Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

How well is socialized health care working in Britain?

The National Health Service is government-run socialist health care
The National Health Service is government-run socialist health care

Back in 2009, a radical leftist named Paul Krugman wrote about the health care system in Britain. As a leftist, it’s his view that government-run health care is better than free market health care. Basically, he thinks that people get better health care if it’s run like the US Postal Service is run, instead of how Amazon.com is run.

Let’s see what he says in the far-left extremist New York Times:

In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false. Like every system, the National Health Service has problems, but over all it appears to provide quite good care while spending only about 40 percent as much per person as we do. By the way, our own Veterans Health Administration, which is run somewhat like the British health service, also manages to combine quality care with low costs.

And what about the people who say that the NHS doesn’t provide quality health care, despite getting a huge portion of the all the taxes that are collected in Britain?

At this point, all that stands in the way of universal health care in America are the greed of the medical-industrial complex, the lies of the right-wing propaganda machine, and the gullibility of voters who believe those lies.

Every bad story that you’ve ever heard about socialized health care is a lie, and you’re gullible if you believe those lies.

Well, see, now I’m confused. Because if I turn the page of the New York Times from an editorial to a news story, I read this:

At some emergency wards, patients wait more than 12 hours before they are tended to. Corridors are jammed with beds carrying frail and elderly patients waiting to be admitted to hospital wards. Outpatient appointments were canceled to free up staff members, and by Wednesday morning hospitals had been ordered to postpone nonurgent surgeries until the end of the month.

Cuts to the National Health Service budget in Britain have left hospitals stretched over the winter for years, but this time a flu outbreak, colder weather and high levels of respiratory illnesses have put the N.H.S. under the highest strain in decades.

The situation has become so dire that the head of the health service is warning that the system is overwhelmed.

[…]“The N.H.S. waiting list will grow to five million people by 2021,” Mr. Stevens said in an impassioned speech to health care leaders in November. “That is one million more people, equivalent to one in 10 of us, the highest number ever.”

Over the past week, hospitals have increasingly declared “black alerts,” an admission that they are unable to cope with demand, the health service confirmed, without releasing numbers. Most hospitals have been unable to meet emergency-ward targets of seeing patients within four hours because of a shortage of beds and staff.

Britain spends billions and billions of pounds on health care every year, but it’s never enough. And British citizens already pay far more in taxes than Americans, who get much better care.

Sometimes, statistics are not as good as a good horror story…  On this blog, I’ve written about dozens of NHS horror stories. But Paul Krugman says they are all lies, including this one from the same New York Times article:

“There’s no real system or order; it’s a jungle in here,” said Nancy Harper, who had accompanied her 87-year-old grandmother, who was lying down and complaining of excruciating pain in her lower back.

“It’s been more than five hours,” Ms. Harper said. “We get to the front of the queue and then someone more ill comes in and we get pushed back. It’s outrageous.”

The UK Telegraph had some more information about the NHS health care system:

Every hospital in the country has been ordered to cancel all non-urgent surgery until at least February in an unprecedented step by NHS officials.

The instructions on Tuesday night – which will see result in around 50,000 operations being axed – followed claims by senior doctors that patients were being treated in “third world” conditions, as hospital chief executives warned of the worst winter crisis for three decades.

[…]Trusts have also been told they can abandon efforts to house male and female patients in separate wards, in an effort to protect basic safety, as services become overwhelmed.

50,000 scheduled surgeries canceled. If this were private sector health care, then the patients would have some recourse. But when the government is running health care, good luck trying to sue them for pain and suffering. They’ve already got your money from taxes, too – you can’t get it out to go somewhere else for surgery.

Although this seems horrifying to Americans, this is pretty standard all year round for Canadians, who have a true single payer health care system. According to the Fraser Institute, the average Canadian family pays about $12,000 in taxes for their free health care. And when they need things like MRIs or knee replacements, they have to wait for months. The average wait time there for “medically necessary treatment” is 21.2 weeks. Medically  Necessary Treatment. When I ask for an MRI in America, I get in the same week that I call.

When conservatives like me oppose government-run health care, it’s because we have looked carefully at government-run health care as it exists in comparable countries, and we have decided that it does not work. Progressives need to take a look at reality in countries like Britain and Canada. How well does it work? How much does it cost? It’s no good making policy decisions with feelings instead of facts.

Is Bernie Sanders correct to say that Canada has better, lower-cost health care?

Wall Street Journal calculates cost of Sanders spending plan
Wall Street Journal calculates cost of Sanders spending plan

He seems to be really passionate about raising taxes on working families, and then giving them “free” health care in return. Let’s see how that’s working out in Canada, where they do have a single-payer health care system.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Waiting times for medically necessary health care services under Canada’s single-payer system have hit a record high, according to a report from the Fraser Institute.

[…]The Fraser Institute found that patients under Canada’s single-payer system this year waited an average of 10.9 weeks—roughly two-and-a-half months—from the time they had a consultation with a specialist to the time at which they received treatment. Physicians consider 7.2 weeks to be a clinically reasonable wait time.

The report also found that patients’ wait for treatment after referral to a specialist by their general practitioner was 21.2 weeks, or longer than four months.

“This year’s wait time—the longest ever recorded in this survey’s history—is 128 percent longer than in 1993, when it was just 9.3 weeks,” the report states.

The report, which looks at 10 provinces in Canada, found that there are 1,040,791 patients waiting for procedures. There are also high wait times to receive scans and ultrasounds. Patients waited an average of 10.8 weeks for an MRI scan and 3.9 weeks for an ultrasound.

“Research has repeatedly indicated that wait times for medically necessary treatment are not benign inconveniences,” the report states. “Wait times can, and do, have serious consequences such as increased pain, suffering, and mental anguish.”

According to the report, patients experience long wait times for surgeries, waiting as long as 41.7 weeks for orthopedic surgery, 32.9 weeks for neurosurgery, and 31.4 weeks for ophthalmology.

“In certain instances, [wait times] can also result in poorer medical outcomes—transforming potentially reversible illnesses or injuries into chronic, irreversible conditions, or even permanent disabilities,” the report states. “In many instances, patients may also have to forgo their wages while they wait for treatment, resulting in an economic cost to the individuals themselves and the economy in general.”

Fraser points out that previous studies have found the lost economic output in waiting for joint replacement surgery, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, MRI scans, and cataract surgery totaled $14.8 billion in 2007.

The report also notes that 46.3 percent of patients would prefer to have their procedure performed within a week if they had the opportunity to do so.

The article also quotes Sally C. Pipes, a Canadian health care expert who knows how much Canadian taxpayers pay for “free” health care.

Pipes also refutes Sanders’s claim that Canada’s system offers relatively the same quality of care at a cheaper cost.

“It isn’t cheaper because Canadians pay for health care through their taxes,” Pipes explains. “The average Canadian family pays anywhere between $4,000 and $12,000 a year in taxes for a system where they have to wait over five months from seeing a primary care doctor to getting treatment by a specialist.”

“There’s fewer doctors relative to the population than in all but four other industrialized countries,” she said. “It’s last in terms of acute care hospital beds and there’s doctor shortages, residency spots are down, and waiting times—this is what happens when government controls the health care system, and this is what Bernie Sanders wants for the United States.”

Canadians are also paid less than Americans. Why? Because Canadian employers have to pay a percentage of their employee’s salary to the government for health care. Obviously, the employers are going to take that out of their employee’s salary without telling them.

Finally, it should be obvious that progressive Canadian politicians go South when they’re sick for healthcare. They know that when health care is free, you get the quality you’re paying for.

One thing you need to understand is that if you put health care in the hands of politicians, they they will use it for vote-buying, like they do with any government-run social program. So, if you are young and want an abortion or a sex change, you’re in luck. Because you have a lot of voting ahead of you, and they want to keep you happy with big government. But, if you’re old, and don’t have so much voting left to do, you’re expendable. That’s why countries with big government health care, like the Netherlands and Canada and the UK are always tinkering with euthanasia for the elderly.

Ted Cruz in CNN debate: taxing the rich 100% isn’t enough to pay for socialism

Ted and Heidi Cruz have a plan to simplify the tax code

On CNN, you get anti-conservative propaganda 24 hours a day. The only exception are the policy debates they sometimes air, in which intelligent conservatives get to speak. Past debates have featured Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who is the most intelligent conservative debater in the USA. On Tuesday night, Cruz was joined by Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, another able conservative. They debated two radical leftists – Bernie Sanders and Maria Cantwell.

The Washington Examiner had an excellent summary.

Excerpt:

Sen. Ted Cruz sniped at Sen. Bernie Sanders’ often-used complaint about “millionaires and billionaires” not paying enough in taxes during the CNN town hall debate on Tuesday, and quipped there aren’t enough of them to “pay for all the socialism that Bernie and the Democrats want to give away.”

The comment came as Cruz, R-Texas, took aim at the line of attack favored by Sanders, I-Vt., and the Democrats against the GOP tax reform about how it’s a tax cut for “the rich,” but Cruz said that really means it is a tax cut for “taxpayers.”

“Democrats have one talking point on taxes: It’s a tax cut for the rich,” Cruz began. “And they say it over and over and over again in response to everything. The most important thing for you to know when you’re at home is when they say rich, they mean taxpayer. Every time they say ‘rich’ they mean taxpayers.”

“Why is it? Because the very rich — there aren’t enough of them,” Cruz continued. “Bernie ran for president, he rolled out a tax plan. His tax plan was a massive tax increase. If you took every single person in America making over a million dollars, and you taxed them 100 percent of their income, you took every penny they earned — you came in in jackboots and confiscate it — it would pay 8 percent of the cost of Bernie’s tax plan. You know where they get their money? They get it from you, they get it from the the middle class.”

Cruz went on to cite a quote from his and Bernie’s prior CNN debate in which Sanders, while describing his preferred tax plan, said “everybody will pay some more.”

“You’re a single mom, you’re working, he says you’re going to pay some more,”‘ Cruz said afterwards. “You’re a small business owner, he says you’re going to pay some more. And the reason is, there aren’t not enough millionaires and billionaires to pay for all the socialism that Bernie and the Democrats want to give away.”

[…]”You said we’re going to tax the middle class but then you said, ‘we the Democrats are going to give it back to you. We’re going to give you free stuff, free healthcare, free education,'” Cruz said. “But you know what, it’s going to be Bernie and Maria deciding what you get. Tim and I have a simpler view. You keep your money, you get to decide if you want to invest in your decision.”

Is Ted Cruz correct about this point? Yes.

In 2012, John Stossel wrote this in Forbes:

If the IRS grabbed 100 percent of income over $1 million, the take would be just $616 billion.

In 2011, the Tax Foundation explained that even if you taxed ALL THE INCOME from all the people who make $200,000 or more, you would only raise $1.53 trillion dollars:

So taking half of the yearly income from every person making between one and ten million dollars would only decrease the nation’s debt by 1%. Even taking every last penny from every individual making more than $10 million per year would only reduce the nation’s deficit by 12 percent and the debt by 2 percent. There’s simply not enough wealth in the community of the rich to erase this country’s problems by waving some magic tax wand.

Finally, to put everything in perspective, think about what would need to be done to erase the federal deficit this year: After everyone making more than $200,000/year has paid taxes, the IRS would need to take every single penny of disposable income they have left. Such an act would raise approximately $1.53 trillion. It may be economically ruinous, but at least this proposal would actually solve the problem.

That’s much less than the $10 trillion that Obama added to the debt in his 8 years in office. And much much less than the current national debt which is over $20 trillion. Taxing the rich isn’t enough to pay for our current spending – we have to cut spending. 

Tax cuts are designed to spur economic growth by putting money into the hands of job-creating entrepreneurs. It’s the entrepreneurs who make inventions like smartphones and online marketplaces and streaming online media which make us all more productive. Competition between entrepreneurs drives quality up, and prices down. That’s why we give tax cuts to entrepreneurs – people and businesses who create economic growth by innovating. Giving taxpayer money to the Department of Motor Vehicles generates ZERO economic growth. Giving money to innovators and job creators is what gets us the new inventions and services that grow the economy. 

As Ted Cruz noted in the debate, we do indeed see increased economic growth and higher tax revenues when we have cut taxes in the past, e.g. – under Ronald Reagan. Not the mention the millions of jobs that are created by putting money back in the hands of entrepreneurs.
According to the radically-leftist communist NPR, Bernie Sanders’ most recent tax proposals would add $18 trillion to the debt over 10 years. That’s $1.8 trillion PER YEAR – much more than the $1.53 trillion you get from taxing the rich. So again, even if we take every penny made by those who earn $200,000 or more per year, we aren’t going to be able to pay for socialism. And those people aren’t going to just keep working if you take everything they earn anyway. They’d either stop working or just leave the country – just like the rich left France when they impose a top tax rate of 75%. This is how the world really works, OK. People don’t work for nothing. They probably wouldn’t even work if the government took half of what they earned. I certainly would not.

Back to the debate…

Here is a clip of Ted Cruz explaining how there isn’t enough money to pay for the Democrat spending platform even if you take every penny earned by the top earners:

Here is my favorite clip of Tim Scottt:

I like this clip of CNN cutting off Ted Cruz when he is presenting evidence, too:

The full video of the CNN debate is here:

And here is the full transcript.

North Korean soldier shot by other North Korean soldiers as he defects to South Korea

Call this North Korean wall the "Bernie Sanders" wall
Call this North Korean wall the “Bernie Sanders” socialism wall

I keep meeting young evangelicals who tell me how wonderful life would be if the government ran health care, and if the government regulated energy development and consumption. Well, there are countries where the government runs everything – like Venezuela and North Korea. What’s it like to live there?

The radically-leftist New York Times has an interesting story about what it’s like to live in a socialist country, where the government owns everything.

Excerpt:

North Korean troops fired on a fellow soldier who was defecting to South Korea on Monday across the heavily armed border dividing the countries, South Korean officials said, amid heightened tensions over the North’s nuclear weapons program.

The soldier was shot but succeeded in reaching the South, its military said in a statement.

The North Korean soldier defected through Panmunjom, a village that straddles the border between the two Koreas. Alerted by gunshots, South Korean guards found the North Korean soldier about 55 yards south of the border line that bisects Panmunjom. He was taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds to an elbow and shoulder, South Korean officials said.

[…]The defector drove a vehicle toward the border line inside Panmunjom, and then left the vehicle, running south while he was fired upon by other North Korean soldiers, according to the American-led United Nations Command, which oversees the 1953 armistice that halted the Korean War.

He took cover near a building on the southern side of the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom before South Korean and American troops came to his aid and took him to a hospital, the command said in a statement.

The Joint Security Area, which is 35 miles north of Seoul, the capital, was established after North Korea and its Communist ally China signed the armistice with the United Nations Command, which fought on South Korea’s behalf.

The area is the only place along the border where troops from North and South Korea face off, separated from each other by only a few feet.

A North Korean soldier last defected at the heavily guarded location in 2007.

More than 30,000 North Koreans have fled to the South since a widespread famine hit the impoverished North in the late 1990s. Nearly all of them have traveled through China. But a few North Korean soldiers and civilians have defected by crossing the 2.5-mile-wide demilitarized zone, which is guarded by minefields, sentry posts and tall fences topped with barbed wire, some electrified.

In 2012, a North Korean soldier scaled three barbed-wire fences to defect to the South. That same year, another North Korean soldier fled across the border after killing his platoon and squadron leaders. In 2015, after walking across the border, a North Korean soldier told South Korean investigators that he was fleeing widespread beatings and other abuse within his military barracks.

[…]In 1984, a gunfight erupted at Panmunjom when a citizen from what was then the Soviet Union dashed across the border to defect to the West. North Korean troops opened fire to stop him, and South Korean border guards fired back. One South Korean soldier and three North Korean border guards were killed.

My editors told me not to turn this post into another negative screed against stupid millennials, but to instead offer some encouraging words of advice on how they can educate themselves.

The first thing to realize is that all of your public school teachers are idiots – especially the ones who teach non-STEM classes. Education school degrees are the easiest degrees to get at college. They have the lowest entrance requirements, and the ed school students learn material that is fit for high school English classes. It’s a great degree for low-IQ people who dropped out of math in high school. So you can’t trust your public school teachers to teach you anything about civics or economics. If you were indoctrinated by your teachers to hate the free enterprise system, then you were lied to and indoctrinated. You will have to teach yourself, on your own.

For history, a good one-volume book is “A Patriot’s History of the United States” by Larry Schweikhart.

For economics, anything by Thomas Sowell is worth reading, but you might be better off starting out with “The Vision of the Anointed“, “Basic Economics“. “Economic Facts and Fallacies” and “Intellectuals and Society“. The nice thing about Thomas Sowell is that he does studies of economic policies that have been tried in different countries during different time periods, so you learn a lot about history as well.

Finally, the reason that there is a North and South Korea, and not just a North Korea, is because American, British and Australian forces beat back an unprovoked invasion by the North Koreans in 1950. This was probably the most moral war that the United States has ever engaged in, in the history of the United States. We shed our blood and spent our treasure to protect South Korea from becoming one large concentration camp – which is what North Korea is. If you’d like to read a good book about the Korean War, I highly recommend “The Frozen Hours“, a historical novel by Jeff Shaara.

Ted Cruz will debate Bernie Sanders on CNN tonight at 9 PM Eastern time

Ted and Heidi Cruz have a plan to simplify the tax code
Ted and Heidi Cruz have a plan to simplify the tax code

The Resurgent reports:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will participate in a CNN town hall on October 18th to discuss President Trump’s new tax proposals.

CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate the debate in Washington at 9 p.m. ET.

Cruz and Sanders will debate the best way to approach the issue, with Cruz supporting tax cuts for all, while Sanders supports tax hikes on the wealthy. The Senators will also take questions from the audience.

Currently, President Trump wants to reduce the personal income tax brackets from seven to three, double the standard deduction for married and single filers, and slash the corporate tax rate while finally eliminating the estate tax.

Senator Cruz argues that the current tax plan is far too complex, and supports a more simplified version that will ease the burdens on middle class families and businesses.

“We spend about nine billion hours a year wasting time with the IRS,” he said. “The world would be much, much simpler if you and I and everyone else just filled out a postcard.”

Dana Bash is a radical-leftist, and Jake Tapper is just a regular leftist. They’ll both agree with Sanders and will probably try to help him out, if he falls asleep.

Here is the full video from the first debate on health care policy:

It’s 90 minutes long. No commercials. This was basically a debate of similar substance to William Lane Craig debates, where actual economic evidence was continuously produced in order to show who was telling the truth, and who was just trying to be popular by saying what people who are uneducated at economics want to hear. In short: there was a clear winner and loser in this debate, and it was clear all the way through, and was reinforced over and over every time evidence was produced. The person producing the evidence would turn his back on the camera, and return to his podium to get the evidence. That person won the debate by being grounded in reality.

Also, the questions were excellent, especially from the small business owners who were impacted by Obamacare. The moderators were biased towards Sanders, but not excessively.

For those who cannot watch, there is an article at the Daily Signal.

Full text:

In a prime-time debate on CNN this week, Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, discussed “The Future of Obamacare” in America. Cruz, a leading critic of the law, used the moment to outline the law’s failures.

Here are four things Cruz said about Obamacare:

1) “Now, nobody thinks we’re done once Obamacare is repealed. Once Obamacare is repealed, we need commonsense reform that increases competition, that empowers patients, that gives you more choices, that puts you in charge of your health care, rather than empowering government bureaucrats to get in the way. And these have been commonsense ideas.”

2) “Indeed, I don’t know if the cameras can see this, but in 70 percent of the counties in America, on Obamacare exchanges, you have a choice of one or two health insurance plans, that’s it … It’s interesting. You look at this map, this also very much looks like the electoral map that elected Donald Trump. It’s really quite striking that the communities that have been hammered by this disaster of a law said enough already.”

During one of the more powerful moments in the debate, Cruz held up aHeritage Foundation chart showing viewers how many counties in the U.S. have access to only one or two insurers under Obamacare. Additionally, only 11 percent of counties have access to four or more insurance providers.

3) “Whenever you put government in charge of health care, what it means is they ration. They decide you get care and you don’t. I don’t think the government has any business telling you you’re not entitled to receive health care.”

The U.S. should not envy other health care systems, especially Canada and the United Kingdom, Cruz said. He referred to a governor from Canada who came to the U.S. specifically to have heart surgery.

4) “That’s why I think the answer is not more of Obamacare, more government control, more of what got us in this mess. Rather, the answer is empower you. Give you choices. Lower prices. Lower premiums. Lower deductibles. Empower you and put you back in charge of your health care.”

Obamacare is burdening Americans. The average deductible for a family on a bronze plan is $12,393, according to a HealthPocket analysis. According to aneHealth report, the average nationwide premium increase for individuals is 99 percent and 140 percent for families from 2013-2017.

I really recommend you watch tonight’s debate, because it these things were done on a weekly or monthly basis, then people would be able to think critically about what they are presented with from the mainstream media, Hollywood elites and progressive academics.