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Prof. Appleby of the King’s Fund think tank says that spending more on the NHS is possible. link

Tory think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs proposes abolishing the NHS and even claims that there is widespread public support for it.

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

BBC News – Spending more on the NHS ‘not unaffordable’

In an article in the Daily Telegraph last month, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley suggested on current trends £230bn would need to be spent on health by 2030 compared to the £103bn which is spent now.

He said that figure was one that the country “simply could not afford”.

But Prof Appleby, the chief economist at the think-tank, questioned that.

He said taking into account the expected growth in the economy a budget of £230bn would require the health budget to rise at about 4% a year above inflation – only a little more than it has got on average since 1948.

Such rises would bring total health spending, including investment in private health care, to about 12.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) – roughly in line with what high spending countries such as the Netherlands are already spending.

Prof Appleby added: “It is a question of priorities really. It could be afforded, but would just require more money to be spent on health. But we are not talking about ridiculous amounts.”

Related: Rising health spending ‘is affordable’ – newsarticle-content – Pulse King’s Fund claims NHS is affordable – Health News, Health & Families – The Independent Doubling NHS spending ‘is affordable’ – Telegraph Spending more on the NHS could be affordable » Hospital Dr

Thinktank advocates abolition of the NHS and slashing overseas aid | Politics | The Guardian

Shrinking the size of the state by abolishing the NHS and limiting overseas aid to humanitarian disasters could save more than £200bn a year and pave the way for growth-generating tax cuts, says a leading free-market thinktank.

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), responsible for many of the policies implemented by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, said the plans to tackle Britain’s budget deficit during the current parliament are not radical enough.

Publishing a report urging a rethink of education, health and welfare, the thinktank said there was public support for plans that would see government spending reduced to less than 30% of national output. Spending peaked at about 50% of gross domestic product during the recession and the chancellor, George Osborne’s proposals would see public expenditure stabilise at 40% of national income.

“The recent comprehensive spending review was anything but comprehensive,” the report, Sharper Axes, Lower Taxes, said. “Certain departments were omitted from the review altogether. Most other areas of spending were ‘salami-sliced’. No coherent, bottom-up analysis of government functions has taken place.”

[comments are worth reading]

My warning for the NHS | Wendell Potter | Comment is free | The Guardian

Andrew Lansley’s controversial NHS bill is premised on “choice and competition” and the creation of a market in healthcare. These three stories below from the US show choice and competition at work on the ground. They also explain why 45,000 Americans die every year because they can’t afford – and in many cases can’t even obtain – health insurance.

But first, let me introduce myself – as I did in June 2009 when I testified before a congressional committee that was investigating the many abuses of the private insurance industry in the US. “My name is Wendell Potter, and for 20 years I worked as a senior executive at health insurance companies, and I saw how they confuse their customers and dump the sick – all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors.”

I described how insurance companies, in their constant quest to meet profit expectations, routinely cancel the coverage of sick policyholders and strive to spend less and less of premium dollars on medical care so they can divert more and more of those dollars to executive salaries and dividends for investors.

A few months before my testimony I had left my job as head of communications for one of the largest US insurers, Cigna. I could no longer in good conscience continue to serve as a spokesman for a profit-obsessed industry that I had come to realise was largely responsible for the American healthcare system’s descent into dysfunctionality.

27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.

I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.

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