Thursday, 13 August 2009

Healthcare misinformation is contagious

While the Americans don't want a British-style healthcare system, it seems that some Brits are very keen on American-style healthcare rhetoric.

After Alan Duncan's hilarious outburst we now have Chris Ayres in the Times. Claiming that Obama should abandon his plans to replicate the NHS, in favour of a scheme that "combines the best of both systems".

Now anyone who is listening honestly to the debate, or has looked at the healthcare bill being proposed, couldn't possibly think that Obama is proposing a universal, public-funded and public-supplied health sector.

If anything, the main criticism of the proposal is it doesn't go far enough towards this goal. The main content is still a public insurance plan - no public ownership of hospitals or provision of services, and no single-payer system.

If a British writer (based in the US) can't tell the difference between the US plan and the NHS, despite writing more than one article comparing them, why is he still being published by the Times?

To coin a phrase: Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?

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