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Would Gov't Go Broke Providing Universal Healthcare?



November 05, 2009 – Comments (11)

A simple question (comment) was asked to my last blog about healthcare.  Kennyboy81 asked "I'm curious why the gov't would go broke providing free healthcare for everyone.It works in the 7 other countries in the G8..."

The answer is rationing. Here are some excellent articles on the subject (I specifically looked for articles from unbiased web sites - not right wing propaganda):

Rationing Care from Limited Funds (from BBC News)
"The NHS cannot, and never has been able to, offer every treatment to everyone who needs it."

Speech at German Medical Assembly in Mainz
"We doctors in Germany—let me say this once again clearly—do not want rationing; we do not want any cuts in medical services. But we also do not want to continue to be held responsible for the state-decreed shortages in doctors' offices and clinics." --President of the German Medical Association

French Avoid Rationing - Run Up Deficits
... in 2005 the health care system ran a €11.6 billion deficit and in 2006 the health care system had a €10.3 billion deficit. No centrally planned health insurance system will be immune from occasional (or even frequent) deficits.

LA TIMES (very liberal)
Britain and Canada control costs in a very specific fashion: The government sets a budget for how much will be spent on healthcare that year, and the system figures out how to spend that much and no more

11 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 05, 2009 at 8:43 AM, castleinvestor (< 20) wrote:

The government already is broke.

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#2) On November 05, 2009 at 9:09 AM, dbjella (< 20) wrote:


For the gov't to control costs, it must ration if demand is increasing. 

Or.....get the Federal Reserve to pay for it :) 


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#3) On November 05, 2009 at 9:12 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Nope. The middle class would go broke. The poor and middle class would be robbed through the Cantillon Effects of money creation.

Governments, by their very nature, can never go broke. They own no resources. They merely shift money from some people to other people.  

David in Qatar

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#4) On November 05, 2009 at 9:56 AM, chk999 (99.96) wrote:

The answer is "it depends".

Some level of universal care could be provided and paid for by taxaxtion. This level is probably pretty low.

Unlimited healthcare can't be provided by anyone, because there doesn't seem to be any practical limit to the amount of healthcare that will be demanded. If it doesn't cost you anything, then demanding an extremely expensive treatment for someone that is going to die anyway seems reasonable. Most of the healthcare dollars spent on a person are spent in the last 6 months of life.

What will probably happen is that basic care will be provided at the cost of increased taxes and some level of triage will happen to cut care down to comfort care (which is cheap) in those that are terminal.

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#5) On November 05, 2009 at 10:08 AM, ChrisGraley (28.51) wrote:

Begin Program....

Problem {If healthcare = yes does Gov Broke = yes?}


Analyze current gov...

Assets - Liabilities currently less than zero. Gov Broke currently = yes. Engage print more money subroutine...

Add stimlus plan subroutine engaged...

Engage Print more money subroutine...

Cap and Trade plan subroutine engaged...

Engage Print more money subroutine...

Change Healthcare to yes...

Engage Print more money subroutine...

The following errors have occured in Health care plan.. **** Middle Class Failure****  [Taxes can not be greater than income!] ****Business failure**** [Local costs great exceed Global costs! (See Corporate Expatriation)] ****[Warning Socialist controls were overridden when Gov Broke = Yes]

Suggestion {Programming logic not followed, Inputs must be greater than or equal to outputs.}


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#6) On November 05, 2009 at 2:31 PM, RonChapmanJr (30.14) wrote:

The only way to keep healthcare costs down is through rationing.  There is no other way, but people want to avoid that because it sounds cruel.

Rationing IS the answer.

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#7) On November 05, 2009 at 3:03 PM, kennyboy81 (36.31) wrote:

Don't you think having 50 million people with NO healthcare is a form a rationing at its extreme?

I suppose its a tradeoff between some care for all and no care for some. I understand its impossible to provide full care for everyone. Its a reality. But don't HMO's already practice a form of rationing?

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#8) On November 05, 2009 at 3:13 PM, castleinvestor (< 20) wrote:



Who are these 50 million?

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#9) On November 05, 2009 at 4:08 PM, devoish (62.74) wrote:

The USA spends 16% of GDP on healthcare. Double most other countrys without doing a more complete job of delivering healthcare.

I posted a dozen storys of people who did not have insurance. I could have kept going and posted a hundred, and there were more than that. Sanders heard 4000 in four days. They were paying for insurance, but it was not there when they needed it. You are like them.

Remind me again, what is the value added by private insurers for 25% of the premium?

Besides the anti Gov't philosophy.



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#10) On November 05, 2009 at 4:16 PM, castleinvestor (< 20) wrote:


If only we could live in a world where you can have your healthcare rationed, and I could pay my premiums and have my healthcare there when I needed it, like it has ALWAYS been.

Should I post a dozen stories of people happy with their healthcare? If I did, would that be enough for you? B/c the opposite is supposed to be enough for me. Tell me how that makes sense?

I want everyone to be ABLE to have health insurance. That doesnt mean I think screwing with the large majority of everyone else's and forcing us into a situation in which we eventually wont have a choice to choose b/w the free market or the state is a good idea.

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#11) On November 05, 2009 at 11:06 PM, bullnada (< 20) wrote:

 Western medicine sucks . I have never used a western doctor. I am afraid of them. Western medicine is tied to money and the market. That spells bloated ceo's. My Mom just got over swine flu with holistics. People beat cancer with diet and cleansing.  Why do you think we have cancer?

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