BBC article on US attack on NHS
Bloggers debate British healthcare
The most recent row erupted after an editorial at the Investors Business Daily (IBD) launched an attack on the British National Health Service (NHS), as a warning against what could happen if the
"The controlling of medical costs in countries such as
The article's author went on to assert that "people such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the
As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jay Bookman quickly pointed out, Prof Hawking was born in the
Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein said the IBD article was an example of conservatives "lying" about healthcare.
"It's not just that they didn't know that Stephen Hawking was born in
"The point the IBD writer was trying to make would have at least been theoretically plausible if, as the writer believed, Hawking was not British," Mr Zengerle wrote.
It's worth emphasizing, for those who remain confused and misled, that Democratic reform proposals would not create a British system
"I'm just reluctant to credit the IBD writer with the sufficient smarts to concoct such a lie. Seems like basic stupidity is the easier explanation here."
The IBD's fundamental charge was that President Obama's healthcare plans would lead to the rationing of healthcare, and that rationing is a feature of the British system.
This point was echoed by conservative blogger Michelle Malkin , who warned that "the effects of socialised medicine in
In making this point, Ms Malkin was explicitly re-affirming the assertion made by former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, that Mr Obama wanted to create a "death panel" to decide whether the elderly or disabled are "worthy of health care".
Liberal bloggers in the
Washington Monthly's Steve Benen argued that the healthcare plans put forward by Mr Obama and his fellow Democrats bore no resemblance to the UK system.
"It's worth emphasizing, for those who remain confused and misled, that Democratic reform proposals would not create a British system. The comparison doesn't even make sense in any substantive way, and the very premise of the IBD attack, which has been widely parroted by the far-right, reflects a fundamental lack of intellectual honesty and seriousness."
Matthew Yglesias, blogger for the liberal Centre for American Progress, lamented the fact that Mr Obama was not planning to follow the British example.
"The NHS is a pretty great model and the British are on to something... if you were actually able to get British levels of care for British price levels [in the US] you could redirect [the savings] to trying to improve the social circumstances of the poor, trying to reduce exposure to health hazards, and building infrastructure (trains, sidewalks, bike paths, even the dread parks) suited to less sedentary lifestyles. We'd be much better off that way."
The American conservatives' criticisms of the NHS, and an appearance by British Conservative MEP Dan Hannan on Fox News, in which he bemoaned the state of healthcare in the UK, has prompted thousands of British Twitter users to rush to its defence.
By early Wednesday evening
Some Twitter users, like Luke Richards, offered general words of support.
"I'm proud of our health service. It's one of this country's best achievements of the past century," he wrote.
Others, like Claire Thompson of
"My father had heart surgery last year, and my husband's life was saved after a fall - not perfect, but great when it matters," she tweeted.
Most seemed to reflect the feeling that despite its shortcomings, the British remain defiantly proud of the health service in the face of transatlantic criticism.
Matthew Yglesias, above, makes a very good point if you were actually able to get British levels of care for British price levels [in the US] you could redirect [the savings] to trying to improve the social circumstances of the poor.
Maybe even something would be done about the US appalling infant mortality rate.
Ronni Bennett on Time Goes By, HERE is calling all elder bloggers to post something on 20th August to dispel the lies and misinformation circulating. Do read her article and add you weight if you agree.