UK Tories launch quiet inquiry into privatising the NHS

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He’s not. He’s just Lord Prior (more precisely, Lord Prior of Brampton: Lord Prior is his father; father and son are both life peers). “Lord David Prior” would be the younger son of a duke or marquess (viz Lord Peter Wimsey, Dorothy L. Sayers’ detective hero).

Or even better, ignore the whole Disneyesque title nonsense and simply call him David Prior.


Some peers are referred to as X Y Lord Z, and Hansard will record their votes and debates as “Lord Z”.

In this case. it’s X Y, Lord Y of Z. It’s not a matter of ignoring the “proper protocol”. It’s a matter of ignoring the public record.

Well, the second report on Boingboing today of exotic slugs.


I’ve always been fascinated by that woolsack pillow.

They mention the idea of sending everyone an itemised bill each year, to show how much they’ve cost the NHS, in much the same way as Jeremy Hunt (apparently that’s the correct spelling) wants to put the price on prescriptions.
When this was announced, many people were up in arms about it, but personally I think it’s a good thing.
Right now people take the NHS for granted, and complain that we have to pay the £8.20 for a prescription. However, if you knew that your £8.20 prescription charge is buying you £10 of medicine would you not be pleased?
If you knew that (for example) your uncle with Down Syndrome, who’s been in and out of hospital all year with heart problems had cost the NHS thousands of pounds, but that he and your family had been charged nothing, would you not be incredibly grateful to the NHS?
The tories should go further, on your prescription should be the cost to the NHS, and also the average cost you’d be likely to pay if you lived in the US. If people knew what an incredible deal we are getting I think they’d be even more in favour of the NHS.


Destroying a village in order to protect it.

You’re going to have to make the paper your receipts is printed on a lot wider in that case.


The world’s most beloved healthcare system


Many countries’ health care systems were more liked by their citizens in the most recent EU Eurobarometer survey, including Belgium (97%), Austria (96%), Malta and Finland (both 94%).

The NHS is valued - it scored a respectable 85% - but is far from universally loved.

Other surveys report similar outcomes.

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Brits also love to complain about the NHS. Unless they’ve ever lived in the US.

But I also know Americans who have lived in the UK and experienced the NHS and pined for the US system. Stockholm syndrome? (or really good coverage in the US beforehand?)


This makes perfect senses. The US doesn’t have a national system – it has a pastiche of commercial systems underpinned by the two of the largest nationalized health care systems in the world: Medicare and VA/TriCare.

For people in the cushy parts of the US health care system, the US system is fantastic. I love my private insurance.

For the many, many people who don’t have reliable access to large swathes of the US “system”, the situation can be downright Dickensian.

I would guess Americans working in the UK generally had good employer plans back in the US, and relatively few ex-pats are drawn from those Obamacare is trying to help.


I think the quality of care if you have good insurance is excellent, and getting operations etc is much quicker than it is on the NHS.

I don’t like getting billed for ambulances, or being told the ER doctor wasn’t in my insurance’s network even though the hospital that employs them is, and I don’t like having to meet a deductible every year, or paying a co-pay every time I see a doctor for anything.

Or having to worry about healthcare if I lose my job or move jobs (what if I become too sick to work?).

I really don’t get it - employers don’t like paying for their employees healthcare, I get that. So why not get behind a national insurance system to pool costs?


oh boy. that’s a great observation. Yes, – employers would love to get out of the health insurance business. That is why some many otherwise Republican corporate lobbying groups never did more than give lip service to repealing Obamacare.

But look what happened when Walmart tried to move its part-time employees to Obamacare.

People are really irrational about this stuff. My mother, who has a list of pre-existing conditions inches-thick, opposed obamacare, because she was terrified of the change. Even though she was already on medicare at the time…

The history of how employers got stuck paying health insurance is convoluted and sprang from large employers exploiting loopholes WWII wage control regulations. Noone ever meant to have this “system.”

Obamacare is explicitly designed to slowly erode away employer incentives to pay for health insurance. This change is coming, but oh boy, will come slowly.


As someone who spent a long time working in the NHS, it was always my perception that successive NHS “reforms” were always less about reform than reconfiguring the service to make it easier to sell off at some future date.

If the NHS is run down enough, the general public will start to look to private finance to “save” the system. If the services are nicely compartmentalised by that point, it becomes easy to “do what the public wants” and sell off to large healthcare corporations. Instant profit, if you’re a corporation, an investor or an MP looking to get a job on the Board …


[quote=“bizmail_public, post:11, topic:61890, full:true”]
I would guess Americans working in the UK generally had good employer plans back in the US, and relatively few ex-pats are drawn from those Obamacare is trying to help.[/quote]
Exactly right. I’ve lived under both extremely good US systems and under the NHS, and while on balance my US care was probably a tiny bit better, it is not a reasonable standard of comparison. Overall I was pretty impressed with the way the NHS functioned, the times we needed it it was there for us with no long waits or other issues.

It’s redundant to say so, really, but I hate the Tories.


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