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As readers know, I am an implacable opponent of socialised healthcare for the simple reason that it removes the fundamental need of self responsibility and places politicians in charge of YOUR health. That has to be wrong. However the NHS is THE political totem ok the UK political class and NHS worship is the new State religion.

George Osborne has confirmed he will put an extra £2bn into frontline health services across the UK next year. The chancellor told the BBC it was not a “one-off” but a “year after year” down-payment on a long-term NHS plan. There would be no “unfunded giveaways”, he said, adding the increase in NHS funding was possible because the economy was strong. Labour’s Ed Balls said it was “crisis money” and they would pledge an additional £2.5bn to the NHS.

You have to laugh. The Libdems have been running around promising an extra £1.5bn. Now the Conservatives are raising the stakes with an extra £2bn. And Labour seek to see that £2bn and raise a further £2.5bn. And it is all profoundly misguided.

Throwing MORE AND MORE of our cash into the chasm of the NHS won’t do a thing. It’s inherently dysfunctional. Over the past four years, the UK has seen ONE MILLION immigrants come here. They consumer all public services, NHS included and whilst we remain in the EU nothing can be done to change this. So more cash will be needed to prop up this vast dinosaur.

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78 thoughts on “NHS POKER

  1. Please define ” socialised healthcare “.

    There is always a huge fuzziness whenever I ask this question, except from Pete, but he’s a bit of a fanatic on anything doing with a government role on anything and his views on this are not meant to be taken seriously.

    We know what you guys oppose ( NHS, Obamacare ) but have you figured out what exactly it is that you support?

    No government oversight at all in matters of healthcare, health insurance, etc? No tax funded assistance for anyone at all? Dismantle the NHS and replace it with nothing at all?

    Can we get into specifics of what exactly you do support, or what country’s system might come closer to a better plan than the UK’s NHS system.

  2. Phantom,

    When the NHS was introduced in 1948, it was seen as something necessary and was valued as such. Over the intervening years it has been devalued by abuse and by bad political decisions, until it is now seen as ‘a basic right’.

    Now if the history and purpose of its creation and inception had been taught as part of the curriculum in schools perhaps it would be properly appreciated, rather than ‘just another benefit’ to be ‘used and abused’ by all comers.

  3. I do not doubt that what you say is correct.

    But I don’t believe I have ever heard any reform proposals on this site that were serious.

    The usual moaning, an occasional ” pull the plug and the free charity sort it out ”

    This is a complex subject that does not lend itself to glib solutions.

  4. Anyone who has studied the issue knows that that comment makes no sense, that these are different types of economic issues. Hayek certainly understood this.

    Besides, everything or nearly everything sold in your say Tesco is subject to certain mandatory quality and safety controls as organized by the UK, EU, perhaps even the US agricultural and other authorities.

    The quality of the food supply is much better than in say 1900 when unregulated sellers were happy to sell tainted meat to the public.

    Even some of the abundance you see may be due to the ( largely unwise ) EU agriculture policy.

    Very bad example Mr Moore.

    The superabundant western supermarket where every product is better than 50 years ago is a result of competition in the market, yes, but also results from effective and light handed regulation. It is Exhibit A for Capitalism with rules

  5. David, socialized health care does not have to “remove the fundamental need of self responsibility”. It is the politicians who encourage that.

    The NHS, despite what one reads on ATW and in the Daily Mail actually gets most things right most of the time. There are major problems with resources and of course the unfettered demand.

    There are simple steps which could be taken and which would immediately make a difference but it would be political suicide.

    In no particular order,

    1) Introduce a small charge at every patient/service interface
    2) Remove OTC (over the counter) drugs from drug formularies
    3) Limit the services provided, for example certain cosmetic surgeries.
    4) Introduce a tax deductible insurance scheme to top up on the basic service.
    5) Stop treating health tourists.
    6) Make political interference in service provision illegal (I know that’s probably
    impossible but I can wish!)

    That’s just for starters.

  6. Why not shut it down, replace it with nothing, and throw the patients into the gutter?

    That’s a common ATW solution, so it must be the best one.:)

  7. Phantom,

    Do you find cynical sarcasm beneficial to your argument?

    Matt’s suggestion would make a vast improvement to the way the public regard the NHS. The original concept of the NHS was a truly brilliant, humanitarian idea, such a pity that it had to be used as a political pawn.

    Unfortunately, when such a service is abused over a lengthy period of time, the quality of the service deteriorates. There comes a point when even the most dedicated professional will say ‘enough is enough’, and once lost, such dedication is hard to replace, but generally impossible. In truth, a unique and valuable service has been damaged beyond repair.

  8. Matt’s comments all make sense, and come from a position of knowledge.

    It’s not him that I’m going all Jonathan Swift on.

  9. There are major problems with resources and of course the unfettered demand.

    Of course there are problems with resources in the NHS, but this is a direct and inevitable consequence of the very nature of the NHS.

    When resources are rationed and distributed by political and bureaucratic fiat this is what you get. Add in unlimited demand for services which are “free” and resources will never meet demand.

    The only sane approach, as all of economic history demonstrates, is to ration resources by price, the price being set by supply and demand. The NHS is stuffed full of services and products whose prices are fairy tales, bearing no relation to the reality of supply and demand. It’s the Venezuelan toilet shortage writ large.

  10. Matt

    Regarding your first suggestion, my GP would revise it to charging for unnecessary second, third, etc., visits for the condition that required only one visit. He told me that whether some patients are hypochondriacs or have nothing better to do they make many unnecessary visits wasting his time and staff time. He believes if they were charged for the additional visits their health would appear to suddenly improve. I don’t know how common my GP’s experience is, but if it is, charging at least for the unnecessary visits would help overall efficency.

  11. New Yorker,

    The trouble with that suggestion is how does one defines “unnecessary”. Your GP’s experience is the norm.

  12. Pete, your suggestion of supply and demand to Healthcare is simplistic to say the least. What you get there, as seen in the American system, is on the one hand patients who cannot afford Healthcare and on the other patients who are over investigated and over treated due to the profit motive.

    In principle, with a Socialized system you get what you need, not necessarily what you want. In the NHS now, because of political interference it is often the latter.

  13. There are lots of things that can be done to make such a service more efficient, but no matter what you do, long term and complex, advanced care will be beyond the means of the average person unless that person has a kind of good medical ” insurance “.

    The individual person or family can’t possibly be in a position to negotiate this, especially if he or she already has a preexisting health condition.

    Again, Pete wants to end any government role in health care provision or regulation.

    Pete thinks that long term long cancer care for someone earning £30,000 a year the same type of economic issue as buying apples at Tesco’s. Its not the same issue at all, and is not helped by thought free bromides like ” the government is the problem not the solution “

  14. Agreed Phantom although in the NHS the Government IS the problem. When Healthcare provision is subject to short-term political gain, e.g. meaningless “targets”, then there is a knock-on negative effect in other areas.

  15. Matt

    Do you see any country’s system as being the best out there?

    Say the Swiss / French or whatever?

  16. To be honest, I’m no expert on other health systems but if I come off the bench, it would be the French system. The trouble is that now they can’t afford it!

    It is vitally important that money changes hands at the point of contact, even if it is fully reimbursed. This has two important consequences. Firstly, it helps the patient think for themselves and take more responsibility before attending and secondly, a system for which one has to pay up front garners a lot more respect than one that is “free”, human nature being what it is.

  17. Matt

    I agree with that comment.

    I have chosen for myself a plan with what most would see as a high degree of personal
    ” deductible ” – up to $5000. The insurance premium then is reduced to a a very low level. I save a certain amount of money every year in a tax advantaged account for a rainy day for medical costs. I think that I’m doing exactly what you propose.

    There are ” first dollar ” plans that require no payment at point of service ever, but this is a bad idea, as it drives costs through the roof and it doesn’t discourage hypochondriacs.

    A problem with all aspects of the US system, private and public is that doctors in any sort of a private practice are just killed with red tape, endless paperwork from insurance companies asking them to justify costs, medicine choices ( generic vs name brand ) , etc. My plan eliminates much of that too – for that first $5000 of coverage, I have a lot of choice and don’t need a GP prior approval in many cases.

  18. Phantom, if I understood you right, if you require medical treatment/drugs in a year amounting to 4K, you pay all of it yourself, the insurance pays only the difference above the total of 5K in any year?

    How much are the premiums?

    And as you get older and, say, generally more likely to require treatment, can you adjust your plan without any penalties?

  19. if you require medical treatment/drugs in a year amounting to 4K, you pay all of it yourself, the insurance pays only the difference above the total of 5K in any year?
    Correct

    That $6000 responsibility can be deceptive – if you sock away the premium savings in the medical savings account, that should correctly be seen as reducing your financial obligation.

    I think that the cost to me is $500 a year. But the true cost is about $4500 – the employer gives a large, tax advantaged subsidy.

    As is the case with most employees, this is a plan that my employer chooses to provide. Before Obamacare, they weren’t obligtated to provide any medical plan at all.

    My employer offers a variety of plans, many are different from the one that I have.

    But this ( good ) plan is of the same cost to all employees at my company. It does not vary by age. If you are sick / have a previous condition, the cost does not change.

    The main differences in pricing are
    a) the type of plan you elect to have
    b) whether you are a smoker – smokers pay more
    c) those with dependents pay more than single people

    At my company as in most, you can change the type of plan you buy each year. So yes you can game the system. If you know you need hip surgery in 2015, you can switch to a plan with a lower deductible ” just in time ” for that.

    Once one is of retirement age, then Medicare ( government single payer plan ) is the norm.

  20. BTW

    To restate –

    Employers have had no obligation to provide any medical coverage to workers, and this is a reason why many working people have had no medical insurance and little medical care in the US

    This was a major national problem that the current law was meant to address.

  21. Wow, that’s low cost, although the 5 K is a hassle.

    I pay almost 900 USD per month for comprehensive coverage for myself and two kids.

  22. For very many people, it makes sense over time to accept a high deductible for health and other types of insurance.( homeowners, auto damage )

    Buying ” first dollar ” insurance is usually a bad way to go for everyone – it screws up the incentives and it makes for more paperwork and frictional costs.

  23. One of the targets within the socialised NHS is to get as many people ‘protected’ by flu vaccine as possible – something to do with earnings for the pharamaceuticals. And here we go:

    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/italy-will-investigate-11-deaths-linked-to-flu-vaccine/story-fneszs56-1227140313129

    The number of people who have died in Italy after being administered a flu vaccine made by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has risen to 13.

  24. So, there might have been a problem with a batch of flu vaccine in Italy. I’m sure it will be thoroughly investigated.

  25. You are speaking to someone who sees the existence of these vaccines as a satanic conspiracy to kill us all.

  26. Matt – flu vaccines are more dangerous than the flu itself:

    The Scary Truth About the New York City Flu Vaccine Mandate

    According to the CDC, the flu vaccine contains thimerosal, aluminum, antibiotics, egg protein, aborted human fetal cells, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Our immune systems may be unable to combat these foreign, toxic substances, especially while under the influence of very common conditions such as high sugar intake, low vitamin D3 levels, and damaged gut lining.

    According to a search of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) website, in the past five years, (during the period from January 2009 until February 2014) there were 55,578 adverse events reported to VAERS related to the flu vaccine. Of these adverse events, 7,904 affected children under the age of six. [11]

    Most disturbing among these numbers are the reported 47 children age five and under who died after receiving the flu vaccine during the past five years alone.

    Keep in mind, vaccine injuries and deaths are grossly under-reported. Less than ten percent of vaccine injuries are actually reported, which brings the likely death toll from the flu vaccine to over one hundred children per year. [12]

    See the numbers 11 and 12 – those are references. Following reference 11 leads to:

    •More than 10 million vaccines per year are given to children less than 1 year old, usually between 2 and 6 months of age. At this age, infants are at greatest risk for certain medical adverse events, including high fevers, seizures, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Some infants will experience these medical events shortly after a vaccination by coincidence.
    •These coincidences make it difficult to know whether a particular adverse event resulted from a medical condition or from a vaccination. Therefore, vaccine providers are encouraged to report all adverse events following vaccination, whether or not they believe the vaccination was the cause.

    Ah – coincidences! Parents have been jailed for ‘shaking’ their baby to death coincidentally shortly after the baby had been vaccinated against whatever it was….

    But yes, (sarcasm on) I’m sure that the truth about the vaccine in Italy will come out (sarcasm off).

  27. Allan

    We actually have someone who knows something about medicine here.

    Let him have the stage for a second.

    We are aware that you think that everything is a James Bond Villain Conspiracy.

  28. Alan, the website you refer to can’t be regarded as objective, can it?

    All vaccines have potential risks associated with them. The relative risk is low but that is not any consolation if you are the poor sod harmed. The same goes for all medical treatments.

    I don’t buy the Big Pharma conspiracy theories and neither do my colleagues or the vast majority of ppatients who have recommended injections programs.

    As regards the flu vaccine, I have it every year and recommended it to all my patients who are deemed to be at risk.

    Oh and it’s made by Novartis!

  29. Alan, the website you refer to can’t be regarded as objective, can it?

    Exactly – that’s why I point you to the source references which are government sites where the data are stored. But I must ask whether you really believe that the deaths in Italy shall be investigated? As you write, it’s just a minor matter of a problem with a batch of flu vaccine – move along….. As for the NHS advice on vaccines, that can’t be objective either given that funding depends upon its use:

    http://www.mkweb.co.uk/Big-cash-boost-hospital-dependent-flu-vaccinations/story-22272999-detail/story.html

  30. So the NHS is encouraging it’s staff to have the flu vaccine as well as patients. Hardly a shock is it!

    The general consensus worldwide is that flu vaccination is relatively safe and effective. Are you seriously suggesting that there is a worldwide conspiracy amongst the leading experts in infectious disease and Big Pharma?

    My practice can claim a fee for every vaccine given. It’s part of the way we are paid. Am I in league with this conspiracy? If I am, I am unaware of it.

  31. Let’s take a closer look at the conduct of the NHS with respect to the vaccination programs so dear to the managers of that august and incorruptible institution. After all, a medical expert here has stated that the risk of vaccines is relatively low (as compared to the disease, I presume) and that there are no ‘conspiracies’:

    http://nsnbc.me/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/BSEM-2011.pdf

    The vaccination policy and the Code of Practice of the Joint Committee on
    Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI): are they at odds?

    Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD
    Neural Dynamics Research Group, Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, 828 W. 10th Ave, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1L8,

    Vaccination is a medical intervention and as such, it should be carried out with the full consent of those who are being subjected to it. This necessitates an objective disclosure of the known or foreseeable risks and benefits and, where applicable, a description of alternative courses of treatment. In cases where children and infants are involved, full consent with regards to vaccination should be given by the parents.
    Deliberately concealing information from the parents for the sole purpose of getting them to comply with an “official” vaccination schedule could thus be considered as a form of ethical violation or misconduct.

    Official documents obtained from the UK Department of Health (DH) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) reveal that the British health authorities have been engaging in such practice for the last 30 years, apparently for the sole purpose of protecting the national vaccination program.

    Here I present the documentation which appears to show that the JCVI made continuous efforts to withhold critical data on severe adverse reactions and contraindications to vaccinations to both parents and health practitioners in order to reach overall vaccination rates which they deemed were necessary for “herd immunity”, a concept which with regards to vaccination, and contrary to prevalent beliefs, does not rest on solid scientific evidence as will be explained.

    Oh dear – withholding results of adverse reactions (I assume that death is an adverse reaction?) skews the risk assessment outcome, and the fact of doing so is conspiracy.

    But who are the conspirators and do they have ‘skin in the game’?

    The transcripts of the JCVI meetings also show that some of the Committee members had extensive ties to pharmaceutical companies and that the JCVI frequently co-operated with vaccine manufacturers on strategies aimed at boosting vaccine uptake.

    Now Matt – you can believe whatever it is that makes you comfortable, but the reality of the conduct of the big pharmaceuticals is that they are mired in corruption and will use any product to be pushed by any dupe doctor in anybody stupid enough to allow a mix of toxins to be injected into them. There is a revolving door between the pharmaceutical companies and the governmental bodies which decide policy. This is an analogue of the banking/regulator revolving door – no conspiracies of course.

    The details of the conspiracy are on page 2 of the link. Within the link are items in blue which are direct links to the transcripts of the conspiratorial discussions. The evidence to support the assertions follows on page 3 and what an indictment it is.

  32. Are you seriously suggesting that there is a worldwide conspiracy amongst the leading experts in infectious disease and Big Pharma?

    Yes – see link at 5.49pm

    In summary, the transcripts of the JCVI/DH meetings from the period from 1983 to 2010 appear to show that:

    1) Instead of reacting appropriately by re-examining existing vaccination policies when safety concerns over specific vaccines were identified by their own investigations, the JCVI either a) took no action, b) skewed or selectively removed unfavourable safety data from public reports and c) made intensive efforts to reassure both the public and the authorities in the safety of respective vaccines;

    A@A note – the authorities in Italy and the UK have immediately gone to ‘safe’ mode, claiming that there is no risk etc. If a make of car had been involved in 13 identical cases of crash, it would be recalled immediately:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/pharmaceuticalsandchemicals/11260225/Novartis-flu-vaccine-suspended-in-Italy-after-deaths.html

    Fluad is not used in the UK’s flu vaccination programme, nor licensed for use in Britain, a spokesman for Public Health England said.

    “There are no implications for the safety of flu vaccines licensed and used in the UK, and we advise people to have the annual influenza vaccine as recommended,” he added.

    The solution to getting Fluad into the British public is to change its name. That has been done before so why not again?

    2) Significantly restricted contraindication to vaccination criteria in order to increase vaccination rates despite outstanding and unresolved safety issues;

    3) On multiple occasions requested from vaccine manufacturers to make specific amendments to their data sheets, when these were in conflict with JCVI’s official advices on immunisations;

    4) Persistently relied on methodologically dubious studies, while dismissing independent research, to promote vaccine policies;

    5) Persistently and categorically downplayed safety concerns while over-inflating vaccine benefits;

    6) Promoted and elaborated a plan for introducing new vaccines of questionable efficacy and safety into the routine paediatric schedule, on the assumption that the licenses would eventually be granted;

    7) Actively discouraged research on vaccine safety issues;

    8) Deliberately took advantage of parents’ trust and lack of relevant knowledge on vaccinations in order to promote a scientifically unsupported immunisation program which could put certain children at risk of severe long-term neurological damage;

    Yes – that’s conspiracy.

  33. Allan,

    Sorry mate, you are crackers! A world wide conspiracy amongst the most eminent experts motivated by money? Or is it down to the Jews like everything else?

    I concede the argument – you win.

  34. Matt McCarthy –

    Pete, your suggestion of supply and demand to Healthcare is simplistic to say the least. What you get there, as seen in the American system …

    What, and “let the government sort ot out” is not simplistic? Supply and demand are two simple words describing a miraculous, incredibly complicated market mechanism which rights itself constantly.

    There’s no point in talking about the US. Healthcare over there hasn’t been private, in the true sense, for a long time. For decades it’s been controlled by government.

    In principle, with a Socialized system you get what you need, not necessarily what you want.

    Forget the NHS. Think of a National Food Service which gives you what you need, not what you want. Food would be incredibly dull and astronomically expensive, and you could forget about anything exotic on offer.

    But by the miracle of the price mechanism and free-ish markets, you can come away from Tesco with South Africans oranges, Indian spices, spuds from Lincs and whatever else you want, from every corner of the world, all at affordable prices.

    I say again, since I’ve pointed it out in the past here, that when you do something as mundane as popping into the supermarket you are taking part in miraculous things. We can have that system for healthcare too, but not while most people cling to the belief that the kind of management which murdered tens of millions in Ukraine and China is superior.

  35. I concede the argument – you win.

    Thanks Matt – but you had no other option given that clear evidence had been put right in front of you.

    Here’s a beauty. An MMR vaccine branded in Canada as Trivirix was withdrawn in 1988 because of the unacceptably high numbers of adverse reactions, so the UK bought it and labelled it Pluserix. It’s just tremendous – I’m so proud of our medical establishment.

  36. Pete,

    It should be perfectly clear from my posts that I do not want the government sorting anything out other than the finance.

    The best Healthcare systems worldwide are a mixture of public and private. Your supermarket analogy is fair enough but one still can only afford what one can afford. What if you develop a medical condition that costs thousands each month just to keep you alive like, say, kidney failure and dialysis. Using your analogy, you starve!

    There has to be a safety net, like foodbanks!

    Also, I do not cling to any belief in the management system you describe. A tad OTT methinks!

  37. Allan

    Are China and Russia under the thumb of the US / EU pharmaceutical cartel ( as you see them )

  38. Phantom – I don’t know as I haven’t looked. What I do know is that medical authorities in the UK conspired with corporate pharmaceuticals to impose unsafe vaccination programs on an ignorant populace. Indeed, as is seen from above, the flock is no less ignorant than the shepherd. When provided with clear evidence taken back to source transcripts of the very meetings at which the conspiracy unfolded, our resident ‘medical expert’ spat his dummy out. Then again, in order to understand this:

    The transcripts of the JCVI meetings also show that some of the Committee members had extensive ties to pharmaceutical companies and that the JCVI frequently co-operated with vaccine manufacturers on strategies aimed at boosting vaccine uptake.

    one doesn’t need a medical degree.

  39. Are China and Russia under the thumb of the US / EU pharmaceutical cartel ( as you see them )

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/health-pharma/gsk-hit-with-380m-corruption-fine-in-china-1.1935191

    A Chinese court has fined British pharmaceuticals firm GlaxoSmithKline three billion yuan (€380 million) for paying bribes, the biggest fine ever imposed in China and evidence of a tougher business climate for foreign firms.

    The record penalty follows allegations the drug giant ordered staff to bribe doctors and hospital officials to use GSK products, using up to three billion yuan channelled through travel agencies.

    Why didn’t GSK simply take the GPs out for expensive meals like they do in Aberdeen? There’s much less chance of getting caught, especially if you invite the regulator too!

  40. Phantom – the answer at 7.49pm still stands. I really don’t know the extent to which corporate pharmaceuticals have corrupted the medical authorities. In the UK and US, it’s almost total.

  41. You are aware that the Chinese and Russians do use vaccines.

    This is all big pharma paid a bribes to (your buddy) Putin and to the central committee of the Chinese Communist Party, right? No medical reasons otherwise?

  42. Matt McCarthy –

    But the point is that medical treatments can cost thousands per month because the government controls the sysrem and massively distorts costs!

    A loaf of bread would be expensive in a state National Food Service, and you’d use this very same argument to kee it when I tell you that the NFS ought to be disbanded. You’d say that people couldn’t afford food and would starve, then I’d explain that free-ish markets would unleash muraculous mountains of cheap food from all over the world in places called shops and supermarkets, and you’d not believe that this is possible.

  43. Pete

    Why don’t you open a hospital or produce medical products, since you know how easy it is to do so.

  44. And I’ve said it before and will do so again.

    The UK per capita and as percentage of GDP expenditure spend on healthcare is significantly less than your European peers ( Germany, France, Switzerland ), Canada or the ( admittedly too expensive ) USA.

    One of the reasons your service has problems is that you are a bunch of cheapskates who pay Yugo prices at the auto dealership and then can’t bring yourself to understand why you are not given a top of the line Mercedes-Benz in return.

    Ever hear the phrase ” you get what you pay for “?

  45. Allan,

    I certainly am not ignorant on this subject and I most certainly haven’t spat any dummy out! I conceded the argument as I have no interest in swopping different references, opinions, studies etc. with you as you are not going to change your mind and I am not going to change mine. It would be a monumental waste of my expensive time.

    Your contention of a worldwide conspiracy is simple ludicrous.

    Pete,

    So would the supermarkets in your utopian world be giving away food for free? What happens if one has no money?

    Phantom,

    It’s actually amazing what good care the NHS achieves with that relatively low GDP spend. And it could do a lot better if properly managed.

  46. I know people, including Americans temporarily resident in London, who have received fine care from the NHS.

    Mike Cunningham I believe has spoken of the fine care the NHS nurses gave as his grandchild was being born. But he never stands up to be counted in these ATW debates.

    The NHS worldview on the NHS is so one sided and entirely negative. There is no intention of spreading light, it is largely only the perpetual moan of the professoinal critic more interested in complaining than talking about solutions.

  47. Matt

    You made some good suggestions. Here is another, which I would like your opinion on

    Every private health or life insurance plan that I know of in the US charges smokers higher premiums. I think that this is a sound principle. Do you agree?

  48. Phantom.

    This is based on sound actuarial figures. By smoking, you are significantly increasing you risk of vascular disease, respiratory disease and several cancers so of course your premium should be greater.

  49. Put Matt in charge of UK healthcare reform.

    The guy knows what he is speaking about, and does not live in an ivory tower.

  50. //charges smokers higher premiums.//

    What about those who are overweight, those with an unhealthy diet?

    And why stop there: there are bad sitting habits, lack of exercise, living in the city centre. And if even a fraction of the things they say about psychosomatic effects is true, then there’s a very large percentage of people with a lifestyle that encourages illness and disease.

    Health insurance firms are going to have fun trying to monitor and penalise all that.

  51. The city is a healthier place to live than the country or suburbs.

    People in the burbs drive to everything, city people often walk miles a day.

  52. “Health insurance firms are going to have fun trying to monitor and penalise all that.”

    Noel, this is bread and butter to insurance firms.

  53. You don’t want to go too crazy with the slicing and dicing, but in general bad behavior should have consequences.

    If you have three auto accidents a year, should the auto insurance company have the right to charge you more? Of course they should, and do.

    Incentives are very important.

  54. Matt – I don’t believe that you’ve read a single word of the source transcripts of the JCVI’s deliberations. But then, why should you as it refutes your entire position. You have refused to challenge a single word of any of my assertions, duly supported by evidence, and simply take refuge under the ‘conspiracy theory’ umbrella for the weak of mind. A conspiracy is below, as linked via the post of 6.06pm:

    On page 5, one reads:

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130107105354/http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/@dh/@ab/documents/digitalasset/dh_117381.pdf

    5.d. Comments on Professor Stewart’s letter)
    “Professor Gilliatt observed that in the Meade Panel Study one-third of children with brain damage were not admitted to hospital. In both the Meade and Dudgeon studies there were examples of children who had a fit soon after vaccination which was followed by a fit at a later time and then followed by cessation of development. It was very difficult to assess this as a random event.”

    The rate of vaccination and the scale of adverse reaction (death is an adverse reaction) increase in tandem: there can be no denying the link.

  55. Allan

    Do you accept that any vaccines have done any populations any good at any time? Were they always a conspiracy or did it turn into one on a certain date.

    I mean, you’re an expert on the subject and all.

    Why does Russia and China vaccinate their troops and their populations? Putin stands up to the west while he allows the Russian Army to be ” poisoned ” by his enemies?

  56. Phantom, on December 1st, 2014 at 11:15 PM Said:
    Allan

    Do you accept that any vaccines have done any populations any good at any time?

    No – vaccines have always failed and in fact caused the very diseases which they were supposed to prevent. Now would you download this and read it – and then we can discuss it tomorrow:

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?url=http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/05-Smallpox-and-the-First-Vaccine-4.doc&rct=j&frm=1&q=&esrc=s&sa=U&ei=v_d8VOv0JMzePba5gIgF&ved=0CBQQFjAA&usg=AFQjCNH8gyuc9gF92HdBmpgntngKub2e0A

  57. Phantom, on December 1st, 2014 at 11:40 PM Said:
    So why does the Russia vaccinate?

    Did Putin take a bribe?

    I have no idea – now you have a read of the link. You did ask, so I’m providing the explanation.

    And this mindset in a medical practitioner is downright dangerous:

    …..you are not going to change your mind and I am not going to change mine.

    Taking Matt at his word and that he really is a medical practitioner, to state that you won’t change opinion even when presented with evidence which refutes currently-held opinion is bad enough in a non-medic but absolutely harmful in a medical practitioner. It really does underline how dangerous the medical profession as a body is to the gullible public – see point 8 in my post at 6.19pm.

  58. You presented him with evidence that vaccines are bad in a population?

    That an entire population is better off without vaccines?

    Everyone knows that there can be side effects from vaccines or from many other drugs among a certain number of users. It will say it on the label that the vaccine or drug came in.

    This is not a reason not to take vaccines anymore than the fact that some car drivers will die in auto accidents is a reason not to drive cars anymore.

  59. No – vaccines have always failed and in fact caused the very diseases which they were supposed to prevent.

    Which is of course why we are all still dying in our millions of smallpox and tuberculosis and diphtheria and cholera and and and ….

  60. Allan

    The great flu epidemic, which was worldwide and absolutely devastating ( up to 50 million may have died ) took place in 1918-1919

    The flu vaccine was developed in the 1930s

    There have been no similar devastating flu epidemics.

    If vaccines cause the disease then why did flu death numbers go down when you think that they would have gone up?

  61. If vaccines cause the disease then why did flu death numbers go down when you think that they would have gone up?

    Aah Phantom, surely you must know its because the evil ‘jew controlled’ Big Pharma are just trying to lull us into a false sense of security 😉

  62. Phantom – Allan is a robot, think HAL without the sense of humor. Engage with him and the crazy (for which there is no vaccine) will just keep coming.

  63. He’s actually funny IMO

    He should go on stage with this stuff

    Allan boobelah, you can be King of All Media. Show up at the next Open Mic at this Aberdeen pub and do your comedy to a live audience.Do a live stream for us!

    Cellar 35, 31-35 Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen, AB25 1NQ– Wednesday night open mic night, 8.30pm, http://www.nooseandmonkey.com/category/cellar-35/

  64. Phantom, I don’t think he is remotely funny for two reasons.

    1) His libelous accusation in his 11:59hrs post.

    2) The fact that he and other crackpots like him, continue to spout this nonsense and as a result, children are going unvaccinated with the resultant danger to themselves and others.

  65. Noted

    Here he makes common cause with the most ignorant Islamics and with clueless granolaheads trendies

  66. Phantom, on December 2nd, 2014 at 12:58 AM Said:
    Allan

    The great flu epidemic, which was worldwide and absolutely devastating ( up to 50 million may have died ) took place in 1918-1919

    http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/49/9/1405.full

    Salicylates and Pandemic Influenza Mortality, 1918–1919 Pharmacology, Pathology, and Historic Evidence

    A confluence of events created a “perfect storm” for widespread salicylate toxicity. The loss of Bayer’s patent on aspirin in February 1917 allowed many manufacturers into the lucrative aspirin market. Official recommendations for aspirin therapy at toxic doses were preceded by ignorance of the unusual nonlinear kinetics of salicylate (unknown until the 1960s), which predispose to accumulation and toxicity; tins and bottles that contained no warnings and few instructions; and fear of “Spanish” influenza, an illness that had been spreading like wildfire.

    As for:

    Phantom, on December 2nd, 2014 at 12:10 AM Said:
    You presented him with evidence that vaccines are bad in a population?

    Yes – it’s there at 11.26pm. Phantom – you did read it, didn’t you?

    And of course, there is this beauty from ATW’s ‘medical expert’:

    Matt McCarthy, on December 2nd, 2014 at 8:19 AM Said:
    Phantom, I don’t think he is remotely funny for two reasons.

    1) His libelous accusation in his 11:59hrs post

    the libellous accusation being that a medical practitioner won’t change his mind regardless of what evidence is presented to him – by his own admission!

  67. Allan

    He may be questioning your entire monomaniacal approach

    BTW why do the Chinese vaccinate? Have you figured this out.

  68. “monomaniacal approach”? Have you read any of the evidence which I provided in support of my position?

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