Last time we checked in on Britain's National Health Services -- often hailed as the model of a functioning socialized healthcare regime -- government bureaucrats were proposing a suspension of certain surgeries for smokers and obese patients. Why? To alleviate funding crises via an extreme government rationing scheme, under which "NHS will ban patients from surgery indefinitely unless they lose weight or quit smoking." This proposal was to build off of similar regional cuts that had been already been implemented: "A number of areas have introduced delays for such patients - with some told operations will be put back for months, during which time they are expected to try to lose weight or stop smoking," the Telegraph reported. That was in October. How are things going across the pond today? New draconian measures: Read every word of this story: Every hospital in the country has been ordered to cancel all non-urgent surgery until at least February in an unprecedented step by NHS officials. The instructions on Tuesday night - which will see result in around 50,000 operations being axed - followed claims by senior doctors that patients were being treated in “third world” conditions, as hospital chief executives warned of the worst winter crisis for three decades. Hospitals are reporting growing chaos, with a spike in winter flu leaving frail patients facing 12-hour waits, and some units running out of corridor space. Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS medical director, on Tuesday ordered NHS trusts to stop taking all but the most urgent cases, closing outpatients clinics for weeks as well as cancelling around 50,000 planned operations. Trusts have also been told they can abandon efforts to house male and female patients in separate wards, in an effort to protect basic safety, as services become overwhelmed...By Tuesday night 12 NHS trusts - including two ambulance services covering almost nine million people - had declared they had reached the maximum state of emergency... East of England Ambulance Service, also at maximum capacity, said some patients were being sent taxis to get them to hospital, with paramedics stuck in ambulances queuing at hospitals for more than 500 hours in the last four days...A number of NHS trust chief executives described the pressure as “relentless” with several on Tuesday saying they had never seen such pressure during 30 years in the health service. Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: "The position at the moment is as bad as I've ever known. We are simply not coping, we were at full capacity before the sorts of pressures that we should be able to manage - like a rise in flu - is pushing us over the edge. “Things are terrible now, but I am fearful the next few weeks will be horrendous." A blanket, nationwide ban on all "non-urgent" until at least next month, with overcrowded state hospitals leaving sick and elderly patients in hallways, and treatment in some areas deteriorating to "third world" levels. Wait times for care have hit 12 hours, with ambulances forming long lines outside hospitals (hardly unprecedented over there) lasting hundreds of combined hours, forcing vulnerable citizens to travel to emergency in taxis and private vehicles, due to a chronic ambulance backlog. This is single-payer healthcare, operating in an advanced Western nation that has had their system in place for decades. A fundamentally flawed system, insufficient resources and an aging population are proving to be a recipe for disaster. And that disaster is exactly what Bernie Sanders and a bevy of Democratic presidential hopefuls have in mind for the American people -- this, despite the stunning fiscal realities that have blocked far-left states like Vermont and Californiafrom implementing "universal healthcare" fantasies. Those stalled proposals would have roughly doubled the entire budgets of each state, offering absolutely no viable plan to make up those extraordinary funding gaps. The Bernie/Warren wing of the Democratic Party looks at these cautionary tales and responds, "full speed ahead -- let's impose that upon the whole country." And how would they even start to partially fund their reckless experiment? Massive across-the-board tax increases on the middle class and working Americans.