The stories regarding horrendous conditions within the British managed healthcare system are legion, and now comes the claim that the system is actually a pathway to death for the elderly. The issue of course, is that in a health system funded solely through taxation services always have to be rationed. So don’t take the article to mean that the British healthcare system is intentionally murdering people. yet at the end of the day thats precisely what its doing. When scarce resources have to be allocated, they’re more likely to be allocated to the young and that simply isn’t something we should contenence here in the United States.
While there are a litany of issues — severe and other wise — with the patch work of healthcare and insurance systems here in the U.S., I don’t want to see us march down the road of Britain like a bunch of lemmings either. We can do much better, and without consigning our elderly to the deathchamber of centrally managed healthcare. Foremost is controlling skyrocketing healthcare costs, which Obamacare doesn’t even begin to provide. The issue of ever increasing cost is a complex one with no single solution, yet the first step should be to enact Tort reform enabling Doctors and Hospitals to control their insurance costs. Those costs are passed along to each of us in turn, and doctors are forced to defensively order batteries of needless medical tests for no other reason than as insulation from possible future legal proceedings. The costs of which are also passed along to us all.
Secondly, Congress should enact cross state insurance pools, and allow insurance companies to sell insurance across state lines as well. Larger pools mean lower premiums, and that is never a bad thing. Third, the States and Congress should enforce existing laws, or enact them as needed to better regulate the industry and vet premium increases. There should be clear, convincing documentary evidence required for premium increases. And that simply isn’t my impression now. In most cases I’m a proponent of less regulation, but I believe the record is clear that in the healthcare insurance industry, the industry has failed to regulate itself. And that lack of self regulation has caused great harm.
Beyond controlling cost, the States and Congress also need to address egrgious industry practices that directly harm consumers. States and consumers need real teeth to combat those practices that can, and have lead to death or debilitation through lack of medical treatment. Examples of which are the well documented policies of insurance agencies to intentionally deny claims for non-medical reasons, and the intentional cancellation of consumer policies when healthcare claims are made. My sister-in-law is an example of this second practice. She lost her healthcare three years ago when she was diagnosed with a chronic illness. After nearly 20 years of maintaining healthcare insurance, and being in good health, the company refused to renew her insurance at the end of the term after submitting her claim. She was unable to find comparable coverage afterward that would cover her (pre-existing condition), and couldn’t afford the one policy that would. Practices such as these should come with very real consequences to the companies that practice them, and what’s more, can be done Constitutionally.
That Democrats have refused to discuss, let alone enact, many of the similar proposals Republicans have put forth over the last 20 years shows that the Obamacare is more about politics than it is about ensuring the health of American citizens. Obamacare will eventually lead to single payer system, with its inevitible rationing and treadmill to the “death panels” which Britain itself is experiencing.