Intelligent Design

Orthomyxo’s Hero May be the Worst Scientist of All Time

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Frequent commenter Orthomoyxo often cites the Imperial College model that touched off the worldwide panic. Now that the author of that model has resigned in disgrace, NR reports on how awful his record truly is. The whole article bears reading. Highlights:

Indeed, Ferguson’s Imperial College model has been proven wildly inaccurate. To cite just one example, it saw Sweden paying a huge price for no lockdown, with 40,000 COVID deaths by May 1, and 100,000 by June. Sweden now has 2,854 deaths and peaked two weeks ago. As Fraser Nelson, editor of Britain’s Spectator, notes: “Imperial College’s model is wrong by an order of magnitude.”

Indeed, Ferguson has been wrong so often that some of his fellow modelers call him “The Master of Disaster.”

Ferguson was behind the disputed research that sparked the mass culling of eleven million sheep and cattle during the 2001 outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. He also predicted that up to 150,000 people could die. There were fewer than 200 deaths. Charlotte Reid, a farmer’s neighbor, recalls: “I remember that appalling time. Sheep were left starving in fields near us. Then came the open air slaughter. The poor animals were panic stricken. It was one of the worst things I’ve witnessed. And all based on a model — if’s but’s and maybe’s.”

In 2002, Ferguson predicted that up to 50,000 people would likely die from exposure to BSE (mad cow disease) in beef. In the U.K., there were only 177 deaths from BSE.

In 2005, Ferguson predicted that up to 150 million people could be killed from bird flu. In the end, only 282 people died worldwide from the disease between 2003 and 2009.

In 2009, a government estimate, based on Ferguson’s advice, said a “reasonable worst-case scenario” was that the swine flu would lead to 65,000 British deaths. In the end, swine flu killed 457 people in the U.K.

Last March, Ferguson admitted that his Imperial College model of the COVID-19 disease was based on undocumented, 13-year-old computer code that was intended to be used for a feared influenza pandemic, rather than a coronavirus. Ferguson declined to release his original code so other scientists could check his results. He only released a heavily revised set of code last week, after a six-week delay.

Ready to abandon your boy yet Ortho? I doubt it.

The most powerful part of this article is about how Ferguson got Sweden so terribly wrong. He said Sweden wold pay a huge price for no lockdown, with 40,000 COVID deaths by May 1, and 100,000 by June. Sweden now has 2,854 deaths and peaked two weeks ago.

Why is this important to us? Because Ferguson similarly predicted two million deaths in the US if there were no lockdown. When it is pointed out how wildly inaccurate Ferguson’s predictions were, Ortho always responds “but those were the ‘no lockdown” predictions!” Well, Ortho, his no lockdown predictions were also off by orders of magnitude.

Ferguson will go down in history as the greatest charlatan of all time in terms of money lost. He caused a panic that has cost the world literally trillions of dollars. I can’t think of anyone else who comes close to Ortho’s hero in the competition for “sheer economic destruction caused by one man.”

51 Replies to “Orthomyxo’s Hero May be the Worst Scientist of All Time

  1. 1
    orthomyxo says:

    I really don’t know why you have to invent motives or back stories for my posts. I don’t consider Ferguson a hero, and obviously a prominent government advisor going against the lockdown when a shared purpose is so important is appalling.

    I don’t know much about most of the specific the predictions above, but a lot of them look like taking the worst-case “plan for” estimate if nothing is done in isolation. The bird flu one, for example, is almost certainly (I note none of these are sourced) about what might happen if a bird flu becomes highly transmissible between humans. Something that has not happened.

    I don’t see how the Imperial model could be wrong for Sweden, as it doesn’t model Sweden. If you were to run the model now, with what we have learned about the virus, you might use a lower IFR and higher reproductive number. I’m not sure how that would change estimates, but experience in the UK suggests the model was to optimistic (possibly about the disease itself, but maybe only the effectiveness of a lockdown in the UK)

  2. 2
    Barry Arrington says:

    Appalling? Let’s talk about appalling things.

    It is appalling when a scientist recklessly causes a worldwide panic. Yep, that’s appalling.

    Ah yes, it is appalling to use the “precautionary principle” to justify any sort of insanity, as I discussed here.

    And it is appalling to make up your own “facts,” like you always do, like when you helped yourself to death projections that were 2.4X the upper-bound of the most wildly pessimistic models here.

    It is appalling when you jump in to defend a disgraced scientist, still insisting after all the data is in that there was nothing wrong with his outlandish projections.

    It is appalling that you pull the “Ferguson didn’t model Sweden” fact out of your ass. What, do you think that NR article just made that up?

    It is appalling to continue to push for burning the world’s economy to the ground based on discredited models.

    Ortho, you may be the only person in the world still defending Ferguson. It is becoming clear to me that you are rooting for the economic devastation. Why? Who knows. But it is a wonder that anyone would continue to listing to you.

  3. 3
    orthomyxo says:

    And it is appalling to make up your own “facts,” like you always do, like when you helped yourself to death projections that were 2.4X the upper-bound of the most wildly pessimistic models here.

    You know others can read the link, right? 2.4x the upper bound on one model (not the most pessimistic) by teh start of August and with a large number of susceptible people left in teh population at that time.

    I’ve asked you previously, but let’s do it again. My rough estimate included the idea that 65% of people would be infected. If you are sure that a smaller proportion of people will be infected then please let me know what will stop the virus.

    It is appalling that you pull the “Ferguson didn’t model Sweden” fact out of your ass. What, do you think that NR article just made that up.

    Here’s the paper, where are the predictions for Sweden?: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf

    It is appalling to continue to push for burning the world’s economy to the ground based on discredited models.

    As I’ve said before, all I’ve tried to do is make the science clear. What steps countries take will depend on their own values and resources. I do thin it would be helpful if you could let us know how may people you think will die in the US. Let’s say most states go into a Sweden-style “social distancing but no lockdown” over the next month. How many deaths would you expect by August in that case?

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    Ortho:
    “all I’ve tried to do is make the science clear.”
    By continuing to champion debunked models, making up facts, and trying to rehabilitate a disgraced scientist.

    BTW, you say Ferguson did not model Sweden in this paper you linked, so we can conclude Ferguson never modeled Sweden anywhere else. Good grief.

  5. 5
    orthomyxo says:

    That paper is the imperial model, the only set of projections they’ve run at a national level. Here is every report they’ve published, of you’d like to confirm: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/covid-19/covid-19-reports/

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    Ferguson resigned because it was revealed he had been visited twice by his lover in violation of the lockdown measures he had helped draft. To say that this somehow discredits his scientific work is blatant ad hominem.

    As for the – allegedly – wildly inaccurate predictions of his models, there is a simple question to answer: were the models used to predict what would happen if nothing were done or were they used to predict what would happen if everything possible in the way of mitigation were done? If it was the latter then the criticisms are warranted, if it was the former then the NR reporting is dishonest.

  7. 7
    BobRyan says:

    Everything that was done was based on projections that could never have happened. This strain of COVID was already a known quantity. Being from the same family as COVID-2 tells us what it likely to happen and who will be targeted. which are known quantities from SARS. A virus from the same family will follow many of the same rules. You cannot take this family of viruses and have the return of the Spanish Flu. The projection were for an epidemic that has not happened. Without more loss of human life, you cannot have a true pandemic. Despite what some may thing, loss of human life is important to be classified as a pandemic.

  8. 8
    Bob O'H says:

    It is appalling that you pull the “Ferguson didn’t model Sweden” fact out of your ass. What, do you think that NR article just made that up?

    Yes. They link to a blogpost by an economist, John H. Cochrane. In it he (a) doesn’t mention Ferguson, and (b) uses a model by a couple of economists, who state in their paper We are not epidemiologists, so these results should be interpreted with caution and care.

    So unless NR has another source which they’re not telling us about, yes they did make that up.

  9. 9
    Marfin says:

    Putting any serious amount of trust in models is unwise but allowing a total economic collapse based on them is nothing short of reckless.
    I say this because I live in Ireland and both golf and motorcycling are my preferred hobbies ,now both of these are best done in dry weather ,so on Monday I will check the forecast for the following weekend, I will then check on Tuesday, weds, Thursday, Friday.
    So why do I check so often, well because it changes so often I have seen the forecast for the week end change 3 or 4 times throughout the week, now this is the national weather forecaster website I am checking and these guys know their stuff , but when you put x amount of variables into a computer model you really are just taking an educated guess .
    So would I go to a book maker and bet my life or life savings on a weather prediction I have read from Met.ie simply put , no way , I view most other models the same way.

  10. 10
    JVL says:

    Marfin: I view most other models the same way.

    If you were the Taoiseach and you had to make a call about how do deal with COVID-19 what would you base your decisions on?

  11. 11
    Ed George says:

    Sev

    Ferguson resigned because it was revealed he had been visited twice by his lover in violation of the lockdown measures he had helped draft. To say that this somehow discredits his scientific work is blatant ad hominem.

    I agree. If we discredited the work of all scientists who’s personal beliefs and behaviours were less than ethical and moral, we wouldn’t hav Newton’s work.

  12. 12
    asauber says:

    “Ferguson resigned because it was revealed he had been visited twice by his lover in violation of the lockdown measures he had helped draft. ”

    Ed George,

    Well, it indicates he doesn’t take his own proclamations very seriously. I don’t take them very seriously either.

    Andrew

  13. 13
    Ed George says:

    BR

    This strain of COVID was already a known quantity.

    As this is its first known transmission to humans, I think it is fair to say that this was not a known quantity.

    Being from the same family as COVID-2 tells us what[is] likely to happen and who will be targeted. which are known quantities from SARS.

    COVID-19 and SARS have very different presentations and transmissibility than SARS.

    Despite what some may thing, loss of human life is important to be classified as a pandemic.

    Those “some” would be the people who study transmissible diseases for a living. Loss of life isn’t a requirement for classification as an epidemic or pandemic, just geographical spread.

  14. 14
    Marfin says:

    JVL- Not models , our Leo Varadkar is not leading he is taking the cowards way out, and following , then he cannot be blamed when the economy collapse`s as he was just taking the advice from the chief medical officer. Leading is taking the brave decision`s it may mean risking lives but you have to consider the good of all and whats best for the country as a whole , you have to risk your reputation your own job , and not just hide behind ,well the models and CMO said ,so dont blame me.

  15. 15
    Barry Arrington says:

    Imperial College Model Applied to Sweden Yields Preposterous Results

    Although ICL only released scenarios and associated forecasts for the United Kingdom and United States, its model is theoretically adaptable to any country by changing the inputs to reflect its population, demographics, and the date its specific policies took effect.

  16. 16
    JVL says:

    Marfin: Not models

    So, what decisions would you have made differently based on what data?

  17. 17
    Barry Arrington says:

    JVL,
    Too late to go back in time. The real question is why Ortho wants us to CONTINUE to make decisions based on the debunked model.

  18. 18
    orthomyxo says:

    I think, having claimed I pulled the fact Ferguson didn’t model Sweden “out of my ass”, you ought to apologize.

    It’s also not true that the Sweden study uses the Imperial model. It’s an independent model using the same agent-based approach that Ferguson introduced. But it’s an entirely independent implementation with its own parameterisation.

    The real question is why Ortho wants us to CONTINUE to make decisions based on the debunked model.

    I don’t think the model has been “debunked”, but when have I said we should use this model to make decisions. Way back when you, in familiar fashion, put too much trust in an ideological news source and misunderstood one of Ferguson’s statements I tried to put you right. When you claimed it was outrageous to suggest a high a death count because you were confident fewer than 5000 Americans would die (an estimate that’s already well over and order of magnitude wrong)I tried to show how baseless your calculation was.

    If you can such answer my questions above that would be great.

  19. 19
    JVL says:

    Barry Arrington: Too late to go back in time. The real question is why Ortho wants us to CONTINUE to make decisions based on the debunked model.

    Not my question to Marfin though. He was decrying using models so I asked what basis he would have made decisions if he were the Taoiseach which is a reasonable question.

    If you don’t like the models then what would you use to make a decision?

    Over 1,300,000 attributed cases of COVID-19 in the US now, more than one-quarter of those in the world as a whole.

    Over 78,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the US now, again over a quarter of the total in the whole world.

    The US now has almost 4,000 cases of COVID-19 per 1 million population; that’s more than Italy, the UK, France, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Canada, Austria, Turkey, Norway and Russia.

    Something is going badly wrong. If you don’t like the models then how do you decide what to do?

  20. 20
    Marfin says:

    JVL , Sorry so late in replying to you , but I would have based a response not on models but on what was actually happening. So who are the worst effected groups by Covid 19, they are the elderly and anyone with a relatively serious underlying health issue, these I would have put under stringent lockdown.
    Now the rest of the population I would have made carry on as normal but under social distancing protocols. I have not missed a days work since the lockdown began I work with 70 other people , and I will not let one of these get withing 2 metres of me for more than a couple of minutes, I wash and sanitise my hands regularly throughout the day , I take responsibility for myself. So if I get infected under these circumstances well we may as well close every company in Ireland and throw away the key as this disease is here with us for a while to come yet, and completely locking down the economy is not a solution its a cop out. Will people die probably yes, can any society function in any normal way and nobody die no. This lockdown will cost the economy tens of billions of Euro , can you imaging how many cancer, heart,cystic fibrosis , etc patients could have been saved with this money, a case in point being a go fund me page for a 2 year old kid to raise 2 million Euros to send him to the USA for treatment to save his life , if we want to save everyone where was the Government when this kid needed them and this case is no exception , any person with a sickness that the government deem the treatment too expensive will never get that treatment , but once again we have just cost the economy tens of billions, by using a sledge hammer to crack an egg.

  21. 21
    JVL says:

    Marfin: So who are the worst effected groups by Covid 19, they are the elderly and anyone with a relatively serious underlying health issue, these I would have put under stringent lockdown.

    Makes sense. What about other people they live with?

    Now the rest of the population I would have made carry on as normal but under social distancing protocols.

    Sensible.

    This lockdown will cost the economy tens of billions of Euro , can you imaging how many cancer, heart,cystic fibrosis , etc patients could have been saved with this money,

    Yes, it’s a real issue. I felt the same way when the UK joined the US in Iraq in the early 2000s. But that’s another issue.

    Anyway, you answered the question, thanks!! I assume anyone who did become ill would also be locked down, presumably in the hospital.

  22. 22
    Marfin says:

    JVL- Unfortunately squandering a national income either by engaging in an unjust war , or by closing an economy is a bad decision in any language. Simply put the way I see it is anyone at high risk self isolate, anyone at low risk carry on with life but be cautious , practical , and sensible , if I had a peanut allergy I would avoid any situation where I may come into contact with them , I would not expect peanut production worldwide to shut down.

  23. 23
    Ed George says:

    If there is a silver lining to this it might be that the US reassesses its irrational objection to universal health care.

  24. 24
    JVL says:

    EdGeorge: If there is a silver lining to this it might be that the US reassesses its irrational objection to universal health care.

    Knowing some of my relatives in the states I highly doubt that will happen. Based on their facebook postings some people would fight that to the death.

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, scarcity is central to economics. That implies rationing by market or by planners. The complexities of economies undermine central planning. Do you want panels that explicitly or by hints and implications, triage who lives or dies, or set up schemes where to get drugs approved some must become sacrificial guinea pigs given sugar pills in the face of fast acting deadly plagues? Or people die because waiting lines are out of economic balance through subsidies creating supply-demand gaps? Not to mention, no man could buy or sell or access key services save he takes the NUMBER; soon to be, and has a favourable snitch score set by busybodies — just look at social media. (A foreshadowing of that is playing out here right now as a humanitarian challenge is bureaucratised by beancounters.) KF

  26. 26
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: Do you want panels that explicitly or by hints and implications, triage who lives or dies, or set up schemes where to get drugs approved some must become sacrificial guinea pigs given sugar pills in the face of fast acting deadly plagues? Or people die because waiting lines are out of economic balance through subsidies creating supply-demand gaps?

    Most people in the UK are very, very proud of the NHS because, while there are problems, the system works well for most people most of the time. And, in fact, costs are kept down because there are no middle-men (insurance companies) to claim some of the revenue. And there’s the economics of buying in bulk.

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, my concerns remain. KF

  28. 28
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: JVL, my concerns remain.

    Understood.

  29. 29
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    If there is a silver lining to this it might be that the US reassesses its irrational objection to universal health care.

    Do tell what this alleged “irrational objection to universal health care” is.

  30. 30
    daveS says:

    Do tell what this alleged “irrational objection to universal health care” is.

    It’s socialism!!!

  31. 31
    ET says:

    COVID 19 deaths are being linked to Vitamin D deficiency

    A few people have been touting the importance of vitamin D in fighting off this thing.

    Open everything and have people take the proper OTC supplements- D3 (taken with omega fats); zinc; vitamin C; quercetin. Set strict diet and exercise standards. Adapt, as in get physically fit, or die.

  32. 32
    ET says:

    I say that universal health care is irrational if you don’t also have a mandatory universal health fitness plan.

  33. 33
    JVL says:

    ET: I say that universal health care is irrational if you don’t also have a mandatory universal health fitness plan.

    Yeah. but whose going to pay for all those fitbits and gym memberships?

    Seriously, people do not like their behaviour monitored or dictated and their privacy abrogated. Seriously, if you tried to implement a mandatory fitness policy you’d be amazed at all the reasons floated as to why it wasn’t fair. Some legitimate.

  34. 34
    Ed George says:

    JVL

    Knowing some of my relatives in the states I highly doubt that will happen. Based on their facebook postings some people would fight that to the death.

    I fear that they literally do that. Universal health care is far from a perfect system but there must be a reason why citizens of countries that have it fight to keep it.

    A co-worker had a child that required a heart transplant. Their only out-of-pocket costs were TV rental for their son while in the hospital and parking.

  35. 35
    JVL says:

    EdGeorge:

    I’m a fan of national health systems but I live in Europe where it’s the standard. And so far no system has collapsed or failed. I’ve had several operations with no extra expense; just higher taxes.

  36. 36
    Seversky says:

    As an aside, this could be very handy:

    Researchers working on smartphone sensor to detect COVID-19

  37. 37
    asauber says:

    “I’m a fan of national health systems”

    JVL,

    Should involvement in a national health system be mandatory?

    Andrew

  38. 38
    JVL says:

    Asauber: Should involvement in a national health system be mandatory?

    It kind of has to be doesn’t it? Otherwise you don’t get the funding and you have to screen everyone who shows up at your facility. And you have to make decisions about when and how to treat based on an individuals’ participation. And if you do treat and they’re not part of the system then do you bill them? How much? Sent to their insurance company? That’s adding that extra layer of bureaucracy.

    IF you want to make up your own mind and not be subject to a national health service and you’re allowed to not pay the taxes and bow out then it won’t work and you never gain the benefits. If there is no national health care then you end up with insurance companies and dedicated facilities and people being turned away for treatment.

    Speaking from my own personal experience, in the US and the UK, I like a system that I never have to submit an insurance form, I never have to wonder if I’m covered, I never have to prove my eligibility. And I’m quite proud of the fact that everyone, no matter how poor or rich, can get care. That feels right to me.

    Of course that costs. But overall, for the whole country, does it cost more than an insurance based system with a large layer of middle-men between the hospitals and the patients? I can’t see how.

  39. 39
    JVL says:

    Seversky: As an aside, this could be very handy:

    Researchers working on smartphone sensor to detect COVID-19

    Might as well give it a try! Good for people who have smartphones with the latest operating systems that won’t leek personal details. But anything that helps helps.

  40. 40
    Ed George says:

    JVL

    And, in fact, costs are kept down because there are no middle-men (insurance companies) to claim some of the revenue. And there’s the economics of buying in bulk.
    Health care costs per capita in the US are significantly higher than those in countries with universal health care, with little benefit to show for it.
    =>Heath care cost per capita: Canada cost is $4,753: US $9,892
    =>Median life expectancy: Canada 82.96 years: US 79.1
    =>Infant mortality: Canada 5: US 6.5
    =>WHO health ranking: Canada 30th: US 37th.
    => Maternal mortality: Canada 10/100,000: US 19/100,1000.
    =>COVID death rate: Canada 130/million: US 245/million.

  41. 41
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Seriously, people do not like their behaviour monitored or dictated and their privacy abrogated.

    Then they can pay for their own health care.

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, BTW, there is an old marketing saying: you can cut out the middle man but you cannot cut out what he does. Do you seriously think taxpayer funded bureaucrats will be more efficient and provide better service? Where a national health scheme is a monopoly, cross subsidised and politically controlled health insurance scheme; often, implicitly so. Worse, it puts a lot of pretty serious information in the hands of bureaucrats whose incentives are to conform to power centres. We are currently getting a glimpse into just how deeply corrupted such powers can be. KF

  43. 43
    JVL says:

    EdGeorge:

    I have seen similar statistics. And, again, if you ask people living in countries with universal health care they always favour it.

  44. 44
    JVL says:

    ET: Then they can pay for their own health care.

    What about those not working caring for their spouses with Alzheimers? What about handicapped individuals who have few marketable skills? What about prisoners? What about recently widowed wives who find out their husbands squandered all the money on online gambling?

    Okay, maybe some of those categories are not huge. And maybe I’m pushing the point. But there is a point. There are a lot of people in a country as large as the US that for one reason or another cannot pay for their own health care and may not want to have their behaviour dictated to them by the government. What about you? What if your family suffered a difficult time and you were low on cash. Would you give up some of your privacy to be told what to do by the government in exchange for health care? Should you have to make that choice?

  45. 45
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: BTW, there is an old marketing saying: you can cut out the middle man but you cannot cut out what he does.

    Ah yes but you mostly can when you nationalise some things. I have a friend in America who earned her living just entering numbers on spreadsheets for insurance claims. Her job was to look at insurance claims and then look up the condition or procedure noted and find the right numeric code in a book and enter it into a claim form. That was her job. That was it. That job does not exist under a national health plan. It doesn’t need to exist.

    If I have an operation at an NHS hospital there is no need for someone at an insurance company to decide whether or not it is covered. It was done, it is covered. End of.

    Do you seriously think taxpayer funded bureaucrats will be more efficient and provide better service?

    No, but they are subject to public scrutiny AND do not owe their allegiance to stock holders. They are alway subject to the laws and can be held accountable.

    Where a national health scheme is a monopoly, cross subsidised and politically controlled health insurance scheme; often, implicitly so. Worse, it puts a lot of pretty serious information in the hands of bureaucrats whose incentives are to conform to power centres.

    You can vote out MPs and you can call public servants to account. You have a much better chance of forcing change with a publicly run entity than with some private firm whose sole interest is to make money.

    And, are you really going to trust some private company with your private data over the government? A company that can make more money by selling that information on and improve their bottom line. Really?

    We are currently getting a glimpse into just how deeply corrupted such powers can be.

    I can easily be labelled an idealist and a socialist. And my view depends deeply on the public taking an interest and actually voting. Those dreams may put me in the dreamer category. But I believe it is a fight worth fighting for. Don’t give in to the fat cat businessmen who walk away from company failures with their mansions and 12-car garages and vacation homes in the Bahamas. Why give them the control in the first place?

    You may say I’m a dreamer . . . fair enough. But I’m not the only one. And some things are worth it.

  46. 46
    Ed George says:

    KF

    Do you seriously think taxpayer funded bureaucrats will be more efficient and provide better service?

    With respect to health care, the numbers say that they are.

    You appear to have many misconceptions about public health care. You are under the misconception that public health care means that all health services are provided by government employees. In most countries, this is not the case. Government regulates them and sets the maximum they can charge the government for the services provided. Many doctors are self-emloyed. As well many diagnostic services are privately run. What they do not allow is for-profit hospitals.

    There is also the misconception that in a public system you can’t chose your doctor, or get a second (or third) opinion, which is blatantly false. If I have a problem with a specialist, I can ask by family doctor (who is self-employed) for a referral to another specialist.

    Another benefit of public health care is the cost of drugs. Insulin in the US is ~$300/vial as compared to $50 in Canada.

    There are certainly plenty of problems with the health care system in Canada, including long wait times for some elective surgeries, and some controversial things that are covered (e.g., abortions and sex reassignment surgery), but there is no politician in Canada prepared to run on privatization of the health system. There is a reason for that.

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, dream on, especially WRT the US. KF

  48. 48
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG, dream on, especially WRT the US. KF

    Sadly, I agree with you. But it is sad that a country that has brought freedom to much of the world seems to be fine with denying basic health care to a significant percentage of their citizens.

    It appears that to many (exemplified by Trump), Personal (or national) success is measured by the failure of others.

  49. 49
    Seversky says:

    Let’s not overlook research that found that that around 66 per cent of all bankruptcies in the US were precipitated by medical issues, Put another way, around 530,000 US families per year were forced to resort to bankruptcy by medical bills they could not afford, in many cases even though they had some degree of health insurance.

    Once again, in the UK, nobody – but nobody – is forced into bankruptcy by medical bills they cannot pay.

    It is outrageous that one of the wealthiest countries in the world finds itself unable to provide adequate healthcare that should be the right of all rather than a privilege only for those that can afford it.

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    EG (& attn Seversky), actually that is false, you are operating in a framework which assumes that such care must come/best comes through the state and is an entitlement, despite serious inefficiencies and concerns that are notorious. You must also recognise that advancements provided by market forces in the US are then transferred as part of the knowledge commons to all countries. That is actually significant and similar to other freedoms that Americans militantly defend which provide “free” benefits for the rest of us. As this is not a main focus of the blog, I will not go into an elaboration. I simply suggest that the position taken by many Americans is not grossly irrational and can be reasonably defended as a policy stance. You may wish to look up debates on state sponsored, tax and debt funded health care vs a more market based approach. A key factor is that a state based system is politically managed, where neither bureaucrats nor politicians are particularly credible as central planners able to manage efficiently such a significant slice of an economy, not to mention the implied huge body of detailed information on people. The American militancy in defence of liberty is a major contribution to the world. We have to think in systems terms and recognise the doctrine of unintended consequences. KF

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: One online exchange http://thesurvivaldoctor.com/2.....e-experts/ there is a lot out there just search.

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