Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Just in case you thought Hillary's ideas about healthcare might work in 2008

I remember decades ago a British friend of mine telling me that her mother was wheelchair bound, needed a hip replacement, and was on a 2 year waiting list. Apparently things in the UK haven't changed:

Middle class Scots are deserting the NHS in unprecedented numbers and taking out private health cover, Scotland on Sunday can reveal. Fears over lengthy waiting lists and the poor state of some hospitals have fuelled a 60% increase over three years in Scots paying for private medical insurance, and the number is expected to pass the half million mark within months. Industry figures obtained by this newspaper show that more than 1,000 Scots a week are quitting the NHS, and the rate is accelerating despite billions of pounds of extra investment. Health experts and opposition politicians said the figures amounted to a damning vote of no confidence in the system by affluent Scots who were not prepared to wait months to see a consultant.
I will say, though, that I think there is a happy medium between a dysfunctional national health service and expensive private care and that medium is the Kaiser model. By paying their physicians fixed wages, and by having the group purchasing power (a) to own expensive equipment and (b) to buy meds in bulk, Kaiser is a model of efficiency. However, if the government were to mandate the Kaiser model, and if the government were then to take the next logical step and manage the Kaiser model, the Kaiser model would swiftly be as useless as Britain's decrepit NHS. The market itself has to figure out how to move to the Kaiser model for it to work.