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View Diary: Let's talk National Health Service (31 comments)

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  •  I think the most startling argument that was (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, samddobermann, bluedust

    advanced for the NHS was the realisation that the civilian population at the end of World War 2 was healthier than the population that entered the war 6 years earlier! Like so many things British - they stumbled into this in the process of preparing a population for war that was going to come home with a vengeance.

    Nobody who had fought the Germans for four years in World War 1 was under any illusion what was ahead if Britain declared war on Germany, so the government fanned out in 1938 to see how the English countryside would handle mass evacuation from one of the largest cities in the world - London.

    What they found was the same rubbish system the US had/has - a polyglot mix of private hospitals, charity hospitals and fee for service medicine. Over the course of the war, during multiple evacuations, the government stepped into manage facilities to some minimum standard. They also began earnest efforts at primary care, and rationing had the unexpected consequence of ensuring that everyone had a decent minimum of food.

    By the end of the war the British realised they had arrived at a very good outcome - and Churchill utterly failed to understand this. He campaigned against the idea of the NHS and socialism and lost badly. The British people had fought for a lot better than a return to Tory rule.

    •  The key thing in your great (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluedust, detroitmechworks

      comment, islandchris, was that the British built their  system and hired the people during the war  — they basically just had to continue it. It is infinitely harder to build a system than to stop from divesting yourself of one.

      And, as you said, people getting lots of primary care — and not excess care — were a lot healthier.

      That's what Berwick who Obama appointed to head CMS — Medicare was all about. That is why the Community Health Centers are such a very important part of the ACA.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:14:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just wonder why we have political will... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        To spend billions killing people, but not one dime for health care.

        It may be hard to build such a system, but we're talking the country that went to the moon in less than ten years.  

        We can, and should do great things, just requires that we actually step up and do them.

        I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

        by detroitmechworks on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:04:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Our federal government already spends (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          detroitmechworks, glorificus

          more on health care per citizen than any other national government on the entire planet.

          We just don't get good value for money.

          •  Kinda like we don't get good value for our war (0+ / 0-)


            Kinda interesting how the same problems are there.  Contractors who artificially inflate the prices, and get paid for services we really don't need but sound good.

            And you're right about the ludicrous amounts of spending.  I was not being fair.  I should have said, nothing for long term.

            I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

            by detroitmechworks on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:57:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The community health centers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        detroitmechworks, glorificus

        have been around for a long time, but Obama wants to expand the system and the hours of operation of the centers.

        •  That's a small step in the right direction (0+ / 0-)

          but then we need to take another, and another, and another....

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:25:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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