British Struggle Over Health Care Reform


It’s no secret that British national health care is something out of a nightmare. While the anguish continues for patients, politicians are experiencing their own horror show when it comes to trying to do something about it. Reform is necessary, but the debate rages on about what to do about it. According to The Independent, Prime Minister David Cameron is committed to moving to privatization of services. But when dealing with massively bloated bureaucracies, things get messy.

There are few things upon which everyone agrees about Andrew Lansley’s hated Health and Social Care Bill. But they do agree on this: no one wants it.

Not even Andrew Lansley. Not really. His original vision of the Health Secretary being released from day-to-day responsibility for the NHS, GPs in control as competition let rip – that’s all gone. In its place rests a piece of legislation amended some 2,000 times, expanded to more than 450 pages, so complex and multifarious that even Heath Robinson might struggle to unpick its component parts. “This is not even what Lansley set out to do,” admits a ministerial friend, wearily.

The Bill will take another kicking in the House of Lords tomorrow when government insiders expect to suffer up to a dozen defeats, though none of them fatal.

And yet still David Cameron insists it must go on. Despite three members of his own Cabinet briefing against it – and Mr Lansley – the Prime Minister will this week make another attempt at selling a cure to a public unconvinced that the patient is really ill. Expect a sleeves-rolled-up visit to a hospital. But don’t expect him to wash his hands of a project which, rightly or wrongly, could cost him the next election.

Almost two years in the making, the once eye-catching plan to take the axe to the NHS’s bloated bureaucracy and hand power to family doctors has become a metaphor for Mr Cameron’s worst failings as Prime Minister – lack of attention to detail, a hands-off management style, misplaced loyalty to old friends and a deep-rooted belief that shouting at the Despatch Box will silence one’s critics. …

Read the whole thing. This is our future if Obamacare isn’t repealed or overturned by the Supreme Court.

Via Doug Ross, who notes “Because government-run health care can’t work, won’t work and hasn’t ever worked in all of human history.”