Jun 292013

While there are many problems with government controlled, and even government influenced, healthcare, one of the most glaring is the fact that you wind up with bureaucrats running the show. Not bureaucrats who wound up as such after years spent actually in the industry in question, rather you wind up with bean-counting drones who are just better at bean-counting, BSing and backstabbing. As an example, here’s a description of a program the British Ministry of Health ran for some years that anyone with any sense at all would have aborted while the idea was still a defenseless embryo:

Gone for a decade: The invalid carriage

In short: just after WWII, Britain had a bunch of former servicemen who had been badly and permanently injured, making it difficult for them to get around. The Ministry of Health saw this problem and decided Something Must Be Done. In truly bleeding-heart fashion, that Something was to Give Them A Car. Not sell, not loan, not lease or rent or give tax breaks, but Give Them A Car. OK, whatever. But in true bureaucrat fashion, these were not standard cars. They were not even standard cars that had been modified to make it easier for people with wheelchairs and the like to get in and operate. Oh, no. These were specially designed, brand-new terrible cars. They were one-seater cars, so the poor cripples could not carry anyone else (the logic being, I suppose, who’d want to be seen with a cripple?). Plus, they were badly designed out of crappy materials. They were, essentially, the British version of the Trabant… but with one less wheel. Yeah. They were tricycles.

And apparently they liked to burst into flames. If you are “mobility impaired,” I guess having your car spontaneously combust might incentivize you to put a move on, discover reserves of agility you might have suspected were long gone.

The program dragged on for quite a while, finally being suspended in 1976. But people kept driving these deathtraps until 2003, when they were finally banned from British roads.

So, what can we expect from future government controlled healthcare? Free condoms, to be sure, but can we be certain that they won’t be made with fiberglass splinters and won’t spontaneously combust when exposed to, say, moisture? Free heart transplants, but with an ever-increasing anti-discrimination regime, you get simply whatever heart is  in the hospitals fridge (how dare you suggest discriminating on the basis of blood type!)?

 Posted by at 12:02 pm
  • MrDakka

    I want to see one of these raced against a reliant robin

  • Peter Hanely

    Condoms? Likely to suffer high rates a problem well known by those who pay attention, device failure. So those who think they’re being safe using condoms get pregnancies and STDs anyway.

    Organ transplants? I can see government making donations mandatory. Maybe with a payment to the next of kin for an “eminent domain taking”.

  • Sid

    I remember those Invacars, a bloke at the end of our street had one. It spent a lot of the time on it’s roof – because if asked to go around a corner the Invacar would often respond by turning turtle instead. The driver would then have to ask a bunch of laughing kids to push the thing upright so he could continue his journey.
    I always saw them as some kind of eugenics plot to rid the UK of cripples by giving them a vehicle which was a rolling deathtrap.

    • Robin.

      I remember them, too, when I was a kid, we had a _very_ un-PC name for them…