Wanna Die? Try Government-Run Healthcare in the United Kingdom – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

Wanna Die? Try Government-Run Healthcare in the United Kingdom – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance 

I’m not a fan of the American healthcare system. It suffers from huge inefficiencies because of problems such as third-party payer, which is caused by government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid along with a system of tax code-driven over-insurance in the supposedly private sector.

But regardless of how much I grouse about the damage government causes in the United States, I can say with considerable confidence that the government-run system in the United Kingdom has even larger problems.

Here are some of the shocking details from a report in the UK-based Daily Mail.

Patients having major surgery in NHS hospitals face a much higher risk of dying than those in America, research has revealed. Doctors found that people who have treatment here are four times more likely to die than US citizens undergoing similar operations. The most seriously ill NHS patients were seven times more likely to die than their American counterparts. Experts blame the British fatality figures on a shortage of specialists and lack of intensive care beds for post-operative recovery. They also suggest that long waiting lists mean diseases are more advanced before they are treated. Researchers from University College London and Columbia University, in New York, studied 1,000 surgery patients at the Mount Sinai Hospital, Manhattan, and compared them to nearly 1,100 people who had similar operations at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Portsmouth. The results showed that just under ten per cent of British patients died in hospital afterwards compared to 2.5 per cent in America. Among the most seriously ill cases there was a seven-fold difference in the death rates.

Here are some additional findings.

Professor Monty Mythen, head of anaesthesia at University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: “In America, after surgery, everyone would go into a critical care bed in a highly-monitored environment. That doesn’t happen routinely in the UK. …Prof Mythen said waiting lists in the NHS would “put patients at greater risk”. He added: “We would be suspicious that the diseases would be more advanced simply because the waiting lists (in the UK) are longer.”

Since I’m in London right now, I guess the moral of the story is to stay healthy.

On a slightly more serious note, I wish I had this story in front of me when I was guest-hosting Larry Kudow’s show a couple of years ago and my lefty British co-host got all agitated when I said the British system was worse for patients.

I think I saw this guy at the Paddington tube station this morning

And on a completely serious note, the point of this post is not to say the United States has a perfect system. I hope that’s obvious from my opening paragraph. And nor am I asserting that the UK system is universally bad. In my limited understanding, British doctors and nurses do a fairly good job with basic medicine and emergency medicine.

But any system is likely to deteriorate and suffer adverse effects as government takes a larger role. I’ve had fun over the past few years with anecdotal horror stories about government-run healthcare in the United Kingdom. But as you can see from all the links in this post, I sometimes share those just for the enjoyment of mocking Paul Krugman.

The academic study linked above is far more important if you want to assess the damage of giving politicians and bureaucrats even more control over healthcare.

That’s actually a good rule for just about everything. As shown in this poster, if you ever think the answer is more government, you’ve asked the wrong question.


UK’s Death Panels Kill, Obamacare Won’t Be Different – westernjournalism.com.

UK’s Death Panels Kill, Obamacare Won’t Be Different – westernjournalism.com.


Obamacare Rationing Board SC UK’s Death Panels Kill, Obamacare Won’t Be Different

Obamacare-like “Death Panels” are already emptying out hospital beds in the United Kingdom. According to one report last year the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) euthanized  130,000, mostly expendable seniors. Its benignly named “Care Pathways”, kills almost 360 people every day.

Now it’s Obamcare’s turn to euthanize undesirables. The Supreme Court gave Barack Obama the right to start his own extermination program. Anybody who needs “a little bit too much care” will get put on Obama’s list.   If you were born before January 1, 1953 he has put a target on your back. You had better not get sick and you had better pray someone derails Obamcare’s euthanasia train before a “Death Panel” gavel comes down on your life. When Obama’s verdict is death for you there can be no appeal – that’s in the bill.

This system needs your death to appear to work. That is the reality of the Supreme Court’s ruling – make believe that’s not a clear and present danger and you are fooling yourself – it’s that simple and that serious.

Government programs NEVER cost near what the liars in Washington tell us they will. Simple observation tells us Obamacare is a giant Ponzi scheme. Under Obamacare, you will become a number and government bureaucrats will kill off “numbers” to make their program seem to work. They will ration care and kill off the old (60 plus) the mentally and the physically challenged.

Democrats rightly claim  the phrase “Death Panels” does not appear in Obamacare’s 2000 plus pages, but why should it? They don’t want us to recognize what they are really up to; liberals never do. Saying Obamacare has no “Death Panels” because those two words aren’t in the bill is a cynical lie. The Nazis never sent Jews to “Extermination camps” or gas chambers; they sent them to “Work camps and showers.”

Liberal Paul Krugman got it right when he slipped and said, “Some years down the pike, we’re going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes…..”  

Obamacare is early death wrapped in government double talk disguised to keep us from understanding the truth. Some years down the pike, we’re going to get the truth. That truth is that to these people we’re all just numbers they will spend their careers trying to find ways to reduce. Let’s do something about it now. Vote conservative in November.

Photo credit: terrellaftermath

Socialized medicine, from a survivor – Washington Times

Socialized medicine, from a survivor – Washington Times.

What to expect from America’s version of Britain’s NHS

By James Delingpole

Welcome, America, to the British NHS. That may not be what you were promised when your president first dreamed up Obamacare. But the National Health Service is what you’re going to get all the same.

I did warn you about this, four years ago in my (depressingly) prophetic book “Welcome to Obamaland: I’ve Seen Your Future and It Doesn’t Work.” I noted, for example, that your future president had grossly underestimated the costs of socialized health care. I warned that though he said at the time that it would cost between $50 billion and $65 billion, it undoubtedly would cost 10 times that amount. Look it up if you don’t believe me. It’s on Page 37.

But since last week’s Supreme Court ruling, we are where we are, unfortunately. So let me, as a Brit who has been living the whole socialized-medicine nightmare his entire life, give you a few tips as to what you can expect (assuming Mitt Romney doesn’t get in and boot the whole thing into the dustbin of history, where it belongs).

First, don’t panic: It’s not all bad. The National Health Service is what in Britain we call a “curate’s egg” – which is to say, it’s good in parts. The problem is, on any given occasion, you never quite know which it’s going to be. Will the hospital, doctor and nurses’ treatment be as it would by the cloyingly sycophantic maitre’d of your favorite high-class restaurant? Or will they treat you like Oliver Twist with his begging bowl, pleading piteously for a dollop of gruel? Are you a cherished customer or a darned nuisance? The NHS can never quite make up its mind.

Over the past couple of decades, I’ve experienced plenty of both. Only last week, for example, my wife had major surgery on her ear, performed brilliantly by a tweedy, well-spoken surgeon with a perfect bedside manner and a bushy Spitfire-pilot-type mustache. The hospital – Guy’s – in which she had the operation done was clean and well-run. And the nurses were not only efficient, caring, friendly and able to speak English but also – though this was of more interest to me than it was to my wife – extremely hot. For this complicated surgical procedure – which, no doubt, would have cost many thousands of dollars in the United States – my wife paid precisely zilch. (Well, so long as you don’t count the gazillions she pays in taxes.)

I also would love to tell you about a similarly successful operation I had a few years ago on my rear end. But you really don’t want the details, especially not at breakfast. Suffice to say the problem was treated most effectively and – again for no money – I was relieved of much suffering by a first-rate surgeon.

Everyone in Britain tells stories like this about nice experiences they’ve had with the NHS. But – at the risk of being cynical – this is a bit like captives of Somali pirates exchanging stories about how nice it was of Mohammed this morning to spit only once in their meager bowls of rice rather than twice. What I mean is that because of our rose-tinted nostalgia about the NHS – and our misplaced notion that, if we didn’t have it, there’d be no free medical care and people would be dying in the streets just like in America – we tend to accentuate the positive while turning a blind eye to its many and manifest failings.

Mind you, sometimes they are quite impossible to ignore. There are scandals, like the mid-Staffordshire hospital in which up to 1,200 patients were found to have died, while many more were caused “unimaginable suffering” by incompetent, neglectful staff who would neither bring them water nor change their filthy sheets. And there are awkward international studies like the one of “mortality amenable to health care” in which Britain came in last of 19 countries surveyed.

Then, of course, there’s the eye-watering cost for this (often) second-rate service. The National Health Service costs the British taxpayer around $150 billion a year – almost as much as the Education and Defense departments combined. If this brings taxpayers the kind of world-class service the NHS’ propagandists often claim it does, how come 55 percent of senior doctors pay for insurance for private medical treatment rather than expose themselves to its tender cares?

No one is saying the U.S. health care system was perfect. Yes, it probably did need reform, but the option you should have gone for – and which Mr. Romney should be considering if he wants to be taken seriously by conservatives and make amends for having more or less invented Obamacare in the days when it was Romneycare – is something more akin to the Singapore model, not the British one.

In Singapore, everyone pays into a health insurance scheme, but there are benefits for those who don’t use it. There are incentives for those who choose healthier lifestyles or decide to forgo expensive treatment. Instead, what you’ve opted for is British-style rationing supervised by box-ticking bureaucrats and technocrats. This will lead to wide variance in the quality of treatment you get; long waiting lists; surly, grudging, unionized service (think of the U.S. airport experience); and truly astounding levels of waste.

Oh, and once you’ve got it, you’ll never, ever get rid of it.

Good luck with that one, America.

I see stupid people – Tea Party Nation

I see stupid people – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

I see stupid people.

Washington DC is full of stupid people. Not everyone in DC is stupid. Just a majority.

This evening, as I was leaving CPAC, a late model mini-van was in front of me and it has a bumper sticker on the back of it that said, “Healthcare for all, not for profit.”

That is liberalism for you. It is nothing more than a soundbite and a stupid soundbite at that.

Liberals hate profit, for reasons that simply cannot be explained except by a catastrophic failure of intelligence.

I would love to debate one of these liberals who think that profit, particularly in the healthcare industry is a bad thing. Let’s start with the medical personnel. Do Doctors go to med school to help the world? Possibly but a six figure income is also a strong inducement. Nurses go to nursing school to help people but also to make a good living. The same is true for technicians.

Let’s ask the same liberal, do you want the highest paid doctor working on you or the lowest paid? I want the highest paid, since our society rewards excellence with money. The guy who is the lowest paid is probably the worst doctor.

Speaking of which, suppose we took the profit motive out of medicine. Let’s cut the wages of doctors down to minimum wage. What kind of doctors would we end up with? Would you want that doctor working on you?

What about those great medicines we have? We have medicines today that 10 or 20 years ago did not exist and are considered miraculous today. Why? Because a pharmaceutical company took a risk, invested billions into a medicine and now makes a profit from that medicine.

What about those incredible medical devices we have now? Thirty years ago, an appendectomy meant a major abdominal incision. Now, most of the time it can be done with robotic tools. Why do we have them? Because companies can make a profit developing these tools and selling them.

Are liberals really that dumb?

In a word, yes.

Liberals want to give us a profit-less health care system.

Is that bad? Well let’s look at the kind of system liberals think we should have. In England, they have the National Health Service. People wait months for appointments. In some parts of Britain, people are forced to pull their own teeth because of a shortage of dentists. As a cost cutting measure, instead of washing sheets between patient use, the NHS is just going to turn the sheets inside out.

Perhaps the person driving that minivan should have had a hypocrisy bumper sticker next to their silly liberal healthcare bumper sticker.

Who knows what this person did. They probably worked for the government. What ever it is, do you think they worked because they get a good salary. Ooops, there is that evil profit again. This time it is personal profit.

Have you ever noticed all of these liberals who complain about profit, yet they enjoy the benefits of personal profit? Have you seen the “Occu-tards” with their designer clothes, their REI tents and sleeping bags, their IPhones, Ipads and laptops? Someone made money to pay for those items.


There is that evil profit word again.

Liberals love to spend other people’s money. They also hate profit. As long as it is other people’s profits they are railing against.

People like that are unfortunately, all over Washington DC.

I see stupid people.