Thank Bevan for the NHS

Posted on August 14, 2009

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The recent American attacks on the NHS strike me as faintly ridiculous. The attempts of a largely discredited US Right to undermine Barack Obama’s healthcare plans by pointing out defects in the British system would be laughable anyway, even if they had not resorted to the most surreal language imagineable, branding the NHS ‘Orwellian’ and ‘Evil’.

We should try to avoid embroiling ourself in domestic American politics, but I feel it is important that we express our support for Obama as he attempts to extend the reach of American healthcare. That 50 million Americans have no access to healthcare is, in the richest country in the world, frankly disgusting, and if we were to resort to the outlandish language of the American Right we might call such a system ‘Darwinist’ or ‘elitist’. That Daniel Hannan, an otherwise unknown Tory MEP, has chosen to weigh in reflects badly on both him and his party. I don’t buy into the argument that his comments were unpatriotic, but to suggest that he would not wish the NHS on anyone is appalling and indicative of a culture of villification that has developed in this country towards the health service. Stating that the NHS makes people ‘iller’ is a ridiculous propsition, and one cannot help but think that Hannan is either lacking a degree of intelligence or self-promoting, perhaps both. The National Service may not be perfect, far from it, but I am willing to bet anything on the fact that millions of taxpaying American citizens wish a universal, free health service of its kind would be wished on them.

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Posted in: Politics