What is there to debate?

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The US healthcare debate is baffling. Look at his data (form the Guardian on Saturday):

How they compare In the US In England Source
Healthcare spending in 2004 as a percentage of GDP, per capita 16.0% 8.3% 1
Life expectancy in 2000 77 78 2
Average annual rate of growth in real healthcare spending per capita, 1994-2004 3.70% 4.20% 1
Number of acute care hospital beds per 1,000 people in 2004 2.8 3.6 1
Average length of stay for acute care in 2004 5.6% 3.6% 1
Under 5 mortality rate (probability of dying by age 5 per 1,000 live births) 9 6 2
Notes re sources: 1 = NHS using WHO date
2 = Commonwealth Fund


What is there to debate? The facts are glaringly obvious: our health system costs half that of the US and produces overall better outcomes. The state is simply vastly more efficient – by such a massive margin you wonder what the issue might even be.

Unless, like the Conservatives here who want to abolish the NHS (and I suspect most do) because you want to profit at the expense of misfortune.

And whose misfortune would they profit from? Glaringly obviously the poorest in the community: if you are going to double the cost of healthcare in the UK, a the private sector would do, and spend no more of GDP on it there is only one possible outcome: a lot of people will go without care. And they will be those who can’t pay, as is true in the States.

Is that what the Conservatives want? It seems so because that is what their MPs are supporting.

As Theresa May called them when she was Conservative Party chairman: they really are the Nasty Party.