I should have something to profound say about the passing of the 2,000-page health care law, which has altered the relationship between the American citizen and his government. But I find myself speechless.
Instead, I will let my favorite Brit, Theodore Dalrymple, have his say over at City Journal:
Americans would do well to ponder a recent admission by a former British minister in the Blair government. On March 2, the Guardian reported that the ex-minister, now Lord Warner, said that while spending on Britain’s National Health Service had increased by 60 percent under the Labour government, its output had decreased by 4 percent. [. . .]
The ex-minister admitted that most of the extra money—which by now must equal a decent proportion of the total national debt—had been simply wasted. [. . .]
When you go to a family doctor in Britain, he is more likely to do what the government thinks he ought to do and will pay him a bonus for doing than what he thinks is right. This is sinister, even when what the government thinks is right happens to be right. [. . .]
Just before the last election, the chief executive of one of the hospitals in which I once worked was overheard saying, “My job is to make sure that the government is reelected.” (The government’s job, in turn, was to make sure that she remained chief executive.) She also explained that the hospital could expect no increase in its government funding, unlike other hospitals—because it was located in an area in which most people voted for the government anyway.
To which I can only add: get ready for a messier version of the same, at your local clinic.