The passage of ObamaCare fulfilled – or came close to fulfilling – two liberal dreams: It was a big step toward the liberal dream of a government-run healthcare system and it expanded the role of government in hopes of creating a “centrally-planned economy.” No sane person in this country is for one second believing the Democrats claim that they had no intention of taking over our healthcare system.
A Community Organizer named Don Berwick is to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Berwick is a man who, in his own words, just “loves” Britain’s National Health Service. He actually says he’s quite romantic about it! Oh .. and Berwick is also on record as saying that the rationing of health care in America is a certainty. An Obama kind of guy! The Democrats, you should know, are not through with their radical transformation of health care in this country. Now we even have people like Harry Reid telling us, “We’re going to have a public option. It’s just a question of when.”
OK … lets check on the latest from Berwick’s fantasy mistress, Britain’s National Health Service. It seems that some changes are going to be made! While we’re heading hell bent for leather toward a health care system run by our wonderful federal government, Great Britain is headed in entirely the opposite direction. There is a reason for this – government-run healthcare leads to increased cost, less quality care and … ta da! … RATIONING! Coupled with a budget/deficit crisis, the infrastructure of its national health system had become so cumbersome and abysmal that the UK is now ready to dismantle it. The New York Times reports:
Practical details of the plan are still sketchy. But its aim is clear: to shift control of England’s $160 billion annual health budget from a centralized bureaucracy to doctors at the local level. Under the plan, $100 billion to $125 billion a year would be meted out to general practitioners, who would use the money to buy services from hospitals and other health care providers.
In a document, or white paper, outlining the plan, the government admitted that the changes would “cause significant disruption and loss of jobs.” But it said: “The current architecture of the health system has developed piecemeal, involves duplication and is unwieldy. Liberating the N.H.S., and putting power in the hands of patients and clinicians, means we will be able to effect a radical simplification, and remove layers of management.”
But while the government apparatus is still in place, take a look at the cut in services the NHS has had to implement for cost-saving purposes …
- Restrictions on some of the most basic and common operations, including hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery and orthodontic procedures.
- Plans to cut hundreds of thousands of pounds from budgets for the terminally ill, with dying cancer patients to be told to manage their own symptoms if their condition worsens at evenings or weekends.
- The closure of nursing homes for the elderly.
- A reduction in acute hospital beds, including those for the mentally ill, with targets to discourage GPs from sending patients to hospitals and reduce the number of people using accident and emergency departments.
- Tighter rationing of NHS funding for IVF treatment, and for surgery for obesity.
- Thousands of job losses at NHS hospitals, including 500 staff to go at a trust where cancer patients recently suffered delays in diagnosis and treatment because of staff shortages.
- Cost-cutting programmes in paediatric and maternity services, care of the elderly and services that provide respite breaks to long-term carers.
Make no mistake – we are looking at stories from our future, only instead of being reported in the UK Telegraph, they will be coming from your local newspaper. Actually, it is not even our future, it is already here! Over the weekend, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said in his state United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield have stopped issuing new policies that cover children individually. Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland said a couple of local insurers in her state have done likewise. Why is this? Starting later this year, ObamaCare requires insurers who DO insure children individually to accept children regardless of medical problems.
Do you believe me now, folks? This government takeover of healthcare in the United States has absolutely nothing to do with your healthcare or your ability to procure it. It has everything to do with growing the size of government, making you more dependent on government and making politicians in Washington even more powerful.