FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Complications of Obamacare

by CLANCY SIGAL

Obamacare, ACA, health exchanges, bronze silver gold and platinum levels.  Oy!  It’s complicated!  Does it have to be?

“Do you really want the state to be your doctor?” the British Medical Association of medical professionals trumpeted in nationwide ads when the current National Health System was first being debated in 1948.  Doctors and conservatives furiously raged against this new “revolutionary” free-health-care-for-all scheme bullied through by a raving red socialist former coal miner the Health Minister Aneuran Bevan.

Almost overnight once the system got working the BMA and its doctors changed their tune.  Today, despite plenty of things wrong with the present NHS (underfunding, over-bureaucratizing), the deeply Tory BMA leads the fight FOR socialized medicine.

It works.

For 30 years I was an NHS patient.  The tone was set my first week in England by the first GP I
OR Book Going Rougeapproached.  I confessed that, in truth, I was an illegal immigrant.  He stared at me, “So?  What difference does it make?  We treat you because we don’t want anyone contagious running around the country and infecting us all.”

The free universal care system was and is simplicity itself.  You sign up with a GP who gives you a card and that’s it.  No paperwork, no insurance forms, no nada.  You are free to change doctors, which I did, from a long list of choices.  If you need a specialist or surgeon, as I did, you get sent along no problem.  A community nurse system gets you a home visit if you’re immobile.  And – sacred miracle!  I’ve had my doctor come out at night to see me.

It’s single payer – the government – via taxes.  Over time I probably took more out of Britain’s health care system than I put in.  Money was never an issue.  You can also sign up for private health which I’m told is a bit like the “concierge” system the USA is playing about  with recently.  You pay a fortune to jump the queue but you best not need truly serious surgery or emergency care because most private hospitals are not geared for it.

The latest figures I saw is that the UK, for all its problems, ranks better than we do in terms of life expectancy and infant mortality.  Britain spends $2500 per patient vs the U.S. $6000.

Utopia?  No.  London emergency rooms are the pits and the UK lags in cancer treatment.

Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Hemingway Lives.

Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Hemingway Lives

More articles by:
June 30, 2016
Richard Moser
Clinton and Trump, Fear and Fascism
Pepe Escobar
The Three Harpies are Back!
Ramzy Baroud
Searching for a ‘Responsible Adult’: ‘Is Brexit Good for Israel?’
Dave Lindorff
What is Bernie Up To?
Thomas Barker
Saving Labour From Blairism: the Dangers of Confining the Debate to Existing Members
Jan Oberg
Why is NATO So Irrational Today?
John Stauber
The Debate We Need: Gary Johnson vs Jill Stein
Steve Horn
Obama Administration Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Fracking Permits
Rob Hager
Supreme Court Legalizes Influence Peddling: McDonnell v. United States
Norman Pollack
Economic Nationalism vs. Globalization: Janus-Faced Monopoly Capital
Binoy Kampmark
Railroaded by the Supreme Court: the US Problem with Immigration
Howard Lisnoff
Of Kiddie Crusades and Disregarding the First Amendment in a Public Space
Vijay Prashad
Economic Liberalization Ignores India’s Rural Misery
Caroline Hurley
We Are All Syrians
June 29, 2016
Diana Johnstone
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Andrew Smolski
To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky
Jeffrey St. Clair
Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting
David Rosen
Birth-Control Wars: Two Centuries of Struggle
Sheldon Richman
Brexit: What Kind of Dependence Now?
Yves Engler
“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
Return to the Gilded Age: Paul Ryan’s Deregulated Dystopia
Priti Gulati Cox
All That Glitters is Feardom: Whatever Happens, Don’t Blame Jill Stein
Franklin Lamb
About the Accusation that Syrian and Russian Troops are Looting Palmyra
Binoy Kampmark
Texas, Abortion and the US Supreme Court
Anhvinh Doanvo
Justice Thomas’s Abortion Dissent Tolerates Discrimination
Victor Grossman
Brexit Pro and Con: the View From Germany
Manuel E. Yepe
Brazil: the Southern Giant Will Have to Fight
Rivera Sun
The Nonviolent History of American Independence
Adjoa Agyeiwaa
Is Western Aid Destroying Nigeria’s Future?
Jesse Jackson
What Clinton Should Learn From Brexit
Mel Gurtov
Is Brexit the End of the World?
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail