Fair. Balanced. American.

Monday, August 17, 2009

In Defense of Britain's Health System - washingtonpost.com

Killer. Closing lines:

Standing in defense of Britain's health service does not mean that we believe it is the right prescription for the United States. It is not for us to propose the solution for America, but we hope that correcting the record on some of the facts about our NHS will help Americans evaluate the real strengths and challenges of our system, instead of focusing on the misinformation spread by fear-mongers. Indeed, none of the proposals for reform -- from President Obama or anyone else -- would create a system that resembles that in Britain. What we share across the Atlantic are a set of common values: a belief that health care transcends the narrow confines of consumerism and is a moral right to be secured for all; and fidelity to the principle that a good society brings its citizens together in common purpose, where hope can overcome fear.

Fear is the weapon of choice for opponents of reform who have no substantive alternative to offer. America spends five times the share of its national wealth on health as Singapore, and yet life expectancy in each country is roughly the same. Even allowing for other factors, it is undeniable that the way a health system is organized and operated makes a difference. Americans fear that countries such as Britain and Canada ration care -- and that such rationing could and should never be tolerated in the United States. Yet 47 million uninsured is quite an extreme form of rationing. So at this moment, the burden of proof falls upon those who oppose change -- for they stand in defense of fear.

No comments :