The High Cost of National Health Care is causing the NHS to Close Hospitals in Wales

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 29th, 2012

Week in Review

Proponents of Obamacare want a full-blown national health care system like the British NHS.  Because that’s the only way to guarantee quality health care for all Americans.  And not just those who can afford it.  The problem with the American system, they say, is the pursuit of profits.  Making money on people’s ill health.  Which is just wrong.  And immoral.  Only when they remove the profit incentive can the American health care system approach the British model.  And become a health care utopia.  Where they provide everything for everyone.  And no one ever has to worry about their health care needs (see South Wales hospital shake-up plans defended posted 9/27/2012 on BBC News Wales).

Health bosses have defended proposals to concentrate some specialist hospital services in south Wales in four or five locations.

The Conservatives and Plaid Cymru have expressed concerns that the plans could see key local health services downgraded or closed…

The current shape of NHS in south Wales is based on a model of district general hospitals developed in the 1960s.

But the health boards say that is unsuited to deal with modern pressures on the health service.

Centralising some services, such as high-level care for children and newborn babies, in fewer large hospitals would allow patients to get access to the best care around the clock, they said.

Unless, apparently, you live in south Wales.  Where that ‘everything for everyone’ turns out to be really, really expensive.  And the only way they can afford to pay for that is by making people travel further for their health care needs.  As they ration services to fewer larger hospitals.  That turns health care into an economies of scale, assembly line-like production model.  To maximize the health care services a shrinking number of doctors can provide.

Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said it was essential patients had safe, sustainable services as close to home as possible – and the status quo was not an option.

But the Conservatives said the plans would lead to the downgrading of hospitals, and blamed the Welsh government for failing to recruit enough doctors.

Andrew RT Davies, Tory leader in the assembly, told BBC Wales: “[The current system] is unsustainable because they are unable to find the clinicians to fill the rotas.

“It is my contention this is happening because the health service in Wales has been starved of cash, and the Welsh government, and Carwyn Jones as particular as first minister, has failed to fill the medical rosters by supporting the health boards in recruiting doctors into Wales.”

Starved for cash?  Has failed to fill the medical rosters?  Failed to recruit doctors to Wales?  Doesn’t sound much like a health care utopia to me.   Apparently that national health care system simply can’t afford to provide everything for everyone.  At least without making them travel awhile for their health care needs.

This is the future of Obamacare.  When you start providing everything for everyone costs rise.  And when costs rise you don’t have many options.  You can cut pay and benefits of your health care providers.  A major cost of any health care system.  But if you don’t pay doctors well it won’t encourage people to become doctors.  And let’s face it, it isn’t easy to be a doctor.  That’s why we pay doctors a lot.  To encourage them to do these hard jobs that so few of us are willing to do.

So you can only cut pay and benefits so far.  In fact the best you’ll probably be able to do is to decrease further pay increases.  So that leaves the only other alternative.  Rationing.  Closing hospitals and making people travel further for their health care needs.  Which the NHS is doing in Wales.  And Obamacare will be doing everywhere in the U.S.  Because costs are costs. Whatever the NHS goes through any other national health care system will go through.  So if they ration services Obamacare will ration services.

And, of course, Obamacare will raise taxes.  For awhile.  Until they can raise taxes no more.  Like the British can no longer do.  So the NHS is closing hospitals.  Like Obamacare will eventually do in the United States.  As Obamacare turns to the last cost saving measure.  Rationing.  Which will include those death panels.

Some health care utopia, huh?

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