Obama-style health care: the effects in England

In the debate of what to do about health care, advocates — such as President Obama — cite countries that spend much less than the United States. An example is the United kingdom.

The president believes that if we can control costs through better medical practice and efficiency gains, we too can have more health care provided at less cost.

The Wall Street Journal article Of NICE and Men tells us how Great Britain is able to control its costs. It’s through the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, or NICE.

Originally it was established to “ensure that the government-run National Health System used ‘best practices’ in medicine.” This sounds like a good program, doesn’t it?

But as the Journal article details, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. The article concludes: “But it [NICE] has by now established the principle that the only way to control health-care costs is for this panel of medical high priests to dictate limits on certain kinds of care to certain classes of patients.”e

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