Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where the Cuts are Felt

Powerline has an article referencing another poor care scandal in the government run hospitals in England. One part hit on a thought floating in my head:
An independent inquiry found that managers at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs. ...
Out here in California we voted down a series of tax increase initiatives disguised as budget controls. Since then it feels as if the state government is determined to punish the voters for denying the funding. In one Case, when the idea of furloughs was just being mentioned, some state beaches closed their showers, claiming lack of personnel to do the labor. If I recall correctly, that didn't fly because the cleaning was done by people doing Community Services terms.

That drove home what is the biggest ground level difference between the public and private sectors. Government agencies tend to resort to service cuts at the first sign of budget shortfalls. Meanwhile, a company in a competitive market would try to conceal those cuts from their customers for fear of losing them to the competition.

I will grant that not all corporations follow that logical path. Cable and insurance companies have the worst reputations. So my issue is not against the public sector as much as toward monopoly. The British story from their single payer (by definition monopolistic) system is classic.

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