Canada’s health care system is in deep trouble financially. So it should come as no surprise that the British NHS is as well. It is again of proving correct Margaret Thatcher, who said, “the trouble with socialism you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
The Brits ran out of “other people’s money” quite some time ago (as is the US as debt and deficit figures show) and their social structures are existing on accumulating debt. The NHS, a celebrated “single-payer” government run system in place since right after WW II, is failing:
Jeff Taylor of the Economic Voice clarified the problem when he wrote last week that “the U.K. is broke.”
“Our whole society and way of life is now built on the shaky foundation of debt,” he writes in response to the NHS cuts. “Our hospitals, schools, armed forces, police, prisons and social services are founded on debt. In truth we have not yet paid for the operations that have already taken place.”
The NHS is planning on extensive rationing of surgery in order to meet budgetary needs. The service is looking at eliminating literally millions – with an “m” – of surgical procedures because it simply can no longer afford them. Representative of those procedures which will no longer be available to NHS members are hip replacements for obese patients, some operations for hernias and gallstones, and treatments for varicose veins, ear and nose problems, and cataract surgery.
The intent is to “save” 29 billion by telling patients in need of those procedures “no.”
It is rationing, pure and simple – and as promised by the critics. More importantly, it is government deciding what you can or can’t have, regardless of your preference or need. This is indeed the ultimate outcome of handing things such as health care over to any third party, and especially government. And the problem is compounded when “cost containment” takes precedence over health care.
In the case of the US, that is precisely the mandate government has assumed with its legislative charter to “cut costs” in the health care business. With that as a priority, and given the structure of the new law - an almost impossible priority to fulfill - the same outcome is almost guaranteed here as is happening in the UK. With cost containment driving the train shortages are inevitable. And what those shortages mean, in concrete terms, is exactly what the NHS is planning on doing in the UK – denying patients health care.