Time Heals All Wounds
A British reader writes in:
I am a UK citizen living in the UK and I guess my Conservative views would equate to that of a Republican. I am contacting you because I cannot sit by and watch some of your ill informed compatriots criticise the NHS in the way that they seem to be doing. Recently my Mother and Father in law had major strokes and died shortly afterwards. Neither could be described as affluent. The NHS took care of them, they did not have to worry about costs. Last summer I dislocated my shoulder and received NHS treatment. The treatment was superb.
I have never had to consider an employers health care plan, before considering a job or leaving one. I am a free agent. I have never worked for an employer that has had financial issues because of a health care plan. I have never worried or thought about healthcare costs.
For me the NHS is something that most British people love and cherish. We`re very fortunate.
The NHS isn't beloved in Britain because it's popular among liberals and Britain has a lot of liberals. It's beloved because it's popular with self-identified conservatives, too. Much as Medicare, and for that matter, Social Security, is in the United States. Medicare Part D is another example of an entitlement that wasn't popular with conservatives or liberals, but now has broad public support.
These programs are very partisan when they're introduced but end up with bipartisan appeal once they're in operation. Over in the LA Times today, Nancy Altman looks back at some of the rhetoric that greeted Social Security. "The lash of the dictator will be felt, and 25 million free American citizens will for the first time submit themselves to a fingerprint test," said one Republican congressman. The program would "end the progress of a great country and bring its people to the level of the average European," fulminated another.
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