The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence ... or pond
Sometimes the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence (in this case, the other side of the pond)
The reality of sweeping changes made with the passage of PPACA is now happening. Some will argue it’s for the better and others view the passage of PPACA as the beginning of the end to healthcare as we have known it in the USA. I personally believe the delivery system and the payment structure to support the healthcare system needed to change, however with the passage of PPACA, be careful what you wish for.
Covering 30 plus million additional people without the means to increase the structure of primary provider care, absolutely no effective rational payment methods to balance what a provider charges, and the fiduciary responsibility of the employers to manage assets of the healthcare plan … and now the added bureaucracy to implement all the provisions of PPACA as they exist today, with more bureaucracy to follow.
So what have we done? We looked at our neighbors in Canada and across the pond to the UK and said, “We should do what they do.” The grass sure seems greener over there. Is it?
I find it interesting that as the debate around healthcare reform occurred last year, many looked to the Canadian system and UK system as success on how to provide access to all and still deliver care in a cost effective way. As one of my mentors once said, “Truth over time prevails.” Just this week in a July 25th New York Times article, the headline read, “Leaders plan to turn healthcare upside down.” At first, I thought this article was another long list of articles detailing the new PPACA plan. On further review, the article announced that Britain’s healthcare system would need to be totally revamped or it would go bankrupt. Yes that’s right…bankrupt.
The British socialized program is in for major changes. The new coalition government has enacted substantial cuts in health spending. Although not all the details have been made public, what we do know there is a new focus on switching from a highly centralized control of their health system to allow the care and decisions to be made at a local level.
As mentioned in the New York Times article a document produced by the National Health Service (NHS) of the UK states, “The current architecture of the health system has developed piecemeal, involves duplication and is unwieldy. Liberating the NHS and putting power in the hands of patients and clinicians means we will be able to effect a radical simplification, and remove layers of management.” As the article goes on to say, “Currently, how and where patients are treated, and by whom, is largely determined by decisions made by 150 entities known as primary care trust – all of which would be abolished under the plan.”
It seems as we are heading (at least in my opinion) from a highly decentralized system to one that is highly controlled at a national level. While we are moving in this direction, the British system is moving away from a highly centralize to a decentralized system.
Sometimes the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence…in this case, the other side of the pond.