Stephen Hawking and Britain’s NHS

Stephen Hawking: “I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.”

The Guardian has a series of good articles comparing the health care systems in the U.K. and U.S. My favorite so far is this one, which puts the facts to a series of claims circulating in the U.S., and lists the bad along with the good (e.g., breast cancer survival rates are significantly higher in the U.S.)

What’s weird to me about this focus on the NHS from conservatives here in the U.S. is twofold: (a) the current reform proposals are not at all like the U.K. system; and (b) the NHS is quite popular in the U.K. — if it were as bad as these U.S. conservatives claim, don’t you think Britons would be up in arms about it?

Wednesday, 12 August 2009