Tag Archives: Bureaucracy

Patients starving and dying of thirst in socialized NHS health care system

From the UK Telegraph, a story about government-run health care in the UK.

Excerpt:

Forty-three hospital patients starved to death last year and 111 died of thirst while being treated on wards, new figures disclose today.

The death toll was disclosed by the Government amid mounting concern over the dignity of patients on NHS wards.

They will also fuel concerns about care homes, as it was disclosed that eight people starved to death and 21 people died of thirst while in care.

Last night there were warnings that they must prompt action by the NHS and care home regulators to prevent further deaths among patients.

The Office for National Statistics figures also showed that:

  • as well as 43 people who starved to death, 287 people were recorded by doctors as being malnourished when they died in hospitals;
  • there were 558 cases where doctors recorded that a patient had died in a state of severe dehydration in hospitals;
  • 78 hospital and 39 care home patients were killed by bedsores, while a further 650 people who died had their presence noted on their death certificates;
  • 21,696 were recorded as suffering from septicemia when they died, a condition which experts say is most often associated with infected wounds.

The records, from the Office for National Statistics, follow a series of scandals of care of the elderly, with doctors forced to prescribe patients with drinking water or put them on drips to make sure they do not become severely dehydrated .

This is the problem with socialized medicine. You pay your money up front and then later on the government decides how much treatment you get. They have no reason to be nice to you – you already paid them. They don’t get paid more or less based on the quality of care they give you. You can’t get a refund on taxes paid. And where else can you go? It’s a single payer system.

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NHS bans woman from surgery because her carbon footprint is too big

ECM sent me this disturbing article from the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

Avril Mulcahy, 83, was told to address the “green travelling issues” over her journeys from her home in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, to the West Road Surgery. The surgery wrote to Mrs Mulcahy, telling her to register with a new GP within 28 days.

The letter said: “Our greatest concern is for your health and convenience but also taking into consideration green travelling issues. Re: Carbon footprints and winter weather conditions, we feel it would be advisable for patients to register at surgeries nearer to where they live.

“We would be very grateful if you could make the necessary arrangements to re-register at another practice.”

Mrs Mulcahy, a grandmother, believes the decision was made because she complained about a doctor.

[…]Mrs Mulcahy said she was anxious and worried at having to try to find a new GP. “If they really cared, they could have found me a new practice instead of just basically saying do it yourself,” she said.

“It is a great worry to me as I am elderly and need to get repeat prescriptions for medication. This is really a stress I could do without. I won’t let it rest though, because I feel like I am being treated poorly.”

The West Road Surgery declined to comment.

This is the problem with socialized medicine. You pay your money up front and then later on the government decides how much treatment you get. They have no reason to be nice to you – you already paid them. They don’t get paid more or less based on the quality of care they give you. You can’t get a refund on taxes paid. And where else can you go? It’s a single payer system.

New study: reducing government regulation creates jobs

From the Washington Examiner.

Excerpt:

According to the Phoenix study, “even a small 5% reduction in the regulatory budget (about $2.8 billion) would result in about $75 billion in expanded private-sector GDP each year, with an increase in employment by 1.2 million jobs annually. On average, eliminating the job of a single regulator grows the American economy by $6.2 million and nearly 100 private sector jobs annually.” The reverse is true as well, according to Phoenix, which said “each million dollar increase in the regulatory budget costs the economy 420 private sector jobs.”

“Our statistical analysis of historical data indicates that federal expenditures on regulatory activity have a significant impact on the size of the private-sector economy and private-sector employment,” says Dr. George S. Ford, chief economist at the Phoenix Center. “While the entire federal budget must be cut to address the deficit problem, the evidence indicates that reductions in the overall federal regulatory budget may substantially impact the growth of economic output and employment.”

It’s hard to imagine any way of making it clearer: Whatever merits it may otherwise have, the federal regulatory bureaucracy is a tremendous drag on the economy, diverting and destroying the very precious investment capital that is essential to generating the growth that creates jobs that pay the taxes that fund the government. This provides an important insight into why federal offices like the Environmental Protection Agency do not consider the effect of proposed regulations on the ability of the economy to generate jobs.

If you want job creators to create jobs, ask the job creators what is stopping them from creating jobs. At the top of their list will be government regulations.

Is the taxpayer-funded scientific bureaucracy self-correcting?

Consider this post from Evolution News which talks about a paper in the prestigious pro-naturalism journal Science that is drawing a lot of criticisms. (H/T Melissa, Jonathan)

Excerpt:

Last December we reported on a controversial paper published in Science which claimed to have discovered bacteria that feed on arsenic instead of phosphorous. According to NASA, this research promised to provide “an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.” At that time the media reported things like:

  • scientists discovered “a bacteria whose DNA is completely alien to what we know today” (Wired)
  • the “bacteria is made of arsenic” (Wired)
  • the bacteria is “capable of using arsenic to build its DNA, RNA, proteins, and cell membranes” (Gizmodo)
  • the paper had reported “arsenic-based life” which is “very alien in terms of how it’s put together” and “NASA has, in a very real sense, discovered a form of alien life” (io9)
  • “you can potentially cross phosphorus off the list of elements required for life” (Nature)

But soon after the original Science paper was published, credible scientists began critiquing the paper’s claims. In the June 3, 2011 issue of Science, several of those scientists have published comments critiquing the original paper. Many of their criticisms focus on the claim that the original paper did not establish or rule out the possibility that the bacteria are not still living off of phosphorous.

So you have a paper being published that everyone is excited about because it helps the naturalists to close gaps in their worldview. But was it good science? The Evolution News piece goes on to list the criticisms of the paper.

And here is the result:

Of course the authors of the original paper, including lead-author Felisa Wolf-Simon, co-authored a reply to the criticisms which should also be read. But critics remain unconvinced. Nature news recently quoted Barry Rosen of Florida International University stating, “I have not found anybody outside of [Wolfe-Simon’s] laboratory who supports the work.” Likewise, Rosie Redfield observes:

“With so many mistakes pointed out, there should be at least some where the authors say, ‘you’re right, we should have done that but we didn’t’,” Redfield says. “This as an entirely a ‘we were right’ response, and that’s a bad sign in science.”

Despite the high levels of skepticism of claims of arsenophilic bacteria, Nature reports that few scientists have taken the initiative to attempt to experimentally reproduce the claims made in the original paper:

However, most labs seem too busy to spend time replicating work that they feel is fundamentally flawed and is not likely to be published in high-impact journals. So principal investigators are reluctant to spend their resources, and their students’ time, replicating the work. “If you extended the results to show there is no detectable arsenic, where could you publish that?” asks Simon Silver of the University of Illinois at Chicago, who critiqued the work in FEMS Microbiology Letters in January and on 24 May at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in New Orleans. “How could the young person who was asked to do that work ever get a job?” Refuting another scientist’s work also takes time that scientists could be spending on their own research. For instance, Helmann says he is installing a highly sensitive mass spectrometer that can measure trace amounts of elements. But, he says, “I’ve got my own science to do.”

Such admissions do not bode well for those who blindly believe in the perfectly objective, self-correcting nature of science. In this case, it seems safe to experimentally critique these claims since so many respected scientists have already expressed vocal skepticism. Yet experiments are apparently not yet forthcoming. What about areas of science where scientists are not able to express their dissent freely? For example, who would take time to experimentally critique claims that are central to neo-Darwinian theory, especially if it’s dangerous to one’s career? One hopes that science will become more self-correcting when it comes to claims made in support of materialism.

In light of what we now know about global warming research, shouldn’t we be a little more welcoming of whistleblowers and critics? Shouldn’t we be a little more careful about hastily approving research that agrees with the religion of naturalism, instead of checking it over thoroughly to make sure that it really is good science?

Obamacare cancels development on 60 new hospitals

Story here from CNS News. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Physician-owned hospitals are advertised as less bureaucratic and more focused on doctor-patient decision making. However, larger corporate hospitals say doctor-owned facilities discriminate in favor of high-income patients and refer business to themselves.

The new health care rules single out such hospitals, making new physician-owned projects ineligible to receive payments for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Existing doctor-owned hospitals will be grandfathered in to get government funds for patients but must seek permission from the Department of Health and Human Services to expand.

[…]More than 60 doctor-owned hospitals across the country that were in the development stage will be canceled, said Molly Sandvig, executive director of Physician Hospitals of America (PHA).

“That’s a lot of access to communities that will be denied,” Sandvig told CNSNews.com. “The existing hospitals are greatly affected. They can’t grow. They can’t add beds. They can’t add rooms. Basically, it stifles their ability to change and meet market needs. This is really an unfortunate thing as well, because we are talking about some of the best hospitals in the country.”

The thing about communism that you need to understand is that it has to kill small business, so that individual consumers have no choice between producers.

A centralized government is much more capable of controlling the operations of a few large conformist oxen than a massive herd of independent cats. That’s why I think there is a lot of hostility to small business in Obama’s economic policies.  In particular, the health care mandates are designed to destroy small businesses, while the massive bailouts are designed to nationalize large companies. It’s straight out of the communist playbook.