4 thoughts on “The Maggie Simpson delusion: the NHS is not ‘ours’”

  1. Posted 19/06/2014 at 10:37 | Permalink

    A very worthwhile point, which explodes one of the key myths that is used to justify this 1940s-style state monopoly.

    The key test of whether one owns something is the question of control. And it should be obvious to anyone that the individual has no meaningful control over the NHS whatsoever.

    Hence it is indeed absurd to talk about “our NHS”.

  2. Posted 20/06/2014 at 13:57 | Permalink

    This post raises some interesting issues about state ownership needn’t mean people have control, or get quality services. There are issues with an idea of a market in healthcare, though, as the idea of the ‘expert patient’ is highly questionable – this ‘expertise’ will always need to be filtered through professionals with decision-making powers. It’s also likely that the state would have to underwrite the system to some extent, meaning the patient wouldn’t have true freedom to choose their treatment. Combined with the idea of economies of scale, this makes it likely that competitive principles would more often be applied by having tendering for overarching contracts rather than personalised budgets with patients acting as individual consumers. More importantly for the argument being put forward, though, ‘profit-making’ doesn’t have any necessary connection with a competitive system. It is possible to commission not-for-profit providers – whether statutory or charitable – and this might be an option that gets closer to having the best of both worlds: some accountability through competition, but all those involved (in theory at least) being motivated solely by efficiency and quality of care – precisely what people worry private providers won’t be.

  3. Posted 20/06/2014 at 14:08 | Permalink

    Not sure that being held in a basement as a sex slave for 24 years is quite the right thing to joke about.

  4. Posted 12/01/2015 at 11:04 | Permalink

    You have no control over it. You feel like you are in control when you spin your little toy wheel, but try steering the car in any direction other than the one where it is already heading, and see what happens. The ones who really drive the car are the political class and the medical establishment.

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