For Sixty years I wasn’t much of a burden on the Health Service. Then as I moved out of middle age never to return I began to be more of one. The older you are the more you need care and treatment. And that costs.
The blood thinning drugs I take for Atrial Fibrillation are expensive, but they work and enhance my life. The medication I take for my fairly recently diagnosed epilepsy likewise. My NHS provided hearing aid and the service alongside it enhances my quality of life as well.
I’m pretty sure that my situation is matched by millions. I paid my taxes for forty years a significant part of which was allocated to healthcare I didn’t need. Now I pay much less tax but draw on my “free at the point of use” healthcare rights rather a lot. The NHS says “It costs three times more to look after a seventy five year old and five times more to look after an eighty year old than a thirty year old …today, there are half a million more people aged over 75 than there were in 2010.”
Somewhere in my common story there is a solution trying to get out. Of course my taxes were general including Trident as well as my Grandpa’s teeth. I didn’t pay them in in order to draw on my money pot later when I needed. But maybe I should have? Not to the private sector but to the NHS? Do we need to rethink National Insurance so that it is more specific in its use and more personal?