So let me just say that I think socialized health care is the single biggest factor in transforming the relationship of the individual to the state. In fact, once it's introduced it becomes very hard to have genuinely conservative government - certainly, not genuinely small government.
Lousy lunchpail-toting Johnny Wannalives. Back when the working classes had the good taste to contract dreadful diseases and perish quietly after churning out the next generation of lawn-tenders, people like me could have the non-tax-invasive governments we deserve! But ever since they caught this survival bug, they've added "basic medical care" to their list of absurd demands along with "safe workplaces" and "not being beaten with horsewhips". Bah!
In a public health care system, the doctors, nurses, janitors and administrators all need to be paid every Friday so the only point at which costs can be controlled is through the patient, by restricting access.
As opposed to in a private system, where everyone will work for free. You may think that this is the most incomprehensible thing that Steyn has to say in this post, but read on!
On the former point, the unloveliness of any British city after six in the evening - the dolly birds staggering around paralytic, the pools of "pavement pizza", the baying yobboes gagging for a shag and hurling bollards through the bus shelters to impress the crumpet - is a natural consequence of what happens when the state relieves the citizen of primal responsibilities.
Yes, before socialized medicine, there were to be found nowhere in England drunken women, vomit, loudmouthed young men on the prowl, or ruffians of any sort. In the days when you had to provide for your own health care -- say, the Victorian era -- you could travel from Penwith to Peterhead and never see such a sight. O, my England! That your pristine gentlemanly nature has been corrupted by kindness!