Thursday, 4 November 2010

I shouted at Congressman John Boehner who was on TV here yesterday. The man is very seriously mistaken

The U.S. Speaker-designate, Congressman John Boehner, said yesterday that what he and others on the right of the Republican Party term 'Obamacare' would 'ruin the best health care system in the world.'

I recall Senator Bob Dole saying something similar during an earlier campaign. I shouted at the TV then and the reason for my shouting was simple. The U.S. may have the best health care in the world but that great country does not have the best health care system in the world. Our British system may not be perfect and I don't want to brag, but we have had a comprehensive and practically free National Health Service since 1948. Of course, it's not truly free, for we pay our taxes, but, at the very least, nobody need worry themselves to death - literally, in some cases - that they will not be cared for in sickness and in health.

My wife and I (though we could afford insurance and are perfectly free so to do) both support and use the NHS. Contrary to what the 'Tea Party' people and others tell their fellow Americans, it is not 'socialised' medicine over here. We choose our doctor, who works for us. We choose our local surgery, which is excellent. Our local hospital, Addenbrooke's in Cambridge, is one of the best in the world.

Just to give an example, a good friend of mine was called in by his doctor because he had reached a certain age (60), for a prostate check. Though he felt no symptoms, he was found to have a slightly higher than normal PSA level. He was asked to come in again soon and the PSA level was higher. The same happened a third time. Tests and biopsies were then done at Addenbrooke's and, as a consequence, he underwent chemo-therapy and radio therapy for several months. He hopes now that they have 'zapped' it and he has been asked to go back to Addenbrooke's for a check-up in six months. All of his treatment was free and nothing would have been done for him until it was too late unless that initial call had come. In addition, my wife has had major surgery recently, and it, also, was absolutely free of charge on the NHS without an insurance company making a profit out of her or me or anyone else.

And I shouted at Congressman Boehner again yesterday. The man is very seriously mistaken.

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