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U.S vs UK Healthcare: a Blogger's Paradise

13 Aug 09

As the debate on U.S. Healthcare reform approaches its zenith - and as the lobbyists and special interest groups of the far-right begin to get desperate in their attempts to maintain the status-quo, the healthcare system of the United Kingdom seems to have attracted a particular degree of attention in recent weeks.



In much the same way that ex-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and other Republicans have recently been falsifying statements on everything from euthanasia to 'rationing' (accusing President's Obama's bill of creating a "death panel" for allowing counselling for end-of-life patients), the Blogosphere is now being consumed by myths, rumours, and yes, the occasional fact - in relation to the state of the UK's National Health Service (NHS).



Yet, whilst there are certainly a number of legitimate observations amidst the plethora of absurdity that is currently making the rounds - such as the UK's particularly poor record on breast cancer, for example - there is also a lot of what Washington Post columnist, Ezra Klein, terms outright '"lying" on the issue. For instance, a recent editorial from the Investors Business Daily (IBD) attempted to use world-famous British scientist, Stephen Hawking, as an apposite example of a man who would not last long under NHS treatment. "People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless", wrote the article's author. Not only was Professor Hawking born in the UK, but he has spent most of his adult life in the country.



By the point of Wednesday evening, thousands of Twitter users had come to the defence of the NHS, making the #welovetheNHS hash-tag one of the most popular trending topics on the entire site - prompting many users to come forward with their own positive experiences of the service.

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