Brits on Defense

Because their heath system is undergoing a lot of scrutiny, British politicians who have a vested interest in keeping it going are defending it, Fortunately, our favorite British MEP is making waves. Of course, they are calling MEP Daniel Hannan a traitor.

The Tories are the Brits version of Republicans. Labour is their Democrats. And just like here the distinctions between the two parties isn’t that great.

So it’s wonderful to see someone like Hannan being a leader and speaking out against the mess that British socialized medicine is. The world needs better ideas, not dumb and dumber. That is what we’re faced with now. Obama wants to make a bad system worse.

Thank goodness people are fighting back

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  1. How is British healthcare in a mess? It costs half as much per head as the US and delivers a much healthier population – British life expectancy and infant mortality rates are better than America’s?

  2. No it isn’t. Aside from that, your services are constantly being cut, waits are interminable, doctors are terrible, nurses don’t give a damn. I lived there twice. I used to see stuff on the news all the time about one horrible mistake after another. It’s only gotten worse. It sucked even back in the 60s.

    Recently they’re talking about euthanizing Alzheimer patients. They are denying medicine to people who need it, they are denying care to people because of their age, weight, if they smoke or drink. It’s barbaric.

    Your politicians lie about it as does your media. But the truth gets out. People come here for medical care if they can afford it, or private doctors there.

    I should point out that all working people are forced to pay into your system over there, but they decide willy nilly who gets care and who doesn’t. That’s criminal.

  3. UK health care does not cost half as much as US care when all costs are figured in. The oft-repeated factoids about improved life expectancy and infant mortality are based on different metrics than US data and are therefore apples and oranges.
    I’ve lived in Canada and Japan and prefer US health care.

  4. Japan (unlike Canada) does cover things like dental and glasses. But there’s a catch. You have a chipped front tooth? They’ll fix it. With silver amalgam. Oh, you want a ceramic cap? You dentist will be glad to sell you one. Here’s your new glasses, in the government standard issue black plastic frames. Oh, you want nice frames, or contacts? The optician will be glad to sell you some. You have cancer? No problem, they have a few selected out of patent chemotherapies. Oh, you want that new one with the 50% higher survival rate? The hospital will be glad to sell it to you. (Some of the richest people in Japan are hospital owners, a thought-provoking piece of information.) You want your polycystic ovaries removed? Sure. We pick the hospital and there is a 10 month wait. If you want to go to a doctor with expertise in the surgery and get it done sooner, sure. Please open your wallet.
    As you can see, there is a very effective way for Japan to reduce the costs of their system–they make you pay anyway if you don’t want minimal service. Mind you, the sky-high income taxes don’t change.
    Also, Japan’s entire (very poor) mental health system is not covered in any way. If you want your uncle with OCD treated, the whole family will need to chip in, because the government’s got nothin’.

    In Canada, many things are not covered. Drugs, glasses, dental, almost all orthotics. It has the usual insane wait times and rationing. Even the Canadians are admitting it is on the verge of collapse.

    Jim has covered the ineffective and crippled UK system before.

    The problem is that supporters of a socialized system in the US think they will be getting business as usual for free, despite all evidence to the contrary, and despite the proof they won’t being right there in the bill. I don’t understand their thinking, I just don’t.

  5. “your services are constantly being cut”. Incorrect. British funding of health care has increased from historical lows to the European average.

    “Waits are interminable”. Incorrect. The investment has gone into reducing waits for cardiac and cancer patients.

    “Doctors are terrible, nurses don’t give a damn.” You lived here twice and have no basis on which to make these arguments that can be proved So I’ll come out with anecdotes too. I lived here all my life. I have few complaints about the dedicated and caring people of the NHS. Many of whom are my friends. Glad to see you insulting them.

    “I used to see stuff on the news all the time about one horrible mistake after another. It’s only gotten worse.” Great, anecdotes (often politically motivated) not facts.

    “Recently they’re talking about euthanizing Alzheimer patients.” No they are not. That has been made up by lunatic Republicans.

    “They are denying medicine to people who need it, they are denying care to people because of their age, weight, if they smoke or drink. It’s barbaric.” You appear to be confusing the British National Health Service with US health insurance companies who of course take such factors into account when determining premiums, and of course the more expensive they get (the more at risk of ill health you are, the pricier they become) the less poor people – who have the greatest risks of ill health – can afford them. A sixth of Americans have no health insurance and have real difficulty accessing healthcare.

    A situation that doesn’t arise here. Because we have the NHS.

    Which I thank God for every day of the week.

    Your politicians lie about it as does your media. But the truth gets out. People come here for medical care if they can afford it, or private doctors there.

    I should point out that all working people are forced to pay into your system over there, but they decide willy nilly who gets care and who doesn’t. That’s criminal.

  6. Shrug. Believe what you’ve been spoon-fed. I’m not doing your googling for you but I remember reading the articles about all the things you claim are not true. Some things were reported, you seem to have read the damage control and liked it better, and there we are.
    I will say you have clearly been grotesquely misled about the US health care system. I honestly have no idea where to begin in setting you straight, and with the explosion of made-up shit puked out by the White House in their attempt to gain absolute control over the citizens it’s almost impossible to find out the truth anyway.
    Enjoy your health care, but you don’t live here and polls show quite clearly Americans don’t want it.

  7. I’ve been out most of the day so I didn’t see this thread. And now I have to do some work for a couple hours. I’ll get into this in more detail later. But Steve, you are basically defending an indefensible system. I have been covering this for years on here and I provide links back to British press articles on the subject from all sorts of papers, except the Sun.

    You say these horror stories are politically motivated. No, they weren’t. But do you honestly believe that articles propping it up aren’t?

    The NHS is the third largest employer in the world after the Red Army and the Indian Railway. Yes, bigger than the US military, yet your services are poor. CITE:

    All bureaucracies only really do is grow and they become exponentially worse in providing their services the larger they get because of top heavy over management and because this sucks up all the resources (aka money). You say waits for cardiac cases are less now. What about everything else? What about emergency rooms. I know damn well it sucks.

    Yes, our system has a lot of problems, and alot of that has to do with government interference. I will get to that in a later post. But it’s still where people from all over the world come for their operations.

    Hey Toren, remember those Harry Palmer movies with Michael Caine? Like the Ipcress File? He wears these ugly ass glasses in that series. Those are what the NHS gave as eyeware nack in the day. Remember Dana’s horror story about breaking her leg in Japan and they set it wrong and she had to come to the US to have it rebroken and reset? Welcome to socialized medicine. Hello Natasha Richardson.

  8. You DO have choice of healthcare in the UK. If you can afford it, you go private, which is often paid for by health insurance. Exactly the same as in the US.

    Well done on your googling, James. You cite the fact that the NHS is one of the biggest employers in the world as if it was a bad thing. Well, the article you cite states the following.

    “84 per cent of NHS staff directly involved in patient care and managers only making up 3 per cent of the total workforce.”

    I don’t know the realities, but I bet bureaucratic costs are higher in the US system as, being based on insurance, you must, inevitably, have a huge number of people performing actuarial functions. Also, the insurance companies will have to spend loads of money on advertising.

    Finally, you cite one example of poor service received from the NHS with the example of the woman who gave birth in Leicester. Sadly, you get it from the Daily Mail, a paper with a long history of using isolated anecdotes to do down public services. This is part of that inglorious tradition. I could give you many similar anecdotes of great treatment from the NHS, such as that my wife received when she gave birth to our son. Prior to this, we had a scare during early pregnancy, and we want to our local NHS hospital’s casualty department on a Sunday. We were seen immediately by a doctor and received exemplary service. And you know what? No one checked our insurance documents first. We got there, we were assessed as to our clinical priority against the other people there, and we were treated and left happy and healthy.

    You might say that ours was an exception, but I live here, and you don’t.

    America might well reject the British system, and that is your choice, and that is fine. But in reaching your decision please do not insult or tell lies about a system that works.

  9. The reason lefties want socialized medicine in the US is teh same reason they defend it in the UK. ith a huge bureaucracy that employs so many people, it becomes an entrenched system that people become dependent on no matter how crappy it is, and thus center left politicians are more likely to be elected.

    But inevitably, as I have pointed out a zillion times on this blog, the system runs out of money. It is happening in the UK and here. We have Medicare which is state funded medical and it is going broke in a couple years.

    Your system is cutting back on services. That is a fact. The survival rates of a lot of treatments is les in your country than ours. Call me a liar all you want, but the facts are easy to find. And I have lived there twice. I have lots of friends in the UK. I know what I am talking about.

    We both need a better system than what we have. I’m at least willing to face reality.

  10. Another problem is that whatever benefits socialized medicine has had in places like the UK, Japan, and Canada are the result of decades of try-and-fail, tinkering, and fixing as best they can. The US is trying to do it from zero to 100% overnight without any regard to cost. We’ll end up with all the problems and none of the advantages. It’s obvious to anyone who has looked at ObamaCare that it is simply the next in a line of socialist power grabs intended to put more control over the citizens in government hands. In the UK and Japan, socialized medicine at least partly grew out of a real need–both countries were essentially broke after WW2 and needed some way to provide basic health care to their citizens. The intent, at least, was good. Here that’s not the case.
    As has been pointed out, Obama took six months to decide what kind of dog to get for his kids, but he wanted to jam socialized medicine down our throats in less than six weeks.
    No thanks.

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