While Republicans are trying to privatize government health care in the United States, conservatives in Britain will promise to protect the government’s central role in that national’s health care system today when Prime Minister David Cameron rolls out his five health care pledges. The principles come following a public backlash against Cameron’s proposal for a “a radical reorganization of England’s health care system, introducing legislation that would hand responsibility for most of the country’s health budget to its 42,000 general practitioners and, his political opponents say, open the door to private competition that could threaten the foundations of socialized care.”
Essentially, Cameron is now promising not to privatize the National Health Service:
The Prime Minister will defend the shake-up in a speech that will include five guarantees about the future of the health service.
The series of personal pledges will include keeping waiting lists low, maintaining spending and no privatisation.
Others will be ensuring patient care is properly co-ordinated and that it remains universally available and free at the point of delivery, according to The Daily Telegraph.
This suggests that nurses and hospital doctors will maintain a role in commissioning patients’ services.
All of this runs counter to how Republicans like to talk about the national British health care system — as a worst case scenario that rations care and imposes unreasonable waiting times and one which Obamacare embraces. The reality of course is far more complicated. The NHS is not without its problems, but it still outranks the American alternative — in almost every quantifiable metric. For instance, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s 2012 international comparison report, the U.S. health care system “ranks last or next-to-last on five dimensions of a high performance health system: quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives”: