07/17/2018

Why Does the Left Want Universal Health Care? Britain’s Is on Its Deathbed

The U.K.’s government-run healthcare system, the National Health Service, turns 70 this month. There’s not much to celebrate.

The NHS is collapsing. Patients routinely face treatment delays, overcrowded hospitals, and doctor shortages. Even its most ardent defenders admit that the NHS is in crisis.

Yet American progressives want to import this disastrous model. About one in three Democratic senators and more than half of Democratic representatives support single-payer health care.

. . . The NHS experienced these problems from the start. In its first year, the service went well over its budget. Prime Minister Clement Attlee even begged citizens not to overuse health services. Staff shortages, caused in part by low pay, have plagued the system for decades. The NHS started recruiting doctors en masse from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in the 1960s to address the issue.

Nevertheless, shortages persist. One in 11 NHS posts is currently vacant. Four in five NHS staff worry that these vacancies jeopardize patient safety. The NHS has among the lowest amount of doctors, nurses, and hospital beds than any country in the Western world on a per-capita basis, according to a report from the King’s Fund.

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