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Socialized Medicine Casts Off Elderly


President Obama will likely be signing into law some form of socialized medicine legislation. Already a goal of Congressional leadership, now with an even stronger majority, I expect a American Health Protection Act will be the last bill sponsored by, and first national tribute to, Ted Kennedy and his brain tumor.

The question is: How socialist will they go? Canada, France, Germany, and the UK all offer enticing prospects the various factions who favor taxing grandchildren to keep parents alive. And each has its own set of failures. Revealed here (via Mark Steyn, via Maggie’s Farm), is one hidden cost of the British National Health Service:

The NHS already restricts access to expensive new drugs that could benefit older age groups -- such as sufferers of Alzheimer's and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness -- amid fears that the costs could cripple the health service.

Three months ago the ONS revealed that Britain is home to more pensioners than children for the first time in the country's history. There are 11.58 million pensioners - classed as men over 65 and women over 60 - compared with 11.52 million under-16s.

The number of over-80s has almost doubled to 2.7 million over the past 30 years. They are the fastest-growing age group as a result of medical advances, and their number is expected to continue rising dramatically.

The state retirement age is to increase to 68 for men and women by 2050, but the sharp rise in the elderly population is likely to lead to calls for the retirement age to be raised still further.

That’s right, Granny, you cannot get medicine that will prevent you going blind. The government has decided that it cannot afford caring for you. All those promises of safety nets and freedom from worry? Well, they got people elected. But the laws of economics pull like gravity, and despite our best intentions none of us can escape them.

I guess the politicians and administrators can hope that Alzheimer’s takes away the people’s memory before the next election.