Socialist health care exposed

Mona Charen notices that the stark under-performance of centralized and socialized health care systems in former Communist countries is not exactly good news for leftists, who have long waxed eloquent about the “free” medical treatment in Cuba and the former Soviet Union. But compared with the civilized capitalist world, they simply can’t measure up:

When the Soviet Union went out of business, the real state of its health care system — indeed all social services — was revealed at last. Instead of the gleaming socialist clinics presided over by crisp female physicians, we found a Third World system without even the rudiments of modern plumbing, far less modern medical equipment. As Robert Conquest wrote in”Reflections on a Ravaged Century,” Moscow’s health minister acknowledged in 1991 that half of the hospitals in the (capital) had no sewerage, 80 percent lacked hot water, and some 17 percent did not have running water of any sort.”

But… but… it’s free!



  1. Kevin

    What a novel entry. I don’t think you have the causal relationship right though. I think you are comparing the health care performance of poor nations to rich nations (Slovakia, Poland et. al) with Sweden, France et. al.
    I’m sure you know that life expectancy and cancer rates has more to do with other economic and environmental factors than health care.
    You should know that Sweden and France, while certainly part of the ‘civilized capitalist’ world, a lot have ‘socialized’ medical systems.
    In fact many countries do: Canada, Australia, Britain, all of the Scandinavian countries and much of western Europe. The medical outcomes in these countries is very much the same as America.
    Obviously I’d rather be treated in the US or Canada than Russia but the quality of the Russian healthcare system is not poor because it is a “socialist” system. It is poor because it is poor.

  2. Chrees

    Ask anyone in the U.S. who says we must have affordable health care for all (socialized health care, in other words) if they would want to enroll in the Vetrans Adminitration health system as their only choice. Because that is exactly what it would look like.