Sunday, January 14, 2018

This Sceptered Isle - Part MMXVIII

Britain’s NHS is seeking to charge co-pays for certain patients.  Up to now, NHS has always claimed to be “free” for everyone . . . Free at the point of service, anyway. (I suggest you read the entire linked article.  Its headline is a bit misleading.)

While charging of co-pays would be a departure, it should come as no great surprise.  In the first place, NHS financial problems have been public for quite a while.  And, after all, NHS is just another insurance company - albeit a giant, national monopoly. Aside from the political control of its management and budgets, NHS behaves very much like private insurance companies around the world. Specifically, NHS has a large bureaucracy that determines what medical services are reimbursed, and under what terms.  Also, NHS is financed by premiums that must must cover its costs - although NHS “premiums” are disguised as taxes.

And now - co-pays?

What next?  Refusal to cover services of non-approved physicians and hospitals?

Will NHS end up a British HMO?
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