When the government pays for healthcare, and the money runs short, someone has to decide who does not get care. Thus, the beginning of death panels in Great Britain.
If you’ve been concerned about the fate of health care in the U.S., look across the pond.
Obese people will be routinely refused operations across the NHS, health service bosses have warned, after one authority said it would limit procedures on an unprecedented scale.
The plan is disclosed in a letter sent on 15 March by Dr David Black, NHS England’s medical director for Yorkshire and the Humber, to Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). In it, he praises the GP-led group that controls the NHS budget for treating the town’s residents for introducing what critics call “lifestyle rationing”, which compels dangerously overweight patients or those who smoke to wait for hip or knee surgery. “We are very supportive of your work to best manage resources for the benefit of all patients and understand that this may mean that difficult decisions need to be made,” Black wrote.
A subsidiary of the government-run British National Health Service has decided to bar not only obese patients but smokers as well from undergoing certain operations.
“I think we are going to see more and more decisions like this,” said Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers told The Telegraph. “It’s the only way providers are going to be able to balance their books.”
The British NHS and the U.S. VA are actually cousins. The British National Health Service and the U.S. Veterans Health Administration are two of the last remaining socialized health care systems in the world. That is to say, both systems have not only single-payer, government-run health insurance, but the government also owns the hospitals and employs the doctors.
NHS hospital leaders have decided to cut back by denying hip and knee surgeries to smokers who refuse to quit, and those with Body Mass Indices above 30. (If you’re 5’10”, a BMI of 30 is 209 pounds; if you’re 5’5”, it’s 180 pounds.)
The decision, described by the Royal College of Surgeons as the “most severe the modern NHS has ever seen”, led to warnings that other trusts will soon be forced to follow suit and rationing will become the norm if the current funding crisis continues.
“It’s the only way providers are going to be able to balance their books, and in a way you have to applaud their honesty. You can see why they’re doing this – the service is bursting at the seams.”
Smokers who refuse to quit will also have planned operations postponed for six months, but may be included on surgeons’ waiting lists earlier by proving they have given up for at least eight weeks.
The ban will not apply to cancer patients, or those with some conditions that could becoming life-threatening, or if exceptional circumstances can be shown. But how long will that last as money continues to dwindle?
The move has triggered a storm of protest, with ex-health minister Norman Lamb warning that condemning patients to long, painful delays for care is destroying the NHS’s fundamental principles and obliging those affected to pay for private treatment.
“This is yet more evidence of the creeping advance of rationing. Guidance based purely on medical judgment on weight loss is fine, but what is happening around the country goes well beyond that in practice. It will inevitably result in those people with money paying for speedy treatment, while everyone else is left waiting,” said Lamb, who is the Liberal Democrats’ health spokesman.
“We are seeing, bit by bit, the destruction of the solidarity that this country has been so proud of with the NHS – the idea that whatever your income or wealth, you get access to the care you need, in your hour of need,” he added.
Can’t say they were not told. Obamacare will lead to rationing as soon as the money gets tight as well. Here is your future folks.
Buried deep within Obamacare is a provision that takes away health care from you and your doctors, by taking away payment for critical health care that may be needed to save your life. It is called The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
The board will be independent of you, your doctors, your hospitals, Medicare, Congress, the judiciary, the democratic process, ultimately even the Constitution itself. As the Cato Institute tried to warn us five years ago, IPAB is “independent in the worst sense of the word: independent of Congress, independent of the president, independent of the judiciary, and independent of the will of the people.”
IPAB is to be composed of 15 unelected bureaucrats appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. But the board and its powers are so dangerous that even President Obama never made any appointments.
Starting next year, if Medicare spending is projected to grow faster than the rate of economic growth per capita plus 1 percentage point, IPAB is empowered to make a proposal that will cut Medicare spending at least to the targeted growth rate. IPAB will be proposing such Medicare cuts every year starting next year because historically, Medicare spending has grown every year by per capita economic growth plus 2.6 percentage points.
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