Yet Another Reason Single Payer is a Very Bad Idea


The ransomware window

A ransomware attack has been launched worldwide, targeting thousands of computer networks in dozens of country. The program encrypts your computer files and demands a payment of $300 in bitcoin within 3 days, doubling after that, and locking you out permanently in 7. Not without a sense of fairness, the poor may appeal for clemency after six months. One of the biggest targets of this has been the National Health Service of the United Kingdom. Often touted by those who favor a single payer socialist healthcare system (in spite of its very poor record of treating major illnesses), the NHS has been brought to its knees by a computer virus. Thousands of non-emergency patients have been turned away.

This would never happen in the US because we have private healthcare. Every doctor or practice is separate from the rest in the country. If one got hit, only that one got hit. Even if there was a common service used by many, there would be plenty of others who would not use that service. Indeed, FedEx has been hit also, but the Post Office and UPS remain open and operating. This is yet another reason why centralizing something as important as healthcare is an extremely bad idea. Socialist healthcare does not work that well to begin with, so why even bother.

There are also many calling for healthcare records to be all electronic and centralized so you can easily switch doctors. Some have said this should be mandated by the government. Certainly there are some benefits to this, but it also puts our records at risk. NHS doctors now have to rely on pen and paper and have no access to patient histories. Centralization of anything is never a good idea. It concentrates power and opens things up to single point attacks like this.

As a reminder, always back up your computer at least monthly, if not weekly, or daily. A combination of several backups is best. One should be disconnected from the internet, another should be not in your house or business. If you have a recent backup and get the virus, its no sweat, just load a backup and maybe you lost a few files, which are less than losing money. And never click on links or attachments without being completely sure what they are, even if they are from a friend. Switching to Apple or Linux can also greatly reduce the odds of a virus affecting your PC.

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