Views & Reviews Personal View

We could eschew “UK style” rationing here too

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1136 (Published 28 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1136
  1. Calum Paton, professor of health policy, Keele University, Staffordshire
  1. c.paton{at}keele.ac.uk

    In 2010 most Republicans in the United States, with the recent vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin promoted to chief Cassandra, became garment rending soothsayers, predicting doom when President Obama’s health reform became law. This is principally because they claim that the spectre of “rationing”’ stalks the land, threatening the ability to purchase expensive health care in the land of the free.

    Attacks on rationing are familiar in the United Kingdom but from the other end of the political spectrum—from those who see it as a betrayal of the NHS, which should be not only free at the point of use and universal but also fully comprehensive.

    So how come both left and right oppose rationing? One view would say it is self interest. Those in the US who have good access to health care don’t want to lose it; …

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