Paul Krugman has told us that awful stories about government-run healthcare in Britain “are false.”
I guess this means that the media must be dominated by conservative liars, since we keep getting reports about substandard care and needless deaths (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here).
And the Boston Globe and Associated Press must be part of this vast right-wing conspiracy, because the Globe just ran an AP report exposing more problems in England. Here is an excerpt.
When David Evans needed a hernia operation, the 69-year-old farmer became so alarmed by the long wait that he used an ultrasound machine for pregnant sheep on himself, to make sure he wasn’t getting worse. It was only after repeated calls from himself, his doctor and his local member of parliament that the hospital performed the surgery, nearly a year after it was first requested. Under government guidelines, he should have started getting treatment within 18 weeks. “I was in quite a lot of pain,’’ Evans said of his ordeal in Cornwall, southwest England. “It really restricted what I could do around the farm since I couldn’t lift anything heavy.’’ Across Britain, an increasing number of patients like Evans are facing more pain and longer waits.
The deep flaws in the British system, by the way, do not imply that the American system is ideal. As I’ve explained, the U.S. system also is heavily dominated by government, causing a massive third-party payer problem.