Everyone but Paul Krugman knows that socialized medicine means rationed medical care. You cannot provide high quality affordable medical care to everyone without going bankrupt.
Or so it would appear. Now, we read in the Guardian, hardly a shill for the alt-right—that the Great Britain’s National Health Service will be rationing hip and knee replacements. People will be screened according to their level of pain.
The Guardian reports:
A senior NHS official has admitted that funding shortages mean hip and knee replacements will have to be rationed according to pain levels in some parts of the country.
Three clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the West Midlands have proposed reducing the number of people who qualify for hip replacements by 12%, and knee replacements by 19%. To qualify under the proposed rules, patients would need to have such severe levels of pain that they could not sleep or carry out daily tasks.
Julie Wood, the chief executive of the NHS Clinical Commissioners, said the proposal was a response to financial pressures.
“Clearly the NHS doesn’t have unlimited resources,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programe. “And it has to ensure that patients get the best possible care against a backdrop of spiralling demand and increasing financial pressures.”
This raises a larger, and perhaps pertinent question. How do you compare his pain with hers? How do you know who is in the most pain? Don’t we know that some people have more tolerance for pain and that some people have less? Some people tough it out. Some people cannot. Some people have learned mental maneuvers to diminish pain. Some people might even do the opposite.
If one criterion is whether or not pain causes you to lose sleep, how do you distinguish between those who cannot sleep through the pain and those who are chronic insomniacs?
The brief point is this: the NHS, the crowning glory of Britain’s foray into socialism, is going to ration medical care on partially subjective grounds. Admittedly, some politicians claim that they can feel your pain. They cannot. They are lying to you. Otherwise they might have be able to find a job working for the NHS.