MMT – blah blah – resources – blah blah – just print the money. And then:
It is estimated that the fiscal multiplier for UK healthcare spending currently lies between 2.5 and 6.1. This means for every £1 spent on the NHS approximately £4 of economic activity results. If you had a cash-back card that gave you £4 back for every £1 spent, you would not cut back on your spending! Only when we reach a position of over supply when NHS staff wait forlornly for patients to present do we reach a point where the multiplier falls to below one. We are, at present, an unsafe distance from a workforce oversupply scenario.
As a sovereign nation, the UK can always afford high quality universal NHS healthcare. Money is essentially an accounting system designed to facilitate our collective activities and development. Fiscal policy needs to be activated to meet the needs of our society as there is now observable failure of the prevailing reliance on monetary policy and preservation of rent-seeking private interests. It is evidently wrong to assert that healthcare access and quality is limited by the availability of money. The constraint, in truth, has never been the potential availability of money, but the desire to resource the NHS appropriately. In the words of John Maynard Keynes, ‘Anything we can actually do we can afford’.
The constraint is resources. And the constraint is not the totality of resources but the varied things we want to use our resources to do. We currently, in the UK, use about 11% of everything to produce health care. Perhaps 10% or so.
We do not wish to use 100% of everything to produce health care. Food being – just as an example – something that human beings have shown they like to have. So too housing, TV, foreign holidays, name brand sneakers and all the rest.
The limitation on health care is how much of everything are we willing to devote to health care? Definitely not enough to cure all of everything. Even not enough to cure all of everything that can be cured.
As it happens the country that comes closest to expressed preferences in how much should be spent on health care is the US at about 18% of everything. Getting to that number requiring that we recognise that the US is a richer place and health care is a luxury good. And don’t the lefties bitch about that?