More Budget Cuts increase Wait Times to see Doctor in the National Health Service

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 23rd, 2014

Week in Review

The problem with national health care is that it is zero-sum when it comes to budgeting.  There is one big pie of funding that they divide throughout the system to pay for all of its parts.  But anyone who has ever paid attention to a budget debate in Washington has seen that there is never enough in the pie.  And no one is ever satisfied with their slice of the pie.  Worse, every department will spend every last cent in their appropriation lest they reduce next year’s appropriation by the amount of any unspent funds in this year’s appropriation.  No matter how wasteful that spending is.  Such as for conferences in Las Vegas.  Or extravagant office parties at home.

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) is straining under the cost of an aging population.  More people are leaving the workforce than are entering it.  Which means fewer people are paying taxes.  Just as the number of people using the resources of the NHS is growing.  Forcing the NHS to do more with less.  Which has everyone complaining about their chunk of the NHS budget (see ‘Unprecedented’ cuts see GPs warn half of Britain will be unable to get appointments by Charlie Cooper posted 2/23/2014 on The Independent).

More than 34 million people will fail to secure an appointment with their doctor at some point this year, the GP’s professional body has claimed, blaming “unprecedented” cuts to funding for family practices.

The Royal College of General Practitioners said that the profession was “on its knees” and called for GPs to get a larger share of the NHS budget.

However, the Department of Health dismissed their findings – which would imply that more than half the UK population will miss out an appointment this year – as “complete nonsense” and accused the college of “sensationalising” the issue.

General practice has seen its share of the NHS budget – which totalled more than £109bn in England last year – significantly eroded in recent years, from 11 per cent in 2005/06 to 8.5 per cent in 2011/12…

“GPs and practice nurses want to provide high quality care for every single patient who seeks a consultation, and over the last decade we have increased the number of patients we see each year in England by 40m,” she said. “However [we] can’t keep doing more for less…”

“The GP survey showed the vast majority of patients are satisfied with their GP and rated their experience of making an appointment as good,” the spokesperson said, adding that GPs had been given an extra £50m to modernise services and stay open longer.

Whenever you want to see your doctor you need to make an appointment.  In the NHS that could take a few weeks.  Which is driving a lot of people to the A/E (accident and emergency departments).  Because they are sick now.  And don’t want to wait 2 weeks to see a doctor to get an antibiotic for their strep throat.

If you read the comments following the linked article you can get a feeling of what the British people think about the NHS.  And an idea of what Obamacare may lead to.  They love their NHS.  But are exasperated by it.  Some think the doctors are too greedy.  But there isn’t a mad rush to become a doctor to relieve the doctor shortage.  So whatever the pay is it isn’t enough to get people to join the profession.  Which ultimately increases the wait times to see a doctor.

The problem is that aging population.  People who remember a kinder and gentler NHS remember one before the baby boomers retired and overloaded the system.  Who are living longer into retirement.  Consuming more of the NHS’ limited resources than people did before the baby boomers retired.  Had Britain (and every other advanced economy) not reduced its birthrate around the Sixties they would not have this problem now.  But they did.  So they are.  As we will, too.  And every other advanced economy with an aging population will.  Making it a very bad time for national health care.  Yet President Obama and the Democrats have given us Obamacare at precisely this time.  Which is guaranteed to make health care in the United States worse.  If you don’t believe that just read the comments following the linked article.

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It was a Bad Year for the NHS which Portends a Bad Future for Obamacare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 29th, 2013

Week in Review

Britain has had its problems with their National Health Service (NHS).  Where national health care is proving to be unaffordable.  Especially now that their population is aging.  People are living longer into retirement and consuming more health care resources.  While a falling birthrate is producing fewer new taxpayers to replace those retirees leaving the tax-paying workforce.  Forcing them to raise taxes on those still paying taxes.  Or cutting spending on those who aren’t paying taxes.  Those consuming the lion’s share of their limited health care resources.  Those retirees.

Those are the choices.  And they are the only choices.  Because when it comes to national health care it’s a zero-sum game.  Either you take more from some to pay for others.  Or you spend less on everyone to make those limited resources cover more people.  Which is the great flaw in national health care.  Because your health care depends on what others are willing or able to give you.  Something that’s been happening ever since health insurance became an employee benefit.  For before that you paid for your health care.  And no one denied you anything.  Because you were in control by paying your own bills.  But then came the third parties.  First the health insurance companies.  And then the government.  As always is the case when you introduce ‘middle men’ costs rise and efficiencies fall.

As health care became a benefit it required generational theft.  Taking money from the young and healthy to pay for the old and sick.  When health care became a right the generational theft grew greater.  And when government took over the generational theft grew even greater.  As government is notoriously less efficient than private health insurers.  Requiring ever more money to provide the same level of health care found in the private sector.  Which is why 2013 was not a good year for the NHS (see Was 2013 the NHS’s annus horriblis? by Nick Triggle posted 12/27/2013 on BBC News Health).

It has been a bruising year for the NHS in England…

It kicked off with the publication in February of the Francis Inquiry into events at the Stafford Hospital, which accused the service of betraying patients.

By the start of the summer, another 14 hospitals with the highest death rates were being hauled over the coals for their failings in their care…

As autumn came, another review – this time on complaints – was scathing about the attitude of the NHS to complaints.

The report, led by Labour MP Ann Clywd who had broken down on radio over the care given to her late husband, said there was a culture of “delay and denial”.

Of course, controversy has surrounded the health service before…

But that was about how the service was structured.

This year has been about the very basics – the quality of care – and so in that sense it has felt different…

According to Chris Hopson, chief executive of the Foundation Trust Network, the giant hurdle in the way of further progress is money.

“This is perhaps the trickiest position the NHS has ever been in,” he says.

“We are looking at a period of 10 years where money will be incredibly tight and what we are seeing now is a mismatch between what is being asked for and what is achievable.

The United States has an aging population just like Britain.  And has the same problem paying for their health care as they do.  Requiring ever greater amounts of generational theft.  As Obamacare all but picks up our young by the feet to shake whatever money they can out of their pockets.  Which begs the question if the NHS is such a case study in what not to do why did President Obama and the Democrats do the Affordable Care Act?

The answer is simple.  Because Obamacare is not about health care.  It’s about government power over one-sixth of the U.S. economy.  For if it was about health care they wouldn’t have done the Affordable Care Act.  Because of the lessons offered by the NHS.  Lessons President Obama and the Democrats ignored when passing Obamacare into law.  As they weren’t being honest with the American people.  Because they want what the British have.  Even if it reduces the quality of our health care.  Which is obvious by their passing the Affordable Care Act despite all of their woes in the NHS.  Which will soon be our woes.

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Longer Wait Times, Rationing and Higher Mortality Rates are the Inevitable Outcome of National Health Care

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 23rd, 2013

Week in Review

The American left wants national health care. Just like the British have.  In their National Health Service (NHS).  But when critics say national health care will lead to longer wait times and health care rationing the left says balderdash.  Despite what’s happening in the NHS (see Hospital discharges: figures highlight impact of delays by Adam Brimelow posted 11/22/2013 on BBC News Health).

Last month the number of days “lost” by patients who needed the beds was the highest for more than three years.

Senior doctors working in accident and emergency departments say it is a major cause for concern…

“The delays are a key cause of overcrowding in emergency departments, which is associated with higher mortality,” he said…

A spokesman for the Local Government Association said councils had worked hard to protect social care services from the full impact of cuts, but added: “Unless local government finance is put on a sustainable footing, social care will remain substantially underfunded and services will suffer as a result.”

A shortage of hospital beds led to longer wait times in moving patients out of emergency departments and into a hospital bed.  Leading to higher mortality rates.  Which means longer wait times and rationing have caused more people to die.  This isn’t balderdash.  This is the inevitable outcome of national health care.  And the inevitable outcome of Obamacare.

As the Affordable Care Act rollout continues to crash and burn the Obama administration will soon be saying we tried fixing our health care problems the private health insurance route and failed.  Proving that the problem is the health insurance companies.  And the only way to fix this problem is with a single-payer system.  Or a true national health care system.  Like the NHS.  It’s coming.  Because it’s been the plan all along.

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More Doctors are Leaving Britain’s National Health Service for Better Jobs Elsewhere

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 10th, 2013

Week in Review

According to BBC Radio 4 doctors in the National Health Service (NHS) are fed up with being blamed for all the woes in the NHS (see UK doctors ‘flee NHS for overseas’ says RCGP posted 8/7/2013 on BBC News health).

A constant barrage of negative headlines about the NHS is leading to a growing number of doctors fleeing Britain to practice abroad, according to the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Britain’s aging population is placing great strains on the NHS.  Health care spending is rising as people live longer into retirement while a smaller population enters the workforce to pay for them.  Leading to a doctor shortage.  Rationing of care.  And a lowering of the level of quality as fewer resources must cover more people.

According to this report everyone is blaming greedy doctors who don’t want to do their fair share of work.  This while the doctor shortage is so bad that about a third of the doctors in the NHS are immigrants.  And the British government is investing in more doctors to cope with the increasing pressures of these doctor shortages in the face of that aging population.  But there is no sympathy for doctors.  People say that they paid to educate and train them so it’s their duty to stay in the UK and look out after them.

So this is life under national health care.  Overworked doctors.  About a third of which will be immigrants.  As the treatment of doctors discourages others from entering the profession.  Creating a doctor shortage filled by immigrants.  And a general attitude among the people that because they pay for these doctors with their taxes that makes these doctors their bitch.

They also say these doctors are paid well.  Who earn around $150,000 (in U.S. dollars).  Which is a lot of money.  Yet there is a doctor shortage because more people aren’t leaping at the opportunity to earn those big bucks, too.  Why?  Because it’s too damn hard.  That’s why we pay doctors a lot of money.  It’s about the only way to encourage them to enter the profession.  To learn a very difficult field.  Put in more hours than most.  All while being blamed for all the woes in the NHS.

And they wonder why UK doctors want to leave the NHS?

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The Quality of your Health Care in the NHS Depends on Where you Live

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 12th, 2013

Week in Review

Obamacare was about providing affordable health care to everyone.  Not just to those who could afford it.  So the quality of your health care does not depend on the size of your paycheck.  Or the size of your trust.  A noble goal.  But will it work?  The odds are not good.  For the UK has the National Health Service (NHS).  Where the NHS just doesn’t make health care affordable.  It gives it away to each and every citizen.  But even the NHS can’t ensure the quality of everyone’s health care does not depend on the size of their paycheck.  Or the size of their trust (see Asthma hospital admission rates vary ‘alarmingly’ posted 5/6/2013 on BBC News Health).

There are “alarming variations” in the number of people with asthma admitted to hospital in an emergency, depending on where they live, says Asthma UK…

The figures, from the NHS Atlas of Variation: Respiratory Disease, show that the highest rate of adult emergency hospital admissions for the disease in England – 193 per 100,000 of population – was found in the London borough of Newham.

That rate was over six times higher than in Bromley, in London, at 30 per 100,000 people.

In children, aged up to 17 years, the disparity between a rate of 732.6 in Liverpool and 38.7 in Tower Hamlets was even greater…

“Quality of asthma care is of paramount importance – we estimate that 75% of hospital admissions could be prevented with the right care and management.

And to put this more into human terms.

Shannon Batt-Hilliard was diagnosed with asthma when she was a young child, living in Kent.

When she was five, the family moved to Northampton – and that’s when her mother Glynnis realised how sub-standard her daughter’s care had been.

“The difference was unbelievable. Until that point Shannon had never been given an inhaler and we’d received no care or support following her asthma attacks.

“Once we were in Northampton, she was put on nebulisers, given an inhaler and referred to an asthma nurse.

“The doctors were far more attentive and were keen to help improve and manage her asthma.

“For us as a family, relocating was the best thing we could have done health wise.”

Not exactly what one would expect under a national health service.  One would expect they would have what the Democrats in the United States say Obamacare will deliver.  The same quality of health care no matter one’s economic station.  But it’s not the case in the UK.  For the NHS can NOT deliver the same quality of health care to all its citizens.  Clearly if you live in a better part of town you get a better quality of health care.  The way it was in the U.S. before Obamacare.  And based on the experience of the NHS, the way it will be under Obamacare.  Only we’ll be paying more to get the same level of health care we once got.  That is if we’re lucky enough to keep the same level of quality we once had.

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Britain’s National Health Service is becoming less Centralized to Improve Quality

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 31st, 2013

Week in Review

The answer in fixing the American health care system, according to Obamacare, is for more top-down management.  A centralization of the health care system.  Having distant bureaucrats make treatment decisions for patients.  Why?  According to President Obama, doctors were ordering needless tests and procedures just to maximize their billings.  The president even said they were amputating limbs unnecessarily.  Again, to maximize their billings.  And the only way to stop that was with the heavy hand of government.  Just like they do in Britain (see Hospitals that fail patients will be fined, says NHS chief by Denis Campbell posted 3/29/2013 on the guardian).

Hospitals will face financial penalties if they fail to give patients with problems such as a stroke or heart attack the best possible care, under controversial plans spelled out by the NHS’s top doctor.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, speaking to the Guardian, said the new GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that will take control of £65bn of health spending on Monday will hold back from a hospital part of the fees for an operation if the patient has not been treated to the highest possible standards. “The idea is that the CCG would say: ‘We will withhold a certain amount of payment from you until you can demonstrate that you’ve met these standards.’ So it’s a bit like the building industry – you pay 90% of the [cost of] the building upfront, and then the final payments comes a bit later, when you’re sure everything is OK,” Keogh said in his only interview before the new NHS system starts in England on 1 April.

Such differential payments – it is hoped – will compel hospitals to provide high-quality care and force units that do not embrace the latest medical thinking in their specialism to overhaul what they do. Medical teams that do not implement the latest clinical guidance – called quality standards – on how to manage those with a particular condition will forfeit an as yet to be agreed part of the payment…

His tough message to hospitals on quality of care was reinforced by the decision late on Thursday to suspend children’s heart surgery in Leeds General Infirmary following concerns about the quality of lifesaving procedures offered there and the number of its patients who died. An inquiry into practice at LGI has begun…

The NHS Confederation, which represents hospitals, voiced unease at the plan. It would be better to give high-performing hospitals small bonuses over and above the full tariff rather than use penalties against the weaker ones, said Mike Farrar, its chief executive and a former boss of the NHS’s north-west region.

“Bruce is right that commissioners [CCGs] need to use levers. But the downside of penalties is that if hospitals don’t reach the standards set, then they don’t get the rest of the tariff fee and the risk is of a downward spiral in which they have less resources next year in which to try and meet the standards,” Farrar said.

In the Guardian interview Keogh urged the NHS to help stick to its tight spending limits by cracking down on patients receiving unnecessary tests and procedures – known as “overtreatment”.

He voiced concern that the NHS is conducting too many x-rays and blood tests without a good medical reason, subjecting some patients to operations they do not need, and prescribing too many antibiotics.

Odd.  The very things a more top-down approach was supposed to eliminate are now being eliminated by moving away from that top-down approach.  And moving towards a more local approach.  Having people closer to the patients making treatment decisions.  Holding caregivers accountable before they authorize final payment for their services.  And making sure patients and their families are satisfied with the care they received.

Almost sounds like a step back to that intimate doctor-patient relationship.  That served patients so well.  And doctors.  For the only way for doctors to get rich was by taking care of their patients as if they were family.  So they wouldn’t go to another doctor.  And form an intimate doctor-patient relationship there.  Providing a strong incentive to give patients the best care possible.  Because there was accountability.  Not a cold, faceless bureaucracy.

Those on the left have long pointed to Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) as the proper way to do health care.  And here they are.  Moving towards the way things were in America.  Before Obamacare.  Basically a tantamount admission by someone in the business of national health care that it doesn’t work.  And yet here we are in the United States.  Moving towards something with a proven track record of failure.  Something that will benefit the politicians.  At the expense of the patient.

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The NHS sets up new Non-Emergency Phone Service to Reduce the Overload on the Emergency Phone Service

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 30th, 2013

Week in Review

Once upon a time Americans worked hard, saved their money and lived austere lives.  Always saving, planning and waiting for the future.  When they could finally enjoy the things they worked so hard and so long for.  Today’s world is a little more hedonistic.  Where few wait for anything.  Or save.  Like that classic Eagles song.  Life in the Fast Lane.  “Everything all the time.”  Especially those on the left.  Who want government to take care of them so they can enjoy life in the fast lane.  Pensions.  Health care.  A college education.  Birth control.  Childcare.  All the things that would take away from their having a good time if they had to pay for these themselves.

This is why they wanted national health care.  And fervently hope Obamacare will evolve into national health care.  So they can enjoy life to the fullest.  Knowing that if they crash the government will be there to take care of them.  For free. Just like the utopian National Health Service (NHS) in Britain.  Where everyone has everything all the time (see NHS 111 line should be delayed, says BMA posted 3/28/2013 on BBC News Health).

The organisation representing British doctors has written to NHS bosses to call for a delay in the launch of a new non-emergency telephone advice line…

Lord Howe has already admitted the new 111 telephone advice service – which the government has said will ease pressure on emergency 999 phone lines – had run into “teething problems”…

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the the BMA’s GP committee, said: “There have been widespread reports of patients being unable to get through to an operator or waiting hours before getting a call back with the health information they have requested,

“In some areas, such as Greater Manchester, NHS 111 effectively crashed because it was unable to cope with the number of calls it was receiving. The quality of advice being given out has also been questionable in some instances.”

He said the “chaotic mess” of 111 was “placing strain” on overstretched parts of the NHS, such as the ambulance service, and potentially placing patients at risk.

Of course it doesn’t work like that in real life.  For free stuff is very expensive.  It is so costly that the NHS cannot put enough ambulances on the street.  Placing patients at risk.

The problem with free stuff is that people see no reason NOT to use it.  So they use it.  And over consume it.  Which is why emergency rooms back up.  And emergency phone lines are overloaded.  The shortage of services is so bad that they have to create a new telephone service to reduce the call volume on the emergency telephone service.

When everything is free people over consume.  Which stretches the resources of the NHS.  Leading to longer wait times.  Rationing.  And service denials.  They don’t even have the resources to staff a non-emergency telephone service.  Which they added to reduce the burden on the emergency telephone service.  Which would hopefully reduce the burden on their emergency rooms.  As well as freeing up the ambulance service.  Just something else they’re adding with things like the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) for the Dying Patient.  What some families who had their loved ones placed on the LCP without their knowledge call a death panel.  So these patients die sooner to free up some beds.  And health care workers.  All to try and make their limited resources cover more people.  For you just can’t have everything all the time.  At least not in the NHS.  And if they can’t what chance do we have with Obamacare?

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FT163: “To cut medical costs Obamacare will pay hospitals, doctors and medical malpractice lawyers less.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 29th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

Health Care Costs are High because of the Lack of Competition and Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Obamacare is a pathway to national health care.  They designed it to get as many employers to drop health insurance for their employees as possible.  By making the penalty for not providing it less than the cost of providing it.  As more employers drop their health insurance plans private health insurers will have to raise rates on the fewer remaining on their plans.  Causing more employers to drop their health insurance plans and pay the less costly fine instead.  Once Obamacare destroys the private health insurance industry the government will step in as the insurer of last resort.  And transform Obamacare into a true national health care system.  Like the National Health Service in Britain.  The ultimate goal for those on the left.

There is support for Obamacare and the national health care it will evolve into.  Especially those who hate doctors, hospitals and the pharmaceutical companies getting rich on the suffering of others.  Who will sue them at the drop of a hat.  And there is a large and prosperous medical malpractice legal community getting rich by helping these people sue.  Helping the little guy get justice from these rich people and rich companies.  Who put profits before people.  Which is why so many people want national health care.  To get the profit incentive out of health care.  And limit the outrageous salaries of those in the health care industries.

What these people don’t understand is that it’s just not their high salaries that run up the costs of health care.  Two large reasons for the high cost of health care are the lack of competition and the cost of medical malpractice lawsuits.  Obamacare will address one of these issues.  But probably not the one those who hate the profit incentive in health care would expect.  Or want.

When the Government pays for Health Care they also pay Medical Malpractice Damage Awards

They are still writing the law for Obamacare.  So anything we say will be conjecture.  But we can see where Obamacare is going by looking at where it will end.  National health care.  And there are numerous examples of that in the world.  Such as the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain.  Here is how they address medical malpractice (see Medical Malpractice Liability: United Kingdom (England and Wales) posted on the U.S. Library of Congress website).

Given that damages awarded could reach millions of pounds, which would negatively affect the budget of these Trusts in providing healthcare to the population, a number of programs (known as “schemes” in England) were established to address claims for medical negligence…

Part of the mandate of the NHS Litigation Authority is to avoid litigation, where possible.  Its Framework Document notes that it aims to “maximise the resources available for patient care, by defending unjustified actions robustly [and] settling justified actions efficiently.”[28]  Furthermore, the Litigation Authority notes that it “encourage[s] NHS bodies to offer patients explanations and apologies.[29]  We seek to avoid formal litigation as far as possible and our historical data show that only about 4% of our cases go to court, including settlements made on behalf of minors, which must be approved by a court.”[30]

The mandate of the NHS Litigation Authority further requires it “to minimise the risk that patient care in a particular community is jeopardised by a large settlement against a local NHS body.”[31]  It thus aims to “to spread the costs of settlements more evenly over time”[32] through the use of periodical payments made to the claimant throughout their life, as it considers that this is the fairest method of settling the costs of personal injury claims when costs are significant.[33]

When the government pays for health care they also pay medical malpractice damage awards.  And anything they pay in a medical malpractice award is money they cannot spend on providing medical services to sick people.  So the mandate of the NHS is to fight medical malpractice claims robustly.  By throwing out frivolous lawsuits.  And settling out of court legitimate lawsuits.  Such that only some 4% make it to court.  And a jury trial.  The ultimate objective of malpractice lawyers.  Who want the sympathies of a jury to award massive judgments against rich doctors, hospitals and pharmaceuticals.

Medical Malpractice Lawyers will be the Big Financial Losers when Obamacare evolves into National Health Care

Medical malpractice lawyers get rich from winning big lawsuits.  That have a big cash award.  Which is how they want their money.  In a big lump-sum.  Because that’s how medical malpractice lawyers get rich.  Quickly.  And that’s not going to happen with settlements paid out over time over the life of the claimant.  Like in the NHS.  They don’t want a stipend.  Stipends don’t buy mansions, luxury cars, private jets, yachts and exotic vacations.  And if their clients are so inconsiderate to die too soon they will selfishly deny these lawyers a portion of that income stream.  However meager it is.  If they even get a piece of that income stream.

Republicans are for a business-friendly environment.  To generate economic activity.  And that business-friendly environment includes low taxes and low regulatory costs.  As well as tort reform.  To limit the high cost of frivolous lawsuits.  Something the trial lawyers vehemently oppose.  So they throw their support behind Democrats.  Who are generally for a less business-friendly environment.  And have no problem with suing ‘greedy’ corporations.  For the richer the trial lawyers get the more campaign donations they get.  So there is a special relationship between the Democrat Party and trial lawyers.  They take care of each other.  Until, that is, Obamacare becomes like the NHS.

The Democrats and their supporters, including the trial lawyers, attack the profit incentive in health care.  Together they have helped to bring Obamacare into law.  Which will begin the long process of removing the profit incentive from health care.  As well as destroying the private health insurers that the medical malpractice lawyers have grown so wealthy by suing.  It will be interesting to see if they will continue their special relationship with the Democrats as health care moves more towards a system like the NHS.  As the medical malpractice lawyers will be the big financial losers when that happens.  Because they just won’t be able to sue the federal government like they have sued the private insurance industry.

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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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Britain’s National Health Service works so well they Pass Laws Forbidding the Gagging of Whistleblowers

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 16th, 2013

Week in Review

More and more people are finding out what life will be like under Obamacare.  And they’re not liking what they’re finding out.  Especially those pet owners who have just learned their vet bills are going up because the excise taxes on medical devices includes medical devices that can be used on people as well as animals.  Such as syringes.  Which is rather ironic that the most financially responsible health care in the United States will help subsidize the least financially responsible.  For people pay out of pocket at their vet.  Something they haven’t done at their people doctor since, well, forever.  Unless you lived before FDR’s time.  Before health care became a benefit.

While vets keep their bills to where people will pay them to save Fido and Whiskers no such restraint exists with people medicine.  Which probably explains why Fido and Whiskers are getting better health care than some get at people hospitals (see Ban on NHS gagging orders by Press Association posted 3/14/2013 on the guardian).

Gagging clauses that stop departing NHS staff from speaking out about patient safety or care have been banned by the government.

Hundreds of whistleblowers have in the past been silenced by the clauses in their severance packages.

The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said the practice would end with immediate effect to help create a culture of “openness and transparency” across the NHS.

Interesting.  Openness and transparency?  Like President Obama promised that his administration would be?  One thing we’ve learned from the president is that he has a problem with being open and transparent.  So you know this culture will carry over into Obamacare.  For they no doubt learned from the British that you have to shut your people up after they leave their jobs.  Or else they will talk about how horrible you’re running things.  Such as the abysmal job the Obama administration did protecting our diplomatic staff in Benghazi.  Despite all of the signs of a resurging al Qaeda.  The place was getting so dangerous that the British pulled their staff out before al Qaeda killed four Americans.  And what did we here from the dead ambassador’s boss when questioned in Congress about altered talking points used on the Sunday morning talk shows?  “What difference does it make?”  So much for all of that promised openness and transparency.

“The era of gagging NHS staff from raising their real worries about patient care must come to an end.”

Almost £15m was spent over three years on compromise agreements with staff leaving the NHS, the Mail said, of which 90% contained clauses to stop whistleblowers from speaking out.

Gary Walker, the former chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, claimed he was sacked after raising concerns about patient safety.

He accepted a gagging clause as part of a settlement package but broke the terms to speak out last month about concerns over care, the Mail said…

The Health Secretary said that a “culture of covering up problems” led to the Mid Staffordshire scandal, and that NHS staff who identify problems should be encouraged to come forward and speak out…

“This can only be part of our response to Mid Staffs. If we have a culture where whistleblowing is necessary then obviously something has gone wrong.”

The National Health Service (NHS) has been doing national health care for a long time.  And, apparently, they still don’t have it right.  For if they did there would be no need for whistleblowers.  So here’s something to look forward to under Obamacare.  Gag orders and a culture of covering up problems.  And it has to happen here.  For the British are good people.  It’s just that national health care doesn’t work.  And we know the British are good people.  For they have been trying to make the unworkable national health care work.  Which must mean they care about their people.  So any failures of the system really can’t be blamed on the people.  It’s national health care that is at fault.  For it just doesn’t work.

So expect a lot of silence as more and more people suffer horrible health care.  And when a whistleblower does step forward and someone from the administration is called to testify before Congress we can already guess their answer to why more people are dying under Obamacare than they were before Obamacare.  “What difference does it make?”  Words you’ll never hear from your veterinarian.  Because there is no need for gag orders at your vet.  Why?  Because it’s cash out of pocket.  And vets have to meet a higher standard than some government policy.  They have to please Fido’s and Whisker’s owner.  The one with the pocket that has the cash that pays bill.  Which is why veterinarians work.  And Obamacare won’t.

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