Your future under Obamacare: longer waits, less efficient treatment

Posted by: Phineas on May 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm

**Posted by Phineas

One of the contentions of those opposing the effective nationalization of our healthcare system has been that the quality of care will necessarily decline as the government finds itself forced to introduce rationing to control costs. ObamaCare’s supporters reply with the only rejoinder they’ve got: “nuh-uh.”

The reason they’re left with nothing but denial as an argument is that the empirical evidence is against them. Back in 2009, reporter Jon Stossel discussed effective rationing via long wait times (1) in the Canadian single-payer system. This weekend, the left-wing Guardian newspaper brings us more evidence of rationing via waiting in Britain’s National Health Service:

NHS budget squeeze to blame for longer waiting times, say doctors
Latest performance data reveal number of English patients waiting more than 18 weeks has risen by 26% in last year

Doctors are blaming financial pressures on the NHS for an increase in the number of patients who are not being treated within the 18 weeks that the government recommends (2).

New NHS performance data reveal that the number of people in England who are being forced to wait more than 18 weeks has risen by 26% in the last year, while the number who had to wait longer than six months has shot up by 43%.

In March this year, 34,639 people, or 11% of the total, waited more than that time to receive inpatient treatment, compared with 27,534, or 8.3%, in March 2010 โ€“ an increase of 26% โ€“ Department of Health statistics show.

Similarly, in March this year some 11,243 patients who underwent treatment had waited for more than six months, compared with 7,841 in the same month in 2010 โ€“ a 43% rise.

Pro-socialized medicine (3) advocates can claim all they want that “it will be different here” or “we just need to make some adjustments,” but the truth is that the same will inevitably happen here: political pressure to save money will force the government to ration care via slower service and denial of care (4).

And this is why it is crucial to keep up the pressure to repeal ObamaCare, whether in one fell swoop or by “repeal by a thousand cuts.”

It’s bad policy, it’s bad medicine, and it’s got to go.

(1) Unless, of course, you’re an important government official who can jet off to the US for needed care whenever you want.

(2) 18 weeks is “recommended?” I can go to a doc tomorrow and, if I need a referral, I can see a specialist within 1-3 days. And the NHS is supposed to be an improvement over what we have now?

(3) Which is the desired end-state of ObamaCare, regardless of what they say in public. Just ask Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.

(4) Hmm… Kind of sounds like “death panels.”Nah. Only a chillbilly dummy would suggest something so stupid. Couldn’t ever happen.

via Dan Mitchell

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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5 Responses to “Your future under Obamacare: longer waits, less efficient treatment”


  1. Great White Rat says:

    Nothing new here. Just last month, James Taranto spotlighted a case (at the link, scroll down to “Great Moments in Socialized Medicine”) where an former director of the NHS died after waiting 9 months for an operation – at her own hospital, no less.

    Here’s my question: how does this (mis)administration expect to replace the thousands of doctors who plan to give up their practice once the full effects of Obamacare become effective? Short of locking the doctors up in federal medical camps where they’ll be forced to see patients 16 hours a day, they won’t. There will be longer wait times simply because there won’t be enough doctors to go around. And that’s BEFORE you add in the time-wasting delays that will be unavoidable once the people who run the USPS are put in charge of your health care.

  2. Carlos says:

    OK, we can get in to see the doctor within 3 weeks max now, and depending on the doctor and level of emergency, can usually get in to see him the same day.

    And ObamaCare is supposed to improve this…how?

    Oh, you say, the reason for ObamaCare wasn’t to make health care available faster, better or to more people, it was to make it less expensive!

    If that is the case, then why isn’t there one line in the 2100 pages+ that addresses the problem of excessive and increasing health care costs?

    Check it out. Not one line.

  3. tommy mc donnell says:

    it has already happenning to me now. i’m on medicare, my insurance company dropped my plan because of obamacare. my insurance coverage has been lowered, i’ve lost my cardiologist, i’ve been refused an MRI, i have a worsening shoulder condition for over a month and my treatment is take Advil.

    they are getting away with it because people don’t know its happenning. it ididn’t have this shoulder problem i wouldn’t know.

  4. Kate says:

    I had to wait over one month for my daughter to get in for her annual yearly physical examination. She’s angry because it will slow down her learner’s permit process. She thought we could just go to another doctor, but found out if you weren’t already a patient the wait was more like two months! So I just can’t wait to see what happens when Obamacare kicks in completely. If you are planning a family have your babies now, as soon as possible, as the OB/GYN’s will be having you wait in the waiting room for a long time each visit otherwise.

    We need more doctors….but who wants to become a doctor if they precieve the government will be setting the treatment plans?

  5. captaingrumpy says:

    National health has not worked in any country to which it has been introduced. It’s so unlike America to take on a plan that has been proven to be faulty. In Australia we can wait for a month to see a Doctor,BUT if you go private,you are OK.I am a Vet so my vet card Guarantees me private cover,I’m just lucky.