The NHS drops Life-Saving Drug as it would lead to more Rationing and longer Wait Times

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 22nd, 2014

Week in Review

In 1954 almost 35% of all workers belonged to a union.  Since then that number has fallen to about 11.3%.  As the high cost of union contracts chased manufacturing out of the country.  Today the majority of workers belonging to a union work in the public sector.  Where they enter contract negotiations with the taxpayers to secure better pay and benefits than most taxpayers have.  Of course during these negotiations the taxpayers have no say.  As politicians and unions hammer out these contracts.  Unlike trade unions.  Where the people paying the workers actually have a say.

This is another reason why national health care is the Holy Grail for the left.  They want to unionize all those health care workers.  Pay them more.  And deduct union dues from their pay to fund their political activities.  Leaving less money for patient health care.  But they’re okay with that.  But they’re not okay with a pharmaceutical company charging a lot of money for life-saving drugs.  Which, also, leaves less money for patient health care (see Breast cancer drug turned down for NHS use due to high cost by Sarah Boseley posted 4/22/2014 on the guardian).

A Herceptin-style drug that can offer some women with advanced breast cancer nearly six months of extra life has been turned down for use in the NHS because of its high cost.

In draft guidance now open to consultation, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) blames the manufacturers, Roche, who are asking for more than £90,000 per patient, which is far more than any comparable treatment…

“We apply as much flexibility as we can in approving new treatments, but the reality is that given its price and what it offers to patients, it will displace more health benefit which the NHS could achieve in other ways, than it will offer to patients with breast cancer.”

Paying health care providers more will not improve the quality of health care.  Unless health workers are doing a half-assed job now.  Which I don’t believe they are.  But Roche is helping people with death sentences live another six months or so.  That’s a pretty remarkable thing.  If the NHS can’t afford this wonder drug perhaps they should use their own.  Of course they can’t.  Why?  Because they don’t have one.  For they didn’t pour hundreds of millions of dollars in developing this drug and the all those drugs that failed.

Developing a miracle drug is costly.  Money the pharmaceuticals pay up front.  Because their employees don’t work for free.  Which is why these drugs cost so much.  That high price pays for all of the costs that went into this drug.  For all of the drugs that failed.  And provides a return for investors.  Who give these pharmaceutical companies hundreds of millions of dollars up front just in the hope they may develop a miracle drug.  Which is the only way we should invest in these miracle drugs.  Because these investors will only take a chance on a good thing.  Unlike government.  Which has a history of backing the wrong investment time after time.  And pouring good money after bad.

It’s a tough choice to make.  Take health care benefits away from other patients to pay for a miracle drug for those dying from cancer.  Or let people die 6 months or so sooner.  One thing for sure, though, unionizing our health care workers won’t give either of these patients more health care benefits.  It will only leave less money for everything else.  Leading to rationing.  And longer wait times.  Because less money will pay for fewer things.  Making those other things scarcer.  Forcing people to wait longer and pay more for treatment.

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The Democrats think they can do National Health Care better than Britain despite the Obamacare Website Rollout Disaster

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 30th, 2014

Week in Review

Those on the left settled for the Affordable Care Act.  It’s not what they wanted.  But they think it can, in time, give them what they want.  Single-payer health care.  Or a true national health care system.  Like they have in Britain.  Oh how the left would love to have a no nonsense National Health Service (NHS) in the United States.  A system totally funded by general taxation.  Because that would be better than Obamacare.  And far better than what Obamacare replaced.  Now those who think that are either lying to the American people.  Or are completely ignorant to what’s going on in the NHS.  For the highly esteemed NHS is on life support (see £10 each can save the NHS by Norman Warner and Jack O’Sullivan posted 3/30/2014 on the guardian).

A care and cash crisis is sending the NHS bust. In its present form, a shortfall of £30bn a year, or more, is expected by 2020. Paying off the nation’s deficit means five more years of further deep public expenditure cuts, whoever is in government. So, over-protecting an outdated, cosseted and unaffordable healthcare system inevitably means starving other vital public services, unless we choke off economic growth and worsen the cost of living with big tax increases. That might be worth contemplating if the NHS was offering brilliant care. But it isn’t.

Just look at the thousands of frail elderly people who get the care they need only by queuing in A&E and spending weeks in hospital – the most expensive and often the worst way to look after them. And let’s not forget that the NHS is sleepwalking through an obesity epidemic.

These are truths hidden from public view. Many politicians and clinicians are scared to tell people that our much-loved 65-year-old NHS no longer meets the country’s needs. Frankly, it is often poor value for money, and the greatest public spending challenge after the general election…

Our specialist hospital services should be concentrated in fewer, safer, better-equipped and more expert centres with 24/7 consultant cover and improved transport links…

A new integrated “National Health and Care Service” would pioneer a “co-producing” health partnership between state and citizen, with annual personal health MOTs agreeing responsibilities over the year for both services and the individual. At the heart of this relationship would be an NHS membership scheme, charging £10 a month (with some exemptions) collected through council tax for local preventative services to help people stay healthy.

This is one of several new funding streams urgently needed to renew impoverished parts of our care system but preserving a mainly tax-funded NHS that is largely free at the point of use. We have to escape the constraints of general taxation if we want a decent system…

Just 3.5% of the annual 500,000 deaths lead to payment of inheritance tax. We must expect the elderly, after their deaths, to contribute more. NHS free entitlements, such as continuing care, could be reduced or means-tested and hotel costs in hospital charged, as in France and Germany.

Britain has an aging population.  Fewer people are entering the workforce to pay the taxes that fund the NHS.  While more people are leaving the workforce and consuming NHS resources.  So less money is going into the NHS while the NHS is spending more and more money on patients.  Leading to a deficit that they can’t pay for without killing the economy.  Or taking money away from other government services.

If the NHS was providing quality health care they could probably justify taking money away from other areas.  But it’s not.  The one argument for passing Obamacare was that it would reduce the burden on emergency rooms.  But it’s not doing that in Britain.  The wait times are so long to see a doctor or get a procedure that people are going to the emergency room (A/E in Britain) and waiting for hours instead of waiting for months.  Further increasing costs and wait times.  And frustrating patients.

So what is the solution to a failing national health care system?  Close hospitals and make people travel further for treatment.  And charge them £10 ($16.64) monthly in addition to some of the highest tax rates they already pay to fund the NHS.  So, to summarize, to make national health care work in Britain they need to close hospitals, make people travel further for care, charge them more money and make them wait longer for treatment.  Which is basically the argument against the Affordable Care Act.  It would lead to rationing.  And longer wait times.  Worse, the quality of care will decline.  As it has in Britain.  As it will in the United States.  For we also have an aging population.  And we have about five-times the people they have in Britain.  Which will make our problems five-times worse than theirs.

What’s happening in the NHS is no secret.  Any proponent of national health care no doubt looks at Britain and their NHS.  So they must be familiar with how it’s failing.  Yet they press on for a similar system in the United States.  Why?  If it won’t improve our health care system why do they want national health care?  This is the question we should be asking the Democrats.  Why?  Of course they will say Britain just isn’t doing national health care right.  After all, they’ve only been doing it for 66 years.  So what do they know about national health care?  While we, the liberal Democrats will say, will get national health care right from the get-go.  Because we are just so much smarter than everyone else in the world.

Of course the British could, and should, fire back with, “Yeah?  How did that Obamacare website rollout go?  You’d think that someone who is so smart that they could do national health care right from the get-go could actually build a sodding website that works.”

But, of course, they didn’t.  And the website was the easiest part of Obamacare.  A one and done thing.  And if they couldn’t do that right do we really want these people anywhere near our health care?  No.  Especially when the British are struggling with national health care after trying it for 66 years.  For national health care is apparently more difficult to do than building a sodding website that works.

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Canadian Hospitals suffer from Overcrowding in British Columbia

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 22nd, 2014

Week in Review

The left likes to say we’re idiots here in the United States.  Because every other advanced economy has national health care.  Of course, every other advanced economy doesn’t have the best health care system in the world.  No.  That honor goes to the United States.  And perhaps NOT having national health care is the reason why we have the best health care system in the world.  For those national health care systems have their problems.  Even the system north of the border the American left yearns to have.  The Canadian single-payer system (see New B.C. seniors advocate to focus on needs of growing elderly population by ROB SHAW posted 3/19/2014 on The Vancouver Sun).

Isobel Mackenzie, a longtime Victoria seniors care administrator, was named Wednesday as the province’s first seniors advocate, more than 16 months after the office was first announced…

There are more than 700,000 seniors in B.C. and that’s expected to double to 1.4 million over the next 20 years…

Mackenzie said she’s not sure if her office will get involved in how hospital overcrowding is affecting seniors care, and sidestepped a reporter’s question at her press conference Wednesday about the case of an elderly man who had spent eight hours waiting in a hospital emergency room…

“Obviously, health care is a priority and home care – giving support to people so they can stay at their home and healthy,” she said.

Logan said the government tried an “experiment” of providing funding to United Way but they’ve been “overloaded with requests.”

All of the advanced economies share something in common.  They all have an aging population.  Thanks to birth control and abortion people in the advanced economies stopped having babies after the Sixties like they used to have.  Which is why the seniors are now the largest growing sector of the population.  We have fewer people entering the workforce to pay the taxes that support a greater number of people leaving the workforce.  And thanks to modern medicine, these people are living long into retirement.  Which is why Canadian hospitals in British Columbia are overcrowded.  Which lead to longer wait times and the rationing of care.  Things common with national health care.  And these things are only going to get worse as their aging populations age further.

This is the future of Obamacare.  For the Affordable Care Act is already proving unaffordable to those who have to pay.  And people are losing the health insurance and the doctors they liked and wanted to keep.  A lot of doctors are opting out of Obamacare.  Leaving fewer in the system to treat a larger number of patients.  Which will, of course, lead to longer wait times and the rationing of care.  Just like in Canada.  And in every other advanced economy with a national health care system.  Which is why the United States is the only advanced economy without a national health care system.  Because Americans don’t want longer wait times and the rationing of care.  And they don’t want the Affordable Care Act.

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Obamacare on the Path to making People wait 4 Hours to see a Doctor like in Canada

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 25th, 2014

Week in Review

Obamacare so far has been a disaster.  The website is a billion dollar embarrassment for the Obama administration.  The lack of enrollees.  Far more old and sick signing up than young and healthy.  Millions of people losing the health insurance they liked and wanted to keep.  People losing their doctors.  People going to doctors thinking they have health insurance only to find out they don’t.  The health insurers are looking at huge losses unless they get a federal bailout.  Even the credit rating agencies have said the entire health insurance industry is in danger of going belly up because of Obamacare.

Still the Obamacare supporters say everything will be fine.  Just give it time.  Sure, there has been a bump or two during the rollout.  But it’s getting better every day.  While there are some who are saying these problems are all due to the insurance companies.  And that we need to cut them out of the loop.  And go with a single-payer system.  Like they have in Canada.  So we can at last have the same high-quality system they have where everyone has everything they need when they need it regardless of cost.  A health care utopia.  Where if you’re sick it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor.  You’ll get to wait the same 4 hours to see a doctor as everyone else in Canada has to wait (see Would you pay to not wait in your doctor’s waiting room? This company is betting on it by Erin Anderssen posted 1/22/2014 on The Globe and Mail).

In your hand, you hold the number 52. The nurse shepherding patients through the walk-in clinic just called 12, which means you can expect to be waiting hours.

What’s your time worth? A Montreal-based company is betting you’d be willing to pay less than the equivalent of a grande latte for your “freedom” from the coughing, sniffling and tedium of a doctor’s waiting room. Chronometriq has created a text service – $3 in Quebec (and the expected cost of $4 in Ontario) – that will buzz you on your phone as your number approaches. The company expects the technology, now in place in 24 clinics in Quebec, to expand to 50 walk-in clinics by spring, including some Ontario locations, pending approval from the provincial health ministry.

Its next stop is hospital emergency rooms, where Canadians endure longer waits than citizens of 11 other OECD countries, according to a study released last year.

But it’s also controversial: After all, the program introduces a questionable user-pay element to Canada’s health care system. (The program is optional – you can still save your pennies and linger in the waiting room.)

As Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition, points out, it won’t do anything to reduce actual wait times in ERs, where according to the international study 31 per cent of Canadian wa[i]ted more than four hours to be seen by a doctor in 2010. (The average among all countries included was 12 per cent.) “It is not improving access to care at all,” Mehra says. “The issue is people waiting too long to get in the door.”

That’s the point, argues Louis Parent, Chronometriq vice-president. “How many years have government said they will tackle wait times. And nothing has changed. We have to face facts.”

Critics of national health care say it will lead to rationing and longer wait times.  As it has in Canada.  Why?  Because government can’t do anything well.  The huge bureaucracy adds costs by adding layers of people between doctors and patients.  To determine what treatment a doctor may provide for his or her patient.  More and more health care dollars pay for the bureaucracy instead of actually treating patients.  While at the same time an aging population is reducing the number of taxpayers while increasing the number of people consuming taxpayer-funded health care services.  Which means health care providers have to do more with less.  They have to carefully ration what they have.  Which leads to longer waiting times as patients wait their turn for those limited health care services.

This is where the left wants to take the American health care system to.  Even as countries around the world are having the same problems Canada has.  Many of which are privatizing parts of their national health care.  Even Canada.  Who is now charging some patients for the privilege of receiving a text to tell them when their 4 hours of waiting are nearly up.  Of course the Canadians are having these problems because they are not as smart as the American left.  Who after never doing it before will know how to do national health care right.  Just look at how well they rolled out Obamacare.

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Ontario Health Care has Long Wait Times and Rationing despite it being 973% More Costly than Obamacare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 21st, 2013

Week in Review

To pass the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) into law the Democrats submitted numbers to the CBO that crunched the cost to less than $1 trillion over 10 years.  No more than the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  So it would be a wash.  As if they never decried the spending for those wars as wasteful.  Or simply unaffordable.  But now that spending was not wasteful or unaffordable.  If it paid for Obamacare.

Of course that original cost of $1 trillion over 10 years was very suspect.  In time that number was revised up.  For it was impossible to provide health insurance to everyone without spending a lot more.  As we can see if we look to our neighbors to the north.  Canada (see Ontario not receiving expected health transfer funds by The Canadian Press posted 12/17/2013 on CBC News).

The federal Conservatives have betrayed Canada’s most populous province by breaking their promise over health-care funding, Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews charged Tuesday.

The Harper Tories promised all provinces a six per cent increase in health transfers, but they’re only giving Ontario 3.4 per cent in 2014-15, she said…

The $300 million that Ottawa is shortchanging Ontario is more than the province’s increase in home care and other services for seniors this year, she said.

“It’s less money to reduce wait times, it’s less money to hire nurses, it’s less time to provide Ontario families and particularly Ontario seniors with the care that they need,” Matthews said…

Flaherty was unavailable for comment Tuesday, but a spokeswoman said health transfers are rising…

“In fact, in 2014-15 Ontario will receive over $12 billion in health transfers, almost a 60 per cent increase from under the previous federal Liberal government.”

The province’s share of federal health dollars will increase from $11.9 billion this year to $12.3 billion next year.

Ontario allocates about $49 billion a year on health care, the highest area of spending in its $127.6-billion budget…

Ontario, which is facing a nearly $12-billion deficit, is the only province that will see fewer federal dollars next year, with total transfer payments shrinking by $641 million to $19.1 billion.

Canada’s single-payer system (actually one system per province subsidized by the federal government) has long been an object of affection to those on the American left.  Who kept pointing to it.  Saying, “See?  That’s what we should be doing.”  Rational people said doing so would increase wait time and cause rationing.  “Uh-uh,” they said.  “Providing more health care to more people will NOT lead to increased wait times or rationing.”  Proving their ignorance of the most basic arithmetic.  So let’s use some arithmetic to show why they are so wrong.

First of all despite the utopia of Canada’s single-payer system they apparently have long wait times and rationing.  Or else they wouldn’t say that the reduction in health transfers would hurt their ability to reduce those very things.  Ontario has a population of 13,472,400.  Which means they’re spending $3,637.07 per person ($49 million/13,472,400) on health care.  Or about $3,418.84 per person in US dollars.  The US population is about 313,914,040.  So if we spend what Ontario is spending that comes to about $1.07 trillion per year.  About $10.7 trillion over 10 years.  Or about 973% more than the Democrats said it would cost.

Obviously the government is not going to have this kind of money available.  So there will be longer wait times.  And rationing.  Which is why people won’t be able to keep their health insurance, doctors and medicine they liked and wanted to keep.  And why President Obama and his fellow Democrats lied to pass the bill.  Because things are going to get that bad.  They’re just hoping by the time people realize just how bad it will get Obamacare will be so entrenched that it will be impossible to repeal.  Because if it’s not the people will demand we repeal it and replace it with something better.  Like what we had before the Affordable Care Act.

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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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Hinchingbrooke Hospital breaks free from the NHS Bureaucracy and Improves Health Care

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 13th, 2013

Week in Review

Britain has government-run national health care.  The National Health Service (NHS) provides free health care to all Britons.  And the medical tourists who travel to the country for free health care.  Straining the NHS budget.  At a time when Britain’s aging population is stretching their limited resources thin.  Leading to longer wait times.  Longer travel times as they close local hospitals to consolidate their resources in fewer locations.  And rationing.

Even with their longer wait times, travel times and rationing of services they are still running a deficit in the NHS.  To address these chronic cost overruns they are trying to find £20 billion ($30.54 billion) in efficiency savings over three years.  But there is a beacon of hope for the NHS.  At Hinchingbrooke Hospital (see Set doctors and nurses free to use their common sense – as Hinchingbrooke Hospital does by Charles Moore posted on The Telegraph).

Last month, I visited Hinchingbrooke Hospital, near Huntingdon, the only NHS Trust in the country operated by a private partner…

I spent half a day at Hinchingbrooke, talking to doctors, nurses, administrators and patients, and seeing several wards…

One can visit a large organisation without being aware of big problems. Indeed, one of the great difficulties of the NHS is that internal communications are so bad that people can work well in one area without being aware of utter disaster a few yards away. In the case of Hinchingbrooke, under previous management, maternity was very good while the colorectal unit was shameful. So what follows is not definitive; but I feel I learnt something.

Uniquely in the NHS, Hinchingbrooke’s executive board is dominated by clinical practitioners (doctors and nurses, to you and me). The chief executive is an obstetrician. Only three of the 14 board members have non-clinical backgrounds.

In the only trust that has a private partner doctors and nurses determine how best to treat patients.  Instead of the faceless bureaucracy in the rest of the NHS.  Or what the proponents of Obamacare hope to force onto the American people.

One of the key working methods, borrowed from Toyota, is “Stop the Line”. Anyone in the hospital can stop the line if he or she believes that there might be a “serious untoward incident” or danger to a patient…

A similar, lesser action is a “swarm”. If you are urgently worried about something, you can summon all the relevant people together immediately. Unlike “whistle-blowing”, which is inevitably retrospective and often involves grievance and disloyalty, these ways of acting are instant and preventative. You are encouraged to use them. Someone stops the line in Hinchingbrooke most days.

Nurses work differently from most parts of the NHS. They all wear uniform, even if in managerial roles, and they are encouraged to take part in management without abandoning clinical work…

But what struck me about Hinchingbrooke was not that it was brilliantly original – simply that it was free to act according to common sense. Involve staff in decisions. Make sure that doctors and nurses can run things. Learn from commercial examples of how to improve services. Let the right hand know what the left is doing. Encourage innovation. Don’t “benchmark to the middle”, but to the top. And little things: get A&E nurses to wear identifiable name-badges; get rid of hospital car-park fines. Most of this is simple, but, in the leviathan of the NHS, it is not easy. And at present there are about 2,300 NHS hospitals in the United Kingdom, and only one Hinchingbrooke…

This is far behind the public. As you understand better if you spend a morning in Hinchingbrooke Hospital, the public want health care free at the point of use, but have no ideological prejudice about who delivers it, or how. They rightly judge by results – are they, their spouses, parents, children, well or ill? Are the staff medically competent, efficient and kind? They are not sentimental about the most shocking producer interest ever to have gained power in this country.

The one hospital where things are greatly improving is the one hospital that is moving away from bureaucratic national health care and towards private health care.  Like it once was in the United States.  While President Obama and the Democrats want to move the American health care systems towards the bureaucratic national health care of the NHS.  Where there are longer wait times.  And service rationing.  Well, everywhere in the NHS but Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Do President Obama and the Democrats care that they will destroy the American health care system?  No.  Because it’s not about health care.  It’s about creating the “most shocking producer interest ever to have gained power in this country.”  Yes, it’s about the power.  Social Security and Medicare made the elderly dependent on government.  Giving the government power over the elderly.  If they can’t raise taxes they just threaten to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.  National health care, though, makes everyone dependent on government.  Giving the government power over everyone.

Until the day they can no longer maintain that power.  And that day has come in Britain.  Their aging population is breaking the system.  Which is in essence a Ponzi scheme.  The masses in the workforce pay in via taxes.  And the few sick consume health care services at the top of the pyramid.  While a bloated bureaucracy makes sure to take very good care of itself.  But the aging population is shrinking the workforce paying the taxes.  And swelling the number of sick consuming the health care services.  Inverting the pyramid of the Ponzi scheme.  As it will in America thanks to Obamacare.  Because the United States has an aging population, too.

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Obamacare and the Laws of Supply and Demand

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 30th, 2013

Economics 101

A Scarce Thing has a Higher Price because Everyone that Wants One can’t Have One

Economics is the study of the use of scarce resources.  Scarce resources that have alternative uses.  For example, we can use corn for human food.  Animal feed.  We can make bourbon from it.  And we can even use it for fuel to power our cars.  So there are alternative uses for corn.

And corn is scarce.  There is not an unlimited supply of it.  During the drought the United States suffered in 2012 farmers brought in a greatly reduced corn harvest.  Which caused corn prices to rise.  Per the laws of supply and demand.  If demand remains relatively constant while the supply falls the price of corn rises.  Why?

Scarce things always have a higher price.  A painting by Vincent van Gogh has a very high price because each painting is a one of a kind.  And only one person can own it.  So those who want to own it bid against each other.  And the person who places the greatest value on the painting will get the painting.  Because they will pay more for it than anyone else.  Whereas no one would pay for a cartoon in a newspaper.  Because they are not scarce.  As they appear in every newspaper.  Newspapers we throw away or put in the recycling tub every week.  Something that would never happen with a Vincent van Gogh painting.

Price Controls fail because People won’t Change their Purchasing Habits when Buying Scarce Resources

Government spending exploded during the late Sixties and early Seventies.  Paid for with printed money.  A lot of it.  Igniting inflation.  Causing a great outflow of gold from the country.  And with inflation spiking prices soared.  Rising prices reduced the purchasing power of American paychecks.  Add in an oil shock and the people were reeling.  Demanding relief from the government.

With the price of gasoline going through the stratosphere President Nixon stepped in to fix that problem.  Or so he thought.  First he decoupled the dollar from gold.  So they could print more dollars.  Causing even more inflation.  And even higher prices.  Then to solve the high prices Nixon implemented price controls.  Setting a maximum price for gasoline.  Among other things.  Sounds nice.  Wouldn’t you like to see gas prices held down to a maximum price so it consumed less of your paycheck?  But there is only one problem when you do this.    People won’t change their purchasing habits when it comes to buying scarce resources.

Why is this a problem?  Because the oil shock caused a reduction in supply.  With the same amount of gas purchasing with a reduced supply the supply will run out.  Which is what happened.  Gas stations ran out of gas.  Which they addressed with gas rationing.  Which led to long gas lines at gas stations.  With people pushing their cars to the pump as they ran out of gas in line.

Obamacare will Fail because no matter how Good the Intentions you cannot Change the Laws of Supply and Demand

Obamacare is increasing the demand for health care.  By providing health care for millions who didn’t have health insurance before.  So demand is increasing while supply remains the same.  There is only one problem with this.  With more people consuming the supply of health care resources those health care resources will run out.  Leading to rationing.  And longer wait-times for health care resources.  Just like gasoline in the Seventies.

One of the stated goals of Obamacare was to lower health care costs.  But what happens when you increase demand while supply remains relatively constant?  Prices rise.  Because more people are bidding up the price of those scarce resources.  Obamacare may try to limit what doctors and hospitals can charge like they do in Medicare, but everything feeding into the health care industry will feel that demand.  And raise their prices.  Which will trickle down to the doctors and hospitals.  And if they can’t pass on those higher prices to whoever pays their bills they will have to cut costs.  Which means fewer doctors, fewer nurses, fewer technicians and fewer tests and procedures.  Which means rationing.  And longer wait-times for scarce health care resources.

President Obama may say he’s going to provide health care to more people while cutting health care costs but the laws of supply and demand say otherwise.  In fact the laws of supply and demand say Obamacare will do the exact opposite.  So whatever rosy picture they paint no one will be linking arms and singing Kumbaya.  Unless they like paying higher taxes, waiting longer and traveling farther to see a doctor.  Which is what is happening in the United Kingdom.  And in Canada.  Which is why Obamacare will fail. Because no matter how good the intentions you cannot change the laws of supply and demand.

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NHS Wait Times grow so long that the NHS farms out Health Care to Private Providers

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 8th, 2013

Week in Review

Nationalizing health care will lead to longer wait times and a rationing of services due to a shortage of doctors, nurses and support staff that will be needed to treat more people.  This is what the opponents of Obamacare said.  While the proponents told the opponents that they were full of [deleted expletive].  Figuratively, of course.

But national health care does increase wait times and rations services.  And to see this all you have to do is look to Britain’s National Health Service (see NHS waiting scandal leads to private healthcare spend by Eleanor Bradford posted 6/4/2013 on BBC News Scotland).

NHS spending on private healthcare has risen dramatically since waiting time scandals came to light, BBC Scotland can reveal.

Spending across Scotland rose by nearly 60% last year to more than £40m, compared with £25m per year in the two previous years…

NHS Lothian admitted it would have to spend £10m clearing a backlog of patients after it emerged it had been manipulating its waiting time figures in order to meet Scottish government targets.

NHS Grampian consistently denied any wrongdoing but its spending on private healthcare increased as closer scrutiny was given to the way health boards were meeting government targets.

Last year its spending nearly tripled to £6.3m. NHS Grampian has the highest number of patients marked down as “unavailable” for treatment out of all 14 Scottish health boards.

Health boards are allowed to stop the waiting time “clock” if patients say they are unavailable, but the number of unavailable patients in Grampian is seven times higher than the average for mainland health boards…

“We understand that waiting times are important to patients and that most patients prefer to be treated as close to home as possible.

“The NHS Grampian Board recently agreed a £16m investment programme that will increase capacity by building new theatres and employing more doctors, nurses and support staff. The additional local capacity will be available in 2014.”

The NHS pays private sector health care providers outside of the NHS to provide the care they cannot.  A shortage of “theatres…doctors, nurses and support staff” has made it impossible for some health boards to meet the mandated NHS wait times.  Their wait times have grown so long that they fudge their reports to hide how poorly they’re doing.  One group of bureaucrats lying to another group of bureaucrats.  As one sets unrealistic goals the other cannot meet.  But the private sector can.  Because when people pay for their health care health care providers have the money to build theatres and hire doctors, nurses and support staff.

So what are the official wait time targets?  The above article links to another describing them.  Here are some excerpts (see Waiting time targets: What they mean for you by Eleanor Bradford posted 1/21/2013 on BBC News Scotland).

Legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament last year means that, from the start of this year, you have a legal right to be treated within 12 weeks, unless you’re waiting for diagnostic scans or waiting for one of the excluded treatments outlined below…

Since December 2011, no-one should have waited longer than 18 weeks from the point they were referred for treatment until that treatment occurs. This includes all scans and diagnostic tests…

You should wait no longer than six weeks for eight types of scans and tests.

These are: upper endoscopy, lower endoscopy, colonoscopy, cytoscopy, CT scans, MRI scans, barium studies and ultrasound scans (unrelated to obstetrics)…

You should wait no longer than 62 days for treatment if your referral is “urgent”.

Once a definite diagnosis of cancer is made (eg following a scan) you should wait no longer than 31 days for treatment. However, this is only the first treatment…

The waiting time “clock” stops if you are unavailable for any reason, but you should specifically agree to a period of “unavailability” being applied to your case and a letter should be sent to you confirming this to be the case.

If you can’t make the first appointment offered, you should be offered a second one.

Both should be “reasonable” – in a location you can get to and in a timescale that is possible, but it is considered reasonable to offer you an appointment in another health board area…

If you miss your appointment and don’t ring in advance then you will be referred back to your GP.

If you still need treatment your GP will need to make a new referral and the whole process starts again.

So, to summarize, you go to see a general practitioner (GP).  That’s like the doctor you make an appointment to see when you think you have the flu so you can get some antibiotics.  The GP refers you to a specialist if you have something serious.  The specialists then refer you someplace for treatment.  And when he or she does the clock starts running.  And some time in the next 18 weeks you should start your treatment.  Unless they note you as ‘urgent’.  Then your treatment is in the next 62 days.  Which is 2 months.  But if they find that you have cancer they cut that in half.

This is why their emergency rooms are overflowing in Britain.  People don’t want to wait these long wait times.  So they go to the emergency room (A/E in Britain).  Funny, really.  For this is the very thing Obamacare was going to stop in the United States.  Uninsured people going to the emergency room.  And here they are in Britain with all the free health care they could want.  Still going to the emergency room to escape those horrendous long wait times.

Perhaps the opponents of Obamacare were not full of [deleted expletive] after all.

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The worst of the NHS will be 5-Times worse in the US under Obamacare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 9th, 2013

Week in Review

Obamacare is the first step towards national health care.  They designed Obamacare to raise costs to get employers to drop their health care and pay a cheaper fine instead.  As more do private health insurance companies will struggle to stay in business with fewer and fewer clients.  The fewer they have the more each will have to pay.  So those who try to keep providing health insurance will have to give up and pay the fine instead.  In time the private health insurance industry will collapse.  Leaving the government as the only remaining option for health insurance.  A backdoor way to national health care.

So that’s where we’re heading.  So what will it be like when we get there?  Something like this (see NHS staff must reveal poor care by law, says inquiry by Robert Winnett posted 2/5/2013 on The Telegraph).

Medical staff should have a “statutory duty of candour” to disclose any concerns they have following the “shocking” situation that led to the deaths of up to 1,200 patients in two hospitals run by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2009, the report concludes.

Robert Francis QC will publish his report into the failings following a two-and-a-half-year public inquiry which will conclude that “routine neglect” became the norm because of a culture of “fear, bullying and secrecy”.

He is expected to conclude that there were multiple failings within the NHS, with doctors and nurses failing to report concerns, managers failing to monitor standards, local bureaucrats failing to intervene and regulators failing to run inspections properly…

A Labour source said: “Labour’s four-hour target revolutionised emergency care in Britain, with 98 per cent of patients seen within four hours.

“In the same way, the 18-week target stopped the scandal of patients waiting two years for operations.”

Routine neglect?  Fear?  Bullying?  Secrecy?  Don’t know which is worse.  This.  Or 4-hour wait times in emergency rooms and 2-year wait times for operations.

Anyway, this is what we have to look forward to under Obamacare.  When it ushers in true national health care.  A horrible time for those entering the health care system.  And it will be worse in the United States.  Because the United States had 5-times the population of the UK.  So they will have 5-times the bureaucracy.  And 5-times he horrible times.

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