Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Cost of Single Payer Health Care

To their shame Congressional Republicans have not found a replacement for Obamacare. Now, progressive Democrats are pushing for what they call single payer health care, or better, Medicare for everyone.

Sen. John Barasso, a physician himself, makes the case against single payer. He does it by examining how it is working in other parts of the world, especially Great Britain. We all recall that notable propagandist Paul Krugman rejected all facts that disproved his view of the British National Health Service. That's what it means to be a propagandist.

So, for those who care about facts, Barasso looks at how it's working in Great Britain. The key word is rationing. You see, Britain cannot afford free, high quality, universal health care. So it has to ration. In truth, no one can afford it:

In Britain, the rationing of health care has meant prohibiting certain medications and limits on surgery for things like cataracts and knee and hip operations. Some medical boards have banned routine surgeries for patients who are obese or smokers.

Barasso also emphasizes a point that I have made: that fewer and fewer people want to work in the British National Health Service:

The British have found rationing necessary partly because of the exorbitant cost of “free” medical care. Another reason is the shortage of professionals to provide this care. The number of general practitioners has fallen, and four out of 10 say they are unlikely to be practicing in five years. Just since March 2016 there’s been a drop of 5,000 nurses and midwives across the British health care system.

Many cite disillusionment with the quality of care provided to patients. It’s a legitimate concern. The U.K. ranks 20th out of 24 western countries for breast cancer survival. The U.S. is first. For ischemic stroke the U.K. is 25th out of 30 countries. The U.S. is fourth.

So, if you have breast cancer, you do not want to be treated in Britain. It will be free, but that might not be a consolation for your family. And, don’t have a stroke either. Treatment will be free but you are far less likely to survive.

All Republicans have to do now is to cook up a plan that will be better than Obamacare and that will save us from single payer.


Deana said...

Well then we might as well hang it up. These Republicans are worse than useless. They are actively working to thwart any movement toward solving the problems we are facing.

Seriously - what's the difference between voting for a Republican vs a Dem? We still get the same hideous garbage out of D.C. and the state capitols.

Jack Fisher said...

The senator makes a jolly good argument for the US not to adopt the UK plan. Some might call this a red herring.


James said...

In the old days (which Europe seems desperate to bring back) if you were poor got sick and couldn't afford a doctor you died. If you were rich you could hire a doctor and he would kill you.

Sam L. said...

Single payer: The NHS killed Charlie Pard. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure we need single payer. Now, the GOP, which has been promising since the Dems forced Obamacare on us to Repeal and Replace missing in inaction. AWOL. Took French leave. Bugged out. Left us in the lurch. South ends of donkeys headed north.

James said...

Yes they have. It's time for us to give them the opportunity to explore other life options and employment.

Sam L. said...

More time with their families, James!

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: Barasso looks at how it's working in Great Britain. The key word is rationing. You see, Britain cannot afford free, high quality, universal health care. So it has to ration.

This always seemed like a peculiar assertion. Rationing has always existed, so "universal health care" will always mean setting limits on what is covered. Of course the rich will always pay for things the rest of us ought never to consider.

I recall the case of the man who robbed a bank for $1 so he could go to prison get the surgery he needed.

If we can afford to spend $30,000/year to keep "criminals" in prison, we ought to be able to find a middle ground that keeps people from going to prison for health care.

Myself, I certainly see the virtue of having no health insurance, and accepting I'm going to die when the good lord says it's my turn to have an appendicitis. Some people just think they're so important that they deserve to live, but if you don't have money, that's simply not true.

Our genes know better - the goal should be to have kids when you're young, get them to adulthood and you're work is done. You can always believe in heaven if that helps.