And You Thought Obamacare Was Bad…

 

Here’s a story from caring sharing modern Britain to warm the cockles of your heart. Our beloved National Health Service (“the envy of the world” as it likes to style itself; “envy of the Third World” as I prefer to call it) is to offer free HIV treatment to foreigners.

Those from abroad, including failed asylum seekers, students and tourists are currently barred from receiving free HIV treatment – unlike other infectious diseases.

However, the Government is to support proposals recommended by peers which will end the “anomaly” and allow free treatment even for those not legally settled in Britain.

Gosh, I’m so glad they sorted out that “anomaly”. There was I, tossing and turning in my bed at night, thinking: “I don’t know how much more of this glitch I can stand. How can it possibly be right that a Nigerian woman can fly over from Lagos for open-heart surgery at my expense, but that her HIV-infected cousin isn’t free to do the same with his complaint?” But now, happily, thanks to the wisdom and foresight of my Conservative-led Coalition government this anomaly has been resolved.

A lifetime’s treatment for an HIV sufferer has been estimated at around $475,000. And it’s reckoned there are around 25,000 undiagnosed HIV casualties who might now take advantage of this new offer. Some might see this as yet another crazy example of what happens when you let socialized healthcare run riot at the expense of the taxpayer. But not me. That’s because I know it’s being done for my own good. Here’s the relevant minister:

Last night, Anne Milton, the public health minister, said: “This measure will protect the public and brings HIV treatment in to line with all other infectious diseases. Treating people with HIV means they are very unlikely to pass the infection on to others.”

There are estimated to be 22.9 million people living with HIV in Sub Saharan Africa alone. But I’m quite sure none of them will come to Britain to take advantage of this new scheme. Well they wouldn’t, would they? Their sense of fair play and justice would surely prevent them from doing so!

And just remember folks, this service was brought to you by the Conservative-led administration that David L Brooks, David Frum and Andrew Sullivan like to assure you is the very exemplar of the kind of caring, sharing, modern conservatism you should be emulating in the US.

Good luck with that one!

There are 14 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @GiveMeLiberty
    James Delingpole: And just remember folks, this service was brought to you by the Conservative-led administration that David L Brooks, David Frum and Andrew Sullivan like to assure you is the very exemplar of the kind of caring, sharing, modern conservatism you should be emulating in the US.

    It sounds like you folks have a “compassionate conservative” on your hands.  You like to tell us that Romney is our Cameron but maybe Cameron is your Bush.  God help you if that means you have your own Obama in your future.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @Percival

    Anne Melton’s next line: “Tough guidance will ensure this measure is not abused.” 

    Good Lord, the poor woman is dissociative.  Get the dart gun and some thorazine, stat!

    • #2
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    @MBF

    Do y’all have free contraceptives as part of your NHS? If so, will the HIV patients be eligible?

    • #3
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    @AustinMurrey

    Does Britain have some sort of national sales tax to support this, so that the “not legally settled” put some funds towards this in the course of their stay? Or is the $12 billion going to be absorbed by the average taxpayer?

    I wanted to write John Q. Taxpayer there, but I’m sure there’s an English equivalent I don’t know.

    • #4
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    @MafutaKizola
    Percival: Anne Melton’s next line: “Tough guidance will ensure this measure is not abused.” 

    Good Lord, the poor woman is dissociative.  Get the dart gun and some thorazine, stat! · 58 minutes ago

    She is, and belong in Arkam Asylum.

    Once this measure enter into application thousands of people who are diagnosed with HIV in poor countries are going to flock to the UK to receive free treatment, free housing, and free lunch money. Brilliant.

    Maybe Mr Delingpole could try to cheer up at the 2012 UK Liberty League Forum to be held in Newcastle or is He already a speaker ?

    • #5
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    @wilberforge

    Appears that Brit Conservatives are really Liberals in other outward trappings. 

    Might the EDL be a digestible Conservative party and be worthy of note ?

    Just a question.

    • #6
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    @Percival

    I’m still working on “tough guidance.”  Will there be stern looks?  Wagged fingers?  Raised voices?

    The horror!

    • #7
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    @SteveMacDonald

    Bank of England Gov. announces that the country has run out of money, at virtually the same tome that this potential $12 billion unfunded liability is announced. Truly a world gone mad.

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Member
    @

    And here I didn’t even know my heart had cockles.  Learn something new every day.

    I wonder, if a foreigner comes with cold heart-cockles will they be warmed for free? 

    • #9
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    @Annefy

    Wait. Wait. Wait. How does treating someone for HIV make is “unlikely” that the disease will be passed on? It’s infections regardless of whether or not a patient is being treated.

    • #10
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    @Midge
    James Delingpole:

    A lifetime’s treatment for an HIV sufferer has been estimated at around $475,000. And it’s reckoned there are around 25,000 undiagnosed HIV casualties who might now take advantage of this new offer.

    What? Have they forgotten about QALYs?

    I would think that the QALYs for AIDS patients would be pretty lousy… considering AIDS treatment is like chemo with no chance of remission. (The side-effects of antiretroviral therapy are so harsh that I fully sympathize with those who choose to forego it.)

    I thought NICE was supposed to see to it that gobs of money weren’t being spent on cases where not much in the way of great improvement could be hoped for:

    Even with anti-retroviral treatment, over the long term HIV-infected patients may experience neurocognitive disorders, osteoporosis, neuropathy, cancers, nephropathy, and cardiovascular disease. It is not always clear whether these conditions result from the infection, related complications, or are side effects of treatment.

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    @SMatthewStolte
    Annefy: Wait. Wait. Wait. How does treating someone for HIV make is “unlikely” that the disease will be passed on? It’s infections regardless of whether or not a patient is being treated. · 3 hours ago

    Here is the answer I could find with a very quick google search:

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/05/12/136242769/early-drug-treatment-for-hiv-slashes-infection-risk

    Whether or not Mr. Delingpole is right that this decision from the NHS is a very poor decision, I find his response distasteful. 

    • #12
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    @wilberforge
    There is a saying in Private Enterprise, If You Build It They Will Come.The Government does a rather poor job by comparison  trying to build on that thought.

    The moral and compelling want to help all , runs up against the wall of a program and funds meant for the citizens of the providing country.

    For as much as we might want to help everybody, there are certain realities we not like to think about.

    • #13
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    @DocJay

    A former colleague of mine was an HIV doctor in England up until 2 years ago and described Somali immigrants gaming the system.  It was very frustrating to her.

    Is there any wonder that these systems are doomed to collapse?

    • #14
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