American Elephants


Daniel Hannan Warned Us in 2009. We Didn’t Pay Attention. by The Elephant's Child

I posted this warning from Britain’s Daniel Hannan, Member of the European Parliament way back in 2009, about imitating their National Health Service. He urged us then not to copy their system. But we didn’t have a choice. Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency. They drew it up in Congressional back rooms, behind locked doors, and passed it without a single Republican vote and without any Republican input. It’s just kind of interesting to see how far we have come since 2009.

If you remember, many on the right posted this diagram of the enormous bureaucracy that was necessary to administer ObamaCare added on top of the networks of insurance companies and the medical profession. Each of these offices and agencies and bureaus is filled with bureaucrats who have to be paid high Beltway salaries and whose healthcare and pensions have to be paid for with taxpayer dollars. They expected to pay for this by taking $500 billion out of Medicare, paying doctors and hospitals less, limiting networks of providers, and eliminating your ability to get care if you travel. ……….(click to enlarge)

ObamaCare flow chart

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8 Comments so far
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Obamacare, whatever its faults, is hardly an imitation of the British Health Service. It’s its own Jabberwock.

That said, I would certainly agree that the UK system is not one to imitate or to emulate. But it seems to be the Republicans’ favorite poster child of alternatives to the U.S. system — a rich source of horror stories (if that’s what one is searching for). One could of course find (pre-Obamacare) horror stories in the United States, too, but it is so much more fun and more effective to use ones from abroad, especially from a country that on the surface — mainly because its residents speak something close to the same language as us — looks and sounds similar to ours.

One of the distinguishing features of the UK system is that it is cheap. In 2011 (i.e., pre-Obamacare), expenditure on medical care and medicine absorbed 9.4% of Britain’s GDP, versus 17.7% of the USA’s. On a per-person basis, U.S. expenditure was more than twice that in the UK. See Table 2 in this document.

There are other countries that could be looked to for useful lessons. But that requires knowing the local language. It’s so much easier to look only at the health-care systems where the documentation is in English!

Comment by Subsidy Eye

Sometimes, Subs, I wonder if you take the time to comprehend what you read. EC is referencing Daniel Hannan, and his comments on a system that he is most familiar with, the British NHS. And the warning that he is giving is still relevant – the ultimate goal of many on the left is single-payer, which is what the NHS started out as.

“One of the distinguishing features of the UK system is that it is cheap.”

Yes, it’s cheap. And it’s definitely a case of “you get what you pay for.

You want another country to look to for useful lessons? The Canadian system is just as much of nightmare to get through as the NHS in Great Britain (and it’s closer, too, or did you overlook that?). The Canadian system has recently started market-based reforms and privatizing some aspects, but it is still a nightmare to work with if there’s something that need doing NOW… one of the local hospitals in the area I live in (NE Tennessee) has a regular traffic of Canadian patients for surgery and cancer treatment. And there are hospitals all along the Canadian border that get so much business from our northern neighbor that they keep Canadian medical forms on file. And, strangely enough, the Canadian forms are in English, with French translations available on request.

Comment by Lon Mead

EC is referencing Daniel Hannan, and his comments on a system that he is most familiar with, the British NHS.

Did I imply that the comments were from EC herself? However, the context was “we were warned not to imitate the UK system”. My point is that Obamacare, as it is currently designed (I have no insights into the dastardly long-term plans of “the left”), differs from it in many, many ways.

I blame “the left” for being too drawn to the UK and its derivative health systems as well.

I agree that in the case of the UK system, “one gets what one pays for”. Cheap is not necessarily a positive word. However, for some inexplicable reason, the majority of the British population is still satisfied with the services they get, especially from their general practitioners:

http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/press/press-releases/public-satisfaction-nhs-stabilises-after-record-fall

Personally, I wouldn’t be happy with the lack of choice among doctors that UK residents have to put up with. Be there’s no accounting for taste.

You want another country to look to for useful lessons? The Canadian system is just as much of nightmare to get through as the NHS in Great Britain.

Thank you for so beautifully substantiating my point! Last time I was there, Canada was for the most part and English-speaking country, and as you acknowledge its forms are available in English.

Comment by Subsidy Eye

Now formatted:

You want another country to look to for useful lessons? The Canadian system is just as much of nightmare to get through as the NHS in Great Britain.

Thank you for so beautifully substantiating my point! (Who’s not taking the time to comprehend what they read?) Last time I was there, Canada was for the most part and English-speaking country, and as you acknowledge its forms are available in English.

Comment by Subsidy Eye

But you see, Subs, Daniel Hannan, the person making the commentary, is British, and is talking about the British system, and warning us not to go that route. Obamacare IS NOT the NHS (don’t pat yourself on the back yet), but is IS similar to how the NHS got started.

As far as Canada, EC has posted many stories about the Canadian system and its collection of problems.

The gist of all of this is that Obamacare is bad… for the country, for doctors, for patients.

Comment by Lon Mead

Did I extol the Canadian Health Care System? Show me where I did that.

Comment by Subsidy Eye

Just give it a rest… You completely missed the point of the post, made a comment that showed you missed the point, and now are attempting damage control.

Comment by Lon Mead

Reblogged this on The Court of St. James.

Comment by Reverend Jim




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