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**Posted by Phineas
However much apologists for Obamacare try to deny it, the rationing of care is inevitable as the government tries to control costs by controlling what care one can receive — deciding whether the patient truly needs it or if it’s worthwhile at all to administer it. As usual, Britain, which has had the single-payer National Health Service for roughly 60 years, shows us what lies in our future if Obamacare isn’t repealed: sick people begging for private care:
GPs believe the numbers of patients asking about paying for operations including cataract removal and joint replacements has increased markedly in the last year, according to a poll.
Dr Clare Gerada, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said it was “incontrovertible” that increased NHS rationing was behind the increase in going private, a trend she described as “very sad”.
The poll, carried out by ComRes for the firm BMI Healthcare, found that 70 per cent of GPs are now unable to refer a patient for further treatment on the NHS at least once a month because they do not qualify under local criteria.
Primary care trusts (PCTs) have increasingly been restricting access to treatments including cataract removals, hernia operations and hip and knee replacements, by raising the threshold of how ill or disabled a patient has to be.
The principal reason behind increased interest in “self-pay” healthcare is treatments no longer being available on the NHS, according to the poll, with 66 per cent of GPs citing this.
It may be “sad,” per Dr. Gerada, but it’s also the inevitable result of trying to impose top-down “command economics” on what should be a free market for goods and services and to treat a commodity, medical care, as a natural right. Mandated cost-controls, whether done directly through price schedules or indirectly through rationing, simply don’t work: costs still go up (they’re just hidden from sight) and require further controls, and the quality of service declines — or vanishes altogether, as this article shows.
And unless Obamacare is repealed in the next few years, we’re going to be joining our British cousins in the hunt for private doctors — if any can be found.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)