Opinion: US Federal Shutdown ‘Obamacare’ and the UK’s NHS

The Senate's side of the Capitol Building in DC.

The Senate’s side of the Capitol Building in DC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning, as I read the World’s news, focusing on the US Senate‘s decision which will trigger a partial Federal shutdown, my mind considered the risks.

Overnight, global financial markets have fallen steeply, worried about default on US debt obligations.

We have seen the US Congress, dominated by Republicans put onerous strings on Obamacare funding. AND the US Senate, with a Democrat majority,  has rejected the watered-down,  modified budgetary proposals for Obamacare. After a bitter fight, Obamacare is law but Republicans are refusing to finance it.

The following article published in the FT highlights the risks very clearly:

via ‘Obamacare’ stand-off seen as Republican gamble – FT.com.

Personally, I originally had some sympathy for the cause of Obamacare but am now serious suspicious of the bureaucratic monster being created.  Also I question whether Obamacare will be too complicated for many poor Americans. So we shall have two areas of failure:

  • Bureaucratic monster, inflating costs and hindering effective take up of Obamacare
  • Obamacare bypassing poor people, most deprived of healthcare, again because it is too complicated for them

I do not know if a compromise will be reached  before the weekend which will trigger the partial US Federal shutdown but as the FT article highlights, US citizens could well turn on the Republicans in the the next Congressional elections.

This story, once again, highlights President Obama, as a “lame-duck” President. Many people, around the World, will speculate on the wider risks to global security and economic prosperity because of the  “lame-duck” President.

As I have read expert articles on Obamacare, my mind has considered the NHS, as a comparison.

Most people, who regularly read this blog will know that I regard the UK’s NHS as in a state of terminal melt-down, beyond reform, and in need of replacement by a new system of public healthcare in the UK, modeled on best practice in Germany, France and Italy.

BUT for me, Obamacare still promises to be a far bigger disaster than the UK’s NHS; this is based on two fundamental weaknesses, both cost and effectiveness in reaching poor people.

Let me turn this to an open question:

Is it right to kill Obamacare?

Any thoughts?

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10 responses

  1. Pingback: Lame-duck leaders in the US, UK and France? – John Gelmini « Dr Alf's Blog

  2. Pingback: Putting the world to right | Journalism

  3. Obama was a lame duck from the moment he was first elected!
    Perhaps if President “If we say we can enough times it’ll magically happen” Obama, took time out from writing endless “feel good” speeches and got down to some proper hard ball politicking for a change, public servants could all get back to work…..

    Does he even know how to do that? He seems better suited to organising local worthy charity projects than the blackmailing, career crushing and ego boosting tactics needed keep hard nosed Senators, Congressmen & Women in line long enough to keep America’s government functioning.

    The NHS needs…. Best not get me started on that one, suffice to say I agree with you!

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