I can best demonstrate this phenomenon with a personal recollection. In August 2009, I was asked on Fox News whether I’d recommend the British healthcare model to Americans. I replied that, if you look at international comparators, Britain fared badly. Our waiting times were longer than in other Western nations, and our survival rates lower. Britain was pretty much the last place in the industrialized world where you’d want to be diagnosed with cancer, stroke or heart disease. Texas Health Insurance Quotes
This wasn’t because of any failing on the part of our medical professionals, I said. Many wonderful people became doctors and nurses because they wanted to help others. But the system didn’t maximize their potential. Unlike most European healthcare systems, where there is a mix of state and private provision, the British system is monolithic: everything is run by the government and funded out of general taxation. Governments, as we know, don’t run things terribly well. They weren’t very good at building cars, operating airlines or installing telephones, and they’re not much better at managing hospitals. Texas Health Insurance
I joked that, simply to say what I was saying would open me to attacks in Britain. I would be accused of “insulting our hard-working doctors and nurses.” It didn’t take long for my jocular prediction to be fulfilled. A few days after my return to the UK, Labour Party politicians went into overdrive. It was “unpatriotic,” said the Health Minister, Andy Burnham, to criticize the NHS in front of a foreign audience.
The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, dedicated a passage of his speech to the Labour conference to excoriating me. The main Labour newspaper, The Daily Mirror, trotted out the very cliché that I had forecast. I had, it said, “insulted our hard-working doctors and nurses.”
Not only is calling for significant reform unacceptable, so is wanting to constrain the budget. Once ministers become responsible for bodies lying on trolleys (gurneys) in corridors for want of a bed, it becomes impossible – morally, as well as politically – to withhold funding. Texas Health Insurance Quotes
Every British department is now facing budget reductions of, on average, 19 percent. But the healthcare budget was specially exempted from the cuts in a pre-election promise, and it will continue to grow.
Nigel Lawson, Margaret Thatcher’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, wrote after leaving office: Texas Health Insurance
“The National Health Service is the closest thing the English have to a religion, with those who practice in it regarding themselves as a priesthood. This made it quite extraordinarily difficult to reform. For a bunch of laymen, who called themselves the Government, to presume to tell the priesthood that they must change their ways in any respect whatever was clearly intolerable. And faced with a dispute between their priests and ministers, the public would have no hesitation in taking the part of the priesthood.” Texas Health Insurance Quotes
Yet no one is allowed to suggest a connection between these outcomes and the system that produces them. Do that, and you’re “insulting our hard-working doctors and nurses.” Texas Health Insurance
If you want to go down the road towards government healthcare, my friends, I really hope you’ve thought it through. Because, believe me, unless you turn aside right now, there will be no going back. Texas Health Insurance Quotes