NHS: The UK’s Crisis of Funding?

NHS – when something is broke, just throw more money at it and hope it goes away…   Britain’s NHS is once again afire despite another round of ‘additional funding’ on top of the ‘additional funding’ it already received, over the funding and ‘additional winter funding’ it received.   Socialist medicine at it’s finest!

As if the Canadian socialist health system wasn’t enough to give us a view of how bad it can be, NHS in Britain and Wales is desperately trying to prop itself back up, not with an overhaul of the problems, but with more $$$$$$$! Cha-Ching!

A shortage of doctors and nurses, cancellation of thousands of non-urgent operations, a budget in shambles, neglect charges, hospital acquired infections, a postcode lottery, cost effectiveness of care, the issuance of a ‘black alert’ wherein it is an official admission that it is unable to cope with demand, and the fifth largest employer in the world, NHS is beyond a simple injection of ‘more money’ and needs a drastic face, eye and body lift to survive.

When it was first introduced in 1948, the budget was 248 million pounds for 480,000 hospital beds. In 2017, its total budget was just under $125 billion for 167,000 hospital beds.   As of 2007, the waiting list stood at 1,283,100.   Various political bents try and under-report the budgetary needs so as to prop up the remaining idealism of socialist medicine only to find their proverbial foot in mouth disease when reality is declared. The truth told, NHS is failing because it is a socialist-welfare system and as such it doesn’t work.

It is the fear that plagues most Americans as we watch our own socialist Obamacare fry a bit more each year. My annual healthcare costs amount to roughly 20% of my income. Of course those receiving free healthcare, government employees, and even those on Medicare, seem oblivious given the ‘it doesn’t affect me’ syndrome.

Arguments still abound as the philosophical debate over whether Obamacare is Socialism or Socialized Healthcare or a mashed capital system don’t “fix” the problems.   The media would liken the increased number of participants on the Obamacare Exchange as proof positive it is a success! But of course, when the Exchange is the only source for obtaining Healthcare, that would likely ‘increase its use’… Right?   Logic still prevails even when the media attempts to speak in tongues

Like most Socialist initiatives, when they are first rolled out, when every I is dotted, they seem to work rather well, that is until reality fades in and out only to take hold at some point of time in the near future. Such was the case for NHS.   Welfare creates a behavior attitude. When something costs less or is ‘free’, more people will take advantage of that offer whether they need it or not. That increased usage drives up costs that must now be propped up by premiums and/or government subsidies.

In the US it is passed on through premium rate hikes. In the UK it is passed on by greater indebtedness by the government. Simple economics – when the government is tasked with funding more welfare, either some other program is cut, or taxes are hiked.   Getting people who have been given something free to say they will suddenly pay their fair share – is nearly impossible. Once the propaganda has been injected into the system, it can rarely be purged.

France has been touted as having one of the best systems in the world. How? By eliminating the middle man, the insurance industry, France has created a universal system in which the government acts as the insurance agency. This would be much like the Social Security system in the US that works so well… Except that it doesn’t.   So what went wrong?


France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, etc… have all experienced a negative population growth that stands to create dire problems in the next decade as the youth market has vanished.   This same shift will ultimately put immense strife on these healthcare systems as the aged pay nothing for healthcare and the youth population is insufficient to prop up healthcare.   In France, wages are taxed a 13% surcharge for healthcare. In the US that would mean a person earning $45,000 would see an automatic $5850 deduction from their pay whether they went to the doctor or not.

The once sweetheart of healthcare, France, is watching its system flail, falter and go broke.   Germany too is being weighed down – not just from a shifting demographic, but from the adjunct of immigrant healthcare.   The unemployment rate in France is 9.7%, with 6.2% underemployed. The youth unemployment rate is far worse at over 21%.   The numbers do not include immigrants not granted employment status or citizenship.   For example, The Netherlands now requires seven years residency before a person may file for naturalization.   Germany is 8 years and France is five years.

Therefore, the unemployment rates are skewed and far higher than reported.

The UK is already operating on a 40-58 billion pound annual deficit.   Where exactly should the additional money for the failing NHS system be extracted?   And with the added pressure of the EU Commission aligned with Merkel and Macron demanding BREXIT divorce costs upwards of $53 billion and counting, it is a difficult notion to address exactly how the UK proposes to mitigate these issues.

It’s complicated.

The understatement for every political agenda and person that exists today.   Putin recently made some comment that how the system works is completely contrary to what we are led to believe. The innuendo would be that what we see, what we believe, is basically a house of mirrors.

Not necessarily far-fetched, but most definitely not mainstream.   Mainstream would have us believe that everything they say is the Gospel, everything they do – is Christ’s walk – and everything they think – is God’s journey.   It is a far far craggy path – but it is nothing per nothing – that they would have us believe. It is far greater. Far more beautiful. And far more carved in stone.

There is nothing more challenging than betrayal. Whether it be from a colleague, a friend, a spouse, a blood relative, it is something that weights incredibly heavily on the heart and soul.   I have had the privilege of bearing such weight.   From multiple sources.   And each time, I feel it anew, as though I have never experienced it before.   And although it is a part of my history, each time, it devastates me, takes me, and I feel its ravage. And each time, the perpetrator feels privileged, entitled to their war, all the while proclaiming their devout affinity to peace, love and compassion.

How can that be?

Obamacare Bombs – Cuba an Option…

A view into what Socialized Medicine really looks like…

In the UK the government sponsored healthcare is provided through a network of hospitals called NHS., National Health Service and it’s a mess, a ticking timebomb.

Hospitals are in debt and borrowing to keep afloat. Interest payments cut into benefits and staffing. With net expenditures doubling since 2004, the total reported debt is accumulating faster than anticipated with a projected 2.2 billion euro expected this year. But the debt is cumulative as more than 77% of the hospitals operate in the red. It has to end. It will implode. But it has now become “political”. As in no one wants the blame.

But the greatest stumbling block to socialized medicine is the wait time. In Denmark, they measure time in increments of yearly quarters. For example if they can get their wait time dramatically reduced to 3-6 months, that is considered a success.

The UK still has more physicians per person than the US, but far less than it’s neighbors, Germany, France, Denmark and The Netherlands. (Side note: Cuba has the largest number of physicians per capita – 68).

France is no different than the UK facing a $10 billion deficit. The notion that ones taxes covers the entire cost of medical care is not exactly the entire story. The guidelines that these hospitals follow prescribe who can get what based on factors such as age, life style and obesity. In addition, co-pays are common.  And private hospitals pick up the slack for the ‘elite’ or wealthy.  Given that the healthcare withholding is wage based, many in France who are self employed are opting out of the system and purchasing private insurance for far less. And while paying the 15% is compulsory, tens of thousands – don’t pay anyway.

Average physician and specialist salaries in the US are over 50% higher than the UK and France. But the education requirements are significantly different. In the US, a medical degree takes roughly ten years after high school. In Europe, it is six years at a cost of $60-$90,000 total. By contrast, 2 years of residency, 4 years of medical school, and four years of undergraduate and the cost dominos to half a million or more.

Cuba may become an option.

After being alienated for decades, Cuba put all its resources into churning out a host of doctors with a completely different mentality – its called cure the patient. With nearly 3 times the per capita doctors as the US, Cuba as emerged as a exemplary example of humanitarianism. Having sent over 185,000 healthcare professionals worldwide, including to Ebola countries, they are the first to arrive and the last to leave. While the government makes about $7 ½ billion annually in loaning out their doctors, the physicians only make about $30 per month. A number that may change dramatically as foreigners go there for their medical treatment given it is far less expensive and more aligned with curing rather than medicating.

By far the biggest dilemma for every healthcare system worldwide is the aging population. Age means more health care needs, means greater cost, means greater debt and fewer young people paying into the pool. In the US, the percentage of people over 65 now matches the percentage of blacks in the US – 13% and is expected to grow to 25.5% of total US population by 2050. Between 2010 and 2050, the number of people in the US over 60 is expected to double. Costs for the elderly are 5-6 times higher than for a teen, the cost for 85+ is 3-4 times greater than for those between the ages of 65-74. In other words, the exponential is somewhat like the magnitude of an earthquake…

Who is going to pay for that healthcare?

There are limited options:

  1. Cure rather than medicate. But US physicians make money for every prescription and the pharma industry has massive clout! Take away that income source, and we’ll need to either lower the cost of medical school, or lower the education requirements.
  2. Deny benefits for certain procedures after a designated age.
  3. Tax the youth and middle class more dramatically to prop up Medicare for retirees.
  4. Actually tackle Medicare and Medicaid fraud which estimates claim costs taxpayers anywhere from $60-$250 billion per year.
  5. Fly to Cuba for all your most expensive procedures (the UK and French go to India)

While for-profit hospitals are posting their largest gains ever topping out at over $5 ½ billion per, non-profits are failing.

And while hospitals are posting ever larger profits, insurance co-ops are closing doors faster than ever. Of the 23 created for Obamacare, 12 have already shut down since opening shop in 2013. That means a greater than 50% failure rate in two to three years. In the businessness world, that is not considered ‘healthy’…