility, but some uninsured poor kid might be the next Einstein, that is, if he gets to grow up. Janet clearly is not.

But Janet thinks she can wave the word "socialized" around like a priest with an incense pot and scare the single-payer goblin away. And for the superstitious, it might work. The torch and pitchfork crowd, that is.

Anyway, the centerpiece of Janet's argument is Mark Steyn's ten-month gestation story that Spot posted about before. There's not much more to say, except that Spot is really tired of the cheesy sloganeering on this issue by people like Janet and Mark Steyn.

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