Thursday, September 03, 2009

A National Health Service: Costly, Yes, and Powerful, Too

Professor Jacobson over at the Legal Insurrection blog has a good post up on the cost of the British National Health Service, based on a recent article from the London Times.

Something the good professor does not address, at least in that post, are the political repercussions of creating such a large government workforce. By the time a public health system has 1.5 million employees, as Britain's NHS does, the politicians become afraid to enact reforms that affect even some of these workers adversely -- even desperately-needed reforms with plenty of support from the general public.

The U.S. has five times the population of the United Kingdom. Had we made the same decision Britain made 50 years ago and created a National Health Service of our own, all other things equal, it would have 7,500,000 employees today.

Anyone imagine that, had we done so, that either the Republicans or the Democrats would be willing to speak truth to a power block that large?

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:06 AM

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