Friday, April 11, 2008

The Benefits of Socialized Medicine

A patient was left with a phone bill of £127 after being left hanging on the line for 49 minutes to make a hospital appointment.

Wayne Marshall, 30, was left fuming after spending nearly an hour on the phone to the outpatients' department of Broomfield Hospital.

But he was gobsmacked when he discovered the two calls had landed him with a bill of £127 for just trying to rearrange his appointment.

He eventually got through on his second attempt the same day after a 29-minute call.

We should do this! Its sounds super-duper!


jkruse said...

You're right. For those of us with insurance, it's much more convenient to have lots of sick people stay away from our doctors because they can't afford any care.

And of course, there's no way we or our family members would ever find themselves without insurance. Right?

jkruse said...

p.s. This guy paid 127 pounds for 80 minutes on the phone? Was he calling from Malaysia?

p.p.s. When's the last time you went to the E.R. to see a doctor? Did you get seen in less than 80 minutes?

jroosh said...

Forget about socialization. Unravel the third-party payor system, let people unbundle from their employers, shop for their own insurance and rates will drop and service levels and coverage will increase.

As for the wait? He wasn't waiting for his doctor. He was waiting to set an appointment.

If people can't get an appointment for non-acute care, they will flood the ER's or choose not to employ preventative care which will also flood the system with costly acute care issues.

In either case, socialization via the government will make things worse for everyone not better and the article is (albeit anecdotal) evidence.

jroosh said...

PS Krusey, what did you think about my Friday Music video choice?

jkruse said...

If people can't get an appointment for non-acute care, they will flood the ER's or choose not to employ preventative care which will also flood the system with costly acute care issues.

So you realize, you're describing our current system, right?

I don't understand how socialized programs lead to a shortage of primary care. I'll grant that there is a shortage in some countries with socialized medicine, but can you prove causation? People dress funny in some of those countries. Will that happen here also?

p.s. Not a bad song. I've got XM so I'd not heard it before. I've been listening to a lot of Wilco recently - they're coming to town and I'm getting ready.

TRM said...

When I saw the headline I figured there was a punchline...

Bike Bubba said...

Kruse, I was in in November--about 15 minutes, which was still excruciating given that I was passing a gallstone at the time. And yes, people in the current, half-private system generally DO answer the phone and get me to the right person within a minute or two.

And here's how shortages arise; you fix the price below the market clearing price, hence suppliers leave the market for more profitable areas than practicing medicine. It's the same kind of price fixing that gave us gas shortages in the 1970s and housing shortages wherever rent control is practiced--not to mention virtually endless lines in any Communist country in the Warsaw Pact.

You know, there ARE people who will be quite willing to teach you some economics, if you're willing to learn.

Bike Bubba said...

Oh, and why is BT so high? Same basic reason that Ma Bell was so high prior to breakup. It's called "government provided monopoly." BT is privatised, but is effectively a monopoly through much of England.

jkruse said...

So Bubba,

I didn't realize that it was a requirement for the federal government to purchase goods and services below sustainable rates.

That must be why there's such a dearth of defense contractors.

Thanks for the lesson.

jkruse said...

p.s. According to this:

looks like land line calls within the UK are about 4 pence per minute. (Except from Malaysia. Thats .49/minute)