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National Health Service

Medicare For All Is Not Enough

We have long advocated for single-payer national health insurance. By eliminating private insurers and simplifying how providers are paid, single-payer would free up hundreds of billions of dollars now squandered annually on insurance-related bureaucracy. The savings would make it feasible to cover the uninsured and to eliminate the cost barriers that keep even insured patients from getting the care they need. And it would free patients and doctors from the narrow provider networks and other bureaucratic constraints imposed by insurance middlemen. We still urgently need this reform. However, the accelerating corporate transformation of US health care delivery complicates this vision. In the past, most doctors were self-employed, free-standing hospitals were the norm, and for-profit ownership of facilities was the exception. 

US Empire Seizes UK’s National Health Service

One of the recent roles of the Parliamentary Healthcare Committee has been to reassure the British public that any claims regarding the ‘Americanization’ of the National Health Service (NHS) were wildly overstated, “creating a climate that risks blocking the joining up of services in the interests of patients.” In fact, the penetration of the healthcare system by the giant U.S. insurer UnitedHealth reveals the opposite to be true, with the full extent of its influence capable of surprising even seasoned NHS watchers. The Health and Care Bill making its way through official channels simply reinforces this, with the bill’s centerpiece, the 42 regional-scale Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), aimed at bringing together GPs, hospitals, mental healthcare and council services.

UK’s Vaccine Rollout Is A Reminder That We Need Universal Healthcare

London - Dr. John Lister watched in horror as the United Kingdom’s Covid-19 mortality rate climbed above 1 per 1,000, one of the highest death rates in the world since the start of the pandemic. So, when the 71-year-old Briton was informed he would receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in late January, he could hardly contain himself.  “It was a great moment of excitement when I got the notification,” Lister tells In These Times.  Lister, a health policy expert and associate professor at Coventry University, was one of 15 million people in the United Kingdom to receive a Covid-19 vaccine before February 15, thanks to a vaccination program that has consistently ranked among the three fastest in the world.
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