Thousands of women are having to give birth outside maternity wards because of a lack of midwives and hospital beds.
The lives of mothers and babies are being put at risk as births in locations ranging from lifts to toilets - even a caravan - went up 15 per cent last year to almost 4,000.
Health chiefs admit a lack of maternity beds is partly to blame for the crisis, with hundreds of women in labour being turned away from hospitals because they are full.
Of course, as facts and reason unequivocally demonstrate, socialized medicine must lead to spiraling costs, shortages, rationing, and declining quality. It is a fact of nature just the same as gravity or electromagnetism. I have previously argued that ultimately, the real problem underlying this issue is not the minutia of Obama's monstrous thousand page bill but the inability to think in principle [1, 2,3]. If one thinks in principle, it is clear that the disastrous results of socialized medicine can be seen as a concrete example of a larger principle - the principle that socialism is immoral and impractical and leads to chaos, misery, and tyranny. And, yes, medicine is a service like education, mail delivery, or carpet cleaning. With this in mind, two quotes from this article stand out. First,
Jon Skewes, a director at the Royal College of Midwives, said: 'The rise in the number of births in other than a designated labour bed is a concern. We would want to see the detail behind these figures to look at why this is happening.
This statement represents pure pragmatism, or the total rejection of thinking in principle in favor of "experience". Such a statement follows directly from modern philosophy which rejects the absolutism of reason in favor of pragmatism. Pragmatism reduces man to the level of an animal, rendering him unable to make even the simplest generalization. Consequently, Mr. Skewes is intellectually paralyzed. The facts before him are not enough (because it is never enough), and he yearns for even more "detail." And since he can not think in principle, what is he likely to conclude from his observation of this "detail"? Do you think he has the ability to grasp that the ultimate solution is to scrap socialized medicine and return to a free market in health care which ethics and the science of economics proves will be moral and practical? Quoting:
'There is no doubt that maternity services are stretched, and that midwives are working harder and harder to provide good quality care.
However, we know the Government is putting more money into the service. 'The key now is to make sure this money is spent by the people controlling the purse strings at a local level.'
To a pragmatist, making sure the money is spent by people at the "local level" appears to be the "key". Incidentally, such an idea is not only abstractly similar to what the Obama supporters tell us, it is literally equivalent to Obama's claim that the key to his plan is cutting "wasteful" spending. This topic is the subject of an excellent editorial by Amit Ghate titled Misconstruing the Cause of Waste. Ghate argues that fundamentally, "government is the source of waste — not its solution." Why is this always true? Ghate writes:
The ramifications to waste are threefold. First, by prohibiting certain activities, government eliminates competition. For example, private companies like FedEx are legally barred from competing with the Postal Service — creating that paragon of efficiency, the USPS. Next, because it can confiscate our money to pay its bills, government has little incentive to control costs. Should it overpay for services, salaries, or pensions, government simply takes more from helpless taxpayers. Finally, because the government has usurped their prerogatives, individuals no longer decide what is worthwhile and what isn’t. Government forcibly disconnects the decision of what’s valuable from the people who actually pay for the values.
Consider one last quote from this article that represents an underlying premise of socialism which never ceases to amaze me: the myth of the omnipotent Central Planner. This is the idea that a handful of government bureaucrats know better than millions of individuals who coordinate their decisions based on free market price signals. Quoting:
Care services minister Phil Hope said: 'The number of maternity beds in the NHS reflects the number of women wanting to give birth in hospital. Giving birth can be unpredictable and it is difficult to plan for the exact time and place of every birth.[emphasis mine]
Really - giving birth is "unpredictable"? Is it as unpredictable as how many people will buy pizza, shoes, or computers? Somehow, those businesses know how much to make (and they can't even use the nine month rule...). Hope is right that "planning" is difficult which is exactly why it should not be left up to government bureaucrats who are motivated by politics and not profit. As Beth Haynes stated in The Fatigue of Central Planning:
A market economy is the result of an uncountable number of individual decisions and actions, coordinated through price signals which provide crucial information on the availability of every imaginable resource. Profit and loss calculations provide essential feedback on the relative efficiency with which a multitude of producers use those recourse to meet the needs and desires of an even larger number individual consumers.
Central planning consistently fails because it is impossible for a small number of individuals, let alone one man, to obtain the requisite information, create the necessary plans and subsequently attempt to implement them.
Or, as Dr. Reisman stated in A Word to Environmentalists:
More fundamentally, what is the appropriate method for Man to use in dealing with Nature in general? Is it the motivated and coordinated human intelligence of all individual market participants that is provided by a free market and its price system? Or is it the unmotivated, discoordinated chaos in which one man, the Supreme Dictator, or a handful of men, the Supreme Dictator and his fellow members of the Central Planning Board, claim a monopoly on human intelligence and on the right to make fundamental decisions?
Mr. Hope continues:
'Local health services have plans to ensure high quality, personal care with greater choice over place of birth and care provided by a named midwife.
So, why are women giving birth in elevators and toilets? Anyway, what is his plan? Quoting:
'We recognise that some parts of the country face particular challenges due to the rising birth rate and that is why last year we pledged to increase funding for maternity by £330million over three years.
'We now have more maternity staff than ever before and we have already met our target to recruit 1,000 extra midwives by September.' [emphasis mine]
In other words, after over one hundred years of facts and evidence from dozens of countries that have experienced first hand the stagnation, misery, chaos, and tyranny (or in Hope's newspeak, "challenges") of socialism, Mr. Hope believes that this time - he will make it work.
I do not need to wait for more detail to know how this will turn out, but unfortunately, for those living under socialized medicine, they will have to wait.