The National Health Service of Great Britain is the granddaddy of socialized medicine. We had no complaints when we were in England during the early seventies. But then, although opposed to the omnipresent miners and postal workers strikes, we were naive and about to emerge from leftism like a diver from the deep at the surface finally able to breathe fresh air. The NHS, single-payer to usns in the US, the very model of an entitlement never to be reformed or abolished, started by the Labour government in 1948, reminds us that whenever government talks of ‘free,’ there will be shortages and a substantial cost. The only question is who will bear that cost.
The last few years there have been many reports of patients dying on gurneys in British hospital corridors, the victims of mismanagement of local hospitals, which in turn derives from the faulty design of the NHS. No matter where designed or implemented, central planning governing the allocation of scarce resources will fail. Just as there was a shortage of toilet paper in the Soviet Union and now in Venezuela, so now the NHS cannot handle the burden of excessive demand for too few resources. In short the NHS has gobbled up most of the available resources in the UK treasury, just like Medicaid in many states.
What is the answer? Horrendously, it is to cut back on elective services to the obese and smokers. Details here. We can only ask who will be next. Climate-change skeptics? Believers in traditional marriage? For the US, will the failure of Obamacare lead to single-payer? Do we have the political will to prevent this from happening? We pray that we do.
Troglo (L. H. Kevil)