The United Kingdom is an actual country, with millions of inhabitants and a government and so forth. It’s a close ally of the United States. It’s also a kind of weird conservative bogeyman story, in which the right first lies about how liberals want the US to adopt UK-style health care and then they follow that up by lying about how UK-style health care works. And as The Guardian explains, this is creating dilemma for British diplomats:
Slickly produced television advertisements trumpet the alleged failures of the NHS’s 61-year tradition of tax-funded healthcare. To the dismay of British healthcare professionals, US critics have accused the service of putting an “Orwellian” financial cap on the value on human life, of allowing elderly people to die untreated and, in one case, for driving a despairing dental patient to mend his teeth with superglue. [...]
The British embassy in Washington is quietly trying to counter inaccuracies. A spokesman said: “We’re keeping a close eye on things and where there’s a factually wrong statement, we will take the opportunity to correct people in private. That said, we don’t want to get involved in a domestic debate.”
Of course the idea of correcting people in private assumes that they’re actually making mistakes as opposed to just telling wild lies deliberately. The British government’s hesitance to wade into a domestic US political dispute is extremely understandable, but I see no reason the Brits should be forced to stay silent as people decide to portray them as a country of eugenics-obsessed monsters. As Tory leader David Cameron has said:
In its bricks and mortar, people and services, the NHS embodies something which is truly great about Britain. That something is equity: the spirit of fairness for all and the equal right of everyone regardless of age, background or circumstance to get the healthcare they need. [...] We should be proud that, in its sixtieth year, people are beginning to look at the Conservative Party as the party of the NHS. But we’ve got to live up to that honour.
It honestly strikes me as strange that all these bizarre health care scare stories come from friendly, well-known English-speaking countries like Canada and the UK. You would think that to get away with weird lies about the horrors of “socialism” that people would need to at least pick more obscure countries; talk about how rotten everything is in Portugal or something.