THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
A message from the 1970s
A question

NHS exports

NHS to export death in a corridor.

The Daily Mash is being funny. But why not? The NHS already exported C.Diff and E.Coli around the world. In that context, isn't the idea of "exporting the NHS brand" rather flawed?

Humans are mortal, fragile and in many cases neurotic. There is an unlimited appetite for health care. Like it or not, it has to be moderated, either by pricing or rationing. I don't like that fact any more than the reddest socialist. I too wish there were unicorns frolicking in the streets and free health care for all regardless of wealth. Sadly there aren't and there isn't. I dislike pricing less than rationing however. Why? Because we have some control over how much money we earn, borrow or raise by charitable appeal and NONE at all over the decisions of bureaucrats. And because I don't want strangers to decide what treatment my family and I get based on their opinions of us or our life-style choices.

A national health service begins by nationalising service provision but ends by nationalising our bodies.

I understand the desire to provide universal health care. I think it's a bad idea, but if we democratically decide that we must have the state ensure it, let's at least have some regard to the strengths and weaknesses of government. Let it make health insurance compulsory and regulate it prevent companies from excluding whole categories of people. Let it prevent insurers from refusing to cover pre-existing conditions for more than, say, 1 year so that people can change companies to ensure competition. Let it even prevent deviation from a given pricing curve band over age set by actuaries without otherwise limiting overall prices. Then, if we must, let it tax to provide through social security for the premiums of those who genuinely can't afford to pay. Some variation, in short, of the French model.

But don't, for the sake of our health, our freedom and our relationship with our medical service providers, let it employ doctors and nurses or own hospitals. After all, that's a concept which, despite the British people's delusion that the NHS is "the envy of the world" hardly anyone has chosen to emulate.