Wednesday, 15 June 2005

The die-while-you-wait health system

No, I don't mean the New Zealand health system, although you could easily be forgiven for thinking I do.

What I'm referring to is a Cox & Forkum cartoon, Queutopia, and a Wall Street Journal article, Unsocialized Medicine; A landmark ruling exposes Canada's health-care inequity:
The larger lesson here is that health care isn't immune from the laws of economics. Politicians can't wave a wand and provide equal coverage for all merely by declaring medical care to be a "right," in the word that is currently popular on the American left.

There are only two ways to allocate any good or service: through prices, as is done in a market economy, or lines dictated by government, as in Canada's system. The socialist claim is that a single-payer system is more equal than one based on prices, but last week's court decision reveals that as an illusion. Or, to put it another way, Canadian health care is equal only in its shared scarcity.

So okay, I do mean the NZ health system. Replace 'Canadian' with 'NZ' in the above and the argument is the same, isn't it?

Care to queue?


  1. If you do mean New Zealand then you are wrong. Because the dichotomy presented ("allocate by price or by govt line dictate") is a false dichotonomy. It would only be true if the only alternatives were purely private or purely public systems.

    The NZ health system is a mixed public/private system, like England, Australia or most other western democracies.

    Canada is not, it is a purely public health system.

    (oh, and even a slightly nutty system like Canada's still gives vastly better health outcomes than the privatised US health care - despite costing much less. Because purely private health care systems have extraordinarily high administrative costs.)

  2. Robert Winefield16 Jun 2005, 02:25:00


    As a NZer in the USA let me tell you that you are talking shit. The health care provided by the US Private system is vastly superior to the NZ system. The insurance premiums vary between employers and will go down if the F---ing Dems let Bush change the law so that groups of small businesses (and hopefully private citizens) can bulk buy insurance cover.

    In other words if the goddamned goverment got the f--k out of the way the US health system would be even better.

  3. And public health care is not cheap. Don't only think about the $40 you pay to go see a doctor.

    Think about all those lovely taxes they take - a portion thereof goes to tax. If even $200/month of your tax goes to health you'd have been better of in private healthcare.

    Robert's right - let them butt out and let us take care of ourselves.

    Anybody see Kim Hill grill Anette King last night? Well and truely roasted. "We don't have a waiting list".

    Bloody political sophistry.

  4. icehawk, it's a mix? You mean I can opt out of paying for the public one?

    Oh you mean I have to pay for the public one AND the private one. The public one as a sorry excuse to Labour voters, and the private one to get anything done. Even Annette King recommends going private if you want something done before you're death.

  5. If you live here in Christchurch it's just that you've been standing in the wrong queue!

    Press today


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