16 December 2011

NHS budget ‘to rise for ever’

Andrew Lansley last night warned that NHS spending may have to rise for ever, simply to keep pace with rising life expectancy.

The Health Secretary told the Spectator magazine he was not satisfied with managing to get a real-terms rise in health spending for this Parliament – he wanted to see increases in the years beyond. Mr Lansley said the NHS was still immune from cuts, even though other departments were having to cut back on spending.

He added: ‘We have been very clear that the NHS is going to have real terms increases year on year. We have a profile of rising demographics and demand and cost pressures and technology in the NHS.’

Asked whether he believed that spending would have to rise in real terms every year from now ‘until kingdom come’, he said: ‘I believe so.’ (Daily Mail, 14 December 2011)
This is misdirection of attention in order to focus attention and blame on those of pensionable age – a population with above-average IQs. The ‘rising demographics’ referred to – rising expectation of life – may owe something to the increasing number of people who reach pensionable age as a result of NHS expenditure throughout their lives, rather than as a result of their own genetic endowment and prudent life-style. But is the expectation of life not also somewhat reduced by the ever-increasing population of life dependents? Kept alive at considerable expense, the genetically dysfunctional must, statistically, have a below-average expectation of life.
And surely this ever-growing population must contribute far more to the increasing costs of the NHS (and also of ‘education’ and other forms of ‘welfare’) than does the population of pensioners which statistically has an above-average IQ, and is hence the most convenient scapegoat.
On page 23 of the same issue of the Daily Mail there is a report on the case of a girl who has died at 13 after a short lifetime of painful and expensive medical treatments, reduced in her case by her convincing her parents that she would prefer to be free to get what she could out of life without treatment (at least without the most expensive treatment, which kept her in constant pain).
How does the life expectancy of those who never have a normal expectation of life, but are kept alive as victims of the NHS, affect the overall life expectancy figures?
* * *
The state pension system was not originally part of the (oppressive) Welfare State, but mimicked commercial schemes, in which what you paid in was supposed to be what determined what was to be paid out to you at a certain predetermined age, whether or not it provided adequately for your ‘needs’, as determined either by your own aims in life, or by what other people would consider acceptable.
As the costs of the Welfare State, and its growing population of dependents, increased, the state pension was brought under the umbrella of Welfare by being retrospectively means-tested. This brought the population of pensioners, with its above-average IQ, into play as an acceptable scapegoat on whom the rising costs of the NHS etc. could be blamed.
So long as they had commercial-type pensions they were outside the benefits system, and pensions were paid ‘as of right’. That is the reason that I, as a victim of state-funded ’education’, made voluntary contributions for so many years.
Now attention can be focussed on this above-average population as the cause of the rising costs.
* * *
Further misdirection of attention is in asserting that it is not ‘fair’ that those who go into ‘care homes’ should have to sell their houses (if they have them) to pay for the ‘care’ they receive. This, of course, will lead to families being deprived of their inheritance.
Families are said to be ‘betrayed’ by care home funding, which leads to many pensioners being forced to sell their homes. This is described as a ‘scandal’, and it is hoped that a ‘fairer’ system can be devised. This rhetoric in itself should make one aware that a misdirection of attention is involved.
The population of those who reach pensionable age, and have homes to sell, are a population with an above-average IQ; so will their offspring be. So surely the modern mind can see nothing ‘unfair’ in a relatively high-IQ population being deprived of the inheritance it might have had from its parents, also with (statistically) above-average IQs. It is the obtaining of advantages from a previous generation of above-average people which is regarded as unfair, surely? How can ‘fairness’ be increased by transferring assets from one relatively high-IQ population to another?
And so we infer that these expressions of concern that homes will be lost to some of those who might have inherited them must have an ulterior motive. What is presumably aimed at is justification for an additional tax of some kind, resulting in the usual transfer of resources to a relatively low-IQ population.
It is suggested that what a pensioner pays towards his care home fees should be ‘capped’ with ‘the state stepping in’ to pay the rest. That means taxpayers stepping in to pay the rest, including pensioners who do not go into care homes. ‘In a further blow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley refused to rule out a pensioner tax to pay for old age care.’ Aha! This idea – an extra tax on those above retirement age, mooted in the Dilnot Report – approaches more closely the principle of transferring assets from the relatively high to relatively low IQs.
The population of pensioners who do not go into care homes at all may be expected to have higher average IQs than those who do go into them and have homes they might be required to sell, because the former are likely to have better genetic constitutions, have lived more prudently and/or successfully, or because they have devoted relatives, which are all factors likely to be correlated with high IQs.
So it may be seen as ‘fair’ that those pensioners who do not go into care homes should be taxed in order to transfer assets to those who do go into them.
This is no doubt the real reason for blaming the rise in life expectancy of pensioners for the increasing costs of the NHS, so that as usual a population of people with above-average IQs can be penalised for the benefit of a population with below-average IQs.
As for changing demographics, figures for life expectancy are usually quoted in relation to specific ages. E.g. people who are 50 now have a life expectancy of so much. But by the ages one sees quoted, the majority of those with a low life expectancy at birth are likely to have died off, although not before being a considerable drain on the NHS, state education (with ‘special needs’ tutors?), etc. Clearly these are an important part of the real demography, usually left out of the discussion. Those who are still alive at pensionable age (a population with a relatively high average IQ) are certainly not responsible for the rise in the costs of the NHS caused by the genetically dysfunctional (a population with a low average IQ).