Today the NHS, tomorrow Obamacare

The next time that some progressive tells you that you have no proof when you point out that there are very few ways government controlled healthcare can reduce costs, none of them good, point out this umpteenth example of healthcare rationing by a government controlled system to them.

Family doctors have been ordered to ration the number of patients they send for life-saving cancer scans to save money. They are being told to slash the number they refer to hospital for tests including ultrasounds, MRIs and CT scans commonly used to spot tumours. Last night experts warned the cost-saving measures increased the risk of patients being diagnosed too late and dying unnecessarily.

If you thought insurance companies where evil, wait unitl Uncle Sam owns it all and tells you you can’t get something you desperately need, something life saving. Not only can’t you complain to anyone about it, it’s not as if the government will police itself effectively, efficiently, or fairly, but you now have no where else to go either, because there will be no competition allowed. Can we say this decision came from a death pannel, or is that still politically incorrect?

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  1. Poosh

    Because that appeared in the Guardian my spidey senses tell me it’s bullshit, but without commentary on the methodology of that study it’s meaningless from my point of view. Plenty of medical ‘studies’ are ideological in the past. It would be great if it was true though.

    Also, I really think it’s not apt to bring up the NHS when talking about Obamacare. Obamacare, from what I know, is far closer to the European schemes, such as in France and Germany, than the NHS.

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  2. CM

    Because that appeared in the Guardian my spidey senses tell me it’s bullshit, but without commentary on the methodology of that study it’s meaningless from my point of view. Plenty of medical ‘studies’ are ideological in the past. It would be great if it was true though.

    What the fuck has The Guardian got to with it? As specified IN THE QUOTE it was in the JOURNAL of THE ROYAL SOCIRTY OF MEDICINE. Is that on your “spidey sense” list?

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  3. Poosh

    Firstly you quoted a claim about an articles content, not the actual article in the journal. Did you read the entire article in the Journal btw?

    The Guardian has the interest of deceiving and lying about various things, thus I am rarely interested in what a blog commentator on that site has to say. First off he simply could be lying about the content of the article. Secondly, because the Guardian presents it, I can make an inference that the article in the journal is dubious. Not rocket science is it? This is based on practical and past experience. I mean, the Guardian constantly presents the British Medical Journal The Lancet as a source You’ll forgive me for dismissing another journal of medicine, until a conservative or right wing source (which I trust, obviously, and you should not be alarmed by that), comes forward and says the methodology of the journal’s article is sound. Which is IN NO WAY given.

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  4. Poosh

    *sigh* fine. Let me try to jump in a typical leftist’s shoes. IF I linked to you as “evidence” for a point, that was, from Fox News YOUR spidey senses would tingle.

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  5. blameme

    What has efficiency got to do with saving lives?

    The point of the post, I believe, is that in the NAME OF EFFICIENCY AND COST, doctors are told not to send patients for screening.

    Businesses do this all the time to make their books look better. Release a new product, fire all developers and have bare bones support and EUREKA = awesome profits. Until, you dig deeper and see that to get those awesome profits, they screwed the consumer.

    So, in the name of efficiency, they don’t send patients for cancer screening. Awesome.

    I could spend 1 pound, save one life and then spend no more pounds and save no lives. I would be the most efficient medical care service in the world. But, I wouldn’t really be treating anyone or preventing anything.

    Of course, the point is to process everyone efficiently – make everyone equally miserable and equally dead.

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  6. Poosh

    blameme, the “study” is probably bullshit anyway. Waiting for some experts to take a look at the methodology. A lot of these “studies” are ideological, sadly. You’d think medicine would be mostly immune to this BS, but sadly no.

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  7. Kimpost

    You’ll forgive me for dismissing another journal of medicine, until a conservative or right wing source (which I trust, obviously, and you should not be alarmed by that), comes forward and says the methodology of the journal’s article is sound.

    Is that seriously how you go about things? And has that ever happened? I mean seriously? Because I’m having a hard time seeing that as something being on a conservative/right wing news paper’s (source) general to-do list…

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  8. AlexInCT *

    The study was done by people that had a vested interest in a positive outcome, and lo and behold, that’s what they got. I would take the study far more seriously if it was done by someone that had a bone to pick with the system reaching the same conclusion.

    I am also with blameme on the whole “the NHS is top notch at efficiency” means squat when efficiency is basically code for rationing healthcare. In fact I would take it a step further and point out that the collectivists are demanding government take over healthcare PRECISELY because they complain insurance companies use these exact tactics – referred to as evil rationing by the usual crowd when done by anyone in the insurance industry, but suddenly becoming signs of efficiency when a bureaucratic monster takes over and does it on a scale that the insurance companies could not even dream about ever being able to do it at – we are now being told are just signs of an awesome and “efficient” system.

    Why is it that what the left uses as their argument to give government control of healthcare is evil when done by anyone but government, but suddenly a sign of efficiency or a good system when it is obvious that it is nothing but a disaster to non-ideologues? Defending this practice as a sign of “efficiency” is not just insulting, it’s laughable.

    What we have here is government rationing care – on a scale that private insurers would never, ever, be allowed to get away with – to control costs. But yet, we are told this is the better and more humane alternative by the “nanny staters” that want everything, and want it paid by other people. We are running out of other people’s money, and it shows.

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  9. AlexInCT *

    The end goal of Obamacare is an overwhelmed system that forces employers to shed people en masse because the penalties for not giving out healthcare are far lower than the cost of providing it with all the new regulations. Once that starts in earnest and the domino effect leaves everyone out on their ass, private insurers will be forced to jack up the cost for individual insurance – which already has jumped up by staggering numbers from between 30-50% annually since Obamacare was passed BTW – making that too simply prohibitive for anyone but the richest people. In the end people will be forced to accept the single payer system that these collectivists want.

    BTW, the campaign to undermine and destroy private insurance has been going on for decades. These politicians have pilled on law after law forcing insurance to provide coverage for things that are ludicrous or horribly costly but marginal that have driven the cost, and thus the premiums, up drastically for everyone. The end game has always been to make the system dysfunctional and too costly so government could then justify taking it over under the pretext that it was going to fix the out of control cost. Kind of like the false and ridiculous claims that Obamacare will save us money.

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  10. AlexInCT *

    So you got pissed off when Poosh applied the same standards you did just the other day to others that used sources with far greater reputations and trustworthyness than that left wing rag (me in this case), and whose proof you dismissed because you didn’t consider them “independent” enough, CM?

    Oh, the irony! You ARE priceless.

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  11. AlexInCT *

    Is that seriously how you go about things? And has that ever happened? I mean seriously? Because I’m having a hard time seeing that as something being on a conservative/right wing news paper’s (source) general to-do list…

    I seem to have missed your post when CM did exactly this to me on the thread we where discussing how government subsidizing single motherhood has caused more of that Kimpost. And I provided links to far, far more reputable sources – CATO and the US government – than CM did when he linked that left wing rag.

    I am sure it was simply because you where not reading that exchange rather than the fact that you actually think that when the left claims they will not accept proof from some source because it isn’t “independant” enough for their taste you agree but when the same is done to you, you don’t like that.

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  12. Poosh

    Why is that a surprise? From experience and when I do take the time to analyse things there are right wing and conservative sources I trust. And a few left wing pundits. But most conservatives. Why is this a surprise?

    I’ve found claims that Fox News lies, to be LIES themselves, after sitting down and looking at what’s going on. And many claims such as the Guardian to be hotbeds for fabrications and liars.

    I haven’t the skill or understanding, or time, to look at a methodology of a medical study.

    The last time this happened was with the medical journal the Lancet (no doubt also appeared in the Guardian) and their methods of doing an Iraqi “body count” were basically false. I haven’t the time to look over yet another medical article with an agenda.

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  13. Poosh

    These “medical” journals publish ‘studies’ with political agendas. Not all the time but, one such of this, that is being touted by a left-wing newspaper, as I said before, SETS MY SPIDEY SENSES OFF.

    And yes it has happened, constantly with science papers, but also with other British medical journals such as the Lancet. Indeed there was a disgusting UN report on healthcare which was the product of ideology and bullshit, not facts or reason. And yes, conservative doctors etc and others look at the studies and point out the flaws or dishonesty.

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  14. Poosh

    For the record, CM & Kim, I do not object to universal healthcare as a goal. I think the idea that families must give up almost all their earned wealth just to pay the costs of healthcare for their kid is borderline evil. Of course, this might be a myth concerning the US healthcare system.

    Experiencing the NHS, I am just on the fence.

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  15. Kimpost

    I actually read your CATO-link, Alex, but it didn’t show what you’re claiming it did. It just doesn’t show causation. Seriously – it does not! And I’m not saying that to be a dick.

    Linking to opinion pieces is fine, just as linking to regular news stories is fine. All we need to do is to present them as such, as for what they are. I generally think that CM does that quite well. I think that you often do that too, but sometimes – just sometimes – you think that stories show stuff they don’t actually show.

    I’m not free from bias. If an opinion piece supports my position, then I’m probably more inclined to believe what it is reporting. I do however try to look for opposing views, which is one of the reasons for why I’m frequenting right-leaning blogs like this one.

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  16. Kimpost

    I’m not sure how your mind works, since I don’t actually know you, Poosh. As I read you here, I thought that your way came off as kind of lazy. Seems to me like you’re quick to accepting, as well as adopting, other people’s opinions. If that was rash of me, then I apologize.

    My view of science is that it’s something that can be generally trusted. Not always, of course, not even in the most trusted journals, but generally speaking, I’d say that science gets things right, and has trusted ways of sorting its wrongs out.

    I’d put The Lancet into the trusted category, just as I would with The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

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  17. Miguelito

    So it sounds like one guy in AZ did something wrong and it triggered the failure that rippled through the system. So good to know that we have such a brittle system with single points of failure in 2011.

    Even the nuclear plant (San Onofre) apparently shutdown.

    What was really trippy was police were escorting the SDG&E crew that was at the end of my block working shortly before power came back up.

    I used one of my UPSes to keep my iPhone and iPad charged and watched a couple movies on my iPad.

    I saved a cap of the state power usage for day after power came back up. Note the steep drop when it went, both usage and generation.

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  18. Kimpost

    NHS might be one of the worst public systems in the world, I don’t know, but the more recent studies I have seen, ranked the NHS somewhere in the middle, perhaps even a bit lower than that. Reading about it, I’ve come to the impression that the absolute nightmare it’s sometimes being portrayed as – on mostly US blogs – it is NPT. You being British, obviously have much more experience with it than I do (I do have some personal NHS experiences though, all good), but I’m sure that you’d agree that not even conservatives in the UK wants to get rid of it.

    Even the article Alex is using as inspiration for this post, isn’t really supporting his claims. In fact it tells us how districts disregard their actual directives, to save money. Hopefully that can be rectified after a public outcry.

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  19. Poosh

    I would have put the Lancet, also, into trusted. UNTIL they became political. Science SHOULD get things right, and I use to think that. But the scientific method is not being followed in a lot of circles. Politics and ideology is. I can no longer look at a medical article and trust it out of hand. It’s a sad case of affairs. The climategate scandal revealed the dishonesty of some scientists and their bullying tactics on others that don’t toe the ‘party’ line, it was a disillusioning experience.

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  20. AlexInCT *

    Brining this out here to avoid the compression:

    I actually read your CATO-link, Alex, but it didn’t show what you’re claiming it did. It just doesn’t show causation. Seriously – it does not! And I’m not saying that to be a dick.

    Hah! So the only reason you didn’t call CM on outright dismissing the source was that you don’t want to see the relationship (no matter how many “seriouslys” you put there)? CM obviously didn’t say that he dismissed CATO because he didn’t see the relationship, but because he didn’t feel CATO met his standard of “independence”. That implies to me that he did see that relationship or didn’t bother even reading it, and neither option paints the dismissal in a good light. Got it.

    And I have to take your claim that there is no causation to prove my point to task Kimpost. I did not link only that CATO article when making my point. I linked to the CATO article specifically to show that welfare spending has gone insane. I also linked to the US government site to show the numbers, broken down by category, to double that down. And you can use that US site to verify that welfare spending, with a brief dip in the Clinton years where republicans forced him to reform it because it was growing out of control, has continuously been trending upwards. And while as I point out the CATO article’s focus is broadly on welfare and welfare spending going up in general and not especially on the single mothers welfare subsidy issue, there is no refuting from both the CATO article and the US government statistics site that these numbers are growing disproportionately. If you can not concede the fact that welfare spending is going up because the trending is that we have more people going on welfare – even if you ignore or correct for the last 3 years and the bad economy – then I have to question your honesty.

    I added that third link – the one to the article specifically dealing with the jump in single mothers having children – to make sure there was no doubt that single motherhood was on the rise, and drastically. Now if you want to then take me to task because the article doesn’t do a good job distinguishing between those on welfare or not, I am inclined to say that you still lose. It’s a well documented fact that, other than not getting a good education, single parenthood – which almost always involves a young girl that then ends up not finishing school too –is a prime driver of poverty. Google poverty and single parenthood, if you must. Not even the people pushing for more welfare deny that relationship exists. If you are poor you are going on welfare. There are is no stigma for doing so anymore, in fact it is a badge of honor in some communities, and if you are poor and have a child, you seek welfare money claiming it is for the child.

    With those four pieces of the puzzle – welfare spending has continuously and constantly grown as more and more people get it, the phenomenon of single parenthood is drastically on the rise, single parents tend to be drastically represented amongst the poor, and welfare spending on single mothers is drastically up – I find it hard that you can’t make the obvious connections. The shame around having children out of wedlock has all but disappeared. More single parents are getting welfare for their children. It has basically become a means by which we are now subsidizing the behavior. Because I can not think of any other logical model that would explain the constant upward trending of this behavior – especially considering all the sex ed and the easy access to abortion – other than the financial incentive. If you have another reason I would be glad to entertain it.

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  21. AlexInCT *

    I am with Poosh on this. My objection to government healthcare is the fact that government rather than solving the problem, which I feel is fare easier if they are just willing to encourage the private sector to pick them up, is using them as a tool to expand it’s power.

    EDIT: I want to add that the solution is a simple as government creating and letting the private sector run a catastrophic risk pool that would cover everyone past a certain cost amount, then providing low cost care for those that can’t afford to buy their own insurance, but there is no ability to either control people or gain power from this solution, so the left doesn’t want anythign to do with it.

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  22. Poosh

    My direct experience wasn’t great. But again, I’d suggest that some NHS hospitals are superior the bulk of US hospitals. Which is exactly the problem. The quality of healthcare is random, a ‘postcode lottery’. In some areas we’re world leaders, I believe, but in others we’re poor or average.

    The problem is, and I suspect this study has ignored it, is this:

    The NHS is the third largest employer IN THE WORLD. It is unaffordable, even if it was amazing, which it isn’t. At what point does a tiny island like us (with 60 million, sure) somehow get that accolade? We’re third to the Chinese Army and the Indian Railways. England alone employs 1.43 million in the English NHS, apparently.

    Healthcare and our welfare system are the primary reasons we have such a massive deficit and are in the mess we’re in. Moving to a mixed healthcare service like Germany etc, might be the way forwards.

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  23. AlexInCT *

    Even the article Alex is using as inspiration for this post, isn’t really supporting his claims. In fact it tells us how districts disregard their actual directives, to save money. Hopefully that can be rectified after a public outcry.

    My point was that government controlled healthcare would ration care Kimpost. That’s proven in the article: the British government has issued guidelines that can not be considered anything other than rationing. If doctors decide not to follow along with that rationing mandate, it doesn’t disprove my point at all.

    In fact, what it does prove is that unless the British government then is willing to punish the medical professionals for ignoring its cost cutting efforts, that it can not control costs as it claims it will, at all. The biggest selling point of government controlled healthcare – and definitely of Obamacare – is that government can both get everyone on it AND control/lower costs even when doing so, and as you just pointed out, unless said governments are willing to be brutal and punish those that ignore them, that system doesn’t have a chance in hell of doing what it purports to be able to fix.

    There is no way to put make up on this monster and make it look pretty. Anyway you slice this, what it proves is that government controlled healthcare will not be better, and practically always will be worse, than private healthcare.

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  24. Poosh

    Politically, things like ‘universal healthcare’ can often be used as another means of acquiring political power – and can have a destructive power over the quality of democracy, in a country. A separate issue perhaps.

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  25. Poosh

    Of course Alex. Things are rationed, certain drugs are not granted to us. Sarah Palin’s ‘death panels’ claim was accurate and factual. That’s exactly what we have in the UK. I believe it’s called NICE or some such.

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  26. CM

    You’ve not even come close to demonstrating causation. There was the potential to see it when the aspect you believe is the cause (welfare) changed drastically. However as your own links demonstrated, the cuts were deep, and yet the number of unwed mothers apparently still continued to climb. So you’ve (effectively) demonstrated yourself that there is NO causation. But then I’ve already pointed this out and you ignore it the first time, so I assume you’ll ignore it again.

    You’ve written 10,000 words on this and gotten nowhere.

    As for this thread – how is using the PRIVATIZATION of the NHS a good example of what would happen when the US system goes PUBLIC?
    That’s aside from wha Kimpost has pointed out about local politicians/administrators going against their actual directives. Or the fact that the NHS is nothing like Obamacare.

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  27. Poosh

    It seemed to me that was the case CM (your final point). Using the NHS is valid to dismiss obama’s ideological goals. But actual Obamacare is more akin to the German / French modes, which are a mixture, and even then quite different.

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  28. CM

    Using the NHS is valid to dismiss obama’s ideological goals

    Ideological goals aren’t particularly relevant as this President is nothing but pragmatic (as they mostly all are). What Obamacare actually involves is what is relevant. And from what I can tell it bears no relationship at all to the NHS.

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  29. Poosh

    Here is the article in question. The Journal in question is internationally peer reviewed, which seems off the top of my head to be a good thing. I am not going to invest in reading it, I haven’t the time, and there are so many factors I am ignorant of, at any rate. Which is why i was waiting for some responses from others, but look at how the summary is phrased:

    “Objectives To test the hypothesis that the USA healthcare system was superior to the NHS and 17 other Western countries in reducing feasible mortality rates over the period 1979– 2005″

    Now that’s an entirely fine question to ask but in a Medical Journal, there seems (and it’s shown more in text of the report, by a single two people note) there is a definite agenda. Now I happen to think that is not proper for a medical journal. The question should simply be “an attempt to find the superior healthcare system” or some such. Now, agenda does not been falsity of course, but it IS a medical journal, and that is enough to warrent my spidey senses.

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  30. CM

    The question should simply be “an attempt to find the superior healthcare system” or some such.

    But that’s not a hypothesis. A hypothesis requires something that can be proven or disproven. It requires a proposed explanation for a phenomenon.
    The reason behind the hypothesis is clearly explained within the Introduction.

    As for The Lancet – I remember going through that in detail when it all came out (at MW forums). From what I remember, many of the ‘issues’ were simply because it has been misreported, or/and misunderstood.

    Personally if a study has been professionally carried out, passes peer-review, and is published in a respected journal, I’ll assume it’s solid. I’m certainly not going to doubt something simply because it doesn’t match my political opinions. Of course some crap will fall through the cracks as Kimpost notes. But it’s about as perfect a system as we can get.

    Contrast that to the seeminly growing industry of fake published papers that seems to have sprung up e.g. climate ‘papers’ being ‘published’ by various right-wing groups (or Alex’s CATO link) which all rely heavily on referencing each other.

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