Obamacare, you’ll like it because … ?

Why are Brits so proud of their health care system? Because they don’t know any better.

The British population has largely been persuaded that the NHS embodies social justice. The system has become a golden calf before which even Margaret Thatcher found it necessary to bow down: “The NHS is safe in our hands,” she said. And the egalitarian nature of the NHS makes it almost the only institution in a fractured and antagonistic society that can claim allegiance across many divides. We are not proud of our armed forces any longer or, indeed, of anything else; only the NHS survives to unite us. We increasingly are a nation defined by our health-care system.

In my youth, I often heard the refrain that the NHS was “the envy of the world,” and people in Britain are still inclined to believe it, even though they probably have never met anyone who envied the NHS and, indeed, know only of Continental Europeans residing in Britain who hurry home as soon as they require medical treatment, horrified by the prospect of subjecting themselves to the rigors of a British hospital. A marked cognitive dissonance reveals itself here.

They did feature the NHS in their Olympic Opening Ceremony. Which … weird, right?

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5 Comments on “Obamacare, you’ll like it because … ?”

  1. agiledog Says:

    They did feature the NHS in their Olympic Opening Ceremony. Which … weird, right?

    What are they suppose to feature? A once-world powerful navy that is now smaller than our Coast Guard? A once-colonial empire that now we don’t even know what to call it (England, U.K. Great Britian, etc.) Or maybe their great cooking – everyone thinks of British dishes when thinking of the best food they ever ate, right?

    In just a few short years, NHS will become even more enduring that Queen Elizabeth’s rule.

  2. Kirby Says:

    I know at least one American living in Britain that would whole- heartedly disagree… but I guess it’s easier to believe your point if you ignore other views and perspectives.

  3. Car in Says:

    The author of this piece is English. Living in England. I don’t think he ignores other views and perspectives. Actually his article is rather fair.

  4. agiledog Says:

    Didn’t read the actual article, did you, Kirby? Here, I’ll quote the salient points for you:

    that compared the health-care systems of 14 advanced countries. On the 20 measures of comparison,

    So, based on an actual factual comparison, what did they find?

    On several measures of actual achievement, rather than subjective assessment, the NHS came out the worst of all the systems examined.


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