Report Suggests People Over 40 Should Pay More into NHS

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Published: 4 Sep 2014      

A recent report created by The King's Fund think tank has claimed that people over the age of 40 should pay increased National Insurance contributions to help cover the costs of the NHS.

The group also claims that the amount of free prescriptions should be reduced in an effort to further fund the NHS and general social care, however this would also be accompanied by a reduction in the base cost of a prescription.

The King's Fund report goes even further than that to say that over-75s should no longer be entitled to receiving a free TV licence and that winter fuel payments are only to be made to those who are most in need.

As any doctor will be able to tell you, the cold weather is a silent killer for many people of pension age, so any efforts to reduce the amount of money they have to heat their homes with should be taken extremely seriously and thoroughly examined.

The panel of supposed experts eventually concluded that all social care funding whould be placed under single budget with just one commissoner responsible for allocating funds, which would aparently help the NHS to make better use of the money they are allocated.

The report said "We recommend on the grounds of equity, affordability and inter-generational fairness that at least some of the extra revenue to pay for the large-scale improvements that we seek should come from the group that will be among the biggest beneficiaries of the changes, namely the older generation and particularly its more affluent members.

"Resources can be released by targeting existing benefits ... away from affluent pensioners, and diverting the money into health and social care."

In total the report estimates that up to £5 billion could be generated if all of the measures in the report are implemented and it underwrites the fact that the NHS has become a critical talking point ahead of the upcoming election.

A Government spokesman expressed support for the report, adding "We agree that health and social care services should be more joined up - our £3.8bn Better Care Fund is making this a reality for the first time ever, bringing NHS and social care teams together to help people live independently for as long as possible.

"We have taken tough economic decisions to support social care services and protect the NHS budget, which we have increased by £12.7bn since 2010."

Labour's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham replied that "The simple fact is that there is no sustainable future for the NHS in the 21st century without a long-term solution for social care."

While we can perhaps all agree that something has to be done to increase the quality and efficiency of the NHS, surely reducing the amount of aid provided to the older generation will only further the problem and lead to an increased amount of elderly patients suffering from illness that might otherwise have been avoided.

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