Friday, 31 July 2009

Republicans! STOP using my country as a political football

As the battle over Health care rages on in the US, the Senate and the House are about to head home for the August recess and the President is having "beer summits" over something that should never have become a national issue. The republicans are saying that Socialized medicine will lead to more people having a poorer quality of care and more people dying.

I am here to give the republicans a few facts about Socialized health care. In 1948 my government launched the National Health Service or NHS as we call it today. In 1948, average life expectancy for women in the UK was 70 and for men was 66, whereas last year the average life expectancy was 78.3 for men and 82.1 for women.

In the twelve years since labour has been in power, funding to the NHS has more than tripled with the annual budget now being £92.2 Billion compared to £34.6 Billion in 1997. And in 2007 a study by the Royal Commission on Health care showed that 92% of patients were SATISFIED with the care they received.

Is our system perfect? No way, we still have an annual deficit of over £900 Million in the NHS but our system is getting better all the time. And our doctors are leading the way in many areas of medicine, just last week a Hull hospital was featured on the national news for pioneering treatment of Stroke patients using Clot buster medicines.

Many of our hospitals are on the list of the best hospitals in the world, including Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, an NHS hospital.

Do we pay higher taxes than Americans? Sure, we pay between 31 and 52 percent of our income (including Income Tax and National Insurance) but when we go to the doctor, we don't pay ridiculous amounts of money in co-pays and deductibles or get told that our treatment has been denied by bureaucratic insurance companies.

But what you don't know is that our employers also match our National Insurance contributions. We don't miss this money because we use a Pay as You Earn system or PAYE to pay our taxes, our employers pay our taxes directly to the Inland Revenue.

We are not all dying in the streets as the Republicans would have Americans believe! If you are a republican and are trashing the NHS, please STOP using my country as a political football!

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