Government Health Care Leads To Shortages

In April of this year the world was hit with a flu virus and it spread rapidly. The Swine flu (H1N1 variant) struck late in the year and was fairly mild. Concern over the virus reemerging during flu season and being even stronger led to rapid production of a swine flu vaccine. The private industry that developed the vaccine and got it to market quickly is to be commended. The efficacy and safety of the vaccine are a different issue (last time there was a rush the vaccine killed more people than the flu) and the decision to get it is one that should be made between a patient and a doctor. Suffice it to say that the private industry responded quickly.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told us that there was plenty of vaccine, the government is distributing it, and that everyone who wants it will be able to get it. Sounds good so far.

The problem is, government is involved in getting it out and ensuring that everyone who wants it, gets it. There are now regional shortages of the vaccine and there is concern that it will not be available in time to be effective. There is a possibility that by the time some are vaccinated (or have the opportunity to be vaccinated) they will have gotten the flu or the threat will have passed.

Remember, the government is in charge of this. The same people who want to take over the health care system and run every aspect of it are not able to distribute a flu vaccine.

Someone on TV (I can’t remember who) said that he believes that Sebelius has the safety of our children in mind but it is not at the top of her list. The person said it might be number two but her number one thought is “Please don’t let this be our Katrina.”

That is probably accurate. The government is showing that it is not very efficient at the small task of distributing vaccine (it is small compared to running health care) but it expects us to believe it will be able to run all of health care. The Obama administration wants this to go well so that it can crow like a rooster about how well it did and that the government is capable of handling our health care. The reality is that the administration is failing in the mission it took on.

It is true that there are shortages of the seasonal flu vaccine each year but then again no one tells us that there is enough for every man, woman, or child who wants it. In the case if H1N1, the government assured us there is enough for everyone

We have already seen plans for a state government to ration care in the event of a severe flu outbreak. Those plans call for those in certain categories (like those with terminal cancer) to be denied care. That is how government run health care works everywhere it is tried.

The vaccine distribution is strike two in government’s latest attempt to demonstrate it can handle health care (it struck out with Medicare a long time ago).

In baseball, three strikes and you are out. Let us hope that the third strike of government is not demonstrated by failure after it passes a complete health care overhaul. Because then we will be the ones who lose.

Oppose the government takeover of our health care. It will add to the deficit, it will not cover everyone (which they said they would do) and it will lead to poor service and rationing.

Then again, if their ineptitude leads to a huge number of deaths they will be able to save some money.

ObaMao wants complete control and the health care takeover is one big way in which he will do it.

Wake up America.

Related Articles:
Suozzi lashes out at Feds, state over flu vaccine shortages
Swine Flu Vaccine: Enough to Go Around?
Swine Flu Vaccine: Too Little, Too Late?
H1N1 Running Rampant Amid Shortage of Vaccine
U.S. Faces Swine Flu Vaccine Shortage

Remember, they said we have enough. So, how are there shortages?

UPDATE: Illinois is denying the vaccine to the elderly who are not in the government’s target group. Vaccines canceled in parts of Illinois. [Thanks to Mike Radigan]

Big Dog

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24 Responses to “Government Health Care Leads To Shortages”

  1. Darrel says:


    August 6, 2009
    For Immediate Release
    Government of Canada announces intention to order 50.4 million doses of H1N1 vaccine

    “The Government of Canada will ensure sufficient H1N1 vaccine is available to immunize every Canadian who needs and wants protection from the H1N1 virus,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “We are pleased to have worked together with provinces and territories in implementing a coordinated, pan-Canadian response to all elements of the H1N1 outbreak, including decisions around vaccines.”

    The Government of Canada has a longstanding contract with GlaxoSmithKline to maintain vaccine production capacity in Canada in order to meet Canada’s pandemic vaccine needs promptly and effectively.

    “We are confident the 50.4 million vaccine doses we plan to purchase will be sufficient to meet the needs of every Canadian likely to need and want protection,” said Dr. Butler-Jones.

    …The role of the federal government is to facilitate the timely production of safe and effective H1N1 vaccines and to provide guidance to provinces and territories on the use of vaccines to protect the health of Canadians

    Canadian vaccine production remains on target.


    And this brings up a good point, one that runs quite counter to the one you would like to be making here. Vaccine production/research/delivery/coordination etc., is invariably a (socialized) government function. Private industry, your holy market, really doesn’t care about or have an interest in that sort of thing except to the degree they can make the bucks. As usual. The greed based market, Wall Street, really doesn’t care about the welfare of the people, hence the need for governments to do this.

    To the degree the governments don’t do this well, this becomes an argument for MORE government and BETTER government.

    Note to self: Any list of socialized things that we need government to do for us, needs to include this category of “vaccinations.”


    • Blake says:

      There is no such thing as more government, coupled with better government.
      It is one , or the other, but NEVER both.
      Show me ANY example.

      • Darrel says:

        BLK: “There is no such thing as more government, coupled with better government.>>

        Why is that?

        BLK: “Show me ANY example.”>>

        I guess I just did above (vaccine delivery in Canada), and have of course many times before.

        Nearly all of our peer countries, in the category of health care, have “more” government, and because they usually achieve better results, it seems reasonable to say they have “better” government (and thus both more + better at the same time).

        On that topic I give lots of specific examples in my lecture notes here.

        The world is filled with examples of countries that have more government and better societal results. Would you like to be buried in examples?

        Let me know if you would like to be buried in examples.

        Guess who averaged 53 mpg in their Prius for the last three days…

        • Blake says:

          Not a convincing example, D- sure, bury me in examples where government gets bigger AND better- no such thing- but feel free to be excessively verbose, as is your tendency- put all salient points in boldface, so I don’t get bored going through your epic posts.
          lad you have the time to drive around, using up our precious resources. Herding goats with it, D?

        • Blake says:

          On a second look, “see above” looks the same- not valid- the “delivery” of the vaccine in Canada is dubious and unproven at the present time- and they didn’t order enough to do more than (hopefully) take care of the people most at risk, but not all.
          Neither has the US government, to be fair, but you cannot hold up a system that has an unproven and unfinished task to do, and say, with no proof, that it is better.
          That is dishonest.

  2. Big Dog says:

    Note to self, GlaxoSmithKline is a private company who produces the vaccine.

    Canada ordered 50 million doses, one sixth of what the US said it ordered.

    Your article only shows that Canada ordered vaccine and expects to have enough. That is no different than what the US did. The government ordered the vaccine and said that it would have enough.

    Let us see if Canada vaccinates enough people, has shortages or has the same rate of infection and death, shall we.

    The Canadian government could not have developed and produced the vaccine any more than the US government could.

    Once again, you are shooting a BB gun into the air.

    More government is not better government. It results in high taxes and intrusion. Why do so many people want to come live in the US?

    As for your Prius, good for you. It is going to snow like hell here this winter. Bring it up and lets see how it does. Don’t worry, if you get stuck I will pull you out with my 20 mpg Jeep.

    • Blake says:

      Of course it will snow like hell- that’s that pesky global warming thingie that, darn it, is not warming like the doomsayers were predicting. Oh woe is me- we have weather-

  3. Randy says:

    From what I have read, including Mike Radigan’s links, the shortage of vaccines has to do with the amount the government ordered not being delivered, as they (the governments) were told the quantities would be available. That shortage was due to slower than expected production times by the manufacturers of the vaccine. Please clear up for me how it is that the government, or governments, caused this shortage.

    • Blake says:

      I am not saying that the governments have caused the shortage- what I am asking is how more government would make it better, and it will not, period- no matter how much Dar natters on about more equalling better- not so- otherwise obese people would be the new studly.
      As we all know, that is not so either.
      If government would step aside, the private firms, which do this at a reduced (for them) cost, might actually have closer than the minimal amounts.
      Do keep in mind, that this is world- wide, and that’s a lot of vaccine no matter how you count it.
      I won’t be getting a vaccine- give mine to a child- I am sufficiently a hermit that I think I can manage.

    • Randy says:

      Yes Blake, that’s what you said, but the title of Big Dog’s post is “Government Health Care Leads To Shortages”. He then goes on to write about the shortage of the H1N1 vaccine. Other than ordering a bunch of doses of the vaccine, how did government run health care lead to the shortage?

      • Big Dog says:

        Sebelius told us that there was enough vaccine and that it would be distributed. The government took the lead on ordering enough doses and distributing it.

        Doctors I know discuss paperwork and red tape to get their allotted doses.

        This is not like Canada where they have fewer people to order for one tenth the number of people. The US has to have 10 times as much and we promised 10% of ours for poorer countries. All well and good but OUR government official sat in front of Congress and said we had it and that we had enough for all the people.

        If she said we had enough and we do not, she lied. If we have enough and there are problems with the way the government distributes it then the government is the problem.

        I would not be surprised if there is not enough to cover 300 million people but I did not get on TV and say there was enough, she did.

        But to answer you question, the CDC is handling distribution. The CDC is a government agency. That is how I determined that Government involvement in health care leads to shortages. I did not write that the government was responsible if there are not enough doses. I wrote that we were told there is enough for everyone and yet they are running out so they must have a supply distribution problem (which they do if there are enough doses). If there are not enough doses then we have a lying problem because she said there was enough.

        Today, a Senate hearing is underway concerning the Swine Flu and the slow distribution of the N1H1 vaccine. The CDC, and not private contractors, is executing vaccine distribution. Now that the illness is building momentum, the media should be asking – What’s the holdup? Who’s responsible? American Thinker

  4. Big Dog says:

    The CDC is taking all the orders through VACMAN and their contractor for central distribution sends it out. They are unsure that the VACMAN system can handle the increased demand and orders are not being filled because there are, despite what Sebelius said, not enough doses available.

    The article I linked to at American Thinker is about a different subject. It discusses the H5N1 Avian Flu that was around during GW Bush and how he was beaten up because he was not prepared. It further discusses how the H1N1 is worse than Avian and ObaMao is getting a pass on the deal.

    When Bush was president the media blamed government for the problems with Avain. Now that Obama is around people like Randy want us to believe that government has nothing to do with it except putting in orders.

    All hogwash.

    • Randy says:

      Bullshit. I never suggested that the government had no responsibility beyond ordering the stuff. If the government ordered the stuff and messed up the distribution I would have a gripe about how the government handled the situation.

      • Big Dog says:

        Then you should have a gripe because the orders go through a government system at the CDC. Orders placed by the organizations selected to get them under public health (government agency). The orders go through the CDC in VACMAN and then are handled by their central distribution contractor. So, it is ordered by public health and those designated through a government system and it is not being sent out. We have to have enough because Sebelius said we did.

      • Big Dog says:

        There is also this timely article debunking that 44,000 people a year die because they have no insurance myth.
        ****************Two of the co-authors, Drs. David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, are avowed government-run health care activists. Himmelstein co-founded Physicians for a National Health Program, which bills itself as “the only national physician organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to implementing a single-payer national health program.” Woolhandler is a co-founder and served as secretary of the group.


        “Our study has several limitations,” the authors concede. The survey data they used “assessed health insurance at a single point in time and did not validate self-reported insurance status. We were unable to measure the effect of gaining or losing coverage after the interview.” Himmelstein et al. simply assumed that point-in-time uninsurance translates into perpetual uninsurance — and that any health calamities that result can and must be blamed on being uninsured.

        Another caveat you won’t see on Grayson’s memorial to the dubious dead: The single-payer advocate-authors also conceded in their study limitations section that “earlier population-based surveys that did validate insurance status found that between 7 percent and 11 percent of those initially recorded as being uninsured were misclassified. If present, such misclassification might dilute the true effect of uninsurance in our sample.” ***********************

      • Randy says:

        How did the government cause the shortage? Or if you want to play the semantics game, how did the government lead to the shortage? Or, what could the government have done differently so that they would have the vaccines to distribute right now?

        • Blake says:

          If the government is distributing the vaccine, and can’t do so on a timely basis- that’s a government problem.
          If the government did not calculate the correct amount, that is a government problem.
          If the government didn’t see this problem soon enough to begin ordering the vaccine, that is a government problem.
          If the private companies that produce the vaccine couldn’t keep up, that is NOT a government problem.
          Hussein’s government has a history (however brief) of overpromising- not a good thing, especially when it comes to people’s health- this is one reason people are wary of Healthscare.

        • Randy says:

          Yes Blake, and exactly what is happening is that the private companies that produce the vaccine can’t keep up.

        • Blake says:

          And the government is playing favorites in the distribution, where red states get less than blue states- that is not right.

        • Randy says:

          WTF are you talking about? Mike Radigan posted links above, Big Dog put those links in his original post about Illinois and it’s shortages.

  5. Big Dog says:

    It is not a matter of they can’t keep up. There is no way to do this volume in such a short time but government promised there would be enough.

    • Randy says:

      Can you link to where those promises were made? I went through all your links and all I saw was “we expect”. Those expectations were based on what they were told by the manufacturers.