Guillaume Vuillemey, a researcher at France’s Institut Economique Molinari, and Philip Stevens, a researcher at Britain’s International Policy Network write in today’s Washington Examiner about how Obama’s proposed government takeover of the health care system has worked in Europe.
Hint. Not so well.
Click here to read the column, or if you live in the metro D.C. area pick up a copy of The Examiner. Vuillemey and Stevens write, in part:
President Barack Obama’s proposed "public insurance option" for universal health coverage seems logical: A large public insurance fund will provide quality coverage for the uninsured and force competing insurers to lower costs. In practice, though, one needs only look at what decades of government health care have done to ramp up the financial and quality problems endured by Britain and France.
The Obama plan is supposed to make health insurance more competitive. But heavy subsidies will give it a big advantage, pulling an estimated 118.5 million people from private insurers to the public system. This government-subsidized system will eventually dominate the market in a way that would overrule competition…
…One way government tries to limit demand is to decree which new drugs can be prescribed. Many drugs, widely available in America and continental Europe, are denied to British patients.
State mismanagement has also created waiting lines for hospitals, on average causing 8.6 weeks of waiting. Once inside, budgetary cutbacks on cleaning and maintenance mean higher rates of an antibiotic-resistant variety of staph infection. This "superbug" has turned even routine surgery into a lottery of death
This is precisely what happened in Britain. The state provides most health care, via the National Health Service. Patients have almost no say over which physician, surgeon or hospital they can use, while professionals have to conform to government plans and targets…
…America can certainly draw lessons from overseas about saving money on health care. But in the cases of France and Britain, these lessons are in what not to do. These countries show that nationalizing care damages care.