NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


February 26, 2010

American health care is not British health care, at least not yet.  But if Democrats get their way, this country will rush to adopt a system much like the one that is killing people in Great Britain, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD). 

Democrats will say that what they have planned for U.S. health care is not a copy of the British system, though it's been held up by the left as the model for years.  But a nationalized health care system, no matter how it's tailored, will collapse like other socialist programs.  Government-run health care may at times look like it works, but it is unsustainable -- and deadly, says IBD. 

Consider the British hospital that was the focus of a recently completed independent inquiry: 

  • According to U.K. media reports, the review found that at least 400 and as many as 1,200 patients died from 2005 to 2008 because of poor care at Mid-Stratfordshire National Health Service Trust.
  • At the root of these grave troubles are hospital managers -- bureaucrats -- who, according to a Times of London report, "stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs." 

The 455-page report is packed with examples that should be the shame of the British health care system, says IBD.  It documents patient deaths due to what appear to be cases of neglect and misdiagnoses.  There are records of patients falling, developing infections, left sitting on toilets and not properly fed. 

The problems at Mid-Stratfordshire hospital are not isolated cases, says IBD.  Britain's system is plagued with similar problems.  Last year, the Guardian reported that up to 10,000 cancer patients were dying needlessly in the United Kingdom each year because their condition was diagnosed too late, according to research by the government's director of cancer services. 

Also in 2009, the Times said the health secretary ordered a probe into "claims that patients are dying due to poor care in at least 27 hospitals around the country." 

Source: Editorial, "Coming To A Hospital Near You?" Investor's Business Daily, February 26, 2010. 

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