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Single-payer health care a disaster in the UK

Posted 12/4/19

Recent letter writers have lauded “Medicare for all,” saying it would save money and improve patient care. A recent edition of The Daily Signal on Nov. 27 says otherwise. Citing such sources as …

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Single-payer health care a disaster in the UK

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Posted

Recent letter writers have lauded “Medicare for all,” saying it would save money and improve patient care. A recent edition of The Daily Signal on Nov. 27 says otherwise. Citing such sources as the House of Lords, Britain’s leading cancer specialist, The Annals of Surgery and The Guardian, the following was reported:

1. Quoting a 2017 House of Lords report: “Our NHS, our ‘national religion,’ is in crisis, and the adult social care system is on the brink of collapse. No one who listened to the evidence presented by a vast array of expert witnesses who appeared before us can be in any doubt about this.”

2. An October 2019 issue of the Annals of Surgery reported: 7 radiologists per 100,000 patients, much lower than in the U.S., and a reason for the higher incident of cancer-related deaths in the UK.

3. American surgery for abdominal issues was twice the rate of Britain’s, a number also correlated to cancer-related mortality .American survival rates for breast, colon and prostate cancer were much higher than Britain’s.

4. British health care operates under a global budget, with a certain amount allotted to the health services. When money runs low, patients wait for treatment. According the article, global budgeting is similar to the Dems’ “Medicare for All” proposal, HR.1384.

5. The Guardian reports that in 2017, 4.3 million people were waiting for hospitalization, “the highest in 10 years.” This number corroborates the House of Lords report.

6. Britain has a serious physician and nurse shortage, particularly in specialized fields. This shortage would contribute to surgical delays and mortality rates, according to the Daily Signal article.

7. Finally, mental health patients are treated in “decrepit facilities,” according to The Guardian. Again, this would .reflect findings in the House of Lords report.

Our system, occasional red tape issues aside, works much better than single-payer, according to the most-often cited example’s own words.

Bill O’Boyle

Elm City

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