British Lung Foundation
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Similar problems

Reading the comments from the UK people, I have to tell you that your problems are so similar to those in the US! Whether gov't should do everything for the citizens or whether we should be on our own to do our own thing - whether conservative or liberal - who should be elected and who should be out.

What to do about illegal immigration?

Our present administration wants socialized medicine - is that good or bad? You have had it for years, do you like it? Seems to me it's not desirable. But what are the benefits - what is negative about it?

I think the more the gov't gives, the more control it has. I am for smaller gov't and less handouts. I support less national debt. I am conservative but that may mean someething different in the UK.

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The National Health Service is one of the proudest achievements of the British welfare state, meaning that people can receive treatment free at the point of delivery. It is hearbreaking for people of many different political persuasions to see the way it is being increasingly privatised, and if the Transatlantic Trade Agreement (TTIP) is ratified many here fear that it will force through wholesale takeover of the system by large (generally American) health companies.

The benefits are very clear. Nobody ever needs to fear visiting a doctor because of the bill. If people need hospitalisation, it's free. Nobody ever needs to pay more than £10 a month for medicines (& many of us think that's too much), & around 70% of those prescribed are free.

If small Government means checking your insurance policy before they check your pulse, then with all due respect I think most British citizens will hope it stays on your side of the pond.


Glad you brought up TTIP hun. It beggers belief that we don't hear more of this in the media - I guess they will wait until it's too late. cx


The UK National Health Service is not a "handout" Bettz. It is a national insurance that is deducted, at source, pro rata, from the employer and employee throughout the working lifetime of every citizen.

Unfortunately some governments since this began at the end of WW2 have not set this money aside for the health of the nation and have spent it on bombs.



We are very proud of our wonderful NHS that turns nobody away but too many fat cats want a slice of the action which is not great for anyone needing medical attention. Xxx


Hi Bettz I am puzzled why you don't think socialised medicine is a good idea? It has to be far better than people being allowed to die because they don't have the funds to have treatment hasn't it? Good health should be a basic right of all citizens and not something which is traded on the open market.

I have heard some terrible stories about the USA on web sites - eg of a woman with lung problems who needed oxygen but couldn't afford it, or others ones unable to afford the medicines they need to keep them alive etc. I wouldn't want to live in a country like that. x


Hi Bettz

I am from the US also. Our health care is terrible! I have none, at the present time. I should have had a ct scan a year ago. Can't do it. Haven't seen a pulmonary Dr. for a yr. and a half. If I'm sick, I pay $130. to go to the Dr. Thats not counting the medication! I've

got nothing good to say about our health care. UK seems to treat everybody fairly, and they get the help they need.

Immigration? If I wasn't a US citizen, I would get the health care I need. Sad situation we have here. Glad that it works for you, Bettz

Rubyxx 😊


What I hear about socialized med is that the govt decides whether or not you get treatment - so a person deemed too old for surgery wouldn't get it.

Ruby xx how do you fall out of getting Obamacare? (Affordable Care Act) It was suppposed to take care of everybody (of course it doesn't but if you believe

Obama it does. ) I think it is available to all. They will even fine you if you don't have ins.

Actually I think Obama Care is a good idea, it just needs revision to include everyone and not include some things which certain individuals don't need.

My ins is great and I am living on a very small fixed income but I can afford it.


Well that's only true for those who need a transplant Bettz as there is a great shortage of organs. There is generally a cut off point eg for lung transplants at 65. . Older people get everything else they need like new hips and careracts done etc.

The Govt. doesn't make decisions on this but the NHS do. They can also turn someone down for an op if they think it wouldn't be safe, but they do think about the patients and put them first regardless of the ability to pay. They can also turn people down if the drugsor treatment is too expensive but that is few and far between.

I have seen quite a few folk on USA sites who can't afford insurance so haveto do without or try and get the meds they need online thus putting their health at greater risk. I would hate that over here. x


The govt does not decide who gets treated. The govt sets a budget and the NHS decides what to spend it on ... spend it on and tht is NEVER based on age, sex, race, religion, etc. In the U.S. insurance companies decide what when, if and how much they will pay for treatment based ultimately on thi profit. If you can get health insurance that is .... in the UK you cn buy ptivate health insurance too if you want, which is a small fraction of the cost in the U. S. Social security, medicare and medicade ... they are socialized, government programs too. As an American living in the UK for the past 20 years it angers me to hear the rubbish propogated in the U S about socialized medicine. I think we are sll for less government, politicians, etc.


Hi Bettz, I've followed elements of the healthcare debate in the US & the comment about Government deciding who gets treatment is pure nonsense perpetuated by opponents of it over there.

The Government sets out funding guidelines, priorities for the service, and how much money can be spent on different treatments. That is always complex because to use a classic example if you have £1m to spend and you have 2 people with a complex illness that costs £0.5m to treat or 1m people with minor illnesses that cost £1 to treat, what do you do? The NHS has finite resources to address almost infinite problems, but that totally misses the point of its function for the overwhelming majority of people.

Decisions on who gets medicine, with the execption of very rare & expensive treatment is made by doctors, who it is completely free to go and see.

As an example, I need around 5 or 6 prescriptions a month for medicines that have a technical value of hundreds of pounds. Each prescription would cost just over £8, but I can get a ticket for £10 a month that covers everything. That is paid for through our National Insurance Scheme as mentioned above. So yes, the public generally subsidise my treatment but you'll have to go a long way to find anyone who objects. The reason being that everyone knows that if they become ill at any future point in their life, ther own care will be free to them. They also see children, elderly relatives etc., all getting free treatment at point of delivery.

It's not a perfect system, & politicians try to tinker with it but it is almost universally popular here.


I think one of the problems we have now are health tourists. Also now the population has increased it is also difficult to see a doctor, but we are lucky as when we need drugs we get them.


The specter of Socialism is being raised as a proxy for heaven knows what evils, but many Americans are convinced of them

Thanks all you British for rallying to your health system. Fight to keep it! From the USA I'm proud of you. I hope our systems can shake out to approximate the value of yours.

Our system has developed some bizarre quirks that are hard to believe; as one example any surgical procedure is billed by a hospital at roughly 10 times the amount that it gets from insurance (negotiated rate) but until Obama care those without insurance, which were many, were expected to pay the full rate and were sent for collections if they could not pay 10s or 100 thousands of dollars. Now everyone is required to have insurance and low income people are provided subsidies to buy it, and more of the indigent are made eligible for the government program Medicaid (it is this last segment that seems be the most difficult to integrate smoothly).

Another phenomenon illustrates what happens when market forces dictate health policy. In Denver, there has been a spree of building emergency rooms that stand apart from a hospital, though sometimes are built by a hospital, very close to one another in affluent areas, with no relationship to actual need. They compete with one another for patients with advertising. The only reason I have ever heard is "emergency rooms make money."

We already have Medicare, which actually is socialized medicine; Obama care is not. Without Medicare support I doubt many Americans could afford their healthcare.

My doctor explained the contrast between the concepts in terms of Electronic medical records, now in the stages of being implemented in many countries. In Sweden, the government chose a system and everyone must use it. In the US many systems are available and market forces will presumably bring out the recognized best. For now, however, it's kind of a mess, with many different systems in use.

Americans also rely on Social Security income, which is yet another socialized program that serves as a large proportion retirement income for a vast majority.

Nobody denies that actual health costs are a public problem, and unfortunately many of us lack the power to do much to influence the situation, so speak up when you can!



It broke my heart when I read a post from an American Lady on a forum saying that she hadn't evn got an inhaler as she couldn't afford the cost of it. So sad :(

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Your right diesel, $150. for my inhaler! Not good here. You guys should be most proud of your health care system.

Rubyxx 😊 😊


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