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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10137/socialist-medicine-license-to-kill/

Socialist Medicine = License to Kill

June 15, 2009 by

The Canadian state has, once again, resorted to murdering its own citizens to protect its vaunted monopoly over health care services and pharmaceuticals:

Cancer patients desperate enough to order cheaper, unlicensed versions of the drug thalidomide from Mexico now face another challenge to getting treatment: Federal authorities have reportedly begun seizing supplies of the life-extending medicine at the border.

“Health Canada is stopping every single box of thalidomide,” said an official with a Mexican company that makes the pills, who asked not to be named. “Patients are starting to die because of this.”

Patient advocates said they had also heard reports that Health Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency have instituted a crackdown on shipments of thalidomide from Mexico and other developing countries.

Health Canada officials would not comment directly on whether they had stepped up seizures, but said their policy has always been to bar unsanctioned imports of such drugs into the country.

The “single payer” provincial governments that centrally plan health care spending won’t reimburse patients for the cost of purchasing thalidomide “legally,” hence these law-breaking cancer patients had to resort to the marketplace. Since the Canadian state forbids peaceful exchange, the only option for some of the people who require thalidomide to live is to, well, die.

You can see why government-controlled health care is so appealing to the Obama regime. It’s hard to resist giving yourself even more power to decide who lives and who dies. There’s nothing more fun than playing God, right?


Enjoy Every Sandwich June 15, 2009 at 8:59 am

Since the Canadian state forbids peaceful exchange, the only option for some of the people who require thalidomide to live is to, well, die.

And the state will no doubt insist (in a hurt tone of voice for the idea that they could be doubted) that it’s “for your own good”.

I Hate Psychiatrists June 15, 2009 at 10:09 am

There’s nothing more fun than playing God, right?
Playing Satan is a lot more fun ! LOL !

Ask any psychiatrist or police officer and they will tell you how much fun they have destroying other people’s lives against their will.
Surely “God” cannot be as evil and destructive as a police officer or a psychiatrist, so those crooks must be playing “Satan”.

Twisted jokes aside,

I live in Canada and if I ever need health care I will be forced to go to Mexico, Cuba or India to get the health care I need.

In Canada, we are taxed 50% of our income, out of which 25% is for health care.

Yet, we are forced to boycott the socialist system because we don’t have access to it. We basically die on waiting lists and the government won’t let us go to the private sector or play doctor ourselves.

So basically, the whole health care system in Canada is a hoax to rob people of their hard earned money and kill them once they need health care services.

Socialism is evil and much worse than capitalism.

Chuck October 31, 2010 at 2:09 am

What’s the climate like on your planet?

Franklin June 15, 2009 at 11:46 am

A little off the direct topic, sitting in the hotel lobby I watch Obama address the AMA. The applause is incessant, and repetitive. You can almost set your watch to the rhythmic interruptions. All these physicians and bureaucrats run to shake his hand and back-pat him in support.
Can you just hear their sub-conscious whispers?
“Wow… our compensation wasn’t high enough already. I’m getting behind this big time. We are gonna be SO RICH!!!!”

Jay Greathouse June 15, 2009 at 12:04 pm

The hegemony treats us as surplus livestock at best and petty annoyances to be ignored, not as citizens to whom they have obligations.

North American complacency looks dysfunctional compared the readiness of some people to stand up to government corruption, as we now witness in Iran, for example.

I used to expect a large scale public response in the U.S. to occur at some point. Now I struggle with profoundly lowered expectations.

It seems the tipping point has been passed and meaningful change will only be possible after total system collapse. A bumpy ride to this event it will be.

rjsgso June 15, 2009 at 1:32 pm

This is just like the US crackdown on senior citizens buying their presriptions in Canada because they can’t afford them in the US. BigPharma objected to a small loss of market share.

This isn’t about socialized medicine, it’s about BigPharma using the government to prop up a monopoly on a particular drug. Sound familiar?

Steve Hogan June 15, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Central planning of health care? Sounds like a wonderful idea! Why be responsible for myself when I can have bureaucrats steal my money and provide the “service” for me? That way I can avoid any independent thought. It also means punishing those who lead healthy lifestyles while subsidizing bad behavior. What could possibly go wrong?

By the way, anyone who wants a taste of what socialized medicine will be like doesn’t need to leave the country. Go visit a VA hospital. See how our vets are treated. It’s downright deplorable. This is what’s in store for us. God help us all.

Len June 15, 2009 at 7:44 pm

So Canada has one incident involving drug importation (which will likely be resolved by next week) and all of the sudden the Canadian health care system is full of murderers?

I’m always amused by how Conservative USA responds to the Canadian health care – this fear-mongering article is hardly unique.

As a Canadian who has has a fair share of health issues (multiple broken bones, thyroid issues and benign tumors) all within the past 5 years, I would like to reassure your readers that my experience with my health care providers hava been wonderful. I’ve had 5 biopsies, 2 bone re-settings & casts, MRIs, CAT scans, 5-12 visits to my Family Physican per Year, plus visits to an Internist, ENT, and neurologist, all for the lovely out-of-pocket cost of $0. Plus, all my prescriptions, for ANY drug for ANY disease, are just $7 (thanks to a wonderful private employer medical plan that costs me $300/year). Not to mention, the plan includes 4-5 visits to a massage therapist/acupuncturist/Naturopath. As a side note, my Naturopath was able to treat my sinus issues w/o resorting to the drugs my ENT perscribed. Choice is wonderful.

My wait to see my family doc is never more than a few hours, and I can go to the emergency room, any time, for free.

All the doctors I see make between 150k and 300k per year (based on the number of patients they see and the hours they work). Not only are they well-paid, but I always feel that they are working for my best interest only (not profit, pharma, or an HMO)

And, as a young person in the highest tax bracket in Canada, I’m still not complaining.

Health Canada will resolve this issue – my only concern is whether they resolve it in a timely fashion so the people who need this drug don’t suffer. Canadian health-care is focused on people.

dewind June 15, 2009 at 8:56 pm

“all for the lovely out-of-pocket cost of $0″

Len, you should at least be realistic about the cost. It is nowhere close to $0. The pricing model fails under centralized system — the cost will always rise. The true cost is packaged in various taxes at the expense of economic growth and prosperity.

Laugh now, but Canada has plotted a course for disaster in the future.

Thinker June 15, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Len: First off, there is no such thing as a free lunch, or free health care either. You are being subsidized by those people who do not require as much health care. Also, you pay (according to I Hate Psychiatrists’s figures) at least 25% of your income every year for this service whether you employ it or not.

Secondly, the lack of a price system for health care can only lead to miscalculations and misallocations of resources (shortages or surpluses) that the government must scrabble to handle without any specific feedback from consumers and providers. Mises dealt with this in Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth-it cannot be sustained. And from what I understand, the Canadian government is trying to introduce more privatization into the system to deal with its problems.

David Spellman June 15, 2009 at 9:14 pm

In a free enterprise system, the cost of health care is paid in dollars. In a socialist system, there are new ways to pay for health care.

For exampe, letting the old, the crippled, the sickly die under treatment guidelines. Eugenics is part and parcel of socialized health care.

evad June 15, 2009 at 9:59 pm

This is totally irrelevant to this specific topic, but I felt the urge to comment.

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” ~Mark Twain, autobiography, 1904

44 million with out heath care….

No,…. 44 million with out private health insurance….

All but 6 million are making over $50k / year or are already leaching off of socialized medicine. Or as a statistic would say, less than 2% of the USA’s population…

Les June 15, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Does anyone remember what Thalidomide does when taken by pregnant women?


There was a resurgence of this a few years ago in South America – people were taking it for nausea related to chemo and it somehow ended up in the hands of pregnant women who gave birth to a new batch of thalidomide babies.

To the person who complains about a tax rate of 50%. You must be making a six figure income to come even close to that. Even factoring in provincial tax plus GST and PST or HST. I wish I suffered from the hardships of paying tax on 1,000,000


Back to Thalidomide. If it’s being stopped at the border it’s likely because of the inherent dangers of birth defects caused by the drug. There’s a whole generation of people in their 40′s who are horribly deformed because of it. That’s a hard thing for any government to ignore. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be available but it must be done safely. The best way to force the government’s hand is through your Members of Parliament, both provincial and federal.

Before anyone gets too enthused about the US medical system keep in mind that on a Federal level in the US there’s no such thing as medical marijuana – no matter how ill a person is. Even in States which have legalized it for medical use federal authorities jump in and make arrests. We’re talking about a natural product which is scientifically proven to help glaucoma patients, relieve nausea in patients undergoing treatment for cancer and HIV/AIDS, ease chronic pain related to numerous diseases. The list goes on.

No system is perfect but for those Canadians who don’t like our “socialist state” feel free to leave. I think you’ll find most of us are quite happy with our health care system. It’s not perfect but it’s a good feeling to know I can take my child to the ER without worrying about receiving a $700 bill for services somewhere down the road.

evad June 15, 2009 at 10:21 pm

Another irrelevant comment…

I really do love this site. Austrian Economics leaning persons visit it along with people who do not subscribe to this line of thinking. The converse of every article or blog entry is presented in the comments; it really makes you appreciate the work of Mises and Hayek.

Thinker June 15, 2009 at 10:41 pm

evad: it also makes you wish more people read their work.

I Hate Psychiatrists June 15, 2009 at 11:07 pm


I live in Canada and disaster is NOW.

Average waiting time in the emergency room: 17 hours
Average waiting time to see a family physician: 3 months
Average waiting time for an echo-scan, 1 year and a half.
Average waiting time for knee surgery, 2 years.

I wonder if Canada even has a future, LOL !

I Hate Psychiatrists June 15, 2009 at 11:11 pm


I live in Canada and I earn a 7 figure income: $30,000.00

Of course, in Canada, our internal revenue service counts the decimals as an income figure.

So out of an income of $30,000.00 a year gross, I pay 25% income taxes, then I pay 15% sales taxes, we are already up to 40% of disposable net income.

Then on top of that, add property taxes, gas taxes, special retention on your paycheck because we have all sorts of social programs and everybody is forced to pay for them wether they need those programs or not.

Add to this our driver’s license etc.

We pay in reality 50% of gross income in taxes.

In Canada, 50% of GDP is absorbed by the government.

I Hate Psychiatrists June 15, 2009 at 11:14 pm


“No system is perfect but for those Canadians who don’t like our “socialist state” feel free to leave.”

That’s quite stupid of you, because if all productive individuals leave, who’s going to pay for your handouts ?

You’re the one who’s going to leave my contry you socialist fucker !!!

You should be forced to live in North Korea, a real communist paradise like you love it.

a canadian June 15, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Les |> You must be making a six figure income to come even close to that. [...] I wish I suffered from the hardships of paying tax on 1,000,000

A million dollars is 7 figures.

If you make 80 k/year CAD ($70k USD), your top maginal rate is 26% at the Federal level, plus 24% in Quebec. In addition to that, you get the priviledge of paying ~14% sales taxes in Quebec (13% today, but increasing to over 14% by next year).

At 80 k/year, you pay $14,700 in provincial income taxes, and ~$14,300 in federal taxes. If you spend 80% of your after-tax income, you pay an additional $7,650 of sales taxes.

That’s a total of $36,650 in taxes, or an effective tax rate of 45.8%. You’re left with about $43 k, out of your initial $80 k.

If you made a million, your effective tax rate would be closer to 60%.

I didn’t even include property taxes, various license fees, higher general prices given import duties, and other payroll taxes like Employment Insurance, Prescription Insurance, etc.

Of course, one could always move to Alberta where the tax rates are somewhat more reasonable. Similarly, the entire population of the US could move to Texas.

I’m curious if you’ve ever lived and worked in Canada.

Vanmind June 15, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Len, you encouraged government to hold a gun to my head in order to force me to help pay for your medical treatment. Shame on you.

Thinker June 15, 2009 at 11:18 pm

Let’s try to keep this discourse as polite as possible. Ad hominems are lovely, but unhelpful in intellectual discussion.

I Hate Psychiatrists June 15, 2009 at 11:19 pm


“It’s not perfect but it’s a good feeling to know I can take my child to the ER without worrying about receiving a $700 bill for services somewhere down the road.”

Again, that’s pretty stupid of you, knowing that out of the taxes you pay each year, $7,000 goes to pay our socialized health care system.

How many times have you went to the ER with your child ?

How many years have you wasted $7,000 in taxes for our shitty health care ?

In one year alone, you could have paid that $700 bill and saved $6,300 in tax dollars.

Over 5 years, you could have paid that $700 bill and saved $34,300 dollars.

And imagine the money that could bring in if you invest it right.

I understand why Canada is a socialist nation, we are infested by left leaning voters who can’t do simple arithmetics.

evad June 15, 2009 at 11:39 pm

@I Hate Psychiatrists

I love the math, dislike the name.

evad June 15, 2009 at 11:45 pm

I am surprised by the number of Canadians on this site. I mean, just proportionally (CA vs US on a US based website), the proportion of comments is much greater than the 1:10 ration of the CA and US populations. I wonder why?

evad June 15, 2009 at 11:48 pm

I am really surprised by the number of Canadian comments on this blog. Just the number of total Canadian citizens vs US citizens is 1:10 or so, and most of the comments are originating for Canadians.

KP June 16, 2009 at 6:02 am

Another article with half truths:

Len made a point about thalidomide;

“Thalidomide — infamous as a morning-sickness remedy that caused widespread birth defects in the 1950s and 1960s — has proven to be one of the most effective myeloma treatments, but its cost is not officially picked up by any province.”

SM article made it seem that this drug is the only drug you can take to help relieve myeloma. Again if you read the article they show both sides and the concern of the drug potential harm and alternatives to the one made in Mexico.

“Some doctors have warned that patients risk consuming substandard product if they order thalidomide from such manufacturers, whichcurrently face no scrutiny from regulators here. Others physicians, though, say the Mexican drug seems to be just as effective and safe as the Celgene product, called Thalomid.”

Lets start posting all the truths, I’m not for government health care or “socialized” health care. But I’ve come to expect a standard from mises.org that I see continue to drop in these blog posts. I understand you are trying to make a point but the full article could have been more useful in bringing up your point by providing both sides of the issue.

Tim June 16, 2009 at 8:21 pm

First of all as a Canadian, I would like to say that our health care system does not satisfy the majority of us. Many people feel that they’ve been cheated or ripped off, downright hurt by the lack of flexibility and choice, but because they don’t know better, they take the system for granted and are slow to consider alternatives. My father spent months on a catheter before he was admitted to a 30 minute surgery. When my grandmother was sent to the emergency room for a heart ailment, she spent 10 hours on the waiting list without receivng any medical attention. This isn’t because the hospital staff is careless, it’s because our hospitals are packed with clients for which there are simply not enough medical professionals to handle, apparently, otherwise I don’t see any excuse for such thing.

Another thing to consider is that Canada has a small population, low income disparity and low poverty levels. What works marginally in a country of 30 million would be madness to implement on 300 million. When I hear about Obama’s proposals to socialize medicine, I recoil in terror, because I know the economic implications of that would rebound on us here as well.

Not everything is bad of course. I agree with Len on most of the points he made about the quality of socialized health care in Canada. The only problem is slow service, lack of alternative and high cost. Already our politicians are pulling their hair over the massive budget deficits incurred by the health care system that they simply can’t cover. And it wouldn’t take long reading of Mises.org to understand why.

Bottom line is, I like my country’s socialism. However, you guys on the bottom better stop trying to be like us, because the financial profits made by your industry sectors which our economy is sorely dependent on, help fund our comfortable society here (they certainly help fund me, since I make my salary from tax money).

Inquisitor June 17, 2009 at 4:18 am

“I’m always amused by how Conservative USA responds to the Canadian health care – this fear-mongering article is hardly unique. ”

LOL We’re not even conservative. Do your research, nanny state twit.

Louise July 28, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Last night Bill Maher was on CNN’s Wolff Blitzer Situation Room. He said America was a stupid country…God, the Twitterers went bananas and CNN lit up like a Christmas tree. He wouldn’t take it back either…and it doesn’t make him happy, it makes him sad. He loves America. As a Canadian, and we have our share of morons, (as evidenced by posts above), sometimes you have to wonder. We have our health care horror stories but so does your system (if you want to call it that).
I am 65, have lived in Canada, most of that in Alberta, all of my life. I worked for the health system for 26 years and I know hundreds of people. Can you explain to me why in all that time I, nor any member of my family, or anybody I know, has suffered at the hands of the health care system. Every member of my immediate family has had emergency, life-saving surgery at one time in our lives. My parents died of old age at 84 and 90, which I believe is better than US life expectancy. I know 3 people who have had brain tumors and unlike the Canadian lady (moron) in the commercial you see, and all got immediate treatment. Two of the three are still alive…the third lived five years after surgery and radiation. My daughter in law had a pulmonary embolism at the age of 39, not something you normally expect and she had no risk factors. She got emergency treatment immediately that saved her life. A cousin of mine, who had a stroke at 50 because he never went for check-ups, recovered completely after four years. He went for check ups at the hospital gym periodically, doing stress exercises that were monitored. He was snatched off a machine, loaded on a gurney and had a triple by-pass by that night. Yeah, I might have to wait a couple of years for a knee replacement but when I get it, I’m not going to have to pay my life savings. I get to see my family doctor usually with a week to ten days, but if I need to, he “squeezes” me in. So where is all this baloney I hear coming from. Your American conservative politicians will put their politics before your lives…I’d sooner die in Canada, thank you very much. And what drives Bill Maher wild, is that the rest of us all watched in absolute amazement, when after 8 years of crap, a whole pile of you voted to put dim wit, annoying Palin in a position where she was a heart beat away (a heart beat of a man who was 77 and has had cancer 3 times) from the Presidency. You get your panties all in a bunch because Iran has a nuclear missile…America has gazillions of them…and you imagine that Iran, the terrorists, North Korea are that stupid that they would drop a nuclear bomb on America when it means that they would be obliterated before it even got there. And then there’s the bit about how “America protects Canada since World War II, when the Brits quit protecting us”. Oh my good God. From who were you protecting us? All we ever have to worry about is collateral damage. We have to be stricter with our borders so that terrorist can’t get across to attack America. Nobody gives a damn about us…nobody ever did. Not Hitler…do you figure Japan was maybe going to bomb a fishing village on Vancouver Island? And the Brits? That’s even nutsier? Canadians died by the tens of thousands in World War I and II being “protected by the Brits”. Why do you think we got constitutional independence in 1982? So we didn’t have to get “protected” any longer. And how can you be pro life and pro war at the same time? You’ll go to great lengths to protect frozen embryos from being used for saving lives, and of course, denying abortion, but you’ll send your own sons and daughters overseas to kill the sons and daughters of other countries. And that’s fine. And then you get mad because Bill Maher says you’re stupid.

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