Reality is knocking at their door

I just ran across this headline as I was scanning the news:  Leading doctor says free NHS is unsustainable.

LONDON (Reuters) – The National Health Service is unsustainable and needs to be reformed, one of the country’s most senior doctors said on Saturday.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Bernie Ribeiro, the new president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said healthcare should be paid for through a social insurance system.

“If we’re going to have a health care system suited to the future, we’ve got to be prepared to invest in it,” he said. “I don’t personally believe that can be done out of pure taxation.”

Ribeiro suggested a means-tested system where the poorest would pay nothing at all and other patients would take out insurance to cover a proportion of their costs.

“We’re not a poor country, the working population is reasonably well paid, we could afford our workers to make an identifiable contribution towards health care — not one hidden in national insurance and taxation.

“We seriously need to look at this again.”

The Labour party vowed during the May election to continue free care for all through the NHS, which it created in 1948.

Britons tend to be very protective and proud of the health service which employs 1.3 million workers and spends over 76 billion pounds a year.

But an independent report in June 2005 said the service faced serious financial problems through poor management and doctors and patients have repeatedly complained of long waiting lists and over crowding on many hospital wards.

Socialism–The Road to Serfdom (which was written in 1944 and intended for the British audience).  And socialized medicine is just one of the steps down that path.  At least a few people are getting a clue after nearly 50 years.  The question is, is it too late to reverse the slide into the abyss?