Fans of government health care keep telling us that government can do the job, and they point to countries like the UK as examples where single payer, government run health care systems deliver high quality, compassionate care.They are either grossly ignorant or they are lying through their teeth.A recent study by a British healthcare regulator finds that half of all elderly people in Britain’s nursing homes are being denied basic health services.Half.Some older people were forced to wait months for a doctor or nurse to treat simple health problems. No doubt they were waiting for the Bureau of Bedsore Management to review the proper procedures before issuing a bandage-changing permit.Over the polite grumbling of many advocacy groups, the British Parliament can be faintly heard tinkering away at some far overdue legislation. No doubt the grannies will get some relief just as soon as the House of Commons passes some new laws, the House of Lords (whoever they have there now that they have chased the actual, you know, Lords out of it) sagaciously tinkers with it, the Queen signs it, the bureaucrats get all the regulations nicely written, and the memos and administrative procedures get delivered to the proper offices.Of course, the National Health Care service has been around since the 1940s and somehow these lingering little problems haven’t quite been cleared up yet. It’s obviously just a question of getting the right regulations in place and any century now the system will by running like a fine tuned machine and there won’t be any problems at all.There have been several disturbing revelations of abuse and neglect of patients and other mismanagement in the UK’s national health service. This report, suggesting massive neglect and abuse of the elderly, is, sadly, not alone.Unfortunately the US Congress seems to have delivered some kind of misshapen system that will combine the bureaucracy and inefficiency of huge government programs with the cost structure of a private sector that is systematically distorted by perverse incentives and driven into overdrive by malpractice madness and defensive medicine.But every cloud has a silver lining. If we ever do get single payer, government health care on this side of the Atlantic, we won’t have to worry about all those death panels critics keep warning us about. Given the bureaucratic delays and inefficiencies in the system, patients can be confident that, abused and neglected as they will be in government-run nursing homes, they will die of old age before the death panels ever meet.