The title tells you something about how things come to me.
I predict that the Conservatives will beat Labour by 8% and Brown will resign within days.
I am a right winger but on capitalism I am not totally doctrinaire. The NHS has many flaws such as being overly bureaucratic, wasteful, bossy, overly indulgent towards druggies and those who ruin their health. For all its flaws the NHS does much good too. The US is debating giving everyone access to health insurance. Congress has passed this but it is far from a done deal. I believe that Republicans in the US are too suspicious of public healthcare. There has been reasoned criticism of Obama’s package but much of what the right in the US has resorted to is scare mongering of the worst kind. I oppose Obama but he is not a Communist as some nuts have labelled him. One placard showed the emaciated corpses of concentration camp victims and said that these were ‘victims of public healthcare.’ This was an extremely low, dishonest and vile attack. Looking at Canada surely Americans can see that public healthcare does not lead to totalitariansim.
Americans spend twice per capita on health what Britons spend. Ok in the UK it is spent by the government on the whole and not the individual. Yet the US has worse outcomes such as lower life expectancy – the higher murder rate in the US does little to explain this.
The US pays so much for health because its doctors are the best paid in the world. It is so litigious and doctors have to insure themselves against malpractice suits to an enormous degree. The US is overly cautious and tends to over treat.
I admire the US a lot but since the 70s or so when it became to litigious it lost its brave pioneering risk taking spirit. It became over regulated – it was supposed to believe in small government.
Americans tend to believe that a beer is more dangerous than a gun – like at the ages at which one can legally obtain these things.
But I digress from the healthcare debate. We already have some chao rges in the UK such as prescription charges and most people pay for dental care – NHS dentists are hard to find. A 15 quid fee to see a GP would deter malingerers – the poor would be exempt as in the jobless, pensioners, students etc… We could make people in hospital pay charges for their food and bills as they would at home. No more free sex change operations, terminations and IVF. Thes are all elective lifestyle procedures – they are not about survival or even quality of life.
I think more of a public private partnership on health in the UK would be better. The Irish Republic, France, Germany and many western states have such a system and it is much more efficient.