Friday, November 6, 2009

Another Picture of What Universal Healthcare Might Look Like

According to a story broken by Business Week earlier this week, a number of large, well-known companies, such as Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, have received quantities of the H1N1 vaccine to provide to their employees who belong to high-risk groups, as defined by the federal government.

It should be noted that, at this time, it appears that these companies participated in the acquisition process in a perfectly legal manner, and are bound to distribute the vaccine only to those with the greatest need. In other words, they have done nothing wrong.

Of course, this does nothing to quell the criticism and the rumor-mongering that these companies have somehow gamed the system to garner more benefits than they are due. When I first heard about this on the Today show yesterday morning, you would have thought the mob was involved.

This story is instructive, however, in one way: It gives us a glimpse into what the world of government-run healthcare might look like. There will be times when the demand for a healthcare supply or service will exceed the demand. Some will obtain the supply or service; others, for whatever reason, will not. Those who are "in the know" or have connections will be more likely to receive it; others will not. Furthermore, it is likely that some will not only be "in the know" but will be able to circumvent whatever bureaucratic-nightmare procurement process will be in place.

You may not be near the front of the line. You may not even be told where the line is. You may see others obtain healthcare while you or your loved ones do not. You may not be able to do anything about it.

Americans will respond to this predictably: Some will complain; others will establish a "black market" (as it will inevitably be called by some) to provide healthcare and related supplies outside of the government's bureaucratic system. Some will make use of this market.

And those of you my age and older will start to wonder how similar this is to the Soviet Union of the 1970's and 1980's.

Healthcare, Democrat-style. Just a peek into your future.

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