Obese patients and smokers banned from routine surgery  in ‘most severe ever’ rationing

Obese people will be routinely refused operations across the NHS, health service bosses have warned, after one authority said it would limit procedures on an unprecedented scale. Hospital leaders in North Yorkshire said that patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above – as well as smokers – will be barred from most surgery for up to a year amid increasingly desperate measures to plug a funding black hole.

The restrictions will apply to standard hip and knee operations.

The decision, described by the Royal College of Surgeons as the “most severe the modern NHS has ever seen”, led to warnings that other trusts will soon be forced to follow suit and rationing will become the norm if the current funding crisis continues.

Source: Obese patients and smokers banned from routine surgery  in ‘most severe ever’ rationing in the NHS

Are there any lessons here for our friends who see only a Medicare for all approach as the solution to health care costs? A universal health plan may be the solution when it comes to 100% coverage for Americans, but all such systems struggle with costs and most use restrictions and controls that Americans would have difficulty accepting. 

Do you seriously want bureaucrats and politicians determining your health care? And talk about inequality; the average patient may be subject to this kind of rationing, not so for those who can pay for private care. 


  1. Is this healthcare or parts replacement. There is a reason parts wear out. It is a fact of life and when enough parts wear out you die. If you want to lower healthcare costs stop trying to prolong life.

    With that said, it looks like that only people who have taken care of themselves get a chance to extend their life. But what risks did they do to wear out those parts during their life? Did they serve in the military or stupid teenage things like play football? What will the government next determine was an unhealthy lifestyle? Remember that is the danger and do not eat that steak.


  2. I wouldn’t call it rationing.The two major problems with health insurance or any insurance for that matter are “adverse selection” and “moral hazard”. (Moral hazard definition— lack of incentive to guard against risk where one is protected from its consequences, e.g., by insurance.)

    The article you cite is NHS attempt to control cost by reducing moral hazard by placing responsibility for the condition of personal health on the insured rather than the insurer.


      1. How it would fly in the U.S. would depend on who you ask. If you were to ask a responsible adult who understands that there is no such thing as a free lunch, they would probably agree and be in favor of curbing costs. If on the other hand, you asked a Bernie Sanders supporter you would most likely get a different opinion.


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