Friday, September 21, 2007

American Jackass

How typical, I thought, as I read Rudy Giuliani's disparaging comments about 'socialised medicine', in other words, our universal and free National Health service. It is all fine and good for an ex-mayor of New York and 'White House hopeful' on a cynical photo opportunity to bolster his flagging campaign, to say he had beaten prostate cancer because the survival rates are better in the US than in the NHS. I really do not know where he got his figures from, but from what I was able to find, our survival rates for prostate and a number of other cancers are as good as anywhere else - private or free!

However, if Giuliani looked at the figures for the rest of his countrymen, and not just the rich and privileged like himself, he would find that the vast majority of people would not be able to even walk through the door of the hospital he was treated in.

OK, the NHS is not perfect, and it is a perennial subject for complaint and criticism, and maybe they aren't as good as the best private hospitals in the world, but it is definitely better than Medicare or any other half-baked system the Yanks can come up with!

Maybe Mr Giuliani could explain how are health service would be better if, as in the US, 40 per cent of Britons could not even afford to see a GP? Or how those without expensive healthcare insurance have to sell their homes to pay for even the most routine of operations? Or how it would be better for us to have insurance companies refuse to insure our children due to 'existing medical conditions'?

When the US finally drags itself out of its Victorian attitudes to healthcare, in other words "the rich get the best and the rest can die", then he can comment.

Finally, he personifies the prevailing attitude amongst right-wing Americans, the arrogance to openly state that if other countries do not follow the American path, then they are wrong, degenerate or even a threat and this gives them the right to interfere and comment in such a crass manner.

The NHS is our health system. It is the jewel in the benefit system in the UK and is regarded with great affection by the vast majority of the UK population, and I take it as a personal insult when someone who knows nothing about it, and is a guest in our country, pipes up ind basically condemns it.

Go home Rudy, your opinions are not welcome here.


Jay said...

Well, heck...if you're rich and fully covered by a taxpayer provided health care plan, beating cancer is a breeze. It always amazes me that these guys with governemnt provided health insurance are always telling the rest of us poor working slobs that it wouldn't work for us.

Even more amazing is how many working slobs actually believe them and help the insurance industry fight against getting the same type of medical care.

sandegaye said...

I trust everyone has seen 'Sicko'.. our system is a sucking chest wound, circling the drain to demise.