As US healthcare delivery is in flux, an international surgeon dissects and scrutinizes the performance of “socialized medicine” in Britain vs the “free market” healthcare system in the US. The results are sobering. Lacking funds, resources and personnel, socialized medicine results in almost twice the death rate from breast and colon cancer and 50 percent higher mortality from “heart attack” (myocardial infarction).
The high intensity, fast paced US healthcare can presently afford such luxuries as aggressive intervention for cardiac disease, technology-laden surgical procedures and intensive screening for cancer. Meanwhile Britain’s cash-strapped NHS is over-stretched in keeping up with today’s emergencies, with precious few resources to avert tomorrow’s tragedies.
As the Affordable Care Act becomes a reality, US health care delivery takes a sharp turn leftward, following the same trajectory as Britain. Underfunded and overwhelmed, only seven of the original twenty-three health care co-operatives remain open, leaving the US taxpayer with a $1.7 billion dollar bill, and almost one million Americans uninsured, again. Health care is on a fast track to a Lehman Brothers 2.0, when the health care sector will be on life support from the US taxpayer, and a single payer system will emerge, with its second rate outcomes. When this day dawns, a US national health service will surface, just like Britain’s: “Free for all, from cradle to grave”. And accountable to none.