Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stephen Hawking on Health Care: NHS Saved My Life

Stephen Hawking, 62, the world-famous physicist who has been a victim of ALS since his early 20s, was born in Oxford, England and still lives in the U.K. He teaches at the University of Cambridge. That makes this paragraph from an Investor's Business Daily editorial, that has since been edited, an out-and-out lie.

As pointed out by the Washington Post's Ezra Klein, the paragraph, since removed, read:
People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.
This editorial, of course, builds on the so-called "death panel" rumors that continue to fly, despite the fact that the GOP admits that they don't exist in the bill.

Oh, additionally, there is no taxpayer money allocated to abortions, either, and any public plan will have an option to allow, or disallow, abortions from coverage.

Here's what Hawking said about the U.K.'s version of Universal Health Care.
"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."
Sorry, guys, he's here because of NHS.

As many forget, statistics which can easily be found at UNICEF's site show that, as of 2007, the U.K. has a longer lifespan than the U.S., as does Canada. They both have lower infant mortality rates than the U.S., as does Cube! Cuba has an equivalent lifespan to the U.S. Someone's doing something wrong, and it's not these countries, who all have some form of Universal Health Care.
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7 comments:

acquireworth said...

The infant mortality rates have to do with natural birth vs. unnatural (c-section, epidural, etc). Less than 10% of women in the U.S. have natural birth, while over 80% of the rest of the world do. The U.S. likes to medicate and tell us we just shouldn't do things naturally - it's not safe.

Anonymous said...

The U.S. likes to medicate and tell us we just shouldn't do things naturally - it's not safe.

Which only serves to support the point: that health care in the US is largely profit oriented, and not patient/result oriented, and thus, desperately needs to be reformed.

Anonymous said...

Life expectancy and mortality rates in the U.S., U.K. and Canada are similar however the U.S takes on a ton more imigrants and has a MUCH higher polulation!!!

We also allow prople, especially old people to have operations instead of simply giving them pain pills and telling them to go suffer.

I think I'll start a free BLOG called Snafu-Head.

Anonymous said...

The Medical Model of Industrialized birth is what drives the US economy...it is a perpetual penison plan for the medical cohort and associated professionals. To suggest for a minute that we go back to the old ways of natural birth is preposterous. It just can't happen. Who would support all the luxury goods manufacturers and the high end auto sales, real-estate commission, lawyers and underwriters? How could we possibly sell billions of vaccines to compromised immune systems? Billions to infant formula and the list goes on. It supplies all the fodder for war and armaments and paves a path to patent medicine. The two biggest profit centres of the globe. When did mother natures turn a time for a shareholder. Pay a lobbyist? Bribe the CDC or the FDA or any other progressive group? And you want to stop this amazing profit machine? You want to side with Obama: ❝We must ask not just 'Is it profitable?' but 'Is it right?.❞ — Barak Obama
Of course it is right...rich is right...rich is, as rich does. Right?

Anonymous said...

I live in the UK so thought it worth commenting on the points above. Although we have universal health care in the UK it is for UK citizens (in response to we have more immigrants comment above).

Healthcare is given to foreign nationals who have recipricol arrangements for example Brits can get healthcare in France so the French get healthcare in the UK. Others such as US citizens have to pay.

Secondly the NHS spends a large amount of it's budget on the over 60's, hip replacements etc etc. You need to get over this idea that people are left without treatment it simply isn't true. It's not a perfect system but beats 'you can have whatever you want if you can pay or your health plan happens to hold up' type approach.

In fact in America if you don't have heathcare (or your insurance manages to get out of paying - and they will try) you are more likely to be left on pain killers only. People in the UK aren't deprived of for example cancer care (I had bladder cancer and was and continue to be treated exceptionally well by the NHS).

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