By Benjamin Arie -Re-Blogged From Conservative Tribune
Socialized medicine is a wonderful, compassionate system that brings important care to everyone… at least, that’s what leftists in the United States and Europe keep insisting.
As the United Kingdom is finding out, however, everyone is not actually equal under health care socialism. As soon as the system starts running out of other people’s money, people are quickly pushed out… and you’d better hope that you’re not one of the unlucky ones who gets thrown aside!
That’s exactly what happened this week in Britain, as the socialized National Health System announced that patients are being banned from important surgeries if they happen to be a bit overweight or smoke tobacco.
Yes, oh-so-caring socialism is now discriminating against its subjects and deciding who receives surgery and who does not based on personal lifestyle decisions.
“The restrictions — thought to be the most extreme yet to be introduced by health services — immediately came under attack from the Royal College of Surgeons,” explained the U.K Telegraph.
“Its vice president called for an ‘urgent rethink’ of policies which he said were ‘discriminatory’ and went against the fundamental principles of the NHS,” the British newspaper continued.
Many British patients have already seen long delays for care, with some operations being put on hold for months as the socialized system struggles with financial instability.
Medical experts bashed the government’s decision, and made it clear that the bureaucracy was not helping patients.
“This goes against clinical guidance and leaves patients waiting long periods of time in pain and discomfort. It can even lead to worse outcomes following surgery in some cases,” declared Ian Eardley, senior vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons.
The national health system insisted that the surgeries being delayed were non-urgent, but patient advocates were not convinced.
“The new rules increase the amount of weight the heaviest patients must lose — and crucially, they mean those who fail to lose weight or give up smoking could wait indefinitely,” reported the Telegraph.
In other words, a patient who is overweight and not able to drop the exact number of pounds dictated to them by the government might never receive surgery he needs.
Conservatives were routinely mocked during the run-up to Obamacare when they warned about “death panels” and the dangers of giving the state complete control over health care.
Who’s laughing now? Telling one segment of the population, “Sorry, you don’t qualify for the surgery you need, too bad” is precariously close to health panels and yes, even “death panels” that Americans rightly fear.
If socialized health systems keep losing money — and they will — then where is the limit? What prevents the cost-cutting measures from increasing to the point of a nightmare?
Every single person is unhealthy in some way. Almost every part of life, from driving a car to eating red meat to riding a motorcycle or downhill skiing can all be labeled “risky.” Will those disqualify patients from surgery soon?
If the government can cut off a patient’s access to surgery based on a weight number, why can’t it do the same for an age number? One of the biggest strains on the health care system is the elderly.
What happens when an accountant in London or Washington decides that trying to extend the life of an 80-year-old grandfather just isn’t worth the cost?
If you don’t think that is on the horizon, then take one look at the Charlie Gard case, where a sick child was denied possibly life-saving surgery by the government, even though doctors were willing and ready to take a chance for the young boy.
Nobody disputes that being overweight or smoking are poor health choices. However, a free country should focus on maximizing personal liberty and allow individuals to live their lives as they wish, in as many ways as possible.
Under a free market health care system, those who make unhealthy choices may face higher insurance expenses, but they are free to live life on their terms. They can choose to smoke and pay for it, or quit and reap the benefits, but it’s not the government’s decision.
A “Big Brother” state that tells every person how to live is the opposite of American tradition.
The more we ask the government to give us “free benefits” paid for by others, the faster we wrap chains around ourselves and give up our own freedom to live life as we wish.