Tammy Bruce: The fraying edges of universal health care


If you’re wondering what Democrats have in mind when they tout “Medicare-for-all,” look no further than England. There are more reports of the U.K.’s National Health Service collapse, this time featuring horror stories of rationing care for the elderly. Doctors are now sounding alarm bells that seniors with cataracts are going blind as they wait for surgical approval.

The Guardian reported, “Patients who are losing their sight are being forced to wait for months before having eye cataracts removed because of NHS cost-cutting. … The NHS has imposed restrictions on patients’ access to cataract surgery in more than half of England. … The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) condemned the rationing as shocking. It warned that not treating people with cloudy vision risks them falling and breaking bones, thus costing the NHS more.”

Last year, The New York Times reported some people in England were waiting for 12 hours to be seen in emergency rooms.

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“Some doctors took to Twitter to vent their frustrations publicly. One complained of having to practice ‘battlefield medicine,’ while another apologized for the ‘3rd world conditions’ caused by overcrowding,” the newspaper reported.

This is what happens when “the government” is paying for health care — people become the budget. Inevitably, the individual becomes nothing more than a budget item to be deemed worthy … or not.

In England, rationing is established by NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), which determine which procedures have “value.” As an example, “Of the 195 NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England, 104 now include cataract removal on their list of ‘procedures of limited clinical value,’ according to research by the Medical Technology Group.”

Many CCGs have determined hernia repair is no longer something patients can automatically have, while dozens have declared knee and hip replacements as also not necessarily possible, the Guardian said.

Why does a civilized Western country deliberately allow thousands of its citizens to go blind? Julie Wood, chief executive for NHS clinical commissioners, explained to the Times of London: “The NHS does not have unlimited resources. Ensuring patients get the best possible care against a backdrop of spiraling demands, competing priorities and increasing financial pressures is one of the biggest issues clinical commissioners face.”

For Democrats to continue to promote something we know will destroy lives is unconscionable. We have watched the disaster of nationalized health care in England unfold. But liberals can’t help themselves, and know the only way to guarantee massive government and control over our lives is to control our access to health care.

Health insurance, especially when completely controlled by the government, isn’t about who gets health care, it’s about who doesn’t. It is the ultimate in population control.

In February, more than 100 Democrats in the House of Representatives were very excited to reveal their “Medicare-for-all” legislation, but, of course, without a price tag.

“The bill, co-sponsored by just over 100 House Democrats, doesn’t include specific proposals for financing the new system, which analysts estimate would cost tens of trillions of dollars over a decade,” Politico reported.

“The proposal calls for a two-year transformation of Medicare into a universal single-payer system, eliminating nearly all private health plans. … ‘The state of our health care system is absolutely atrocious,’ [the lead sponsor, Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal,] told reporters … ‘We believe that the market is broken, and that is the core idea here — that we’re trying to fix it.’ “

It is broken, thanks to the very same people now insisting they’ll fix it. Democrats insisting that nationalized health care is the answer to their ObamaCare debacle is the equivalent of sending the Hindenburg to rescue the passengers of the Titanic. But what else would we expect from the “You can keep your doctor and policy” crowd as they lied to you about your premiums going down?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice …

One patient in England, a construction worker, complained to The New York Times of his daily fresh NHS hell: “Patients have accused hospitals of putting them at risk. ‘I learned about the new set of deferrals from the news, but if I receive a notification, it will be the third time my operation is postponed,’ Graham Groves, a construction worker, said as he sat in a cafe at St. Mary’s Hospital. ‘This is a disgrace. We injure ourselves while working to pay our taxes, and the government just leaves us to suffer.’ “

Nationalized health care is a scourge only for the poor, middle-class and disenfranchised. The rich always have options. An important reminder comes courtesy of Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger. He went for a checkup prior to his upcoming tour, and doctors found a heart valve problem requiring immediate surgery. Did the famous British singer have his surgery in England? No, he traveled to New York for the lifesaving medical care.

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CNS News reported on comments made by Chris Jagger, the singer’s brother, “Speaking with Sunday People magazine, Chris Jagger, 71, said, ‘Mick is doing OK. I spoke to him — he’s good. It just showed up on a scan so it could happen to anybody, you know. … With Mick it came on a checkup. I’ve had a few health issues. At least he has not got to wait in line for the NHS.’ “

Indeed. Too bad the construction workers, and all the not-rich-and-famous of England, still do.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY TAMMY BRUCE

THIS COLUMN ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE WASHINGTON TIMES



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