A glimpse of the future of health care that looks all too familiar

Demonstrators outside the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, during an inquiry into standards of care that resulted in 1,200 patient deaths.

ObamaCare kicks in with a vengeance in 2014. What will American health care look like a few decades hence as a result?

Considering this administration’s long string of cover-ups and lies — from Fast and Furious to Benghazi to secretly snooping on reporters — one might see through an editorial in today’s Financial Times into the future.

The U.K.-based publication clearly embraces that nation’s socialized health care system, saying its upcoming 65th anniversary should be “a day of celebration for what Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS (National Health Service), rightly described as the hallmark of a civilised society.”

Instead, Brits are getting a steady stream of reports of neglect, abuse and cover-your-ass cover-ups. “Whistleblowers have been bullied and dissenters intimidated in a misguided attempt to deflect criticism,” the newspaper reports. “Now the disease appears to have spread to the Care Quality Commission, the NHS regulator. This week it was alleged that former management at the CQC tried to suppress criticism of inspections at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay, where several babies died.”

Apparently some top health care administrators were under some kind of gag clauses in their contracts and were not allowed to speak out about overcrowding and patient safety. At one hospital, Mid-Staffordshire, up to 1,200 people died as a result of poor care. “But if even the regulator charged with exposing the weaknesses of the system cannot be trusted to be transparent, there is no guarantee that standards will improve,” FT’s editorial suggests.

The conclusion of the editorial had an eery ring of familiarity:

“The NHS is about to embark on one of the most challenging periods of its history. It will have to treat a rapidly ageing population with fewer resources and greater scrutiny of results. Its survival can only be ensured if everyone — healthcare workers and regulator — focus on protecting patients rather than themselves.”

If only someone had chosen to protect our diplomats abroad in hostile territory instead of making up lies to protect themselves from having to take responsibility?

This glimpse of the future of American health care under a monolithic bureaucracy looks way too familiar.

28 comments on “A glimpse of the future of health care that looks all too familiar

  1. Nyp says:

    Yawn.

  2. Rincon says:

    These are anecdotes from a publication that advocates free markets. The facts remain that Brits live longer and pay 40% less for their health care than we do, which means we’re wasting over 6% of our GDP. I hear all of these complaints about renewable electricity and yet the waste in our medical system is almost as much as our entire energy budget (of which electricity is only a small part). If we can’t afford a little renewable electricity, we sure as hell can’t afford spending 40% more than anyone on the planet for health care!

  3. Spend 40 percent more and survive? Sounds like a deal.

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  4. Go back to sleep, Petey, Obama will tuck you in and assure you there are no monsters under the bed.

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  5. Nyp says:

    Just don’t move the goalposts on us, Mr. Mitchell. You had predicted that come January 2014 we would see chaos in the American healthcare system and throughout the economy. Now you are reduced to muttering darkly about quality problems “a few decades hence.”

  6. OK, there will be problems immediately, too.

  7. nyp10025 says:

    Good – nothing I like better than a political commentary that is subject to Popper’s Principle of Falsifiability.

    In the event that your predictions of chaos and collapse prove to be wrong, will that cause you to reassess your views?

  8. Vernon Clayson says:

    This is beyond comparison, our healthcare for the same period, 65 years, has been a mix of the insured and uninsured. Employer supplied insurance, all or partial, and self-insurance has been the basic financing for the majority of patient care plus financing, by juggling figures, for the uninsured, nevertheless personal responsibility has been the keystone. Medicare for the aged and Medicaid for the indigent, per LBJ’s Great Society, got the government involved and while it helps many (Medicare for me) both are financially broken systems despite carefully managed healthcare. To use old clichés, the eyes of the feds were bigger than their stomach and this so-called Obamacare will be a financial mountain compared to the proverbial molehill. Most of the ignorant class, larger than anyone imagines, will clamp onto the thought that it’s free care, sadly for most it will be, much like food stamps and telephones. As for nyp’s comment which indicates he believes Obamacare will arrive seamlessly he couldn’t be more wrong. I would like to remind him of the hag Pelosi stating that it had to be passed to see what’s in it, run with that thought, nyp, it will have to be in effect to see what’s in it. Regardless of the thousands of pages of rules there will be fits and starts implementing it, thousands of more pages will be added to clarify this immense law, down to punctuation and single words. For those that might be confused by my brief comment, it will be a circle jerk. As for the English living longer, it’s because they can, the homicide rates in their cities aren’t quite like Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and other such homicide centers.

  9. In case the predictions of global warming turn out to be false will that cause you to reassess your views?

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  10. nyp10025 says:

    It will certainly lead me to reasses my views about climate science, and possibly about certainty in science.

    And you re health care reform?

  11. Time will tell.

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  12. Vernon Clayson says:

    Nuts to concern with global warming, the globe has been warming and cooling cyclically for eons and will continue to do soor eons long after the current Algore interest wanes. Carbon is big with the whackos, did the fires at Benghazi have an affect on global weather, does government BS have an affect, like a manure pile steaming in the cold.

  13. Rincon says:

    “spend 40% more and survive? Sounds like a deal.” You miss the point, Thomas. We spend 40% more and DON’T survive, as evidenced by our low age at death compared to other OECD countries. Our babies don’t survive as often either.

  14. Vernon Clayson says:

    And Obamacare will cure early deaths in the elderly and improve the mortality rates in babies, Rincon? I didn’t bother to look up the tax rates in England but are the payments into the system considered a tax as Chief Justice Roberts found for Obamacare? The last I read is that Obamacare is the largest increase in taxes in our history, apparently this will be buffered by the greater care we will receive, AS FREAKING IF. Not to worry, this wonderful program will be temporary, soon enough the geniuses in Washington will decide that single payer is the way to go, yes, the way to go to bigger government and more control over the peasantry.

  15. Nyp says:

    It is interesting to me, Mr. Mitchell, that you are not willing to say that the failure of your predictions to materialize would cause you to reassess your views.

  16. Other counties have different criteria for counting infant mortality.

    As for live expectancy, we do drive fast and tend to shoot each other more often.

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  17. OK, the failure of a prediction of mine to materialize would cause me to reassess my data, my conclusions and my ability to predict.

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  18. Vernon Clayson says:

    The sun rose this morning and will set this evening. It’s a sure thing, much like government. The Congress is currently taking a break but their mill still grinds, they will soon be back and taxes will rise and more controlling rules will emit as surely as day breaks and night falls. The president and his royal coterie will continue their let the good times roll lifestyle as surely as day breaks and night falls. We have no more control over the government than we do sunsets and sunrises.

  19. Rincon says:

    So where is the evidence that our medical care is better Thomas? Anecdotes?? How do you know that our “criteria for counting” doesn’t minimize our infant mortality? Maybe it’s even worse. I also don’t quite see how there can be substantially “different criteria” for counting dead infant bodies.

    The July issue of Consumer Reports has some prices in France and in the U.S.:

    MRI in France: $363 MRI in the U.S.: $1121
    Angiogram in France: $264 In the U.S.: 914
    Lipitor in France: $48 In the U.S.: $124
    2 1/2 year greater lifespan in France: Priceless!

    The list goes on. So now will you tell me that our MRI’s and Lipitor are better than France’s?

    Even if our shorter lifespan is due to our lifestyle, why do we spend MORE THAN DOUBLE per capita what France spends? That money could literally give us all an extra 4 WEEKS of vacation every year while we’re still young enough to enjoy it. Instead, we spend massive amounts of money so we can gain a few extra months in the nursing home.

  20. nyp10025 says:

    That’s a good start. See you in January.

  21. List prices for U.S. health care, as I’ve pointed out, are meaningless.

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  22. Rincon says:

    Good point, Thomas. Although I suspect Comsumer Reports isn’t that sloppy, they were sloppy enough that they failed to specify the source of their prices. For some reason, American journalists are allergic to footnotes. Wouldn’t want anyone to check our facts, would we? Nevertheless, there’s no way to prove the prices valid, so I withdraw them and thank you for your sharp eye.

    I notice though, that you haven’t found a suitable reply to my other points. Where’s the evidence that our health care is so good that we must pay more than double?. Why don’t we give ourselves the four weeks/year vacations instead?

    Fact is, capitalism can’t function when the customer is denied access to prices. The Obama administration is finally taking the first baby steps to correct that. If say, Carter or Reagan – or Eisenhower for that matter, had done this, we might have been spared Obamacare. Conservatives wouldn’t have liked that though. Transparency is only for government, not corporations.

  23. “Where’s the evidence that our health care is so good that we must pay more than double?” That’s too high a bar to clear. The problem is that with health care we’ve abandoned capitalistic principles. In WWII the government froze wages, so companies offered benefits such as health insurance instead. Of course, when someone else is paying for something, people will grab more of it. Now the feds have added a mountain of regulations and market-rending rules such as requiring insurance for those with pre-existing conditions and covering “children” until they are 26.

  24. Rincon says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. I have no argument with capitalistic health care, but our present system isn’t even close. When an entire industry engages in active collusion to hide prices from the customer, it’s members effectively become a cartel. The reason I’m OK with socialized health care is that so many other countries appear to be more successful than us and we’ve had more than 50 years to tweak our present system with abysmal results. I say scrap it!.

    Another thought: Perhaps one of the reasons for our unhealthy lifestyle in this country is that we’re pressured for time. Many of my friends find it difficult to exercise regularly due to myriad other committments. Reduce our health care costs to France’s level and suddenly we would all have more time (or money)to prepare food and exercise. Would we do it though or would we just watch more TV?

  25. Drink more red wine!

  26. Rincon says:

    While I watch TV! 🙂

  27. […] this day, for those who really do not want socialized medicine or to have to press 1 to speak English or to pay higher power bills to satisfy someone’s […]

  28. […] this day, for those who really do not want socialized medicine or to have to press 1 tospeak English or to pay higher power bills to satisfy someone’s fantasy […]

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