By David Blumenthal and Jennifer Dixon Feb. 16, 2018 Reprints Jennifer Dixon A doctor attends to a young patient at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, part of NHS England, in Wigan, a town in northwest England. OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images Tags health care policyinsurancepublic health [email protected] About the Authors Reprints Hours-long waits in the emergency department, patients treated in hallways in the midst of an intense flu season, and canceled elective surgeries are only a few of the problems the National Health Service (NHS) England, which provides health care to all Britons, is facing this winter.At first glance, the struggles of NHS England appear to embody conservative arguments against the kind of single-payer health care system that many progressives in the U.S. have rallied behind as a way to expand health insurance to all Americans. In this view, the troubles of NHS England clinch the case that universal health insurance is a fool’s errand.Not so fast.advertisement David Blumenthal Let’s begin with what is actually happening at NHS England, where the primary problem this winter has been that demand for care — compounded by a severe flu season — is surging past the system’s ability to supply care. Despite the shocked reporting about this in both the U.K. and the U.S., the crisis was widely predicted months ago, and was potentially preventable.In the U.K., the Conservative-led government is continuing an austerity regimen for NHS England. Its funding is projected to increase a meager 1 percent per year from 2010 to 2020, compared with an historic average of 3.8 percent per year since the NHS was founded in 1948. This transpired against a background of relative parsimony in overall health spending in the U.K. Britain allocates 9.9 percent of its gross domestic product to health care — about average for industrialized countries — compared to more than 18 percent in the U.S.advertisement @DavidBlumenthal facebook.com/commonwealthfund/ First OpinionWhat the U.S can learn from the U.K.’s National Health Service Adding to the pressure on NHS England was a simultaneous 7 percent real reduction over the last decade in spending on social services, such as care at home or in residential or nursing homes. This cut has increased the demand for health services, especially among frail elders with no place else to turn. To make matters worse, worries about Brexit are sparking an exodus of essential European Union doctors and nurses who were staffing an already under-resourced NHS England.The unique structure of this system also leaves it more vulnerable to political whims. Unlike most other industrialized countries that provide universal health coverage, the U.K. government owns a large proportion of the hospitals and employs many of the health professionals who provide daily care to its citizens. This control can easily turn into continuous meddling in the health system’s organization and financing. Every change in government — and even a new Secretary of State for Health — seems to unleash another major reorganization that risks distracting and confusing health care providers.Despite these significant stressors, the U.K. has built a much stronger primary care sector than the U.S., and its health care system is typically ranked one of the best among wealthy nations. In addition, the NHS remains extremely popular. Satisfaction with the system hovers around 60 percent, with low levels of dissatisfaction. And even though 92 percent of residents of England, Scotland, and Wales believe that the system is facing a funding problem, survey data show no appetite for major changes in the structure of the NHS. This suggests that, from the public’s point of view, the system is still doing its job.So, what does all of this say about the how the U.S. health system should expand health insurance, if it chooses to do so?In answering that question, it is essential to keep in mind that every country’s health care system is a unique reflection of its history, politics, and culture. Wholesale importing of one nation’s approach to another is both unlikely and unwise. But that doesn’t mean the U.S. can’t learn from other nations’ successes and failures.First, regardless of how a nation’s health care system works, it must be appropriately funded. Health systems need sufficient resources to meet the predictable needs of their patients, especially when facing an epidemic.Second, underfunding social services risks inflicting pain and suffering on sick and needy citizens and can be self-defeating when it causes health care costs to rise. The U.S. currently invests little in social services compared to what it spends on health care. It should reevaluate this imbalance and its effects.Third, providing universal coverage does not require government ownership and control of the health care delivery system. As the NHS England example suggests, that approach presents enormous political and technical challenges. Given the strong affinity in the U.S. for non-governmental solutions, building on its largely private delivery system is the direction it will almost certainly take.Whether you favor or oppose expanding health insurance coverage in the U.S., don’t conclude from the U.K. experience that universal coverage can’t work. Health insurance coverage is essential to the health and well-being of millions of Americans, and to the success of its health care system. There are many ways to structure a system that provides Americans with the coverage they need and deserve.The U.S. can learn from the National Health Service — and other health systems — about paths forward and paths to avoid as it designs a uniquely American approach to its immense health care problems.David Blumenthal, M.D., is president of the Commonwealth Fund. Jennifer Dixon, M.D., is chief executive of The Health Foundation in the United Kingdom.
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TUSCALOOSA — When Reggie Ragland stares into the Ole Miss backfield on Saturday, he’ll be looking into the eyes of a familiar face.Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland (19) causes a fumble by Middle Tennessee’s Shane Tucker (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP) NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDITAlabama’s senior defensive captain has long had first-year Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly in his sights, including when the two were highly-recruited members of the 2012 signing class.“I met Chad when I went to The Opening going into my senior year of high school so we been cool ever since then,” the former Bob Jones High linebacker said Monday, referring to the Nike-sponsored camp held annually in Oregon.“So it’s been five or six years now probably.”In all that time, Ragland has watched the talented but troubled nephew of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly from a far.Last year, though, after Kelly was dismissed from Clemson following a well-publicized dispute with coaches, Ragland led a recruiting effort to have Kelly join what would be a crowded quarterback competition at Alabama this offseason.“I tried to get him to come here, but he’s at Ole Miss now so I got to line up against him and play my game,” Ragland said of Saturday’s Top 15 matchup with the Rebels. “It’s going to be a fun matchup.”Kelly, who put up video game-like numbers last season at East Mississippi Community College, even made several visits to Alabama during the 2014 season.“I let Chad do his own thing but I knew coach (Nick Saban) was going to do a great job of recruiting him,” Ragland said. “I tried to persuade him a little bit but I didn’t fight too hard. I had to worry about myself at the time and getting right and staying focused at the time about playing ball.”Coming out of high school, Kelly was the fifth-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2012 class and opted for Clemson and working under up-tempo offensive guru Chad Morris only to be dismissed a year ago in April after acting out during the team’s spring game.Following a year at junior college, where he threw for more than 3,900 yards and 47 touchdowns while leading East Mississippi to a second-straight NJCAA national championship, Kelly opted for Ole Miss over LSU and Virginia Tech.But, according to Ragland, Alabama was another serious option for Kelly.“It was close, but he chose a great team to go to and I can’t fault him for it,” Ragland said.While Kelly appears to have solidified his place as Ole Miss’ starter, according to statements Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze made to SunHerald.com, Alabama’s quarterback situation is still somewhat undecided.Saban again refused to make any definitive statements regarding his quarterbacks, outside of indicating that the Tide could still use both senior Jake Coker and sophomore Cooper Bateman against Ole Miss, if that’s what is best for the team.“I think both guys need to improve, and we evaluate this on a day-to-day basis,” Saban said Monday. “We’re going to make the decision based on what we think is best for our team. If it’s to play two guys, it’ll be two guys. If we think one guy is going to give us a better chance in this game we’ll certainly play that guy.”That said, Coker appears to have at least a solid grip on the starting job after opening the first two games of the season.“We started Jake two weeks in a row, I think there’s a reason to that,” Saban said after Saturday’s win over Middle Tennessee State.But while Coker has performed admirably in back-to-back starts, it’s been Kelly with the eye-popping numbers working within Ole Miss’ high-powered attack. Directing an offense that is averaging a nation’s-best 74.5 points per game, Kelly leads the nation with a 233.97 quarterback rating and nearly 14 yards per pass while completing 29-of-40 passes (72.5 percent) for 557 yards and six touchdowns through the first two weeks of the season.None of which comes as any surprise to Ragland.“Oh, man I been on Chad for a while, so I knew Chad was capable of that,” Ragland said. “He back playing ball … and from what I’ve seen he’s doing his thing and I’m happy for him.”
Automobile manufacturer Kia Motors has extended its partnership with Riot Games for the 2020 season of the LEC.Kia Motors will remain as the presenting sponsor of the ‘Player of the Game’ broadcast segment, additionally it well present two awards at the end of a split.Image credit: LECRELATED: Splyce rebrands to MAD Lions in Riot Games’ LECAlban Dechelotte, Head of Sponsorships & New Business EU Esports at Riot Games discussed the renewal in an announcement: “We are excited to expand the collaboration with Kia Motors, which mirrors the direction they took with its other partnership properties – namely with the NBA and the Kia MVP Ladder. This new milestone allows us to keep the strong momentum from 2019 while cementing a narrative for Kia consistent with its partnership portfolio. We also look forward to following the next adventures of our on-air talent episodes with Kia.”Kia Motors will, once again, activate at LEC’s live finals by showcasing its range of vehicles at events. It will present ‘All-Star Team of the Split’ and ‘MVP of the Split’ throughout the upcoming season.RELATED: Alban Dechelotte discusses the growth and future of Riot Games’ LECMichael Choo, Head of Brand Experience at Kia Motors added: “We at Kia are thrilled to embark on our second season as a main partner of the LEC, and we look forward to building on our successful entry into the world of esports by bringing to life an even greater degree of engagement with fans.“We believe these brand experiences along with our strong partnership with Riot Games will bolster and add value to the flourishing communities of League of Legends fans around the world while contributing to the continued skyrocketing growth of one of the world’s most sophisticated, cutting-edge professional esports leagues.”LEC returns for the Spring Split in the 2020 season on January 24th. More partnerships are expected to be announced for the league in the coming days.Esports Insider says: It’s good to see a renewal of commitment from an automobile giant such as Kia Motors, almost solidifying the fact that the initial partnership was fruitful or, at least, that it showed promise of being beneficial in the near future.Subscribe to ESI on YouTube
BILL NEAL• Were you as shocked as me this week when you were halfway paying attention to the news about another teenager being shot by the police and when you looked up you realized that they shot and killed a White teenager?! To quote social advocate Dick Gregory . . .”If they kill their own, you know they give less than a damn about us.”• There’s only one thing that keeps the Pirates from beating the Cardinals and claiming the division . . . and that’s the Pirates! Costly errors, misplaying the ball in the outfield, and yes, bad coaching decisions with your pitchers all add up to one and two run losses to a team that I actually believe pound for pound we’re better than. Hold on tight, we still got 6½ weeks to go.• Michael Jeffrey Jordan simply answered a question put to him at his basketball camp. Could he beat LeBron James in his prime? And he answered yes. No question. Absolutely. No – Doubt – About – It! #1 ~ What do you expect him to say? #2 ~ You know he would. I know he would and LeBron knows he would. #3 ~ Are you forgetting how bad M.J. was? No, I mean really. Are you forgetting the whole wide world stopped to see Michael play – – – are you forgetting they had to stop Bulls practice because he was going to kill his own teammates – – – are you forgetting he held Xavier McDaniels by the throat with one hand and threatened to take him out – – – are you forgetting this stuff . . . well, are ya punk????? (Client Eastwood, Dirty Harry. Try to keep up.)• This will be a better Pitt football team than last year I promise you. They will lose games, but not due to lack of effort or fight. It will be because the other team is flat out better. New coaching staff, new energy and a new attitude.• Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham is out for the season and former Super Bowl champion Garrett Hartley is in. Let’s go people. Move it along will ya. You see one kicker, you’ve seen ’em all. Just score more touchdowns than the other team that’s all.• While we’re on the subject, of course I expected him to try to make the tackle. I would, you would and any competitor would. It’s in the blood and instinctive.• At the very least you have to admit Tom Brady must believe he’s innocent of something. Who goes to court against the NFL and the NFL Commissioner if they have a shred of guilt in them.• This is where the truth matters right? Well here’s some truth for ya. I would never vote for Donald Trump and I don’t think he can survive the blood bath when it gets really really serious, but I’ll tell you this . . . everything “The Donald” is sayin ain’t crazy! I’m just sayin!< You Have Just Crossed the Finish Line >
Champions Trophy Quarter-Finals:Maree Out despite good performance against TempleogueMaree 73 Templeogue 86Maree Top Scorers: Cathal Finn 18, Paulius Peldzius 13, Kenneth Hansberry 12Templeogue Top Scorers: Michael Bonaparte 34, Stephen James 18, Paul Cummins 15.HT: Maree 36, Templeogue 43 *Report Basketball Irelandprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Women’s Division One Playoff Semi-Finals: Ulster Rockets posed the toughest challenge of the season to NUIG Mystics in the penultimate game but ultimately exited the Women’s Division One playoffs on the wrong side of a 68-58 scoreline. Breda Dick’s side were nine points clear at one point in the third quarter before succumbing to a high press and extra pressure on Emma O’Connor.O’Connor scored 16 points in the first half but was restricted by a box-and-one defence with Siobhan Kilkenny and Ailish O’Reilly going to work and forcing the turnovers that brought about a 19-point swing and victory for Mystics.“That was as hard as it’s been for us,” said Head Coach Mike Murray. “They were ready for us and they shot the ball really well. We haven’t had a game where we’ve had to come back so it shows good character from us so I was pleased about that.”NUIG Mystics: A O’Reilly 15, S Kilkenny 21, L Murray, M Fahy 9, M Gilcrease. Substitutes: H Coen, E Smyth, D O’Shea, C Connaire, A O’Neill, L Cunningham, R Hansberry.Ulster Rockets: N Rafferty 13, C O’Neill, A Maguire 12, C McGrath, E O’Connor 21. Substitutes: E Palmer, L Donnelly, M Deery, N Smye, S Daly.HT: NUIG Mystics 28, Ulster Rockets 32 NUIG Mystics 68, Ulster Rockets 58