Your future under Obamacare: longer waits, less efficient treatment

**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 – an increase of 26% – 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 – 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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