Thursday, August 13, 2009

This is pretty good

In fact it's outstanding. You are welcome to suspect Crowder of special pleading; but then I've been interested in this subject for a decade and if anything he understates the problem. I'll vouch personally for the accuracy of his analysis; but he presents it far more entertainingly than I would be able to.

In particular, note that at two different government health care outlets, the staff there told Crowder's friend that the only solution available to him was to go pay $900 -- at a private clinic. I think my favorite bit is when the friendly helpful nurse at one clinic, in giving Crowder's buddy advice on how to go about getting a cholesterol test, tells him that he needs to put in his two or three years on the waiting list for a family doctor -- yes, you heard that right, two to three years on the waiting list to get a family doctor -- but that that's okay because "you're young, you have time." (This section runs from the 7:25 mark to 7:45, if you can't really believe that it's possible to be told such a thing by a woman who is actually well-intentioned and wants to be helpful.) Canadian health care is free, you see, in about the same sense that it's free for me to have the government send me on a joyride into space, which is to say that you don't get charged money to fail to receive a service...oh, wait a second, in Canada (thanks to those taxes) you do get charged money to fail to receive service. A helluva lot of money, in fact.

Or, as the nurse helpfully points out, he could pay $900 at the private clinic...if he happened to be one of the Canadians who had enough money left over after the exorbitant taxes Canadians pay, and the absurdly high cost of living, to have $900 spare dollars lying around to spend on a cholesterol test.

I also love the part with Diane...I mean, I don't love the fact that her mother unnecessarily lost her leg to the waiting list; that's exactly the reason that I think that whole system is evil in its end results as well as in its means, and I use that word "evil" in its full, literal, technical and carefully considered sense...what I mean is, I love the way Diane frames her disgust with the Amazing Wonderful Single-Payer System That We Americans Should All Emulate Even Though It Literally Treats People Worse Than Dogs:

DIANE: ...because I have a dog, and if I want to get a blood test for him at the vet, it takes me 15 minutes and costs ten dollars and I have the results.

STEPHEN: And it's private?

DIANE: Well, yeah, it's private -- he's a vet. I'd be willing to pay ten dollars to have my blood tests right away too.

If you aren't prepared to explain to me why you believe that Obama's health care program won't fall afoul of exactly the same economic laws that have savaged the NHS in Britain and the single-payer system in Canada, then don't bother wasting my time telling me about how our current system is "unsustainable" and that anything is better than what we have., frankly. You could make the system catastrophically worse than it already is. You could implement Obamacare.

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