Winston Churchill on Socialized Medicine

And now from the department of history repeating itself department

Churchill on socialized medicine that was implemented in 1948

“The queues are longer, the shelves are barer, the shops are emptier. The interference of Government Departments with daily life is more severe and more galling. More forms have to be filled up, more officials have to be consulted. Whole spheres of potential activity are frozen, rigid, and numb, because this Government has to prove its Socialistic sincerity instead of showing how they can get the country alive and on the move again.”

This is all taken from The Last Lion by William Manchester and Paul Reid. I’ve been working my way through the book for months and have really increased my progress now that I realized I can read while students are working on their assignments.

I love the fact that Churchill had a grasp on the end result of socialism. It never, in the end, provides more of something, but leads to less of something because there are more demands on it. Socializing things also weakened the work force. “A might army of 450,000 additional civil servants has been taken from production and added, at the prodigious cost and waste, to the oppressive machinery of govewrnment and control. Instead of helping national recovery this is a positive hindrance.”

 We will see the same thing with the current administration.

Jock Colville wrote concerning Churchill and all this: “Never in his life has he felt such despair,” Colville wrote, “and he blamed it on the Government whose ‘insatiable lust for power is only equaled by their incurable impotence in exercising it.’”

Churchill also wrote about the Socialists: “What the German U-boats could never do to us has been achieved by our own misguided fellow countrymen through their incompetence, their arrogance, their hordes of officials, their thousands of regulations and their gross mismanagement of our affairs, large and small.”

Churchill on class warfare and the socialist government that led to years of poverty for England’s masses after WWII, Between the loans “and the unparalleled sacrifices exacted from the taxpayers” there is no reason why Britain should not have attained “solvency, security and utopian independence. This has been denied us not only by the incompetence and maladministration of the Socialist Government and their wild extravagance, but even more by the spirit of class hatred which they have spread throughout the land, and by the costly and wasteful nationalization of a fifth part of our industries.”

 Sounds so very familiar to the current administration.


9 thoughts on “Winston Churchill on Socialized Medicine

  1. I (regrettably) have to point out that your use of the Churchill quote is taken out of historical context, and an example of confirmation bias. Churchill was already in his mid-70s when socialized medicine began in Britain. He suffered from bipolarity and alcoholism at that point in his life, and he was no longer consulted for his opinion by those in government. His earlier greatness and vision was seriously impaired.

    The NHS in the UK took time to sort out, as the socialized medicine programs in other countries have. But over the decades, these different versions of single-payer systems have achieved more positive health outcomes at a lower cost per person than our system based on the tyranny of for-profit insurers. That’s just an inescapable fact. Other countries have found ways to do it better and spend less. Americans dislike having to face other countries being better at anything, but our business model is unsustainable if people risk bankruptcy just for getting sick or having accidents.

    There are many problems with the ACA, the chief one being that it ISN’T socialism. It’s government-administered brokerage to private insurers. You can’t control and regulate cost when your partners are still for-profit companies. It will be necessary to make health care a non-profit system, as the countries that have better life expectancy than ours utilize.


    • No, that is not what is documented. You are using the typical liberal bilge against Churchill. When he wrote these statements, he would go on and become prime minister one more time. So your charge is false and to imply he was bipolor is pure revisionist history and medical speculation.

      AS for the ACA not being socialism, again, you are not looking at the facts. This is nothing but socialism. Sorry you can’t accept the truth.


      • Churchill was born in 1874. If socialized medicine was enacted in 1948, well, even you can do the math. His bipolar disorder and alcoholism are also facts.

        Truths are personal, but you can’t have “opinions” about fact. I work in health care, and we deal with what the ACA is and isn’t every day, and it isn’t your area of expertise. I accept that.


      • Wow, why are you liberals so cruel when dealing with people of mental illness. Why is it that you bash Churchill even if he did have bipolar disease? Does this mean that his thoughts are less valuable than mine or yours? People with problems function all the time, just because they are bi-polor or anything else, doesn’t delegitimize their opinions and beliefs. The beliefs he put forth were consistent with beliefs he held before the war. So you can make the charge all you want to, but you are showing yourself to lack sensitivity to whatever disease he may or may not have had.


      • Their socialism also led to shortages for years after the war. The people of England were suffering because of Socialism and the government trying to run everything. This is what happens with large bureaucracies. They are inefficient. This will happen with Obamacare. Large bureaucracies and less service. It is socialism and Obama is a socialist. That is what the non-compassionate Democratic party has become. Just look at the VA. It’s pathetic.


      • I’m beginning to get the idea that you’ve never actually been to the UK. I have. They get care, and those “shortages” are long past. Yes, they have problems with bureaucracy, but that’s impossible to avoid when dealing with any large population or diverse problem. Every practice has to employ billing specialists here, only because our for-profit system is needlessly complex.

        As far as the VA goes, the quality varies more depending on the state. I’ve worked in some excellent VA facilities, and also seen poor ones.


      • Mikey, I have been to the United Kingdom and experienced their healthcare. What is troubling here is that we already have death-panels, people who will decide who gets what. What you don’t hear is that even though no everyone had healthcare here in America, they always had treatment available to them. Doctors and hospitals figured into their budgets that they would be taking care of a percentage of patients who could not pay for their own coverage. I know to many doctors who have told me as such. The greater problem with Obamacare is that we can expect it to be run just like the IRS, and the NSA, targeting Obama’s opponents and enemies, without recourse. A fundamental problem with the Democrats is that they believe the ends justifies the means, and if that means using programs to target your enemies, then so be it. That is who they are.

        As for the other complaint, how many have lost their healthcare because of this boondoggle? Close to 2 million so far. Again, this isn’t about healthcare. We could have easily fixed the problems that existed with health-savings accounts, but we chose a complete take over of 1/5 of the economy by those who have never run a business in their lives.


  2. You employed a quote to support your opinion, whether or not your opinion is consistent with that of the person who originally said it. That is confirmation bias. It’s like taking a single scripture verse out of the context of the book, to use as a “clobber passage”. I don’t happen to be a “liberal”, even though I do work in health care. I’m quite content to allow the patients I have served to evaluate my sensitivity to their conditions. I accept it’s outside your expertise. You can pray for me though.


  3. Agree totally, Timothy, with what you wrote and how similar today is to the time when Churchill was so depressed because the people and leaders did not get it.


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