The U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) is the best guidebook for Americans concerned where a nationalized health system might take us.
For years throughout the U.K. there have been horror stories about declining health-care services. Last week, NHS doctors threatened a strike over a plan to raise their retirement age and pension contributions. A majority of doctors decided at the last minute not to strike after negative public reaction.
Rationing has arrived, with more than 90 percent of English health trusts restricting "non-urgent" surgeries, which include hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery. It took a freedom of information request by the media to pry this fact from the NHS.
Long waiting periods for routine surgeries are increasingly the norm here. People are amazed when an American tells them we still have fast access to our primary care physicians. In the U.K., one must often wait weeks for an appointment and then additional weeks and sometimes months for treatment, depending on the procedure.
Cost-cutting, not improving the quality of care, now seems to be the major concern of the NHS.
The story contained this scary sentence: "NHS hospitals are using end-of-life care to help elderly patients die because they are difficult to look after and take up valuable beds." First the elderly, and then who? When cost becomes primary, what's next? Suddenly "death panels" don't seem so far-fetched.
NHS "looks like a supertanker heading for an iceberg," said
For many, the storm has already struck like the torrential rain that has flooded much of the U.K. in recent days.
Here's another recent Telegraph headline: "Lives put at risk by shortage of drugs." The story says, "Four in five NHS trusts in
In the U.K., the question is not whether everyone can access "free" health care; it is the type of health care they will be able to access, and will it be high quality, or something less? If government health care isn't working well here, why have faith it will work better in the much larger U.S.?
Instead of keeping Obamacare, which heads in the direction of
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The NHS: A guide for Americans under Obamacare | Politics
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