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The geniuses who run Great Britain’s system of socialized medicine have proposed using NHS resources to buy iPods and television sets for crackheads, according to the TimesOnline:
Drug addicts are to be offered gift vouchers and prizes on the National Health Service under plans by the government’s medicine watchdog to encourage them to stay clean.
Considering that the same government entity refuses to provide widely-used and effective cancer treatments to its patients, the perversity of this idea is breathtaking. And that point has not been lost on patient advocates:
Katherine Murphy, of the Patients Association, said: “Why should these people with self-inflicted problems be given priority over people who have a genuine illness? Some people with genuine disease are being forced to sell their homes for the medicines they need.”
The answer to Ms. Murphy’s question is obvious. When you allow government apparatchiks to control health care, such warped priorities are inevitable. Even if the bureaucrats are well-meaning and intelligent—not always a given—they simply don’t have enough information to allocate resources efficiently.
Only the market has the ability to allocate resources in a way that provides the most good for the largest number of people. The quantity of information contained in a single price for a single good far exceeds the miniscule amount of data that can be possessed and processed any group of “experts.”
Until health care is returned to the realm of the free market, wacky ideas like giving prizes to crackheads will continue to bubble up from the bureaucratic muck.
+ May 2009
+ May 2008
+ May 2007