British Growing Tired of GOP Lies About UK Health Care

It’s too bad that repeated, endless, flagrant dishonesty doesn’t do much of anything to damage a politician’s ability to be taken seriously as a sober-minded centrist deal-maker, or Chuck Grassley would be in a world of pain:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy would be refused treatment for his brain tumor in England — at least according to one of the allegations lobbed at Britain’s state-funded health-care service recently by critics of President Obama’s proposed health-care reforms. Such claims have irked British health officials, who say they are misleading, exaggerated and sometimes just plain wrong. […]

One of the most surprising of these was the rumor — given an airing by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) — that Kennedy, 77, would not receive treatment for his brain tumor if he were in England because he is too old.

“That’s just wrong,” a British Health Department spokesman said. “The NHS in England provides health services on the basis of clinical need, irrespective of age or ability to pay.”

Note that there’s actually a two-fold lie here. First Grassley falsely implies that congressional Democrats are proposing to create an NHS-like system. Second, he lies about how the NHS operates. And he pays no price for it. He’ll still be Max Baucus‘s key partner in crafting health care legislation.