Mick Jagger saved by US healthcare, eschews socialized medicine in UK

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Legendary Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger underwent successful heart surgery last week, days after announcing the postponement of an upcoming North American tour.

The British citizen secured cutting-edge treatment, receiving a transcatheter aortic valve replacement. The surgery took place only days after Jagger complained about chest pains.

Americans keep hearing that the United Kingdom’s healthcare system, the National Health Service, uses outdated technology and has lines so long that even the New York Times has noticed. And, treatment of older patients has been so poor that even the paper of Britain’s political Left, The Guardian, has noticed.

So, how was British citizen Mick Jagger, 75, able to avoid the wait times and secure the latest technology?

Jagger hopped on a plane, went to New York, and paid cash for the surgery.

Unfortunately, for most citizens of the UK, flying to the United States and paying for surgery out of pocket is not a viable option. The appeal of socialized healthcare was supposed to be that it provided free (or low-cost) treatment, and that the treatment was equitable, meaning that treatment decisions were made without considering the patient’s personal wealth or fame.

The case of Mick Jagger shows that the NHS fails to keep either of these promises. A public healthcare system is not free if the patient will be dead by the time a surgery date is available, and it is not equitable if wealthy patients can simply avoid the system.

Jagger is not alone in fleeing a socialized healthcare system in order to receive faster and higher-quality care. Canada’s CTV News reported that an estimated 63,000 Canadians left the country in 2016 to obtain heath care in a different country. One can assume that a large number of these Canadians traveled because they desired care that was either not available from Canada’s socialized healthcare system, or because the wait times were too long.

Among those who have traveled in past years includes the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, the equivalent of a governor of an American state, who had heart surgery in Miami in 2010.

Americans can be thankful that their healthcare system, while expensive, offers high quality and short wait times. Let’s hope that politicians don’t import failed systems from other countries.



  1. Candice says

    There’s private healthcare in the UK too so I’m not sure what the point of this article is other than to show a lack of knowledge on the subject. There’s nothing wrong with the NHS that a reduction in migration, cessation of “free” gastric bypasses and gender reassignment surgeries and more vigilance towards medical tourists wouldn’t cure.
    For someone like Mick Jagger there certainly is no need to complain. The royal family use private wings at NHS hospitals and the same medical staff treat them.

    1. Karen says

      hahaha my friend in Britain was told she was blind in one eye, ten years later a doctor accidently discovered she had a cataract, because of her age, her case met a board to see if it was viable to remove it. One plus years later it was removed. Uh, no thank you….and that is the point of the article.

      1. Ellen Peba says

        ….how can this be??? Communist-Democrats loooooooove Universal healthcare…are you suggesting they’re incompetent in the UK?? Oh, goodness, now what.

    2. Jeanne Nickerson says

      And the point to that private health care is, who can afford it? Mick could have but why pay more locally when you know if something bad happens, you can hop on the plane and go to the US for surgery. I have so many friends who live in socialist countries where healthcare is socialized or otherwise nationalized who can’t get any care unless they leave the country and pay for it out of pocket. And it’s because of the insistence that one size fits all, and includes coverage for things most of us don’t need or want, like gastric bypass, gender reassignment, abortion and birth control that makes the costs prohibitive (or at least the deductibles and copays) and the policies worthless. First and foremost is choice, and next is free market competition.

    3. Donna M Louden says

      You are misinformed!

    4. Alfred says

      Physician to the Queen (or King as appropriate) is a title held by physicians of the Medical Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Part of the Royal Household, the Medical Household includes physicians, who treat general conditions, and extra physicians, specialists who are brought in as required.

    5. Donald Korndoerfer says

      When Obama”care” was forced down our throats, even though I have private ins. through my employer, the cost went up and the benefits went down in reaction to it. Thanks Barry! So, you can imagine when a country fully socializes medicine, everything becomes equal; equally bad and equally unavailable except for the uber rich and uber connected. But, it seems to me even Fidel Castro left Cuba to get heart surgery and you can’t get more connected than he was in Cuba. God help us if Bernie Sanders (or any of the Demonic-Rat candidates) ever get elected and shove Medicare for all down our throats in the same unscrupulous way they shoved Obamacare down our throats. Under socialism everything goes equally down to the least common denominator.

    6. Aeronomer says

      The NHS is garbage. Good luck trying to defend it.

    7. Linda says

      How much do these private insurances cost? Can the regular person afford them? You say the costs went up and the benefits went down? How about the elderly can they afford them?

    8. r. girndt says

      That I bull sir. I have lived in Scotland twice and Norway once.

      Do not even compare what America USED to have to either countries, not fair to them

    9. MJ Hayden says

      Ummm, before y’all jump off a bridge for this story, the TAVR was originally developed in Denmark and first implanted in a human in France. My sister-in-law in Florida needed a valve replacement last year and was not allowed this procedure because she wasn’t old (she was 64) or sick enough, believe it or not. It was only allowed for people with issues too high-risk for an open heart procedure. Unless you have a lot of money and can buy yourself into the program, but for us peasants, not so much.

  2. Robin Boyd says

    Evidently the private health care in the UK is not as good as in the US due to the UK having been socialized for so long. The same is true for Canada, which is why so many Canadians cross the border to come to the U.S. for health care treatment.

  3. Roger W Norris says

    the Democrat’s italian plan,will be more “equitable”. part mussolini, part corleone, it will make you an offer you can’ trefuse! the competition will be illegal.

  4. Sue says

    Mick Jagger resides in Los Angeles. Why would he even consider going to England for an opinion when he could get surgery in the U.S.? Where do you people get your information?

  5. David Carey says

    Mick Jagger has been a creep all of his life and has been convicted of crimes.

    1. Doc Eibenschotte says

      If only they could repair his baseball-glove face.

  6. Martin says

    The Demo idiots want to destroy our health care. Vote them out.

  7. Michael Honohan says

    Here is a fact. Most of the Canadians who sought healthcare in other nations did so because they live near the border and Canada allows them to see American doctors if they are closer. And they pay for it. I don’t think you folks want facts.

    1. Cary says

      Maybe because the Canadian Government does not want to build expensive hospitals when they can just send their citizens across the border to take advantage of our Prvitized system which has plentiful Hospitals. But I also suspect that many of these Canadians did not want to be put on a waiting list for a surgery they could get done quickly, avoiding the discomfort, pain and possible loss of life by their surgery being delayed by the Socialist Medicine.

  8. Noway says

    Ever been in a Hospital in a different country? NOT Clean. Not a good atmosphere at all. Hard to tell who is a patient with all the people laying around.

  9. Chris says

    To my understanding, private ins. and cash payments are allowed in Britain, but most use the NHS. In Canada everyone has to be on their socialized system.

  10. Bobby Knobby says

    …Because everyone is as wealthy as Mick Jagger and can just as easily pay up.

    So much stupid in these comments.

  11. Lee says

    If your over 65 in the UK and need dialysis – sorry, you had your run. You are not getting it! In Europe they have a statistic unknown in the US – People who die of cancers that are not diagnosed -!. The wait for testing is that bad! Yo can bet this ‘medicare for all would bring that here, and the elite( including Congress) .won’t have that problem. The US health care system is far from perfect, but going to socialized medicine is not the answer. Who wants to end up with the Canadian system, which Canadians tell me work like this ” Don’t get sick!”

    1. S Moore says

      And that is why the mortality rates are skewed. They are not higher in those countries, as many like to claim they are severely misrepresented!

  12. Jim Anchor says

    a retired orthopod from MN said half his patients came from Canada because of either long wait times or turned down. And Bernie and Hitlary want that for us in the USA. No thanks, go away commies, your failed religion sucks.

  13. Andi Price says

    I really don’t want someone else deciding what level of health care I receive based on who is paying my bill and my perceived value factored by my age and productivity. Retirement should be a reward for working hard and paying taxes your entire life, not an excuse to refuse you quality health care to hold down on spending.

    1. Dennis says

      Funny. What you describe is the absolute procedure of insurance companies in the US. You really think US insurance companies work with altruism as their primary motivator, rather than how much money can be generated for shareholders? If you are retired, you have Medicare, a government run, single payer system. The hypocrisy is stunning.

  14. catherine says

    I am a Costa Rican/U.S. citizen and live in Costa Rica. My husband just had a hip transplant for $3,000. How much would that cost in the U.S.? We have tourist medical patients because things are cheap down here medically. Cars are expensive!

  15. John Porcheddu says

    Hmmm, no grey. Looks like Mick gets hair color along with his perms.

  16. Mike says

    This information has been known for decades. Anyone who can read or doesn’t listen to the MSM has heard these same stories over and over again. The sad truth is that it all falls on deaf ears because the MSM will never ever admit to the failure of socialistic health care or socialism in general.

    1. Dennis says

      Geeez! Yet somehow, study after study show lower costs and better outcomes from these “socialized” systems. I posted several links above. But, any system allows those with the cash to receive elevated levels of care. What a national healthcare system does is provide care for all, regardless of income or status, and not have to declare bankruptcy or just die. The “sad truth” is that you probable live in an economic environment that protects you from such troubling issues, and you simply do not care about the “other.”

  17. Peter C says

    Most people in the US can’t get the level of care that Mick got either. I think that his story is most demonstrative of the reality that there are two levels of healthcare in almost all locations. The common level, which is generally what is available to the public and those on public assistance… and that level that you can get if you have means and almost as importantly, the knowledge to access the higher tiers of care.
    We should embrace this disparity not reject it, however. The higher levels trickle down and innovations that are initially available only to those with means eventually become common. We should encourage this two tiered system because it will be available anyway, so why not maximize the benefits for everyone.

    1. Dennis says

      Terrific comment, similar to what I said above to Mike. Unfortunately, the naysayers seem to simply not care that healthcare isn’t available to all. What is most amazing is the older folks on Medicare decrying a socialized system. The ignorance is palpable.

  18. Margaret Clark says

    The democrat’s want power, they say and do whatever they think will give them that power. The problem is the people that believe the things that come out of a democratic mouth. Democrat’s don’t care about the American people’s health, their “equal pay for equal work, the wage gap” or anything else. These are just gotcha phrases that tested well.
    How do a socialist/communist governments stay in power? Control the food and the healthcare, keep them hungry and sick and work them to death. Think North Korea.

    1. sawbuck says

      Is that why trump is such good buddies with Kim?

    2. Dennsi says

      Congratulations on the most fact free, dumb comment of the day! You cannot provide any viable source to confirm a single one of your comments. And, if you think Republican eschew power and simple want fair play and equality, loom up the actions of Mitch McConnell. Where do you people come up with such ideas?

  19. steve jaubert says

    So much for that Progressive Free Healthcare they’re trying to hawk in the United States for the commoners. I mean things cost money. It just has to be more equitable than Yachts versus rowboats.

  20. MJ says

    This whole story is baseless. Jagger gave up his residency in the UK back in the 1970’s. He was in the US preparing for the Stones’ tour when this came up. Also, his girlfriend lives and works in NYC. It had nothing to do with anything but convenience for him. Garbage out.

  21. Nelson Temple says

    Socialized healthcare by any other name is the widespread availability of poor quality healthcare after a long wait. Two years ago while taking a winter vacation is south Texas we had some conversations with a Canadian couple in the unit next to ours. I asked about satisfaction with their healtcare system; John said it was great, he needed heart bypass surgery and was only on the waiting list 6 months. His wife corrected him; it was more like 3 months wait. They said the surgery and recovery went well. When a product or service is free or cheap there is always abuse and overuse and that applies to healthcare. In the US, our healthcare is socialized to a degree by government funded Medicaid and Medicare. Hospital ER care is available without regard to ability to pay or insurance coverage and emergency rooms are always full with long waits.

    1. Dennis says

      And guess who pays for those emergency room visits? ER treatment is by far the most costly and least effective form of healthcare. ER’s do not practice preventative medicine. You must be very ill or injured for ER treatment. And your comment about “…widespread availability of poor quality healthcare after a long wait,” is refuted by facts available from many sources – I cited several in comments above. Seems all you supporters of the current system think bankruptcy is a good model to pay for healthcare. More likely, you simply do not care about “the least among us.” Such virtuous behavior!

  22. sawbuck says

    Because the last time Mick Jagger had to worry about paying a bill was……?

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