The BCS Blog

'British Cardiovascular Society Blogging Cardiology'

The Health Care Reform Debate

Nothing like getting politicians in a room to pull the audience in! I managed to get a seat in what was a heated room!!!

Health Care reform is a contentious issue here and the reconciliation bill is likely to be voted upon at anytime by Congress!

The problem with both the US system and the NHS is the escalating costs and funding. There is inequity in the US system which does not apply in the NHS (although there are some services which are restricted..before you all start!!!). Wes Fisher, my co-blogger, and I will pull together an article comparing the US system and NHS to help inform you all further…watch this space!!

In the US Medicaid provides for the indigent population, Medicare for the over 65’s and the other insurance companies provide for the rest… but this is optional, resulting in a significant proportion of the population without insurance cover. Costs are also not fixed…CABG can cost from $47k to $100k! Importantly there are no quality measures and there is no patient choice. The US spends more than TWO TRILLION DOLLARS on such health services.

Republican Paul Ryan criticised what would be a federally run system with no reward for innovation or quality. He advocates a more patient centred system. Chris Jennings, a former White House advisor and co-Director of the Leaders Project on the State of American Heath Care denied it was a government take-over. Both agreed that things had to change for the better.

The ACC was acknowledged as having an important role in the health care debate by providing guidelines and defining quality and outcomes.

Will get back to you with more on this Debate as I think we have lessons to learn on both sides of the Atlantic.

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  1. Iain A Simpson

     /  March 15, 2010

    We could send over all the Commissioners from the NHS thereby to implement a tariff system thereby solving their inequity of charges and creating a huge benefit to the NHS at the same time!

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