Ryan Lees

The UK National Health Service (NHS) is planning decentralization. NHS is the king of socialized healthcare and has ruled over England with paneled, bureaucratic rationing in failure. Critics of socialized, single-payer healthcare are drooling. The NHS decentralization proves the inefficiencies, inequities and irrationality of the socialized philosophy.

What will this mean for our fight over healthcare here in the U.S.? This is a good thing, right? With goals such as “putting the power in the hands of the patients and clinicians” and relying on “doctors’ control,” the free-market philosophy is clear. It will surely help the citizens in the UK.

Yet seemingly, as the UK embarks in this newly targeted, wiser direction, the U.S. is moving in the opposite manner.

As NHS focuses on greater personalized care, the U.S. is moving into a more detached and generic variety.

As NHS cedes national control over health plans and treatment, the U.S. is consolidating that power in federal oversight and prerogative.

As NHS localizes discretion with doctors and patients, the U.S. is centralizing the administrative process in DC.

Most importantly, as NHS recognizes the failure of their 62 year experiment and is reverting back towards a freer market, the U.S. is ignoring all contrary empirical evidence and socializing. Yes, this initially seeks greater efficiency within NHS; however, it follows patterns developing throughout Europe.

The UK, Germany, Spain, Greece, France and other EU nations are implementing severe austerity plans rolling back their entitlements and other socialized elements. This rejection of socialist markets for freer markets is reflected by the NHS restructuring. As efficiency increases in UK healthcare and quality of life improves as a result, it is rational to assume that the larger economy will follow suit. It is possible that the sun might again rise on the British Empire.

What of the U.S.? For centuries, the U.S. has gained power, influence and wealth through the free market that led to unheard of prosperity and spurred immigration. This was our experiment. This was our success and this was what attracted the oppressed, the ambitious and the innovative to our shores.

Philosopher after philosopher has preached the power of the free market: Hayek, Smith, Buckley and more. It allows for incentive, which in turn contributes to wealth and the public good. As the American Experiment of free market economy and republicanism took shape, subjects of authoritarian and collective systems joined our freer society, seeking success and escaping tyranny.


Ryan Lees

Ryan Lees is the Director of Media Outreach and a Program Coordinator at the Patrick Henry Center.