Out of Control Policy Blog

American Health Care vs. Britain's National Health Service

Economist Lawrence B. Lindsey has a very useful article in England's Sunday Times comparing American and British approaches to providing health care. The analysis is usefully objective, and he notes that one reason the British National Health Service (NHS) spends less than the Americans on health care is because health-care services have always been much more scarce and limited in Britain. In the U.S., health care has always been provided a much higher levels, dictate by policy and income.

Generally, we can choose to provide health care by rationing based on regulation, queuing or price. The erroneous assumption is that American's ration based on price. In fact, we don't.

There is another choice: spending. Or, uncontrained access. The U.S. has generally avoided rationing altogether by simply spending more--lots more and mandating coverage through public policy and broadening coverage through very generous (largely employer provided) insurance plans. Medicare and Medicaid, he notes, are entitlements--spending is not capped by Congress or legislatures. Rather we fund the level of service used. As with any "free" good, more is consumed than if it were left to markets (and prices).

Moreover, just because someone doesn't have insurance coverage in the U.S. doesn't mean they don't have access to health care (a severe problem in Britain before the NHS). All 50 states require emergency services be provided to patients that walk in the door.

Not surprisingly, Americans spend so much (about $8,000 per year compared to $3,500 in the U.K.) because we use more health care services, not because of waste.

Lindsey makes good points, showing the good, the bad, and the ugly of both systems.

Samuel Staley is Research Fellow


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Comments to "American Health Care vs. Britain's National Health Service":

LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS | August 28, 2009, 2:14pm | #

~ WHO LET $ATAN THROUGH THE BACK DOOR OF OUR U.$ CONGRE$$ ~

THIS OLD WORLD ORDER OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT OF OUR POORER AMERICANS NEEDS ENLIGHTENED POLITICAL MINDS AND HEARTS TO VIEW GOD DIFFERENTLY THEN $$$… NO MATTER WHAT THEIR POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATION ???

WHEN WILL OUR WEALTHY ELITE AMERICANS ABATE THEIR ASSAULT ON POORER AMERICANS WITH THEIR MONETARY CONTROL OF OUR IVORY TOWER U.S. CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER ???

THERE ARE NOT MANY MORE DISTRACTIONS LEFT WHICH ARE AVAILABLE FOR OUR WEALTHY ELITE AMERICANS TO HIDE BEHIND IN NOT TAKING PROPER CARE OF ALL OUR AMERICANS IN A HUMANE FASHION !!!

RALPH NADER ATTEMPTED TO EDUCATE AMERICAN VOTERS ABOUT U.S. CORPORATE POWER IN AMERICA AND HOW THEY CONTROL OUR CONGRESSIONAL PEOPLE THROUGH THEIR POCKET BOOK (POLITICAL DONATIONS). WITHOUT THE DOUGH $$$ THESE U.S. CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD DO NOT GET RE~ELECTED TO CONGRESS.
TO STAY IN POLITICAL OFFICE IN AMERICA,ONE HAS TO BARTER YOUR VOTES IN CONGRESS AND REPRESENT POWER INTERESTS IN RETURN FOR THE BUCK$.

POORER AMERICANS HAVE NEVER HAD THE $$$ LOBBY TO INFLUENCE THIS CORRUPT POLITICAL CONCEPT (of horse trading political votes for political contributions) TO ACHIEVE PROPER HEALTH ~CARE OR LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR ALL OUR MIDDLE ~ CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS.

AMERICAN IVORY TOWER U.S.CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD HAVE PASSED FEDERAL LEGISLATION IN WASHINGTON DC TO SPEND 50 BILLION AMERICAN TAX $$$ ON THE INTERNATIONAL FIGHT AGAINST AIDS OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS WHILE THEIR OWN AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE BEING TOLD BY THIS SAME U.S.CONGRESS THAT NATIONAL HEALTH CARE AND PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING POOR CITIZENS IS UNAFFORDABLE.

*** WEALTHY ELITE AMERICANS (WHO ARE ONLY 1% OF OUR USA POPULATION) SADLY ALSO CONTROL HOW OUR U.S.CONGRESS SPENDS THEIR BUDGET TRILLION$ AND HAVE OBVIOUSLY FOUND MORE WORTHY INTERNATIONAL CITIZENS THEN OUR OWN DESPERATE AND NEEDY POOR TO ASSIST !!!

~Poorer Americans Nationwide only get 400 million $$$ per year for legal representation allocated them by CONGRESS~

Middle Class and Working Poor Americans are unable to afford proper legal representation in their Civil, Criminal and Family Courts of law all across America causing tremendous hardships nationwide,but these great minds and callous hearts in our American Congress have found others Worldwide more needy then their own citizens who are being falsely incarcerated,wrongfuly executed,losing their homes or apartments,losing child custody or visitation with their children etc…

Not being afforded proper legal representation by our U.S. Congress has created a total breakdown of the American judicial system for our poorer Americans because the our U.S. Courts punish all of us little people if we are not assisted with proprer legal counsel.it is a known fact that our average Middle Class and Working Poor Americans without proper legal representation in all of our American Courts of law lose their legal cases to the better financed who are able to afford lawyers.

Lawyers For Poor Americans is now actively in the hunt for International Countries and Leaders Worldwide to help raise 5 Billion Dollar$ for our slighted poorer Americans who have had their own American Congress turn their backs on their desperate needs in not affording them proper legal representation.

Troy Davis and Mumia Abu – Jamal are 2 perfect examples of American citizens who never had proper legal representation afforded them by our U.S. Congressional Leaders Of The Free World in their initial criminal trials in (Georgia and Pennsylvania) who might very well have to pay the ultimate price of possibly being completely innocent and falsely executed in the near future.
These two poor Americans are perfect examples of the tens of thousands of legal cases nationwide that never were afforded proper legal representation or proper defense investigations at their initial trials.
We the public really have no idea if these men TROY DAVIS AND MUMIA ABU~JAMAL are even innocent or guilty until they both are given fair legal representation at their new future trials.

Improper murder trials and needless health related deaths take place in third world countries all the time,but why should average Middle~Class and Working Poor Americans
in the Wealthiest Country Of The World also be treated as if they are living a Third World Life Style ???

This is the first of many www International pleas by Lawyers For Poor Americans for other leaders and countries to help raise the needed monie$ to correct these blatant injustices that have been inflicted on poorer Americans for the last few decades.

Lawyers For Poor Americans has many other written articles that can be viewed with any www search engine by our name or our telephone number.

Lawyers For Poor Americans is a www lobby group of volunteers that sing out about the decades old neglect,abuse and injustices being inflicted on our poorer Americans that have become Crimes Against Humanity issues for the International World Court to investigate.

lawyersforpooreramericans@yahoo.com
(424-247-2013)

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