Elderly Patients suffer Poor Care and Neglect in the NHS as Hospital Staff finds them too Burdensome

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 27th, 2013

Week in Review

One of the big problems with national health care is old people.  They cost a lot.  And consume a lot of the limited resources available.  Especially with their repeat hospital stays.  Becoming too great a burden for some hospital personnel.  Leading to poor care.  And neglect.  As this family in Wales experienced (see NHS neglect: Calls for inquiry after woman’s death by India Pollock posted 7/25/2013 on BBC News Wales).

“It was absolutely appalling,” a relative said. “Quite often I’d go in to visit her and I would find that she had been left nil by mouth for several days until she was weak and wasn’t able to lift a glass of water to her mouth, she was dehydrated.”

Another family member said: “We sat by her bedside until her tongue swelled up and cracked and her lips split open for want of hydration.

“She became delirious at first, then barely conscious, almost coma-like…”

The health board said it would conduct a Protection of Vulnerable Adults (Pova) investigation.

However, the board did not contact the family for six months. It apologised and said that lessons had been learnt but no Pova proceedings took place.

When the woman was readmitted in 2012, relatives said they discovered the same problems.

They reported their concerns to social services which is when they learnt that a Pova investigation had not actually taken place.

Pova proceedings were then used and a number of allegations were proved.

The health board admitted giving unnecessary sedation and failing to administer prescribed medication.

The board also failed to care for the woman’s amputated leg.

A family member added: “We explained how her prosthesis could be taken off and showed them the bag of clean amputation socks that we’d taken in for her.

“We also gave them oils to treat her leg to ensure it didn’t become inflamed. We explained it all to the staff.

“When I complained that she was having unnecessary sedation, they said it was because she was screaming at night. When I asked her why she was screaming at night, she told me that they hadn’t taken her leg off in the two weeks that she’d been there.

“A member of staff pulled back the bedclothes and sat by the side of her bed and took her leg off with me, and took off the urine sodden socks that had been left on her amputation for two weeks and he turned away in disgust, holding the urine sodden socks at arms’ length.”

Recommendations were put in place, but the family said there were similar issues when the woman was admitted to Neath Port Talbot hospital in August 2012.

Then she was transferred to the Princess of Wales Hospital, where she died in November.

The family said they were told by staff that they were stopping her medication as she was dying of pneumonia.

However, a post mortem examination was carried out and the coroner’s report said her lungs were free of chronic disease, and that she died of a heart attack…

Peter Tyndall, the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, said: “It’s absolutely tragic for the individual and for the family, and I think although there are lots of people who have very good experiences of the NHS in Wales, there are still too many cases of this kind occurring.”

He said there had been a 30% increase in complaints about the NHS in Wales in a year.

This is our future.  What we can expect under Obamacare.  As the government moves us closer and closer to national health care.  Poor care.  Neglect.  And an unfeeling bureaucracy.  Who will look at our loved ones with contempt.  Annoyed by their excessive health care needs.  Looking for any opportunity to withhold their medications so they just hurry up and die.  So they can go and treat less burdensome patients.

You won’t find the phrase ‘death panel’ in Obamacare.  Just as you won’t find them in the NHS.  But they have one.  It’s called the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient.  A death panel by another name.  Which lets patients supposedly die with dignity.  After consulting with the patient’s family.  But that didn’t happen with this patient in Wales.  And, sadly, it’s not an isolated incident.

For those of you who wanted Obamacare, for those of you who want national health care, this is what you have to look forward too.  It’s not utopia.  It’s trying to do more with less.  Which is just a recipe for poor care and neglect.  For the only way to cut costs so you can provide health care to more people is by giving everybody a less costly and a lower quality level of care.  It’s simply math.  The more people you treat the less each person gets.  And things like this become a little too common in the NHS.  As they will under Obamacare.

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New British Report to show how Horrible National Health Care Is

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 20th, 2013

Week in Review

A lot of those on the left like to point out how the United States is the only advanced economy that doesn’t have national health care.  Of course those on the right will note that the U.S. health care system is the best in the world.  And probably is because it is the only advanced economy not to have national health care.  But proponents of national health care will be quick to poo poo that.  Noting how wonderful Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) is.  Doing everything a national health care system should.  Well, apart from the appalling care they provide at times (see Evening Briefing: Losing our faith in the NHS religion by Will Heaven posted 7/15/2013 on The Telegraph).

Tomorrow is D-Day for the NHS. A damning 1500-page report on failings at 14 NHS hospital trusts will be published. Written by Sir Bruce Keogh, the NHS’s Medical Director, it will spell out failings that have led to up to 13,000 needless deaths since 2005, we report. Crucially, it will also note that the scandal of Mid Staffordshire Hospital was not a “one-off”. It follows closely today’s review of the Liverpool Care Pathway by Baroness Neuberger. She said of the LCP: “Among the worst stories were of people on the Liverpool Care Pathway for days going into weeks without communication or review or discussion. And also desperate stories of desperate people who are longing for a drink of water who were, through misunderstanding of the LCP and poor care, denied a drink.”

Make no mistake: if the NHS is Britain’s national religion, then we are currently going through a brutal reformation. Polling last month showed that 58 per cent don’t trust the NHS to be open about its standards.

Barely half those polled about the vaunted NHS trust it.  Which isn’t much of a ringing endorsement for national health care.  And yet here we are.  With Obamacare taking us down that road.  For the Democrats said they could give quality health care to everyone while cutting costs at the same time.  Something the British found to be not quite possible.  But on this side of the pond American politicians think they are so much wiser that they’ll be able to do what the British could not.

Some would call the Liverpool Care Pathway a death panel.  For it is basically a program to let people die with dignity.  People who are so ill that nothing further can be for them.  The hospital is supposed to discuss this with the family.  To help them accept that the end is nigh for their loved one.  That’s part of the official LCP.  But as it turned out hospitals were putting a lot of patients onto the LCP without consulting the family.  To, as some have claimed, cut costs.  For keeping sick people alive is costly.  And a distraction to health care providers desperately needed elsewhere in their state-run hospitals.

Anyway, this is what Obamacare will look like.  Eventually.  As they cut costs to reduce the high cost of health care.  Of course, the United States has about 5 times the population of the UK.  So the number of needless deaths the US can expect could be as many 65,000 (13,000 X 5).  And if the Americans throw in an LCP of their own that number will likely be higher.  Even if the words ‘death panels’ aren’t included in the bill.  For the LCP is a quasi death panel but they don’t call it a death panel.  Well, some do.  Those who had the pleasure of experiencing what the LCP did to their loved one.

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The National Health Service isn’t what it used to be despite its Constant Veneration

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 23rd, 2013

Week in Review

Obamacare is unpopular and divisive.  Democrats passed it on purely party lines when they controlled both the House and the Senate.  Something they felt was more important doing than trying to help the economy recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression.  And now we see nothing but new taxes and costly regulations for business.  Causing a hiring freeze.  And a move to push full-time people to part-time because of the onerous cost of compliance.

Obamacare may prove to be the most damaging piece of legislation to ever come from Washington.  And on top of everything else the quality of health care will decline.  As we have learned from our friends in Britain.  Where in their National Health Service it is not uncommon to see long wait-times, rationing and denials of service.  They even have a de facto death panel.   The Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient.  Basically pulling the plug on those too old and too costly to keep alive.  But yet every time you turn around someone is heaping praise on the NHS.  Despite the train wreck it’s become (see For crying out loud, Archbishop, do we have to drag the NHS into everything? by Damian Thompson posted 3/21/2013 on The Telegraph).

From Archbishop Justin Welby’s sermon: “Slaves were freed, factory acts passed and the NHS and social care established through Christ-liberated courage.”

Sorry if this is out of place, Your Grace, but I can’t help asking: it is now against the law to hold any grand public occasion in Britain without venerating the NHS?

It’s a system of delivering healthcare. There are many worse and, increasingly, many better around the world. Its foundation was a huge achievement, but it is currently so badly administered and employs so many dodgy staff that many people do not feel safe in its hands.

This is the future of Obamacare.  It will be badly administered.  As all national health care programs typically are.  Because it’s the government running it.  And they just don’t have a good track record of running anything.  With this bad administration you will get political appointments to run crucial parts of it.  Instead of qualified health care professionals.  And as the political cronyism grows the staff will become dodgy.  Until one day people won’t feel safe in its hands.

But despite this those in the government will venerate it.  For it is the Holy Grail of government.  Controlling one-sixth of the economy.  Giving it enormous power over the economy.  And enormous power over life itself.  For Obamacare will have its own Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient.  A board of government bureaucrats making death panel decisions.  To try and stretch those health care dollars to cover as many people as they can.  After, of course, first taking care of those at the top badly administering it.

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Canada looking at Rationing Health Care for Senior Citizens to Reduce Costs

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 17th, 2013

Week in Review

Proponents of national health care in the U.S. have long pointed to Canada and said, “See?  That’s the way you do health care.”  While critics say national health care will only lead to longer wait times.  Poorer quality.  And rationing (see Health ministers look to cut back on pricey diagnostic tests by Adrian Morrow posted 3/15/2013 on The Globe and Mail).

The provinces are also looking at ways to cut back on pricey diagnostic tests and surgeries such as MRIs, knee replacements and cataract removals. After consulting with health-care professionals, they hope to draw up a series of voluntary guidelines, to be presented this summer, on when such procedures are necessary and when they can be skipped…

The greatest cost pressure on the system, however, may be the demographic shift and the steady rise in the number of senior citizens requiring chronic care…

Most of the new model involves finding ways to keep seniors out of hospital. Ontario, for instance, is pumping money into providing more home care. Manitoba is looking toward preventive medicine. Saskatchewan is reviewing ways to improve long-term care. Nova Scotia has a system where paramedics treat some ailments in long-term care facilities to avoid tying up hospital beds.

Britain is also working on a way to keep seniors out of hospitals.  And they have a plan for those who do get into their hospitals.  If they’re really sick and need a lot of expensive health care.  They withdraw all medical care and nourishment.  They call it the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient.  Something that let’s really sick patients die with dignity.  Or so the program says.  Family members who lost a loved one because he or she was placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway without their knowledge see it differently.  Some even have called it a death panel.  Because it results in more deaths.  Which helps the bottom line.

Obamacare will have some kind of death panel, too.  With bureaucrats being introduced into the medical decision-making process.  Who will consider the bottom line when making their decisions.  And one thing that helps the bottom line in national health care is death.  For dead people don’t need pricey diagnostic tests, surgeries, MRIs, knee replacements and cataract removals.

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Britain raising Retirement Ages to cope with an Exploding and Costly Aging Population

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 16th, 2013

Week in Review

When the actuaries first crunched the Social Security numbers do you know what they did?  They built a system that would start paying benefits to people who on average were already dead.  That is the retirement age was pretty close to the average life expectancy.  Which meant few people would live long into retirement.  So if you’re collecting taxes from everyone but only have to pay about half of them in retirement (as the other half would already be dead) it wasn’t that hard to keep Social Security solvent.  But then something happened.  We started living longer.  Which the actuaries never thought would happen.  Worse, people were having fewer babies.  So as more people lived longer into retirement there were fewer people entering the workforce to pay the taxes to pay for their long retirement.  Creating an aging population.  Something else the actuaries never thought would happen.

Put it all together and you have a financial mess.  With both Social Security and Medicare projecting to go bankrupt.  But it’s just not in the United States.  It’s everywhere (see Britain ‘woefully’ under-prepared for rising number of elderly people by Juliette Jowit posted 3/13/213 on the guardian).

Britain is “woefully under-prepared” to cope with an expected explosion of older people and ministers need to respond by raising the retirement age and tackle the costs by reviewing pensioner benefits, a House of Lords inquiry concluded.

A special committee of peers blamed successive governments for their failure to tackle policy issues generated by the ageing population, warned that the biggest threats are to already stretched health and social services, and proposed a raft of new policies to help people cope.

Led by Lord Filkin, the group did not put forward a specific timetable for increasing the state pension age – already set to rise from 60 for women and 65 for men, to 66 in 2020 and 68 by 2046 – but the body did cite recommendations made by Lord Turner, chairman of the pensions commission, who had said the threshold could rise to 70 by 2030…

The wide-ranging inquiry heard startling evidence about the scale of the demographic change coming. Between 2010 and 2030 there is expected to be a 50% increase in people aged 65 or older, and a doubling of people aged 85 or older.

The consequences are predicted to be a 50% increase in people with arthritis, coronary disease or strokes, and an 80% rise in people with dementia to nearly two million.

So the British are talking about raising retirement ages.  And means-testing their benefits.  One thing they don’t mention is their Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient.  To help the dying to die with dignity.  Though many call it a quasi death panel.  To help unburden the NHS with a lot of costly patients.  Helping them to stretch their limited resources to cover more people.  Obamacare includes something similar.  Some bureaucrat will make life and death decisions to determine whether medical care will have an acceptable cost-benefit ratio.  If not, well, there will be something similar to Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient in Obamacare.  For it will be the only way to cut costs with an aging population.  Unless you force health care workers to work at bargain discount pay rates.  Like they do in Cuba.  And North Korea.

This will be the future of Obamacare.  For it is the present of the NHS.  And we both have aging populations.

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Women with Breast Cancer suffer higher Death Rates in Britain’s National Health Service

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 2nd, 2013

Week in Review

The whole push for Obamacare was to provide quality care for all Americans.  Not just those who could afford it.  Health care was going to be classless.  There would be true equality.  No one would receive any better care than anyone else.  Because health care is not a privilege.  It’s a right.  Or so the proponents of national health care say.  And why they supported Obamacare.  A waypoint on the path to true universal care.  Where everyone gets the best health care whenever they need it.  Just like in Britain.  Whose National Health Service (NHS) is what those in America want Obamacare to evolve into.  So health care in America will be just as good as health care in Britain (see British women ‘dying quicker of breast cancer than elsewhere’ by Stephen Adams posted 3/1/2013 on The Telegraph).

Academics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found the proportion of women in the UK surviving at least three years after being diagnosed was 87 to 89 percent, which was similar to Denmark.

In Australia, Canada, Norway and Sweden three-year survival was 91 to 94 per cent for the period examined, between 2000 and 2007…

In Britain only 28 per cent made it to three years, but in Sweden 42 per cent did…

Dr Sarah Walters, lead author, said: “We should now investigate whether the treatment of women with later-stage breast cancer meets international standards. There is particular concern that this is not the case, especially for older women”.

Sara Hiom from Cancer Research UK, which helped with the study, said: “We need to investigate the possibility that fewer women with later stage breast cancer in the UK receive the best treatment for their circumstances…”

“The NHS is also working to ensure all patients are treated as individuals and receive care that meets their healthcare needs whatever their age or condition.”

National health care is great.  As long as you’re not old.  For those old people are very costly to treat.  Because they’re living longer into retirement.  Consuming ever more health care dollars (or British pounds) for a few months more of life.  If Britain wants to get their health care costs under control they could save a lot by not treating some of these highest consumers of health care.  Putting some of them, instead, on the Liverpool Care Pathway.  Where doctors can withdraw treatment to let terminal ill patients die with dignity.  While saving precious health care dollars/pounds for use elsewhere.  Cold and callous, yes, but it is happening.

They don’t call the Liverpool Care Pathway a death panel.  But it is one.  Especially when some people are placed on the pathway without consulting with the person’s family first.  Something to look forward to as Obamacare evolves more into a national health care system.  As well as higher death rates for women with breast cancer.  Where there will be more equality.  As we lower the quality of care for everyone by trying to do more with less.  As health care costs soar due to aging populations.  People living longer into retirement.  And tax revenues fall due to aging populations.  Fewer people entering the workforce to pay for those living longer into retirement.  Leaving death panels as one of the few ways for governments to cut costs.

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Health Sciences North decreases Hospital ER Wait Times in Sudbury that were as High as 19 Hours

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 12th, 2013

Week in Review

The American Left loves the Canadian health care system.  That’s what they wanted when they settled for Obamacare.  They wanted a single-payer system.  Like in Canada.  So they could enjoy real health care nirvana (see ‘Kick in the ass’ helps ER wait times, administrator says posted 1/9/2013 on CBC News).

The hospital in Sudbury says emergency room waits are down thanks to a recent review of its services.

For the past two months, Health Sciences North hasn’t seen the bed shortages that have clogged up the hospital in recent years.

Chief Operating Officer Joe Pilon credited a recent peer review ordered last year by the province, which he said finally prompted hospital staff to put into practice its strategies for dealing with elderly patients.

Sudbury is in northern Ontario, just north of Georgian Bay/Lake Huron on the Trans Canada Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railroad.  An old mining boom town that turned into the largest city in northern Ontario with a population of about 160,000.

Clogged up hospital emergency rooms in recent years?  Years?  And the solution to speeding things up in the ER was dealing with elderly patients?  One wonders how they sped things up by dealing with those elderly patients.  We know how the UK is dealing with their elderly.  With the Liverpool Care Pathway.  Or what some are calling a death panel.  A dignified war for the elderly to die.  Quickly.  And efficiently.  While freeing up some hospital beds in the process.

The article doesn’t elaborate on what steps they took to address the elderly problem.  But a comment left by a reader gives you an idea about how bad those wait times were.

Just last summer, my wife and I left Sudbury ER to go to Espanola ER after waiting in pain for 8 or more hours. We watched as patients with apparently less serious issues go through triage and then trreatment [sic]while more apparently serious cases waited. Was this tactic a clever move just to empty some seats?

I love Sudbury. But it can be a nightmare if you need medical attention at this hospital.

Still, 8 hours isn’t that bad.  A previous CBC news article in May of 2012 noted the average wait time exceeded 19 hours.  The reason behind those long wait times?  Too many people using the emergency room who shouldn’t be using the emergency room.  Like a lot of sick elderly people who have no place else to go.

Interestingly, the U.S. moved Obamacare forward based on the assumption that universal care will somehow prevent our emergency rooms from overflowing with people who have no health insurance.  Something not apparently working in Sudbury, Ontario.

In the U.S. I gave up on a crowded ER waiting room after waiting for close to 3 hours and drove to another emergency room.  Or, rather, had someone drive me to another emergency room.  For I was in too much pain to drive myself.  But it wasn’t as much pain as those heart attack patients jumping to the front of the line ahead of me apparently.  That’s the thing about triage.  Unless you’re dying or bleeding profusely from some open wound you will sit and wait.  And wait.  And wait.

My experience was long before Obamacare.  Now the American health care system will approach to what they have in Canada.  So what will be the difference once Obamacare becomes similar to the Canadian system?  About 5-16 hours of ER waiting time.  Unless they speed things up by not treating the elderly.  Instead just enrolling them directly into the Liverpool Care Pathway equivalent.  To free up hospital beds.  And emergency room resources.  For a death panel will be the only way to reduce costs and treat more people at the same time.  By not treating those who consume the lion’s share of our health care resources.  The elderly.

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Obamacare to Penalize Hospitals for Readmitting Sick People

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 1st, 2012

Week in Review

Now that we passed Obamacare we’re starting to find out what was in that bill.  Which, according to Nancy Pelosi, was the only way for us to find out what was in it.  By voting blindly for it.  Then wait for them to implement it.  They’re doing that now.  And some of the things that we’re learning are in the bill are a little scary (see Hospitals Face Pressure From Medicare to Avert Readmissions (from the New York Times) by JORDAN RAU posted 11/26/2012 on The New York Times).

Medicare last month began levying financial penalties against 2,217 hospitals it says have had too many readmissions. Of those hospitals, 307 will receive the maximum punishment, a 1 percent reduction in Medicare’s regular payments for every patient over the next year, federal records show.

One of those is Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, which will lose $2 million this year. Dr. John Lynch, the chief medical officer, said Barnes-Jewish could absorb that loss this year, but “over time, if the penalties accumulate, it will probably take resources away from other key patient programs.”

The crackdown on readmissions is at the vanguard of the Affordable Care Act’s effort to eliminate unnecessary care and curb Medicare’s growing spending, which reached $556 billion this year. Hospital inpatient costs make up a quarter of that spending and are projected to grow by more than 4 percent annually in coming years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

There are two ways to look at this.  The government’s way.  Keeping those greedy hospitals from readmitting patients just to bill the government more.  Or the patients’ way.  Seeing Obamacare forcing hospitals not to readmit sick people.  Which would be basically the same as telling them to go and die.  It’s not called a death panel.  But someone in the hospital will have to decide whether to readmit the patient and suffer financial consequences.  Or please the government and not readmit these people.  Which, of course, would be a decision probably resulting in death for these patients.  Not the warm and cuddly Obamacare they told us about.  But it would be the only way the government could reduce health care costs.  Simply refusing to give people medical care.  For death is cheaper in the long run than hospitalization.  Something no doubt the government bureaucrats have factored in their Obamacare.

Medicare’s tough love is not going over well everywhere. Academic medical centers are complaining that the penalties do not take into account the extra challenges posed by extremely sick and low-income patients. For these people, getting medicine and follow-up care can be a struggle…

Various studies, including one commissioned by Medicare, have found that the hospitals with the most poor and African-American patients tended to have higher readmission rates than hospitals with more affluent and Caucasian patients…

Some researchers fear the Medicare penalties are so steep, they will distract hospitals from other pressing issues, like reducing infections and surgical mistakes and ensuring patients’ needs are met promptly. “It should not be our top priority,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health who has studied readmissions. “If you think of all the things in the Affordable Care Act, this is the one that has the biggest penalties, and that’s just crazy.”

Interesting.  Not only does Obamacare use death as a cost-cutting means it also will discriminate against the poor and minorities.  While at the same time making hospitals less safe as money will go to the government in fines instead of combating infections and preventing surgical mistakes.

Death panels and less safe hospitals.  Funny, I don’t recall them telling us this is what they were giving us Obamacare.  Then again, if they told the truth they probably wouldn’t have gotten the votes.  So health care will get incredibly worse.  These policies and our aging population will accelerate our once quality health care system to something akin to what we could find in a third world country.

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An Aging Population taxes the NHS such that Patients are Neglected and Marked for Death by Informal Death Panels

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 24th, 2012

Week in Review

Conditions in some British hospitals grow appalling.  As patients are left in their own filth.  And ‘do not resuscitate’ orders are placed in their files.  Often without consulting their families.  All in an effort to hurry up the death of these most burdensome patients (see Why can’t the NHS get basic care right? by Nick Triggle posted 11/22/2012 on BBC News Health).

Reading the 53-page dossier on poor patient care put together by the Patients Association, you cannot help but be moved by the harrowing stories.

There is the case of a man placed in a dementia-friendly ward with staff, who were given strict instructions to check on him because he had a history of going walkabout, but was able to escape and subsequently drowned in a nearby river.

There are tales of patients left in soiled sheets, their dignity stripped from them, and others being left for hours in pain, their cries for help ignored…

Of course, in an organisation the size of the NHS – it sees 1m people every 36 hours – there will always be cases where standards have slipped…

I recently asked a senior nurse working in a large hospital what she thought had gone wrong.

Her answer was quite clear. She told me: “We have had to become immune, desensitised, to cope with what we do. Every day we see suffering and we can’t always help.

“That does not explain or excuse some of the clear examples of neglect we have heard about. But it has created a culture that means these things can happen.”

She went on to say that at the heart of the problem was the fact that there were many people in hospital that should not be there.

It is an often-quoted fact that two-thirds of emergency admissions are among people with long-term conditions, which covers everything from heart disease to dementia.

Even with national health care people use the emergency rooms for non-emergency conditions.  This was one of the driving forces in passing Obamacare.  We’re paying for these people already in higher hospital costs.  So we might as well give these people health insurance so they don’t use our emergency rooms for non-emergency conditions.  Well, guess that won’t be happening.

It’s not only that these people shouldn’t be there, but when they are there they are getting ‘death panel’ treatment.  As Triggle wrote the previous day, “A number of the patient stories involved people who had been left in soiled sheets and there were examples of patients having a “do not resuscitate order” placed on them without proper discussion with their families.”

So they don’t want them in the hospital.  And if they get into the hospital they are just letting them die.  Through informal and unofficial death panels.  To free up limited health care resources.  Sad.  But this is the reality of national health care.  Combined with an aging population.  Which is forcing the NHS to get by on less funding.  While that aging population is taxing their limited resources.  Something all the opponents of Obamacare warned.  But the Democrats passed their health care bill anyway.  For they don’t care about the ultimate quality of health care.  But the power national health care gives them.

The liberal Democrats always note the size of classrooms when trying to get more funding for teacher pay and benefits.  Saying that large classrooms are bad.  That smaller classrooms in more schools throughout the community though more costly will provide a higher quality education.  The same is true in health care.  More clinics throughout the community though more costly will provide a higher quality of health care.  And keep a lot of patients out of the hospital.  The NHS would like to do that.  But the budget constraints due to an aging population make that impossible.  Leaving hospitals little choice but to pin ‘do not resuscitate’ orders on their more burdensome patients.  Which will likely happen under Obamacare.  As the US also has an aging population.

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Baby Boom causes new Short-Term Cost Pressures for NHS but offers Long-Term Hope

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 17th, 2012

Week in Review

Now that President Obama won reelection and the Democrats retained the Senate Obamacare is here to stay.  Unless something happens in the 2014 midterm elections that turns Congress over to the Republicans with supermajorities that will allow them other ways to defund or otherwise shutdown Obamacare.  Or the states stand together on their end and refuse to implement Obamacare.  But unless these things happen Obamacare is here to stay.  Perhaps one day evolving into a full blown national health care system.  Which they designed it to do.  By putting in requirements that encourage employers to drop health care.  Opening the door for the government to step in to save the day from the health care crisis they created.

So what will life be like under Obamacare?  Start following what’s happening in the British National Health Service (NHS).  And you’ll get an idea of what national health care is like (see New baby boom to put ‘enormous’ strain on NHS by Stephen Adams posted 11/12/2012 on The Telegraph).

In the first three months of this year alone, 4,600 more babies were born than during the same period last year, according to official figures

Midwives are warning that the trend is continuing and will swell births to more than 700,000 in England this year – the first time that level has been reached since 1971.

Birth rates have been on the rise for a decade, due principally to immigration, with the number growing by about 12,000 a year…

Professor Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said the increase was putting “enormous” strain on the NHS…

Before David Cameron came to power, he promised another 3,000 midwives across the NHS, but to date only an extra 900 have been employed.

The RCM is arguing another 5,000 are needed across England, to keep pace with the rising number of births…

A recent RCM poll of more than 2,000 midwives found nine in 10 did not feel they could give women all the care and support they needed.

A lack of midwives has been cited as one reason for the high proportion of caesareans in Britain, with mothers sometimes opting for surgery to avoid repeating a traumatic first birth.

The NHS is struggling to slash its budget.  For before this current baby boom birthrates had been falling after the establishment of the NHS.  Shrinking the tax base.  And the funding for the NHS.  At a time when people were living longer thanks to advances in health care.  So the NHS finds itself chronically underfunded thanks to that shrinking tax base.  And overburdened by more elderly people living longer after retirement consuming a lot of health care resources.  Which is why the NHS relies on midwives to deliver babies.  Often in the mother’s home.  To relieve the hospital of an enormous expense of handling something so mundane and routine as delivering a baby.  Midwives are a way to cut costs.  Without sacrificing quality health care.  As most births proceed without any complications.  When there are complications they take the mother to a hospital.

Midwives help the NHS spread their limited resources over as many people as possible.  Much like the quasi death panel Liverpool Care Pathway.  By encouraging people to let their loved dies instead of trying to prolong their lives with costly health care resources.  Of course, the NHS is currently revising their constitution to make sure those decisions are based on the patient’s best interests and not the hospital’s bottom line.

And speaking of bottom lines there is nothing like a baby boom to solve a government-funded organization’s chronic underfunding.  Because babies become taxpayers.  When they join the workforce.  And if they sustain this baby boom long enough it may bring the age of the British population down.  By having more people entering the workforce than leaving it.  Provided there are jobs for them when they are ready to enter the workforce.  So a rising population growth rate can’t fix all of their problems alone.  They also need a business-friendly environment that will create jobs to employ these new taxpayers.

Of course you know what will happen then.  After the baby boom creates a tax revenue boom the government will make more spending obligations it won’t be able to meet once their population ages again.  And they will be right back where they started from.  Only the spending obligations will be greater the next time around.  And here lies the problem.  It’s the spending that is the problem.  Always has been.  And always will be.  If governments stopped spending themselves into these kinds of messes they wouldn’t have these problems to begin with.  And the Americans have just given themselves a spending obligation that will create the mother of all messes.  Obamacare.  And whatever it will evolve into.  For the US has about 5 times the population of the UK.  So its cost pressures will probably be 5 times what the NHS is feeling.  Or more.  So the Americans can expect midwives to replace the maternity wards their mothers gave birth in.  And a Liverpool Care Pathway quasi death panel.  Why?  Because if the British couldn’t avoid these things than it isn’t likely the Americans will with 5 times the cost pressures.

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