U.K. on ObamaCare: Been There; Done That

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address comes to mind. In the art of persuasion, it’s often most effective to paint in brief, colorful strokes.

A savvy reader with the handle "Jerseyvet" made an incisive observation after perusing my latest column concerning Obamacare:

"Start out with the premise that the demand for health care is infinite, but the supply is finite," he wrote. "So health care has to be rationed. I trust the market, unfettered by governmental restrictions, more than the government. The Canadian and British systems of health care reinforce my belief."

Jerseyvet – clearly one of those acerbate, "un-American" town hall "astroturfers" – has slung an arrow precisely through the heart of the matter.

Even Obama famously gaffed upon this weighty truth with his ill-advised postal services analogy on the free market vs. government care: "UPS and FedEx are doing just fine," he noted, "It’s the post office that’s always having problems." (Isn’t that precious? Seriously – did Joe Biden write that line?)

The president could have saved us all the trouble and just admitted: "Blue Cross and Blue Shield are doing just fine (with room for true free-market reform). It’s government health care that’s always having problems."

Fittingly, it was British statesman Edmund Burke who observed, "Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it."

Regrettably, unless "we the people" defeat liberals’ radical experiment in British-style health care, we’re destined to repeat the very dark history under which they (the Brits) presently live and needlessly die.

President Obama is on record: "I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care plan," he assured the AFL-CIO in 2003.

But Daniel Hannan – a popular British member of the European Parliament – recently warned us of what to expect should Obama’s vision come to fruition:

"If you want to see what a government-run health care system looks like, you need not look any further than the countries like Canada or Great Britain. They already have in place so-called universal health care, and the results, well, they’re not pretty."

And, as you’re about to see, with the words "not pretty" Mr. Hannan has secured his spot in the "morose understatement hall of fame."

The following headlines from Britain’s three leading newspapers, the Times, the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, bear out Mr. Hannan’s ominous warning. Most of these stories are from 2009 and address the U.K.’s version of Obamacare (Britain’s "National Health Service," or "NHS".)

For a sobering exercise in reality, simply replace "NHS" with "Obamacare" everywhere it appears:

These headlines are the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds more just like them with very real people and very real lives behind each.

Make no mistake: If we don’t sink this Obamacare Titanic before it sets sail, we become the headline.

We needn’t speculate. History is our crystal ball.

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  • c-kingsley

    And yet, I hear that most Canadians and British Like their health care systems!

    “The government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.” (George Bernard Shaw)

    Yeah, the care may stink, but at least it’s free.

    The UK allows private care to coexist with the public. If you are still rich enough (after paying for everyone else’s health care), you can pay for good care for yourself. In Canada, just to be fair, they disallow private health care. You have to leave the country if you want good care today.

    I think there are enough “Paul”s around that this will go through. If we’re lucky there will still be some vestigial private health care system, like the private education system. This isn’t clear though. HR 3200 bans any new private health insurance policies. Yeah, “you can keep the health insurance you have now,” until they go out of business for lack of clients.

  • Joe DeVet

    Finally, an article which identifies socialized medicine per se, and not simply this or that toxic feature of Obamacare. We need to resist all forms of socialized medicine for the reasons given in the article, plus the ones offered here.

    One reason that socialized systems like Canada and the UK can succeed at all is that there is still a huge engine of health-care R&D in the world–namely, the part of US health care that remains in the free market. Incentives are still in place to make the investments which result in these advances. What is initiated here then is shared, in a way, with the rest of the world.

    However, take away this system, as Obamacare will do, and the whole world is stuck with a “system” which has no means of renewing and improving itself. Just consider what free-market R&D has done in the last 25 years to advance certain areas of surgery, cancer treatment, pharmaceutical development, and diagnostic tools.

    Socialized medicine will not only leave our children with another huge debt to be paid (like Social Security, etc), but will deprive them of the medical advances which could have been expected had the system remained in the free market.