We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The “envy of the world”

As the Daily Telegraph points out in its sharp (behind paywall) takedown of the UK government’s lockdown enthusiasm, the argument that we need to crush what is left of the UK economy to “protect” the National Health Service is based on the idea that the NHS will be overwhelmed by Covid-19 (despite the UK having had the late spring and summer to prepare for now). As the newspaper points out, the NHS is always “overwhelmed” this time of year because of flu and other winter-related bugs and diseases:

“But this is a perennial crisis. The NHS struggles under normal conditions in the winter because the system is completely dysfunctional. The Prime Minister needs to be honest about all of this and admit that not everything has gone according to plan. He needs to explain exactly why he is shutting down so much of the economy again and why he believes that drastically reducing social and family contacts is a price worth paying. He obviously wants to buy more time, but he needs to tell us how much and what for – and to explain convincingly why isolating the vulnerable (a strategy which seems ever more attractive by the day) while allowing the rest of the country to move on isn’t a better way forward. He needs to sell and explain his vision, not simply expect the rest of us to accept it automatically. Above all, he needs to spell out his Covid exit strategy. Britain’s economy and society cannot face another six months of the current madness.”

I occasionally read that the current “Tory” (yup, the scare quotes are there for a reason, folks) is moving away from all that ideological Thatcherite stuff about freedom, markets, scepticism of Big Government, to a more “pragmatic”, paternalistic approach. And yet the past few months have surely rammed home the message that the State does a lot of things very badly, while private enterprise, given the opportunity and freedom, does things rather better. The contrast between the ingenuity of supermarkets and their inventory management, on the one hand, and the NHS and its clunky, Soviet-style resource allocation, on the other, is harder and harder to ignore (example: cancer patients). And yet a vast swathe of UK public opinion, reinforced by all those cute rainbow symbols about “our NHS”, buys into the idea that this creation of late 1940s socialism and central planning is one of the high points of Western civilisation. We want to erase the very “problematic” Lord Horatio Nelson from Greenwich, apparently, but woe betide anyone who so much as suggests the NHS isn’t one of the Good Things of UK history. Remember the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony where, just before Daniel Craig as 007 did his skit with the Queen, we had a whole choreographed display honouring the NHS?

Sentimentality, Charles Dickens’ besetting vice as a novelist, is, I fear, shared by much of the UK public. It is an illness every bit as bad as that of COVID-19.

(As a corrective, I can recommend The Welfare State We’re In, by James Bartholomew. The book challenges many of the founding myths around the NHS, such as the idea that only the very rich got medical care before the late 1940s).

38 comments to The “envy of the world”

  • bobby b

    “And yet a vast swathe of UK public opinion, reinforced by all those cute rainbow symbols about “our NHS”, buys into the idea that this creation of late 1940s socialism and central planning is one of the high points of Western civilisation.”

    I’d guess it’s partly – mostly? – because you’ve all been fed such a steady diet of “everybody else’s health system sux and kills everyone who isn’t rich”. That’s a great way to build loyalty to your own system.

    I’ve talked to a surprising number of UK’ers who believe fervently that the US system is horrid, and bankrupting, and that no one gets treated unless they sell their house and prostitute out their kids and rob banks. That the top few have expensive insurance and so get great and over-the-top attention, while the rest of us take aspirin and hope for the best.

    And it ain’t true at all. I’m in my sixties, and I’ve known no one – not even one person – who ever had to suffer through illness or injury without treatment – good treatment – because they lacked wealth or insurance.

    Y’all have great loyalty because you’re all convinced that, without your NHS, you’d be dying off early and in great pain just like the Americans. But the Americans aren’t dying off. When I go down to Rochester, Minnesota, and drive by the Mayo Clinic, the parking lot is full of Canadian license plates, and the penthouses of the local hotels – a huge industry there, BTW – are full of people from other countries that have socialized medicine.

    And I always suspect that the UK’ers who I’m telling this to think maybe I’m lying about this, because they’ve been inculcated from birth to believe that our system makes theirs look great. Frankly, the stories I hear about NHS treatment make it sound a bit medieval.

  • A

    I work in the NHS.

    When Covid hit we ‘urgently’ asked for webcams to enable remote meetings.

    We have just got them five months later.

  • John B

    It is the essence of Socialism and Fascism (same thing really) the People in service to the State.

    It seems it is what the large majority of the people deserve. Maybe when they get the full dose, they may change their minds.

    I am no longer persuaded by the ‘silent majority’ theory, of sane, thoughtful people who always collectively do the right thing when the time comes. The time has been and gone.

    Watching the last few months, it is clear the ‘free World’ has become a society of clapping, obedient, mindless, morons.

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    Johnathon Pearce: I agree with what you say However, the political reality is that any British politician who does anything other than pledge his undying love of, and allegiance to, the NHS is committing instant career suicide.

    Bobby B: having limited experience of both the NHS, and more comprehensive experience of the American healthcare system, I must say I do like the American system. But I realise it creates winners and losers, and I’m one of the winners, so to speak. I have excellent health insurance, which provides me with superb care. The $9,000 per annum permiums are paid by my employer and my out-of-pocket expenses are quite minor.

    But I know others aren’t so lucky. This is a friend-of-a-friend type story, but I’ve no reason to believe my friend was lying. A friend of hers was diagnosed with cancer, while either uninsured or under insured. She did get treatment, but had to sign over her house, that being her main asset. She was allowed to continue living in it for the rest of her life, but the house went to the hospital after she died.

  • John

    The Olympic opening ceremony was truly vomit-inducing although I cannot honestly say which was worst; the jive-dancing celebration of GOSH and the nhs, the laughable propaganda of the Windrush immigrants peering through the mist like extras from Bambi, the token black top-hatted industrialist or the sight of Baronesses Lawrence and Chakrabati carrying the flag. Every liberal wet dream shared with the world in 90 minutes.

    The largely non-political closing ceremony/concert was pretty good though.

  • staghounds

    This is like locking the ar in the garage to protect the seat belts.

  • Douglas2

    Schroedinger’s Dog:

    I counter your friend of a friend story with this:
    https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/paying-for-care/paying-for-a-care-home/do-i-have-to-sell-my-home-to-pay-for-care/

    bobby b:

    When I lived in the UK I had British friends tell me to my face that I was lying when I described US Medicare, Medicaid, and EMTALA — if such programs existed, they would surely have learned about them from UK media, and had not, ergo . . .

  • llamas

    @ staghounds – that’s a classic. May I steal it?

    @ Douglas2 – I also have lost count of the number of times that I have told folks in the UK of the extensive government healthcare provisions in the US, and things like EMTALA and state provisions that ensure that poor folks get treated, regardless of ability to pay. But this is one of a number of things about the US (gun control, campaign financing, automobile styles, the positions of President Trump/Bush/Obama/Clinton, and so forth) where the narrative has been so extensively propagated to the population, for so long, that no amount of contrary evidence, no matter the source, can shift it. I have also been told, to my face, that I am lying about this issue.

    @ Schrodinger’s Dog – I believe that story, in part at least. But it does not quite square with the available provisions in the US. ITIARIS that in all states, persons who are eligible for Medicaid (state-administered health insurance for the poor) can exempt their home, its contents, and their automobiles, from the means assessment for Medicaid eligibility. The state may come after the exempted assets from the person’s estate, if it comes to that, and will certainly try and distrain upon any assets acquired after Medicaid coverage is obtained, but I don’t see how the lady in your example got into that situation and yet did not apply for or obtain Medicaid. Perhaps you did not share the whole story.

    Like bobby b., I am in my 60’s, in the US, and I do not know of anybody who has had to go without medical treatment because of poverty or lack of insurance. Many people choose to forgo treatment to avoid debt, and of course meaningful access to treatment may be very-much hindered by poverty and availability of services – but those are different questions.

    On the other side of the coin, I know of not-a-few people who have suffered terribly due to the effective unavailability of services under the NHS. The ‘waiting list’ of months, sometimes years, for services is a simple fact of life in the NHS. I always smile darkly when I hear of people who are moved up the ‘waiting list’ for a given service described as having ‘jumped the queue’ – as though heart surgery is equivalent to waiting for a bus, and they have committed a terrible social faux-pas for having the temerity to be so sick as to need treatment sooner. According to the proper principles of Ingsoc, you should patiently wait your turn for service, all those waiting in line are exactly-equal in their need for the service, there should absolutely no preference for anybody over anybody else, and if you die or suffer terribly while you wait, that’s just the price of equality, comrade.

    In the interest of fairness, I should also say that I know of not-a-few people who have had excellent and timely treatment on the NHS with good outcomes. My experience with the NHS is now fully 40 years out of date, but I have to say that it was generally good.

    Except for the dentistry. It took a US dentist a decade to put right what NHS dentists had done to me. Thank you, Dr Jim.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Paul Marks

    Llamas – NHS dentistry has largely collapsed, I am dirt poor and I have to have private dental cover – a friend of mine (a real person he lives a minute away and will be coming over this evening) tried to fix his own teeth with glue (that did not go well), because he trusted in NHS dentistry – and there, essentially, was none. I pay for my prescriptions as well – you have to formally claim benefits to avoid that, and claiming benefits is very complicated in the United Kingdom (if you are professional fraudster you can deal with the complexity – if not things can go badly with you).

    The NHS itself was not something new – it was based on the Soviet system that was created in the 1920s (this is never mentioned – instead there is nonsense that it was based on the Great Western Railway insurance society, or Miners Fraternity, Friendly Society).

    What can be done?

    I am afraid nothing can be done. We live in a country where even a private comment about a lunatic Mayor attracts punishment – what do you think would happen to a politician who opposed the NHS?

    Such a politician would be torn to pieces.

    And France and Germany (and other countries) are moving closer to an NHS style system – after all if the government is paying most of the bills there is in a logic in it controlling the hospitals and so on.

    America health care is so mutated by insane subsidies and endless regulations that health costs are out of reach for vast numbers of human beings.

  • Paul Marks

    Only a few years ago Mexico used to have fairly inexpensive private medical care – but then along came a “Conservative” Mexican President (President Fox – the same person who launched vast, and deeply corrupt, public-private housing schemes) and he promised free health care to everyone – I suspect (although I do not know) that this may not have turned out well.

  • X Trapnel

    My NHS surgery’s letterhead carries a fax number, but not an email address. When you attempt contact via the PSTN you’ll as often as not get an engaged tone.

    I don’t live in the Highlands of Scotland, but in the suburbs of a major city; when it comes to my healthcare provision though, I might as well live in fucking Czechoslovakia.

    Younger readers may be unfamiliar with the quaint Steam Punk tech we ol’ timers call the fax machine. The NHS (Envy of the World) was recently reported to be (still) the pre-eminent requisitioner of fax machines, until it had to be told to stop buying them (the Guardian article linked fails, to nobody’s great surprise, to distance itself from its archaic subject when it refers to .

    The NHS. Saving lives at a rate comparable with healthcare systems throughout the developed world. That’s why it’s envied so.

  • bobby b

    Schrodinger’s Dog
    October 12, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    “A friend of hers was diagnosed with cancer, while either uninsured or under insured. She did get treatment, but had to sign over her house, that being her main asset. She was allowed to continue living in it for the rest of her life, but the house went to the hospital after she died.”

    I don’t doubt the truth of this story at all. But, a comment:

    There is one strain of belief that holds that there is a right to health care – i.e., that everyone is owed this from birth, and it ought to be provided to you for free by society. I don’t buy that, for various reasons, but it lies at the heart of this issue. Guarantee that the State shall provide something and take it over from private efforts, and it eventually withers.

    But as to the lady in question: Our system – the USA’s system – does not provide free medical care on society’s dime if you can pay the bill yourself. If you have a valuable asset, and large medical debt, it seems charitable to me if your creditor allows you to retain that asset until your death, and only then gets paid. Which is the way Medicare and Medicaid recapture works – charitably, actually.

    Medical care is expensive because it is so thorough and well-researched and well-staffed and highly techie. To expect NOT to owe lots of money (if you have that “lots of money”) after life-saving extensive care seems unrealistic. Even so, between Medicare, Medicaid, and EMTALA, we do in fact provide it for free to those lacking the funds to pay for it.

    If the end result is that you get great medical care, and then retain your assets while alive but cannot gift them to your children after death, things have worked out well for you.

  • Caligari

    Paul Marks, October 12, 2020 at 6:02 pm:

    And France and Germany (and other countries) are moving closer to an NHS style system – after all if the government is paying most of the bills there is in a logic in it controlling the hospitals and so on.

    Since I lived in Germany for a long time, I’m a bit sceptic of this claim.
    The German system is a so-called ‘sozialversicherungs’ system. When you work, your employer automatically transfers an amount of your gross income to a ‘gesetzliche Krankenversicherung’ (Insurance by law), which you can choose yourself. This health insurance will then pay for treatment in case of illness.
    And, of cource, the insurance want to reduce the costs and choise which treatment is payed and which not.

    The UK-System is payed by taxes while the German one is payed by workern.

  • The UK-System is payed by taxes while the German one is payed by workers

    I can’t work out whether this is meant to be sarcasm or literal truth explanation of “Difference”.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I can’t work out whether this is meant to be sarcasm or literal truth explanation of “Difference”.”

    The difference between them is that services paid for by taxes are generally paid for by *other* workers. High income workers pay lots more in taxes so low income workers get better services.

  • staghounds

    Llamas- sure, and it’s meant to be car not ar.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    To us in Singapore, you’re all crazy. Yes, we know the NHS is a pile of shit – when Lee Kuan Yew’s wife got sick in the UK, there was an article on it.
    http://swordofdemocles.blogspot.com/2006/11/on-handling-brutal-truth.html

    The US system delivers good outcomes… amazingly given the regulatory constraints, but at unsustainable prices for many. I remember reading somewhere about the lack of transparency in prices, which sounds ridiculous given it is supposed to be a capitalist system, but when a pair of surgical gloves cost $50 (or something like that), you have serious issues.

    I always wonder, is it because of hidden expenditures that the hospitals have to resort to such exorbitant prices? It cannot be just due to the profit motive, if that was the case, it would be easy for some other hospital to undercut prices. Either they’re all in cahoots, or there are other factors at play. I think Trump’s attempt to introduce more transparency here is a good one, and it’s strange not more people are talking about it.

    Then you have the extra tests that the professionals order for the patient, ‘just to be safe’. Probably a symptom of ‘safetyism’ that’s been prevalent nowadays, but with very real costs attached in this case.

    In Sg, we have a sensible two-tiered system. I can keep bragging, but really, the record speaks for itself.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . but when a pair of surgical gloves cost $50 (or something like that), you have serious issues.”

    They must save the good gloves for foreign patients, because I’ve never seen them. Apocryphy gloves, maybe. “I remember reading somewhere . . . .” should always be a hint.

    Last time I saw a doc – a year or two or three ago now – was when I got sandwiched between two big cows and had some crushed ribs and whatnot. (Ouch.) Couple of hours of poking and prodding in the Watertown SD hospital, X-rays, some pain meds, two different docs, couple of nurse types. I paid cash. Less than $600, IIRC. I paid more to get my brake pads changed on my truck. (They all had gloves, BTW.)

    Now, had I been an insurance patient, I’m sure I would have received the scarier price list which the insurance companies get, and from which they then take their negotiated discount from. (Their discounts are rather huge.) I’m sure their list price for my visit would have been over $2000. I’m sure they would have paid less than I paid, in full satisfaction of the bill.

    That’s just the negotiation game played between insurers and providers. The lack of consumer transparency arises because providers keep playing insurers off against one another and us cash payers aren’t really a part of their equation – the big volume of money comes from insurers. But I always know what bill I’m about to incur. I ask, and then make choices.

  • This contrasted sharply with how quickly Singaporeans – including national carrier Singapore Airlines – reacted to the situation.

    Even though doctors initially advised that Mrs Lee stay put in London for three weeks, Mr Lee decided fly her back once her condition stabilised. And then there was the big worry that she would get a spasm onboard, he recounted.

    But he needn’t have worried. Within 48 hours, SIA had fitted out SQ321 with medical support of oxygen tanks and other fixtures for a drip. “No other airline would have done this,” Mr Lee said, looking visibly touched.

    Yeah. Next time I need an emergency evac I’ll just call up Singapore Airlines and when they ask “Why on earth would we do that?” (which is a reasonable question for a commercial airline to ask), I’ll just say “Well you did it for Lee Kuan Yew!”. 🙄 – REMEMBER – We are all equal, but some are more equal than others…, especially the autocratic founder and former leader of the country.

    This is not to say that Lee Kuan Yew’s experience is exceptional (or even unexpected), but the problem here is not the capitalism or the socialism (after all, even the French can run a decent public/private healthcare system). The problem is that the government is run by the hospitals and therefore by bureaucracy than anything else. The patients certainly aren’t customers. If anyone is the customer in the hospital’s eyes it is the Department of Health or possibly some former MP on the Local Community Health Partnership (or whatever these Stalinist institutions are called nowadays).

  • *The problem is the hospitals are effectively owned and operated by the government* I mean.

  • John

    As the government is still openly and proudly prioritising “saving the nhs” above the health, safety and economic welfare of the general population your original statement is far nearer the truth.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Wobbly is correct: Singapore has miles better healthcare, including for those on low incomes. That jurisdiction has a lot to teach us, not least the general approach around hygiene and smartness. And done without taxing the public up to the neck. Amazing.

  • llamas

    bobby b. wrote:

    ‘Now, had I been an insurance patient, I’m sure I would have received the scarier price list which the insurance companies get, and from which they then take their negotiated discount from. (Their discounts are rather huge.) I’m sure their list price for my visit would have been over $2000. I’m sure they would have paid less than I paid, in full satisfaction of the bill.’

    That’s one reason that the US system is so FU’d – the multi-level pricing structure whereby patients with insurance effectively subsidize a whole raft of medical services and associated costs, many of them mandated by government regulation and having very little to do with health care.

    Two examples.

    I took a crack on the head at work in May – the truck driver tossed over a binder without checking under the truck for legs, and I stopped the buckle with my forehead. Scalp wounds bleed like buggery, and I was laid open pretty good, so off to Oakwood in Dearborn to get patched up.

    I was there 6 hours, CAT scan, neurology consult and then an impeccable surgical repair by a surgical nurse-practitioner. Top-notch work, could not ask for better. The scar is minimal, although interesting. The CAT scan hangs on my office wall, to prove the presence of brain matter.

    As this was a work injury, workmen’s comp pays for all of it. I get copies of the bills although I have no responsibility for any of it. The billing is not finished, but the running total on the face of the bills is over $11,000 and counting.

    Our HR/WC person sees the billing numbers, and she tells me that the actual cost to the insurance company is about half the amounts shown on the bills I get. If it had happened at home, and my private insurance was paying, the actual costs would be somewhat-less than workmen’s comp pays, about 40% of the amount shown. If I were paying out-of-pocket, or Medicaid/Medicare were paying, about 25% of the amount shown.

    Accounting like that in any other industry would get you a delightful double visit – from the Fraud Squad and the tax man. It also renders it virtually-impossible to assess what the true costs of healthcare are – and if you can’t put a number on something like that, you can’t possibly analyze it or plan for how to deal with it.

    Second tale. Regular viewers will know that I have a side job working on standby generators. We just did a job for a local foot-and-ankle doctor, which resulted in me scoring a 5kW inverter and battery bank – for free. The doctor does a lot of Medicaid/Medicare work, and there are new regulations that require that his office have emergency backup power. He used to meet this requirement with the battery bank and inverter – enough capacity to keep the lights on and bring any medical procedures to a controlled stop – but now Medicaid/Medicare requires him to have 100% backup capacity for (some extended period of time). So he had to lay out the thick end of $40k for a standby generator, switchgear and all the trimmings. So, to cover the miniscule risk that the lights go out during some office procedure, he must now buy and maintain a system to ensure that every single thing in his office is backed up. Pretty soon, he’ll be required to have a backup system for his backup system. It’s this sort of witless, wildly-excessive expenses, peanut-buttered onto health-care provisions by government fiat, that help to drive up healthcare costs in the US.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Paul Marks

    Under President Harris (Mr Biden will not last long) what is left of private health care in the United States (which has been made cripplingly expensive by DECADES of subsidies and endless regulations) will be eliminated.

    It will be government health care for everyone – essentially the Soviet system of the 1920s (upon which the NHS of the 1940s was based) for everyone.

    This is the future of the world – it is part of Agenda 2030 (“Sustainable Development”, “Build Back Better”).

    Those of you who choose to stay alive will find that wherever you go in the world – things will be the same. Collectivist domination of the education system and the media leads to this.

    The NHS is the future of the world – and not just in health care.

    The government and the major Corporations will come together – already the Corporations mainly look to government (tax money) and to the Central Bank (the Credit Bubble) NOT to customers, as the source of their revenue. This is true not just in Britain, but in the United States and many countries as well. The Free Market is dying – its funeral will be held on January 20th 2021.

    Klaus Schwab (and the rest of the Legion) will be delighted. “Build Back Better – Sustainable Development – Stakeholder Capitalism” will have won. Freedom will be dead.

  • Those of you who choose to stay alive will find that wherever you go in the world

    I thought the vast majority of Trumpers were going to top themselves (or “Move to Canada” as the euphamism goes) on the day after election of President Sleepy Joe Biden.

    The real question is who do you support and why do you care?

    For myself, Trump pisses off all of the right people, all of the time, but from an accelerationist platform I could equally get behind Kamala Harris.

    Say after me “Madam President” 🙂

  • Paul Marks

    Many “conservatives” around the world just want a comfortable life for themselves and their families – and a RANK (they want people to obey them – to have to look up to them).

    Why should they care if the corporations essentially become part of the government? They will still get their salaries and perks and the respect of high positions.

    Certainly such an economic and political system will EVENTUALLY collapse – but that might not be for a very long time.

    To give one of my favourite examples – look at the Roman Empire after the “reforms” of the Emperor Diocletian – crushing taxation, price controls, people tied to the soil, state owned factories and on and on….. the Roman world should have collapsed.

    “It did collapse Paul” – yes, but look how long it took. The “managerial classes” who back the evil of “Build Back Better” “Stakeholder Capitalism” “Sustainable Development” may simply reason that collapse may not be for generations – so why should they care about it?

    In places such as California what is happening is obvious – for example petrol driven cars are to be banned in a few years (the rulers openly say this – they boast of it) “you will have electric cars” – except that coal and nuclear power stations are being CLOSED (what electricity for the “electric cars”?) and the California power delivery system (which is regulated to destruction) is falling apart – there is no way it can deliver electrical power for MILLIONS of cars.

    But there are not going to be millions of cars – not in California, and not in Britain either. The SERF class will not be riding around in electric cars.

    And who cares what sort of medical care THE SERF class (or caste) get?

    “But we are democracy – people will vote, they will demand freedom!”

    Vote for what party? In Britain all the parties agree with the Collectivist evil that is “Build Back Better” – and all the television stations support this “Sustainable Development” “Stakeholder Capitalism” tyranny.

    In the United States it will soon be the same – the new judges (appointed by Harris-Biden) will declare any real dissent “Hate Speech” – and the Corporations are already enforcing this.

    “You want “freedom” – you RACIST!”

    People who dissent will end up begging in the streets – no matter how bad medical care (and everything else) gets.

    Welcome to tyranny.

  • staghounds

    “renders it virtually-impossible to assess what the true costs of healthcare are – and if you can’t put a number on something like that, you can’t possibly analyze it or plan for how to deal with it.”

    So the answer becomes “Give health care everything or you’ll die”, and we will.

  • Rob

    The debate in the UK about the NHS is dismal and moronic even by the standards of modern Progressive culture. You are permitted to compare it ONLY against the US system (negatively, of course) or against a mythical pre-NHS system which never existed, or against nothing at all – no healthcare.

    You are not permitted to mention Europe, which is ironic really as these same people extol the virtues of European countries in literally every other context. Singapore, Korea, Japan etc might as well not exist.

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    X Trapnel, I’m not going to criticise NHS doctors for still using fax machines. American doctors use them extensively, too.

    Whenever I’m at my doctor’s office, I regularly hear the chirruping and whirring of fax machines. Apparently the problem is that doctors use numerous different computer systems which, incredibly, are designed to be incompatible. The logic behind this is that, if it were easy to transfer medical records from one practice to another, people might be more tempted to change doctors, which wouldn’t be good for the doctors. After all, America has a for-profit healthcare system, so the more patients a doctor has, the more money he makes. As a result of this incompatibility, oftentimes the only way for a doctor to send data is to have it faxed, and for the recipient to type it in to the computer system, with predictable consequences for costs and data accuracy.

  • I thought the vast majority of Trumpers were going to top themselves (or “Move to Canada” as the euphamism goes) on the day after election of President Sleepy Joe Biden. (John Galt, October 13, 2020 at 11:44 am)

    Threats to move to Canada, Jupiter or some point between if the absurdity of a Trump 2016 win happened were made by famous left-wingers four years since. AFAIK, none of those who threatened to move did so (alas 🙂 ). The trend was mocked by the right rather than imitated. It’s (sad) news to me if that is no longer the case.

  • John

    If a single one of those celebs had promised to move to a non-white socialist country I would have been slightly more impressed.

  • Harry Lagman

    llamas

    “I hear of people who are moved up the ‘waiting list’ for a given service described as having ‘jumped the queue’ – as though heart surgery is equivalent to waiting for a bus, and they have committed a terrible social faux-pas for having the temerity to be so sick as to need treatment sooner”

    Whereas I think the tradition of NHS-worship in Britain is ludicrous, I’m not sure you’re hearing anything more than anecdote there. That sounds like a US stereotype of us drinking tea and being huffy about jumping the queue. (Of course, if we’re patiently waiting for a bus, and a noisy yank ignores the queue & just walks straight on, they might get a swift introduction to British culture. But that is mainly buses and the queue in Boots, and is anyway on the way out as being too much “cultural imperialism” for the Left here. We could probably tell white Americans to queue up nicely but if someone isn’t white.. Anyway the phenomenon has nothing to do with medical care)

    Of course people with life-threatening conditions are prioritised & treated faster. There’s a system for that and I don’t think anyone says “hey, why is that person getting a heart transplant when I’ve been waiting for my hernia operation for 8 months?”.

    Or they might do, because people on both sides of the Atlantic will say almost anything – but there isn’t any sympathy for them.

  • Caligari

    @John Galt, October 12, 2020 at 10:14 pm:

    I can’t work out whether this is meant to be sarcasm or literal truth explanation of “Difference”.

    The statement is true. You must pay for a “legally Insurance” (geseztliche Krankenversicherung) if you get money for work.

    And yes, I use a bit sarcasm

  • Paul Marks

    No S.D. – most American health care is not for-profit. More than half of spending is from the taxpayer now – and even the privately owned hospitals are mostly non profit.

    There are indeed doctors in private practice whose money comes directly from patients – not hospital corporations or insurance companies.

    If you get Covid 19 (or anything else actually) go to a private doctor (of good reputation) and pay them directly – if they do not cure their patients they do not get paid and they do not attract customers.

    In Britain, and increasingly in the United States, medics are interested in “Public Policy” (enforcing “Social Justice” – lockdowns, masks mandates, and so on) rather than curing individual patients. The British Medical Association regularly makes pronouncements on political matters – this is what they are interested in.

    The serf class are not going to get good medical care – not in Britain and not elsewhere either.

    The NHS is the future – not just in health care, in everything. And not just in Britain – everywhere.

    “Build Back Better”, “Sustainable Development”, “Stakeholder Capitalism” (no free competition – and OWNSHERSHIP unclear), Agenda 21 – Agenda 2030.

    This is not just the United Kingdom – it is all over the Western World. The Corporations (including medical ones) and government bureaucracies are coming together – freedom (or what little is left of it) is to be crushed.

  • Paul Marks

    The endless subsidies have totally messed up American healthcare – just as the subsidies to university tuition (the accused “student loans”) have massively inflated student tuition costs. But it is not just the insane subsidies (Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare) – it is also the endless regulations.

    Licensing came in the early 1900s (State after State – I forget what was the last one to fall) as did medicine licensing – both designed to inflate costs.

    Fraternities (adult fraternal associations – not student clubs) and individuals used to pay medical bills – but with World War II wage controls medical insurance became an employer thing (employers could not offer higher wages, they were not allowed to, but they could offer medical insurance).

    To get back to a free market in American health care is essentially impossible at this point – the system is so utterly twisted and inflated in its costs, that one would basically have to smash-the-system and start again.

    That need not mean Revolution – just go to a good private doctor and pay them directly PER MONTH or PER YEAR to cover you medical needs. If they have to refer you to a hospital that should be part of the deal. Of course that is where the old Fraternal Societies used to come in (to cover costs that would otherwise bankrupt individuals).

    Avoid the insurance companies and the government (if you can) – and the “private” insurance companies and the government are joined-at-the-hip in this “Build Back Better” Fascist (in the classical sense of the word “Fascist”) world.

  • Mr Ed

    I saw a sign today, in a village far away from London, something that I thought had existed but had long been banished, a sign that said ‘State Registered Hairdresser’, which I assumed was a holdover from long, long ago and that no one had got around to changing the sign, but after a bit of research I found that there is a Hairdressers (Registration) Act 1964 still in force, something I’d never noticed in over 25 years of legal work and study. Barbers being historically linked to surgeons, it would not have surprised me that our economy was once so highly regulated, but that there is a body established under statute called The Hair Council was profoundly dispiriting, even though it is currently entirely voluntary to be registered. At least there is not, in the UK, any requirement for registration for practice in this field, but that could easily come. I understand that in some American States, hairdressers and/or barbers require licences. I suspect that if someone told Johnson that we needed such licensing to be mandatory and universal to control the virus, he would make space for the amendments within days, and it would never disappear, that is the political culture in the UK.

  • If you are a qualified hairdresser who is striving to generate a positive reputation in your area, being able to promote yourself as a SRH (State Registered Hairdresser) will immediately tell clients and potential clients that you are a qualified, professional hairdresser.

    As a state registered hairdresser you will also receive advice and access to marketing materials to promote your status, a free copy of The Hairdresser magazine, discounts on insurance and an opportunity to become a Master Craftsman.

    You will also be added to our handy ‘find a hairdresser’ tool that helps consumers and clients looking for a skilled, local hairdresser to find registered professionals in their area.

    If you are qualified and have been working as hairdresser for at least two years, you can become state registered for as little as £35. Find out more about how you can be recognised as a fully- qualified professional hairdresser today – here.

    What a joke. You’ll notice that it was enacted under the auspices of the dying Tory Administration of Sir Alec Douglas Home in the Summer of 1964. Quite why there was the need for it I have no idea, but it’s a completely toothless body with voluntary registration and only those who become members are subject to its regulation. Definitely not a club I would wish to join.

    Our other key objective is to bring about a parliamentary debate followed by a statutory change so that all practicing hairdressers will need to be registered in order to work in the UK

    Quelle surprise! A bureaucratic regulatory body wants mandatory regulation. Because how can they have power and money if their scheme is only voluntary. They must have the power to be able to remove peoples livelihoods.

  • […] the current 3-tired restriction system, are surely examples of the folly of state central planning. As I have noted before, the National Health Service in many ways demonstrates the weaknesses of 1940s-era central planning. […]

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>