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Britain's single-payer health care system was a disaster even before COVID-19

Published in Blog on January 12, 2021 by Convention Of States

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With the Democratic takeover of the federal government, Americans should begin preparing themselves for the push to institute a single-payer healthcare system. President-elect Joe Biden has expressed support for a "public option," which, as many experts have noted, would destroy the private health care system and lead eventually to a single-payer system.

With those threats on the horizon, it's worth considering how other single-payer states are faring. The British single-payer system -- called the "National Health Service" -- was in trouble long before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent article by National Review

Apparently, the government-run system in Britain struggles to keep up every winter during flu season. Check out these British media headlines from the last few years:

  • “Hospital beds at record low in England as NHS struggles with demand” (2019)
  • “NHS bosses sound alarm over hospitals already running at 99% capacity” (2017)
  • “Sick children moved as NHS intensive care units run out of beds” (2016)
  • “More patients, overstretched doctors – is the NHS facing a winter crisis?” (2014)
  • “Hospital’s scramble to prevent crisis in NHS’s ‘toughest ever’ winter” (2013)

Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic stressing already-thin resources, the British people are wondering how they'll secure the health care they need. And they have no choice but the trust the government. Average Britons can't look for alternative sources of care or seek other health insurance plans. They're totally dependent on the bureaucrats and lawmakers who run the NHS, and they have no ability to change how their healthcare system operates.

This is the real danger of single-payer systems. Standards of care are lower and hospitals are overworked and understaffed. But the worst part about government healthcare is that it eliminates freedom and self-government.

We're seeking to call the first-ever Article V Convention of States to defend self-government in America. Bureaucrats and politicians in Washington shouldn't be able to tell you how to live your life. Their power should be constrained by real, permanent limitations outlined in the Constitution, and that's exactly what we can have with a Convention of States.

A Convention of States is called by the states and has the power to propose constitutional amendments. These amendments can limit the power, scope, and jurisdiction of the federal government. These amendments can prohibit Congress taking control of the healthcare system and limit how much money Washington can spend on issues like healthcare, education, energy, and the environment.

These are important issues, and state and local governments may have a certain role to play. But the federal government is too far away and too little accountable to dictate our health, education, and other decisions.

We want a government as close to the people as possible, and we can get it with a Convention of States.

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Almost everyone knows that our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and businesses is a recipe for disaster.

What is less known is that the Founders gave state legislatures the power to act as a final check on abuses of power by Washington, DC. Article V of the U.S. Constitution authorizes the state legislatures to call a convention for proposing needed amendments to the Constitution. This process does not require the consent of the federal government in Washington, DC.

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