Socialized Healthcare: Up Close and Personal

NHSby Patricia L. Dickson   6/3/14
Since I have relocated to the United Kingdom (via my current employer), I have had an opportunity to witness the effects of Socialized Healthcare. England’s National Health Service (NHS) was born July 5, 1948. The intent of the NHS was to provide good free health care services to all. These health services were to be financed entirely from taxation (citizens pay according to their means). From what I have learned from the English citizens concerning the NHS (I am eligible for the free service simply by being a current resident), the beginning implementation appeared to be accomplishing what it was intended to do (i.e., good free healthcare for all).

However, the British Government did not foresee a healthcare service where the non-tax payers (people on government benefits i.e., welfare) outnumber the taxpayers. More non-tax payers utilizing the free health service appeared as an unintended consequence. Another unforeseen consequence of the free for all healthcare was the influx of immigrants coming into the United Kingdom for the benefit of free healthcare (some visit long enough to get the free service and then go back to their country of origin).

Due to a chronic lack of funding, the NHS is about to reach its breaking point. The current state of the NHS is rife with reports of poor service and incompetent staff (including doctors and nurses). Some of my British associates have recounted their recent encounters with the NHS. An Archeologist in my History and Art social group was schedule for much-needed back surgery for the last week of April of this year. He was to be bedridden for at least a couple of weeks following the surgery. I was surprised to see him at our monthly gathering the first Saturday in May. I asked him how his surgery had gone. He told me that a couple of days before he was scheduled to go in for his surgery, he received a call saying that his surgery had to been canceled because the bed was needed for someone else. The hospital informed him that he had been rescheduled for the last week of May. He was not given a definite date. There is a limited supply of hospital beds in the NHS. If an individual is scheduled for a surgery and someone else comes into the hospital with a more serious injury or condition, the bed is given to that other individual and the first person’s surgery will be pushed back to another date. Some people have been waiting for months for much-needed surgeries.

My British neighbor (whom I have grown quite fond of) is a retired nurse that worked for the NHS for over forty years. The state of NHS became personal for me when she developed a throat condition. After she saw her general practitioner concerning her condition, he referred her to an ear, nose and throat specialist. She was not given a definite date to when she would be able to be seen by a specialist; she had to wait until she was contacted to go in and be seen. An ear, nose and throat specialist did not see my neighbor until about two weeks later. The only reason she was seen then was that someone else had canceled an appointment.

In the meantime, she was in a lot of pain, she could not talk for significant lengths of time without losing her voice, and she suffered with bouts of chronic fatigue. I was quite concerned for my neighbor and friend, so every day after work I would run over to visit her or call her on the phone to see if she had been contacted and given an appointment. One day she sensed my frustration with the way the NHS was handling her situation and said to me, “it’s not like in America.” She admitted that quality healthcare is more accessible in America.

She often recounts how a dear friend of hers had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The doctors in the NHS had told her friend that her prognosis was grim. Her friend, whom she described as not one to give up, began searching the internet and read about the amazing results in America using a new (at that time) chemotherapy called TAXOL. Her friend (whom she describes as wealthy) immediately contacted the company and offered to pay for the treatment if they would just give her a chance. It so happened that the company (TAXOL) was just beginning to start trials here in Britain and told her that if she were willing to be a guinea pig, they would provide the chemotherapy treatments for free. She underwent treatments at her local hospital. After a number of sessions of chemo, she was scanned and the gynecologist was amazed at the results. My neighbor’s dear friend lived an additional fifteen years (she later died from an illness unrelated to cancer). She (my neighbor) said that without TAXOL, her friend would not have had the best 15 years of her life.

Many have noted that the current VA scandal that is taking place right before our very eyes is an example of Government-run healthcare. I often wonder what possesses our President and the Democratic Party to want to mess up a good healthcare system. Liberals and the media (I repeat myself) often tout how well socialized healthcare is working over here in the UK and Europe. Very few, if any, have actually witnessed first-hand the effects of it. The liberals’ claim of wanting to ensure that everyone has access to free healthcare is not what they really want. Along with single payer, I personally believe that the intent of President Obama and liberals is to punish the evil rich doctors.

On August 11, 2009, President Obama slightly let the cat out of the bag at a town hall meeting while promoting Obamacare, when he alluded that doctors are reimbursed more for amputating a foot rather than working with a diabetic patient to ensure he/she is exercising and eating a proper diet. Liberals are so blind with jealousy that they can only see the amount of money one makes rather than the positive contributions resulting from the service or product that one supplies.
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PatriciaDicksonPatricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner. She can be reached at dicksonpat@sky.com. • (1606 views)

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13 Responses to Socialized Healthcare: Up Close and Personal

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Dealing with posting all these fine articles often precludes me from actually finding the time to read them. I hope to read this one soon because this kind of personal, on-the-spot reporting by quote “average” citizens (Patricia is obviously quite above average) is what it’s going to take to change the minds of Americans (and Westerners) about socialism, Marxism, “Progressivism” and all the organized lies of the Left.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    I’ve heard a lot of horror stories from NHS in various (mostly conservative, of course; liberals don’t like them for obvious reasons) sources. There are several problems in the system. One, as with the VA, is simply callous incompetence/ corruption (it can be hard to see how much of either is involved). Another is inherent in any healthcare system run politically. For example, is it better to put money into dialysis machines, or free tranquilizers? Well, far more people will benefit from the latter, and those who would benefit from the former (and will die painfully instead) mostly will be unaware of why they’re suffering. So naturally politicized healthcare does what they expect to gain the most votes.

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    The best, or worst, story I have heard about socialized medicine had to deal with the record setting heat wave which hit France a few years back. Something like 10-15,000 people died, mainly the elderly, as all the doctors were on vacation (it was August) and would not attend to patients. Coming soon to a clinic near you.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I seem to recall mentioning this in my recent article on global warming. Even with that gross dereliction, there were more deaths from cold than heat that year in Europe. It also indicates how medicine has been so corrupted, even earlier than the Terri Schiavo case (which is why I decided never to sign the organ donation request on my driver’s license: I now think that the movie Coma is no longer fiction).

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I have long wondered why opponents of Obamacare did not make use of this information. To let elderly patients die in the thousands because doctors didn’t want to return from vacations is amazing. Or was it that the hot weather acted as a de facto “death panel” which the government was happy to let “decrease the surplus population..”?

        I hadn’t heard about the number of deaths due to the cold, but it makes perfect sense.

  4. NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

    “I personally believe that the intent of President Obama and liberals is to punish the evil rich doctors.” Unquestionably, Patricia, that is part of it. But in the most general terms, the purpose of Obamacare is the collectivization of health care, that is, control of health care is to be removed from a free people and placed in the hands of government officials. A secondary benefit is to recruit more Democratic voters, for those who live at taxpayer expense will always vote for the Party of the State. That is why it is so difficult to free up health care systems that have been socialized and are now obvious failures, such as the NHS in Britain – too many voters work for NHS, other government agencies, or government-affiliated unions.

    It should also be understood that it isn’t demographics – too many users and not enough taxpayers – that dooms the quality of medicine under NHS. No amount of taxpayers will ever be enough given the inherent inefficiency of government-run industries and the removal of price signals in a free market. The enslavement of the doctors and the consequent destruction of medicine are yet other factors that should be kept in mind. But this was a good glimpse into the everyday realities of the long delays (often fatal) experienced by patients under socialized medicine.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Great points, Nik.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The mention of employees (as well as beneficiaries) is an important point easily overlooked. One of the major purposes of Lyndon the Bane’s “Great Society” was to link much of the middle-class into the welfare state by enlisting them as workers (I wonder when colleges started offering majors in social work). His fear was that if he merely sent out checks (like George McGrovel’s proposed demogrant program in 1972) to the poor, only the beneficiaries would support it — and that wouldn’t be enough.

  5. Steve Lancaster says:

    If you want to see the sad results of government run healthcare visit a reservation that does not have a casino. There is a reason that Indian tribes that acquire money built health clinics first.

  6. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Liberals are so blind with jealousy that they can only see the amount of money one makes rather than the positive contributions resulting from the service or product that one supplies.

    Also called “covetousness.” 🙂 I’ve never believed that there are good intentions behind socialism although there are plenty of useful idiots and uninformed people who buy into the superficial marketing. The official marketing slogan of socialism is “fairness” and “caring.” But the true heart of socialism is grievance, covetousness, and power (of the ruling party or class who tries to implement this decrepit system).

    Socialism is also the result of a particular materialistic world view. A terrific read is Marvin Olasky’s The Tragedy of American Compassion. In short, the entire idea of how to help other human beings was changed in the mid-to-late 19th century from a moral emphasis to a purely material one. (The drunk wasn’t a drunk because of bad morals. He was a drunk merely because he was poor.) When we turned away from the idea of man as a creature molded predominantly by morals we (the “Progressives,” that is) turned him into a mere effect, a helpless cog in “society,” thus all that was needed was the right “system.”

    But Olasky explained that the true help most people needed was moral guidance. Socialism turns that on its head. Not only is man reduced to a mere material creature whose only purpose is to live as long and as comfortably as possibly. He is reduced to a moocher. The entire system of socialism — whatever industry it touches — incentivizes moocherism and punishes productivity. That is the true and inevitable cause of the harms, shortages, wastage, and degeneration caused by socialism.

    One can look at socialism from an economic perspective as well. Even if you don’t assume that moocherism is instigated by this system, what does happen is that you separate products and services from costs and this can’t help but lead to shortages and gross inefficiencies. Yeah, I have to admit that it sucks that it costs anything at all to obtain treatment and medicines. But we must live in the real world, not the fantasy world of socialists and “Progressives” who can just whisk away the realities by declaring their “good intentions” and the evil and “greedy” intentions of others who do not let go so easily of reality.

    The market works. The free market has done more to help people and bring down the price of medicines and treatments than any other force. But it is also true that some people get better health care than others, just like some people drive better cars than others or live in nicer houses than others. This is a fact we have to live with as a result of freedom (if we desire not being a cog in a master’s machine) and the basic law of economics (that is, of reality), for the attempts to do an end run around these realities (socialism) always lead to disaster.

    In effect, we must set aside our Kindergarten views of society and once again act like responsible and mature men and women. There is no utopia, although the potent forces of the free market are perhaps the closest we have come yet to such a thing. But the demagogues who promise “free stuff” will forever challenge the covetous human heart to stay on the straight and narrow, to realize that one must earn a living and a life for oneself or else forever be but a mere cog waiting for the state to tell you if you are to live or die.

    We need to man-up and give these socialists the heave-ho wherever we find them. And we must be brave enough to face down the inevitable insults and poisonous rhetoric from the utopianists (and especially from the moochers) who damn us for the supposedly evil act of facing reality and facing facts. And if one actually does want to help people, this is best done not by giving them “free stuff” but by giving them good moral lessons such as teaching people to earn what they want instead of mooching off of other people.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The clearest proof that the Left lacks the compassion they claim for themselves (an example of the psychological concept of reaction formation, which is the flip side to projection for liberals) is their education policy, which is designed to leave poor minority students with inadequate education (at a heavy expense to everyone else, in more ways than one). This forces them into the leeches-and-sheep coalition both because they can’t afford not to be leeches and they don’t have the training not to be sheep.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        “Compassion” is such an ill-used, even over-rated, term these days. The Democrats and the Left have poisoned the life out of the word, as they have done to so many others.

        But their marketing is so far working. Marketing 1, Reality 0.

  7. David Ray says:

    John Stossel has another good book called “No They Can’t”.
    He has a chapter devoted to Osamacare and it contains many profound examples. One is how the wait for dental care in the U.K. is so long that a few used simpler methods . . .

    Vodka and pliers. (that’s no joke, by the way.)

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