Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ObamaCare, the NHS and Socialism, oh my!

Posted by BigDog

Britain Dragged into ObamaCare Fight: NHS Under Fire

There’s a great deal of misinformation on both sides of the Atlantic. Anyone watching the TV news in Britain would think that opposition to ObamaCare was limited to a few swastika-waving crazies, led by Sarah Palin and funded by sinister “special interests.” There is little mention of “Blue Dog” Democrats, tort reform, Obama’s deal with the drug companies, or the fact that most Americans are happy with their health care. And the figure of “47 million uninsured” is trotted out daily, when the actual number of U.S. citizens who are long-term uninsured and who are genuinely unable to get coverage is probably closer to eight million.
That last really needs to made clear to more people. Its one of those facts that makes clear who in the debate are deceptive or ignorant. That is a lot of people, come to think of it.
The simple fact is that while neither system is as terrible as their detractors claim, both have undeniable flaws. And while we can trade facts, figures, and anecdotes all day, a couple of things are clear. The first is that the poor enjoy a generally better standard of care in the UK than in the U.S. The second is that Americans with decent insurance enjoy a better standard of care than most Brits — survival rates for all the major cancers are considerably better than in the UK, and screening and treatment for heart disease and other chronic conditions is more widely available.
Well, that is diplomatic.

Most of my information on the British medical system comes from British sources. To be fair, its hard to judge things from afar, but I am certain I don't want anything to do with either the Canadian or British or for that matter Japanese, European, or any other system. The problem in the US is not the medical care itself, but the methods we use to pay for it all.

Aside note: I have heard Daniel Hannan speak on a few occasions. He is articulate, well-informed and incisive. If only we had men of his caliber in the US congress. Its amusing that he would be on vacation - that is 'on holiday' for our British friends - when this 'row' kicked up.