Much has been written on this blog regarding the many failings of the British National Health Service (remember that it is much beloved by Paul Krugman). It is worth noting the latest series of horror stories to come out of Britain concerning the performance of the NHS:
Surgeons say patients in some parts of England have spent months waiting in pain because of delayed operations or new restrictions on who qualifies for treatment.
In several areas routine surgery was put on hold for months, while in many others new thresholds for hip and knee replacements have been introduced.
The moves are part of the NHS drive to find £20bn efficiency savings by 2015.
Amazingly, the following is the reaction of something calling itself a Conservative government:
The government said performance should be measured by outcomes not numbers.
Meaning what? That numbers should not matter, no matter how unbelievably awful they are?
Of course, a good health care system is one that is able to pay for itself. The NHS is currently unable to do so; thus the need to find savings, and to severely ration care. I am sure that the usual big government advocates who make it a practice to defend the usual big government programs will be along any moment now to tell us that we already ration care, or offer up some other such mealy-mouthed excuse for poor governmental performance. I would like to see if they would be as blasé about the failings of the NHS if they were the ones who had hip and knee replacements delayed, and had to deal with constant excruciating pain as a consequence. Something tells me that many an NHS apologist would be the first to complain if s/he had to deal with the NHS in order to get treatment for serious aches and pains.