Via Jeanne Whalen and Alistair McDonald at the Wall Street Journal:
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is scrambling to rescue his proposed overhaul of the state health system amid strong resistance from doctors, nurses and even members of the coalition government he heads, who say it amounts to a partial privatization that will weaken the taxpayer-funded system.
Mr. Cameron on Tuesday is expected to give a speech defending the proposed legislation and arguing that it is needed to “avoid a crisis” in future funding of the National Health Service, according to an excerpt. He also will promise that the changes won’t create “some American-style private system.”
The major problem for Cameron is that he actually won power by promising to protect the National Health System from privatization:
Mr. Cameron has won support for the Conservative Party in part by convincing voters that it is more committed to core public services than it was in the 1980s, when Margaret Thatcher headed the party. Being cast as someone intent on privatizing the health service undermines that strategy.
All this only serves as a reminder that only in America do conservative politicians see America’s fragmented market-driven health system where 15 percent of the nation is without health insurance and costs are far higher than anywhere else in the world as some kind of prize that other nations are clamoring towards and we should preserve — and even privatize further. As the British know all too well, the comparisons tell a far different story.