January 19, 2011

Investors Business Daily: ‘UK Vs. ObamaCare’

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:06 am

Donald Berwick, Barack Obama’s recess-appointed head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, has just received a stinging rebuke from a country he praised as a model worth following in health care services delivery, as noted in an Investors Business Daily editorial last night:

In his speech, (UK Prime Minister David) Cameron noted he thought Britain was falling behind on health care. “In Shanghai, the average child is two years ahead of a child here,” he said. “In Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Austria or, interestingly, Poland, you are less likely to die once admitted into hospital after a heart attack than you are in the U.K.”

During an interview with BBC Radio 4′s Today program, Cameron went farther, saying, “I don’t think we should put up with a second-rate — with coming second-best,” he said, quickly correcting himself. “We should aim to be the best.” Some consider it a gaffe. We consider it the honest truth, a rare moment of candor from a politician.

Dr. Donald Berwick, President Obama’s choice to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, has praised the NHS, whose horror stories of rationed services and medicines with sometimes fatal effects we have documented.

Berwick says: “Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional. Britain, you chose well.” Well, Dr. Berwick, Britain is having second thoughts.

We have a chance not to repeat the British mistake and stop the runaway train of nationalized health care before it leaves the station. We can repeal ObamaCare then replace it, adding real market reforms, like taking lawyers out of the operating room through malpractice reform, allowing insurance competition across state lines, and empowering health care consumers through health savings accounts or their equivalent.

This administration has a clear tendency to imitate socialists experiments which failed, the most obvious being its attempt to stimulate the economy through massive amounts of government spending. It stimulated nothing — not even employment.

Berwick may think he’s pursuing health care excellence, but the UK’s National Health Service has proven that a statist approach to health results in the achievement of the opposite. As with the stimulus, the stubborn use of previously failed policy prescriptions indicates that it isn’t about achieving excellence at all. It’s about increasing power and control over citizens’ lives.

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