Face it: we won't pay enough for health care
But why, as Ian Harmer asks (1), should “those over a relatively high income threshold – say, £60,000 p.a . – [pay] a graduated contribution per NHS usage event?” Why should the sick pay for things that – mostly – are beyond their control? Why introduce fresh bureaucracy to assess each NHS usage event? Would that be each prescription? Would an operation be an event, or would the initial consultation and the preoperative assessment be separate?
Why not just increase tax for those earning more? Harmer admits his scheme would be complex but those complexities could be used to calculate a hypothecated increase in direct income tax, rather than working out charges for each ill patient.
Sadly, these discussions are the inevitable consequence of not being prepared, as a society, to pay what we need for health care.
Competing interests: No competing interests