Friday, August 14, 2009

Cameron weighs in to defend NHS.

David Cameron has stepped into the Republican/NHS row on the side of the NHS, which Republicans fighting Obama's health care reforms have been keen to portray as hopeless.

David Cameron has weighed into a transatlantic row to defend the NHS after it came under fire by US critics of President Obama's health reforms.

The Conservative leader sent an e-mail to supporters saying millions including his own family were grateful for it.
Mr Cameron's e-mail said Britain was proud of the NHS and he would spend more on the service, but also make it more efficient and responsive to patients.

He is the latest leader to step into the row after Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah left Twitter posts saying the NHS "often makes the difference", adding "thanks for always being there".
You can read his entire email here. This is a sample of it:

People still care about the issues they care about, and thanks to the internet they can voice their concerns whenever they want. Just look at all the support which the NHS has received on Twitter over the last couple of days. It is a reminder - if one were needed - of how proud we in Britain are of the NHS.

Millions of people are grateful for the care they have received from the NHS - including my own family. One of the wonderful things about living in this country is that the moment you're injured or fall ill - no matter who you are, where you are from, or how much money you've got - you know that the NHS will look after you.

A Twitter campaign, called We Love the NHS, has already received more than a million messages of support, including messages from the Prime Minister and his wife Sarah.

The Republicans have convinced themselves that the NHS is deeply unpopular, but their attack of it has set off waves of support in the UK which have crossed the political divide, with both Tories and Labour supporters voicing their gratitude for the service.

And it transpires that some Brits who took part in the Republican ad campaign felt that they were conned into doing so:

Meanwhile, a British woman said she felt duped after becoming the unwitting star of an anti-Obama health campaign.

Kate Spall, who appeared in a US free market group's TV commercial opposing Mr Obama's health bill, said her views were misrepresented.

She told the Times: "It has been a bit of a nightmare. It was a real test of my naivety. I am a very trusting person and for me it has been a big lesson. I feel I was duped."

Ms Spall and fellow Briton Katie Brickell's descriptions of poor treatment at the hands of the NHS featured in the Conservatives for Patients' Rights (CPR) advert.

But the two women say they support state-funded healthcare and thought their comments were to be used on a documentary examining reform.

I have no idea how much - if any - of this will break into the US mainstream consciousness, but the fact remains that the Republicans have been telling a huge lie, making out that Brits loathe their NHS, when the opposite is true.

This is simply another example of the weakness of the Republican position. They harp on about the NHS, "euthanasia for your granny" and "death panels" because they don't have a proper argument against universal healthcare.

They are indulging in ridiculous hyperbole, the best example of that being the fact that they have managed to unite Gordon Brown, David Cameron and a million odd Twitter posters against their position.

They simply assumed, based on their own prejudices, that Brits hate the NHS. When the truth, as I have stated before, is that the NHS is a beloved British institution, which politicians f@ck with at their peril.

Click title for full article.

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