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A Spoonful of Sugar

By Mahons On July 17th, 2017

In the hierarchy of American right wing rhetoric the last number of years I can’t think of an issue that registered as big among them as the need to repeal Obamacare.  It has been a rallying cry that resonated among Republicans far more than calls for a wall they know won’t be built or the denial of science they pretended didn’t exist.

The Republican Senate appears incapable of approving their own proposed health care plan, facing opposition from both the left and right of their party.  If ever there could be said that a death panel exists it would have to be the Republican leadership whose plan is dead on arrival.  It is no secret that the years spent in attacking the Affordable Care Act did not see a corresponding effort to come up with a better plan.  Politicall locked into their own rhetoric they seem capable of repeal and incapable of replace.

The President joined the fray with his customary lack of specifics.  He would shepherd through a “beautiful” plan.  He has without a trace of irony indicated that health planning is hard and that he will be “mad” if the Senate Republican plan isn’t approved.  One can only imagine him singing “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To.”

Campaigning is hard. Governing is Harder.  A serious national issue needs serious people.  We seem to be low on them at the moment.

36 Responses to “A Spoonful of Sugar”

  1. I have little respect for the Democrat leadership, but they have over the last ten years been far more sober on this subject than the Republicans have been.

    The Republicans in the Congress are a disorganized rabble who who have not thought this issue through at all. Their only hope is to make a bad situation much worse, to the detriment of the country.

  2. Obamacare was, to this observer at least, a fantastic mish-mash which knew which target to aim for, but forgot to place the route map in plain sight.

    The Republicans always sounded as though the Government-based Insurance type of Care Plan was always adjacent to Communism by the back door.

    The Democrats, to at least give them their due, tried to make at least some way through the morass, but it became, with all the caveats, pull-backs and the nine-hundred-odd pages of the Bill; came out like a camel: which as we all know is a horse designed by a committee.

    The NHS was a start in the process, but I would not wish that sort of scheme on anyone: because it would screw your Country up as fast as it has done ours. The idea was good, but human nature, greed, a grasping set of Unions, an overwhelming bureaucracy and you get what we have now, the largest employer in the Country, and the least amenable to change.

  3. Obamacare has great flaws, but keep in mind that it was created and passed in the context of 100% noncooperation among Republicans to doing anything in the movement of covering all Americans. They were utterly opposed to fixing the national problem.

    The NHS is the largest employer in the country

    Not sure that this is necessarily a bad thing. The NHS is the health care provider for the majority of the population. How many employees should it have?

  4. Back in late 1955, an author and historian named C. Northcote Parkinson claimed to have discovered a new Law, which he named Parkinson’s Law, which briefly states

    ‘that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

    If you read the entire archived article, you may then understand why the NHS is the Country’s largest employer.

    Its management structure is impenetrable, and when disaster strikes, as in the Staffordshire Crisis, the man at the head of that organisation not only survived, he was promoted onwards, and he also received a State Honour (KCB)

  5. Forgot to put the link up for Parkinson’s Law!

  6. Mike

    I’d like to see a report comparing NHS staffing levels with those in national public and private systems in various other large countries – Germany, France, Japan, USA.

  7. Mike

    If I recall correctly, you wrote of how your newborn grandchild was given excellent and kind care by NHS staff?

  8. Mike, what would you propose in place of the NHS?

  9. Jamie Oliver uses “magic sugar”.

    Chubby Jim only uses magic sugar in his recipes. it’s not the same as the evil sugar sold by Big Fizz, who Jamie wants eradicated from the face of the Earth because they are causing obesity. Jamie’s magic sugar does not cause obesity so he can promote that while declaring everyone else’s sugar evil.


  10. Paul McMahon, on July 17th, 2017 at 6:07 PM Said:
    Mike, what would you propose in place of the NHS?

    I would keep the NHS as is, apart from changing it too a national health service, opposed to an International health service.

  11. (posted this on another thread in error)

    Phantom, the NHS has lower staffing levels than most comparable countries in Europe, both in hospitals and in terms of doctors per population. Staffing is also the largest cost factor in the NHS, so that ain’t good.

    In terms of equipment, it’s even further down the list, with about half the number of beds per pop. compared to other industrial EU countries.

    I’m no expert, but it seems the problem with the NHS is, as usual, funding. Unlike continental, contribution-based systems, the NHS is funded by taxes and a govt budget, which is subject to cuts depending on the economic situation or politicians’ whims.
    The crap could really hit the fan when Brexit brings more budget cuts and a falling Pound.

  12. Phantom,

    I did write of the wonderful news and the remarkable care given my eldest grandson, and I shall always remember that. I also have received excellent care myself, and would not hear different. My adult kids are testimonials themselves for the superb diagnostic and surgical care given on many occasions.

    However, when I wanted to make a suggestion, not a complaint, but a operational suggestion to a Hospital Trust, I found that I had to register with a separate ‘Advocacy Service’ who would then allocate me a ‘mediator’, who would then negotiate to find a suitable Trust Officer. This person was only allowed to correspond with the Advocacy Service until it was accepted, by the Trust’s Complaints division, that my complaint was not a complaint, and I was then transferred, always by e-mail of course, to the Operational Division which agreed to consult with the appropriate Departmental Head, and arrange for a Committee to review my suggestion, and pronounce upon its worthiness.

    I have still to hear from anyone!!!

  13. Noted.

  14. Jesus Harri,

    If your range of your comments on ATW is anything to go by conversation around your dinner table must be absolutely riveting!!

    I’m no expert, but it seems the problem with the NHS is, as usual, funding. Unlike continental, contribution-based systems, the NHS is funded by taxes and a govt budget, which is subject to cuts depending on the economic situation or politicians’ whims

    The NHS is the same public health system as funded here Noel. This is an interesting comparative:


  15. Paul McMahon, on July 17th, 2017 at 8:34 PM Said:
    Jesus Harri,
    If your range of your comments on ATW is anything to go by conversation around your dinner table must be absolutely riveting!!


    I am spending more time around the dinner table with the family, talking about family stuff, which does not allow me much time to spend whinging and wining on here.

  16. Don’t worry Harri, you’re still doing a fair amount of whinging and whining here 😉

  17. I should think your family would be grateful, just to have you around the dinner table. 😉

  18. ?

  19. Noel –

    What NHS budget cuts are you talking about? Spending inexorably rises year on year. There have been no budget cuts. It’s a flat out lie.


    The problem with the NHS is that it’s the NHS – a Stalinist throwback. Expecting it to operate efficiently is like expecting the Soviet Union to produce a Ferrari. It can’t be done, not ever. It’s crap because it’s a state bureaucracy which exists to give the impression of healthcare. Expecting more than crap from it can only lead to disappointment.

  20. Paul I miss Harri’s full on rages , I’m suffering withdrawal symptoms
    always offer the calming prescription of a quiet read of the guardian, roomy breathable sandals, a bowl of alpen with a chopped banana as a tonic, but advice has fallen by the wayside.
    What is it with diet of a Daily Mail strong coffee and a tonne of cholesterol to start the day
    that’s gonna make you crazy before you’ve even turned the page past the post on illegal immigrants 😉

  21. Pete

    Are you factoring in a rising and I believe also an aging population?

    Are you factoring in advances in medicine?

    Are there any other relevant factors that we should be talking about?

    Have you done a close comparison of NHS costs per capital as compared with the cost of other advanced nations ?
    I think that the last time we did that on these pages it sure looked like the NHS was underfunded When compared with other nations

  22. A quick look at annual population statistics shows that you are likely to see an increase in population of seven arete percent in this period.

    Which would account for most of the need for a budget increase in real terms.

    Thank me very much

  23. The latest healthcare bill in the US has apparently collapsed.

    This is bad; the president has already said he will be “very angry” if this bill is not passed. That man already has so many problems on his desk, and now this!

  24. Trump had promised something cheaper and better, a plan that would cover all, and I think that at one point he actually wished to do that.

    But he soon got co-opted by the rats in Cingress whose only goal was to take health coverage away from people, and pass the savings to the rich people.

    Trump does not know what he is doing, and Congress has covered itself in shame

  25. the USA is model is all wrong from the root
    You have to decide if health is a right or a privilege.
    even the poorest countries in the world run some sort of a free drop-in
    Its vital or people would die , modern medicine is a kind of miracle
    we should not mess politics with sickness , its a mortal thing and needs compassion.

  26. A President whose party controls the House and the Senate who cannot get legislation passed is really incompetent. Other Presidents got important legislation passed and the opposition controlled congress. If Trump cannot convince office-holders of his own party he has very little power, and in his case that is a good thing.

  27. Trump does have very little power in this Arena.

    The Power Domestically always sits with the Congress. Trump is NOT Reagan.

  28. If Trump has little power in this area then how did Obama get the power to get Obamacare done?

  29. // he has very little power, and in his case that is a good thing.//

    Indeed. And just yesterday (this is getting funny) his administration announced that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal Obama negotiated, notifying Congress to extend the sanction relief granted to Iran by the agreement.

    After saying during his campaign that he was going to tear up this agreement on that very busy DAY ONE, he now confirms that “the worst deal ever” is, well, working very well.

    I wonder is this because he had a talk with Putin after he’d met Netanyahu?

  30. I completely reject the discussion about whether healthcare is a right or a privilege. I could give a rats ass whether it’s either

    I think that the country should enact a national healthcare plan for all citizens because it is smart to do, good for the country and for no other reason

    Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell expended all their political capital in trying to take healthcare away from people. What a completely shameful and disgusting cause.

    Trump and the Republicans had all the levers of power, and they couldn’t deliver anything.

    This administration and this Congress has the air of incompetence. They don’t know what they’re doing

  31. Obama had a Unified Democrat Congress.

  32. Phantom you’re delusional.

    Obamacare has collapsed. It collapsed because yeah it gave everybody healthcare, and made going to the doctor financially impossible for over 70% of the American Public.

    Right now you have your wish Obamacare is still the Law of the land and it’s killing people.

  33. Obama had a Unified Democrat Congress.

    Yes, and you have an insolent disunified rabble of a Congress. I’ve said that here for years.

    The Republicans -still- in July 2017 do not have a plan that they agree on.

    And as I said here, a man ( or a party ) with a plan defeats a man ( or a party ) with no plan nearly every time.

    Obama won yesterday, and Trump was crushed.

    So out of touch was Donald is, he spoke -yesterday- about how Obamacare was going to be repealed and replaced with ( an unspecified ) ” something great ”

    Trump never bothered to learn any of the issues surrounding healthcare, and has been a complete waste of time in this entire process.

  34. Phantom –

    No, I’ve factored in that it’s a lie to pretend that the NHS budget has been cut, as the Labour Party, BBC and many Bolshevik commentators do.

  35. Pete, it’s growing by around half a percent per annum, and in the face of increasing demand that represents effectively a reduction.

  36. Always, always look at rate ( per thousand patients or whatever ) first rather than the gross number.

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