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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 5-Aug-2015
5-Aug-15 World View -- Britain's National Health Service (NHS) faces existential financial crisis

Web Log - August, 2015

5-Aug-15 World View -- Britain's National Health Service (NHS) faces existential financial crisis

Criminality and fraud in Veterans Administration and Obamacare

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Criminality and fraud in Veterans Administration and Obamacare


Veterans Affairs plaque
Veterans Affairs plaque

I've told a number of people that I was researching an article on Healthcare.gov, the greatest IT (information technology) disaster in history. I have in fact found a great deal of criminal fraud in the Healthcare.gov web sites software development projects, but I haven't finished the article yet because I've expanded it substantially to include an economic analysis of Obamacare. I hope to have it done within the next couple of weeks.

By way of introduction, it's worthwhile reviewing what's happened with the Veterans Administration healthcare system.

In 2006, far-left NY Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote the following, describing the Veterans Administration (VA) health care system:

"[The VA's] success story is one of the best-kept secrets in the American policy debate. ... [Conservative] pundits and policy makers ... canít handle the cognitive dissonance."

Krugman is not known for his intelligence, or for much else besides his loony left ideology. After Krugman wrote this, the horror show of the VA health system began to come out in the media.

We now know that the VA system is loaded with fraud, corruption, lying, and unbelievably poor health care services. Since this has been well-reported in the media, we won't do more than list some of the well-documented problems:

The bottom line is that apparently no one in the VA actually gave a damn about medical care for veterans.

This appears to be exactly what's happening in Obamacare, according to the research that I'll be reporting within a couple of weeks.

There will also be a separate article posted on my web site on academic research into the general problem of sabotage, fraud and subversion in software development projects. This will be of interest to academic researchers and software development managers. Forbes (23-May-2014) and St Louis Today (8-Jul-2014)

Britain's National Health Service (NHS) faces existential financial crisis


UK National Health Service (NHS) launch leaflet, July 1948
UK National Health Service (NHS) launch leaflet, July 1948

Those who favor copying the United Kingdom's single-payer National Health Service (NHS) should be aware that on Monday it was announced that NHS is facing an existential financial crisis. NHS health care providers are forecasting a deficit of over $3 billion in 2015-16. The deficit is growing rapidly, and the NHS is being required to find $35 billion in "efficiency savings" by 2020.

According to a letter sent on Monday to NHS from David Bennett, head of the Monitor agency that monitors the NHS:

"As you know, the NHS is facing an almost unprecedented financial challenge this year. Current plans are quite simply unaffordable. As I have said before, if we are to do the best we can for patients we must leave no stone unturned in our collective efforts to make the money we have go as far as possible."

This week, the NHS is being told to take the following steps in response to the financial crisis:

These minor tweaks to the NHS system will not come anywhere close to providing the required $35 billion in "efficiency savings." A massive restructuring will be required.

According to the Labor Party's health secretary Andy Burnham:

"This is a sign of a serious deterioration in NHS finances. It suggests that the financial crisis in the NHS is threatening to spiral out of control and hit standards of patient care.

The suggestion that hospitals can ignore safe staffing guidance will alarm patients and the Government must decide if it will overrule this advice.

Morale in the NHS is already at an all-time low and doctors have lost confidence in the Health Secretary.

It will raise further questions about how the Government can possibly fulfil commitments on a seven-day NHS without the money to back it up."

Not surprisingly, with so much money involved, the NHS is filled with criminality and fraud, just as in the case of Obamacare and the Veterans Administration. A study last year by Portsmouth University found that fraud alone is costing the NHS something like $8 billion a year. Some of the fraudulent activities include:

Not surprisingly, "the NHS in recent years has stopped measuring its own losses," according to the report. When an organization stops collecting early warning data, that's a sure sign that a problem is turning into a full-scale disaster.

Britain's dentistry services have already become so bad that many people are buying "do-it-yourself (DIY) dentistry kits" that can be obtained from local stores. According to one resident, "DIY dentistry is fairly common round here. They sell a lot of those first aid kits ... and youíve got people taking care of their whole familyís teeth with them."

The NHS financial crisis is so enormous that nobody doubts that it will seriously impact patient care. The NHS is facing a massive restructuring.

By American standards, an 18-week waiting time is ridiculously long, and now the NHS is scrapping even that waiting period. Any American who uses the NHS as a model has to be a total moron. Independent (London) and BBC and Independent (London) and BBC (24-Mar-2014) and Guardian (3-Apr-2015)

Summary of Obamacare findings

The following is a brief summary of my findings that I will be posting within a couple of weeks:

UK's National Health Service, Veteran's Administration health care, and Obamacare all share the same things: fraud, criminality and worsening health care. Unfortunately, there's little chance that any lessons will be learned.

By the way, I'm perhaps uniquely qualified to do this analysis. I'm an apolitical, non-ideological, highly analytical writer. I have decades of experience in software development (Resume: http://www.jxenakis.com/resume). And I also have decades of experience as a tech journalist, including two years as Boston Bureau Chief of InformationWeek Magazine, and ten years (part time) as Technology Editor for CFO Magazine (Examples: http://ww2.cfo.com/author/john-xenakis/).

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 5-Aug-15 World View -- Britain's National Health Service (NHS) faces existential financial crisis thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (5-Aug-2015) Permanent Link
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