American Elephants

Revolution in Britain’s National Health Service, After 60 Years. by The Elephant's Child

Obama has named the radical ideologist Dr. Donald Berwick to head Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Dr. Berwick has become noted for his admiration for Britain’s deplorable National Health Service.  Dr. Berwick is deeply impressed with NHS’s cost containment, and considers the primary mission of healthcare to be redistribution of income.  The redistribution of income is accomplished by rationing  the treatment that patients may receive, particularly the old and sick.

The headline in The Telegraph (UK) reads: “Biggest revolution in the NHS for 60 years: Doctors are to be given sole responsibility for overseeing front-line care to patients under Coalition plans described as the biggest revolution in the NHS since its foundation 60 years ago.”

“About £80 billion will be distributed to family General Practitioners in a move that will see strategic health authorities and primary care trusts scrapped.  The plan, contained in a white paper to be published next week, is designed to place key decisions about how patients are cared for in the hands of doctors who know them.  Tens of thousands of administrative jobs in the health service will be lost as a result.”

Currently, funds are given by the government to “primary care trusts” which pay for patients from their area to be treated in hospital.  Under the new plan, GPs — who are currently not responsible for paying for hospital referrals — would receive the money instead and pay the hospitals directly.

The change will be compulsory.

It is hoped that the new system will be less bureaucratic, and give doctors and their patients more control over their treatment.  GPs will also have to organize “out-of-hours services” which may see family doctors offering 24-hour care once again.  Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, hopes to have the changes in place by next April.

Britain and Canada. both, have recognized that their socialized medicine is not working.  The battle is between those in government who want to retain power, and those who recognize that they must find a way to return care to a doctor—patient relationship such as we have in the United States.

The argument has been remarkably confused in Canada and England, where they hear all the propaganda from our partisan press, and assume that we have dead bodies lying in the streets, that few babies survive in this country, and that only the rich get health care while the poor suffer.  If you look at the foreign press regularly, it is surprising how much American news gets front page treatment. (Scandals especially, of course). Add in Hollywood, and impressions of America are pretty confused.

Americans, by significant majorities want Obamacare repealed.

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