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Interesting document introducing health care reform to the British
Old 06-21-2011, 06:51 AM   #1
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Interesting document introducing health care reform to the British

In 1948 the UK went through it's own version of the Obamacare debate. The reform was far more radical in that it made doctors government contractors and paid for health care through taxation so that it was free at the point of service. For once describing it as "socialist" is actually accurate.

Today it remains the most cherished of UK institutions because it removes the major worries about access to care and having to deal with paperwork or come up with any money. The UK Government managed to boil it all down to a short information leaflet that makes interesting reading.

http://www.colchesterhospital.nhs.uk...aflet-1948.pdf
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:52 AM   #2
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Unless of course you need to have surgery or maybe you have cancer or need an expensive prescription. Hope you don't have Alzheimer's either. Maybe you enjoy paying a 20% VAT (recently raised from 17.5%) to enjoy "free" healthcare. Personally, I like my $100/month HSA plan much better than paying a 20% VAT.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:56 AM   #3
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Maybe you enjoy paying a 20% VAT (recently raised from 17.5%) to enjoy "free" healthcare.
I wasn't trying to compare the levels of taxation between the UK and US and the NHS is definitely not "free" it costs a lot of money, it's only free at the point of service. My main point in posting the NHS leaflet was that I liked the clear and concise way the scheme was explained and the simplicity of using it for the patient. Things were just simpler 60 years ago.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:18 AM   #4
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I wasn't trying to compare the levels of taxation between the UK and US and the NHS is definitely not "free" it costs a lot of money, it's only free at the point of service. My main point in posting the NHS leaflet was that I liked the clear and concise way the scheme was explained and the simplicity of using it for the patient. Things were just simpler 60 years ago.
Fair enough. At least they didn't need 2700 pages to explain it. 60 years of rules and regulations will do that...
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:52 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
I wasn't trying to compare the levels of taxation between the UK and US and the NHS is definitely not "free" it costs a lot of money, it's only free at the point of service. My main point in posting the NHS leaflet was that I liked the clear and concise way the scheme was explained and the simplicity of using it for the patient. Things were just simpler 60 years ago.
I appreciate the post. Reflexly dumping on every post that doesn't touch all points of view, give all criticisms is so tiring.

People just quit bothering to post anything of any degree of importance or possible controversy, since anything of importance can criticized. Sometimes ignorantly or gratuitously, but criticized for sure.

Ha
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:56 PM   #6
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I appreciate the post. Reflexly dumping on every post that doesn't touch all points of view, give all criticisms is so tiring.
The document is a product of the post WWII Labour Government and its wide eyed socialist optimism regarding the NHS. This has been slightly eroded over the years as costs have increased, but the vast majority of the British still support the founding principles of the NHS.

Aneurin Bevan, on July 5 1948, said the NHS was based on three core principles:
  • that it meet the needs of everyone
  • that it be free at the point of delivery
  • that it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay
The NHS is as much loved in the UK as it is despised in the US and the misty eyed tone of this BBC documentary nicely conveys how proud the British are of their health care system. This may well be an example of perception not lining up with reality as the NHS has some serious problems, but I also remind American friends of that when they claim that the US health system delivers the "best" care in the world.

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Old 06-21-2011, 04:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
The document is a product of the post WWII Labour Government and its wide eyed socialist optimism regarding the NHS. This has been slightly eroded over the years as costs have increased, but the vast majority of the British still support the founding principles of the NHS.






Aneurin Bevan, on July 5 1948, said the NHS was based on three core principles:
  • that it meet the needs of everyone
  • that it be free at the point of delivery
  • that it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay
The NHS is as much loved in the UK as it is despised in the US and the misty eyed tone of this BBC documentary nicely conveys how proud the British are of their health care system. This may well be an example of perception not lining up with reality as the NHS has some serious problems, but I also remind American friends of that when they claim that the US health system delivers the "best" care in the world.
Very interesting film. I think the combination of the post WW2 Labor government of Attlee and the political genius and committment of Mr Bevan were a fortuitous combination.

No doubt that some things could be better, and would be better if Britain spent a bit more on this very same NHS. As it is, spending much less per capita and as a % of GDP, the NHS buries the US in many indices of overall health.

Ha
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:50 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=dgoldenz;1082046]Unless of course you need to have surgery or maybe you have cancer or need an expensive prescription. Hope you don't have Alzheimer's either. Maybe you enjoy paying a 20% VAT (recently raised from 17.5%) to enjoy "free" healthcare. Personally, I like my $100/month HSA plan much better than paying a 20% VAT.[/QUOTE

I'm glad that you are happy with your health care in the U.S. You are among a minority, and people in the UK in general are happier with theirs than we are with ours.

Britain healthcare: British fear 'American-style' healthcare system - latimes.com
"Ask a Briton to describe "American-style" healthcare, and you'll hear a catalog of horrors that include grossly expensive and unnecessary medical procedures and a privatized system that favors the rich. For a people accustomed to free healthcare for all, regardless of income, the fact that millions of their cousins across the Atlantic have no insurance and can't afford decent treatment is a farce as well as a tragedy."
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
..........
Aneurin Bevan, on July 5 1948, said the NHS was based on three core principles:
  • that it meet the needs of everyone
  • that it be free at the point of delivery
  • that it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay
I wonder how this affected health insurance salesmen?
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:54 PM   #10
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Just curious is the 20% vat only for healthcare needs for the country, or is it used for another needs of the country too? As long as my tax refund from my HSA continues to more than cover the cost of my premiums, I am fine with our system. But the minute I need expensive medicines, surgeries, or premiums explode on me, I'm sure I will change my tune, pretty quick!
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:02 PM   #11
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VAT goes into the general fund. The NHS is paid for by general taxation. There have been some "creative" schemes to control short term costs where private companies build hospitals and lease them back to the Government, but those are not seen as being much of a success now.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:16 PM   #12
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I wonder how this affected health insurance salesmen?
They became surplus to requirements.

Actually private health care never went away in the UK and some people still have it as a supplement to the NHS for things like cosmetic surgery and if they want to get a procedure done more quickly. Some of the wealthy just don't want to be in the state system so they pay to go privately as well. They still have to pay for the NHS through taxation though.

The comment in the documentary when Bevan is said to have "stuffed their mouths with gold" referred to the senior doctors and surgeons, called Consultants in the UK, who's support he bought by letting them keep their lucrative private practices, along with giving them a nice Government salary.

In light of the descriptions of Obamacare as socialist it's interesting to note that the NHS was described as fascist and Bevan as a "medical fuhrer" by it's opponents.

BBC News | Special report | Making Britain better
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:55 AM   #13
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Actually private health care never went away in the UK and some people still have it as a supplement to the NHS for things like cosmetic surgery and if they want to get a procedure done more quickly. Some of the wealthy just don't want to be in the state system so they pay to go privately as well. They still have to pay for the NHS through taxation though.
Many companies provide HI as part of their benefits package. At least they used to - the 2 companies I worked for 79-85 and 85-92 provided HI that you you could use for elective surgery or to cut waiting time for needed surgery. There are many private hospitals in the UK. Before I started this 6 month vacation I checked with my US HI (BC/BS ) on coverage and if I or DW need hospital treatment there is a private hospital about 10 miles away that is in their plan.
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