China and Italy: How’s That Socialized Medicine Working Out For You?

What I’m NOT hearing asked anywhere: “What’s with the health care systems in Italy and China? Why have they performed so badly?” What I DO keep hearing is: “Italy is a disaster with the coronavirus. That’s proof the rest of the world will be a disaster. You wait and see!” But how do we know that for sure? Do we really know how all this will play out? Tom Hanks has coronavirus. So far, he and his wife seem fine. Is that proof everything is perfect? No. But neither does Italy prove everything will be a Stephen King-like catastrophe in 48 more hours.

What kind of system of health care does Italy have? Socialized universal health care, the thing we will get in America next year if Trump loses in November. How well is that system run in Italy? And China, too? Why are these factors not considered as part of the mix?

While free markets are always superior to socialism, some socialist systems are probably better run than others. From what I’ve read, Italy is herding people into hospitals and doesn’t seem to have the resources to deal with it all. It takes more than throwing borrowed or stolen government money at a problem. It takes real people, acting competently according to rational self-interest, to make the world go around — or to survive a disaster. Competent doctors, nurses and hospitals may save you; not some politician in Brussels or Washington DC. Rational people are the most humane, by the way. They are better in a crisis than bleeding hearts who panic and don’t know what to do, other than feel your pain.

We don’t hear any of these questions raised. A crisis, while difficult, is an opportunity for learning. Will anyone come out of this situation saying, “Wow–it was difficult everywhere, but it was a lot harder in places like China and Italy where the socialist systems of medicine could not handle it.” No, if anything, we’ll hear in the media about how coronavirus PROVES that socialism and Communism are the way to go. Sanders and Biden are probably already yammering about it. The more these collectivist, non-profit, irrational systems fail, the more many of us seem to want them. That’s a virus in itself. A mental and “ideas” virus with very real, life-or-death consequences. Just ask the Chinese and Italians.


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