Will there be socialized medicine in our future? Who knows? As of now it seems more likely than not.
Faced with the difficult choice between opining on the debacle of Ryancare or was it Trumpcare, I prefer to offer yet another example from the wondrous British National Health System. You know, the one that looks to be coming closer by the day.
As we all know, and in despite of what Paul Krugman thinks, the NHS rations health care. If we want universal, high quality, affordable health care, the trouble, as a wise man once said, is that you can only have two. So, choose which two you prefer and you can have them: if it’s universal and high quality it will be unaffordable. If it’s affordable it will be low quality universal or high quality non-universal. Pick your poison. Just don't think that you can have it all.
Anyway, over in England, where they even ration bariatric surgery for the morbidly obese, the word now is that if you want to jump to the front of the line for such surgery you need to become even more obese. Yes, indeed, the NHS rationing system promotes ill health… because that’s the way to get treatment when treatment is rationed.
The Daily Mail has the compelling story. One notes with some chagrin that the DM uses the utterly and totally incorrect term: "fat people." Of course, we deplore the use of such language, though we are comforted that it is gender neutered.
Anyway, the Daily Mail reports:
Rationing of surgery to treat clinically obese people means that some need to become 'super-obese' before they are allowed a weight loss operation, a new report suggests.
Some regions in England are demanding that patients must have a body mass index score of over 50 before they qualify for bariatric surgery.
Health experts are concerned that the message sent to obese patients is to get fatter so they can access surgery.
Those who have a BMI [Body Mass Index] score of over 30 are classed as obese, while those who surpass a 50 reading are clinically classed as super-obese.
The new report from the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society and the Royal College of Surgeons is based on Freedom of Information requests to all clinical commissioning groups across England.
These groups have now taken to lobbying for an end to the rationing. Which is surely a good idea. And yet, unless the government of Great Britain has limitless funds, when it stops rationing in one place it will soon be rationing somewhere else.