The NHS's Winter Crisis Is a Red Flag for Americans Enticed by Single-Payer
Excerpt: The winter flu season has plunged Britain's government-run National Health Service into a full-blown crisis. Medical professionals are struggling to cope with an influx of patients. One doctor described his workplace as "an absolute war zone" and the "worst hospital conditions in my memory." This is hardly the first time that flu season -- an utterly predictable event -- has pushed the 70-year-old NHS to the brink of collapse. The chronic failures of Britain's state-run system should disabuse Americans of the notion that more government control is the answer to our healthcare problems. Long waits are inherent in any healthcare system dominated by the state. When governments make care "free," they remove any financial incentive for patients to moderate their consumption of care. To keep a lid on costs, governments restrict the supply of care -- by limiting funding for the construction and maintenance of clinics, restricting access to cutting-edge treatment and technology, and skimping on staff.