The British NHS is Rationing Medical Procedures to rein in Rising Health Care Costs

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 23rd, 2012

Week in Review

The proponents of Obamacare would love to see it evolve into a full blown national health care system.  Like the British have.  The National Health Service (NHS) is one of the finest national health care systems in the world.  Health care for everyone.  Whenever you need it.  And wherever you want to get it.  At least, once upon a time it was like that (see Nine in 10 health authorities rationing operations by Stephen Adams posted 6/19/2012 on The Telegraph).

The most comprehensive survey of its kind has found that almost two-thirds (59 per cent) are rationing joint replacement operations, with a similar proportion restricting access to cataracts surgery (66 per cent) after being referred.

The study, conducted by GP magazine, also found 59 per cent were limiting access to weight-loss surgery and 89 per cent were doing so for tonsil removals.

The proportion limiting access for at least one type of operation was 91 per cent, according to 101 primary care trusts (PCTs) which responded to freedom of information requests.

Doctors claimed trusts (PCTs) were “introducing waiting lists by the back door” and warned the moves would only lead to increased health costs, as patients would still need treating and would deteriorate in the meantime…

However, health managers are under intense pressure to avoid overspending and hit “efficiency” targets, to ensure the NHS can cope with increased demand on the same budget in years to come.

Why are they doing this?  Because people are living longer.  And having fewer babies.

This is a problem facing social democracies everywhere.  An aging population.  The rate of people leaving the workforce (who consume more taxes than they contribute) is greater than the rate of people entering the workforce (who contribute more taxes than they consume).  Which means you need either a booming economy so there’s lots of economic activity to tax.  High tax rates (which tend to cool a booming economy leaving you no better off in the end).  Or you have to start rationing. 

The British are looking at a double-dip recession.  And they already have high taxation.  Because they are a social democracy.  So that leaves them rationing.  Which is why they are rationing.

This is what we have to look forward to with Obamacare.  Only it will be worse.  Because we’re starting with an aging population.  And we have about five times the people the British have.  So we should have a budget crisis about 5 times as big.  And have to ration 5 times the amount of medical procedures.

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