Socialized Medicine Anyone?

When it comes to health care, I want a system that provides high quality care at a reasonable price with significant patient choice.  (The pre-Obamacare American one was far from the ideal.)  Then there are Left-wingers like Bill Maher who abandon reason and worship at the altar of single-payer health care, as exemplified by the English National Health Service (NHS).

I have shocking news for Mr. Maher.

In July, the talented researcher Sir Brian Jarman, of Imperial College London, reported that 14 English hospitals were responsible for 13,000 unnecessary deaths between 2005 and the present.  He went on to accuse the government of creating a "denial machine" that ignored his data for a decade.  "The government was in the position of providing the health service and monitoring it:  a conflict of interest.  Ministers have an electoral interest in getting out good news."

This last week the other shoe dropped.  Sir Brian announced that he had completed a study of hospitals in seven developed countries.  His findings:  American are the best, and English the worst.  There are various reasons for the poor performance:  the government in general, and the NHS in particular, ignore the complaints of whistle blowers and patients; the elderly are given short shrift; there are long waits for some crucial appointments; and cancer treatment is inadequate.  In a nutshell, death rates in English hospitals are 45% higher than in American.

We have been warned.


Scott Varland is an American lawyer residing in London, England.