Thursday, August 13, 2009


I recently posted on how I felt about Americans and how I was often misunderstood when I spoke about them; my point was that I regarded America as a beacon of hope and their people as having great potential for progress; well they are testing my patience big time again. President Obama was recently elected by Americans and one of the reasons for this was his promise to reform health care in such a way that the 47 Million Americans without health insurance would be included. To most of us here in the UK this seems a ‘no brainer’ should all citizens have access to health care when needed without having to pay? It seems like a simple civilised way for any society to behave but; not in America it would seem. All hell has broken loose with right wing republican groups protesting against the reforms, the protests are angry, violent and; sinisterly they are clearly orchestrated.

Suddenly and without any apparent preparation large mobile groups of foaming Republicans are everywhere accusing Obama and the Democrats of being Nazis and leading the country to communism; you might conclude rightly that Americans are not big on history. They stress that this will lead to appalling standards in health care and atrociously bad practice, the evidence for this outrageous assertion is; believe it or not provided according to them by the British NHS.

If you look at American TV news and current affairs you will witness people making the most astonishing accusations about our NHS; so completely erroneous and false that you could be forgiven for thinking that Monty Python had reformed but; even their bizarre sense of humour would not fit the bill. The big problem which seems implausible to us and the thing that Obama has to counter is that Americans in their millions buy this garbage; they elected Ford, Reagan and GW Bush right? 65% of 18 to 24 year olds can’t find Britain on a map right? 70 % looking at a photo of Margaret Thatcher a couple of years ago confidently identified her as the queen right?

Sarah Palin who is incredibly enough still listened to by Republicans said “ America is not the kind of place where my elderly parents or my Down’s syndrome child will have to stand in front of Obama’s death panel to be judged worthy or unworthy of health care” nice eh? They have also ran TV adverts claiming that Britain’s NHS doesn’t do heart ops. on over 60’s and dentists advise the elderly to repair their dentures with super glue, they claim that stroke victim Senator Edward Kennedy 77 would not get treatment if he lived in the UK, this and a whole lot more, go find.

It is common knowledge that the money for these scurrilous campaigns is coming from vested interests in health care, that is private hospitals and doctors, drug companies and health insurance companies. This is the deeply ugly face of America which is truly despicable; providing health care for Americans who are unable to afford it is branded as communism so that those who are milking the system can continue to do so; these people are in my opinion ‘Un American’ this is the America that I rage against. When opinion polls are showing 62% still in favour of Obama’s health reforms why are American TV screens and news papers full of the anti reform protestors? money that’s why; nothing to do with what’s best for Americans it’s what’s best for share prices.

I don’t think I’m in any way unique when I say that our NHS is one of Britain’s greatest achievements, an example to the world of how a civilised country should provide for it’s citizens; all of them that is not just those with money, I would urge everyone to follow what is going on and the things that are being said about our NHS by the American money grabbers.
I hope that we will always have a system where we are treated by a service which is there because it wants to help us rather than one which wants to make as much money out of us as it can, I hope that the good American people; that 62% I mentioned earlier will prevail.


Allan said...

Yes, there are vested interests in the US. However those vested interests are free (in America)to use their influence to try and get any hostile legislation off the agenda. This includes the funding of political parties (which goes on here) and the funding of anti legeslation advertisments (which hopefuly will never happen here).

That and the ordinary American citizen's irational fear of Socialism is the true roadblock to reform.

Anonymous said...

I can't share your obvious love affair with our American cousins if only because of their constantly hamfisted way of dealing with all things foreign and the mugs they made of us compliments of Mr Blair - and don't get me started on their attitude to guns!
If our NHS has a bad rep in the USA, shouldn't we be laying the blame fairly and squarely at the door of our own media, who relish in every NHS bad news story they can dig up?
The sad thing is that many millions of working class Americans are likely to loose out on what should be and luckily for us is, a health care system based on need not greed and not just the ability to pay.

Liz said...

The death panels comment beggars belief. Do Americans honestly believe sick people in the UK are dragged before panels who sit like Roman Emperors giving the thumbs up if the live and thumbs down if they die?

The NHS isn't perfect and some of the more recent reforms haven in my experience fallen foul of the law of unintended consequences but I can't come up with anything better. It's certainly better than the poor queing up in stadiums for basic healthcare from charities as one sees in the USA.

I was particularly disgusted by Republicans claiming that in a country like the UK Stephen Hawking would have been sent before a death panel and denied treatment. The most basic fact checking would tell them this wasn't the case. When Hawking was asked to comment on the story he stated that he owed his life to NHS care.

Oh and before some moron starts. I lived in the states for 15 years am married to an American, my children were born there and I visit a lotto stay with my American family. I do not hate America, this country could learn a lot from the USA but it's not perfect and it's a terribly harsh place to be low paid or poor in.

The people there need some sort o universal heathcare provision, whether the current model on offer is the right one is something for them to decide but a country where people work hard six or seven days a week, full time and at the end of it can't afford to see a doctor is failing it's citizens.

The private sector has had long enough to come up with a solution and it's failed. If the state shouldn't intervene then who should?

Anonymous said...

I really find it hard to put into words just how offensive I find bringing the NHS into this debate and flat out lying about it.

So much for the special relationship. I hope Blair's poodles in the parliamentiary Labour Party as distinct from the wider party are taking note of the contempt in which their friends in the U.S hold them.

Death panels, allowinf Down Syndrome children to be killed? I don't think so. Where is the evidence for this?

There are all sorts of free market arguments one could make against a state health service. Why have they lied about this country and called us inhumane?

Disgusting individuals every one of them. Lord knows the health service has it's shortcomings but it's better than being bankrupted by healthcare bills.

I love debate and I love hearing other points of view and I have friends right across the political spectrum but I honestly belive that the people telling these lies in the U.S are evil. Unless they're thick which I doubt what other reason cpould there be?

The market they love. The market they tell us can solve all our problems has failed millions of Ameericans -an amount roughly 10- times the population of Scotland and they havbe the nerve to slander our country and our people befopre the world.

No words can describe my anger.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Allan) 13/08/09
This whole business has become a wake up call to British citizens; the vast majority of Brits. Are watching this farce with disbelief and anger.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 13/08/09
There is no love affair with our American cousins; neither is there dislike simply because they are Americans.

There is a large section of the British media which does not; despite their protestations support the NHS, they are the same vested interests which are being witnessed in the USA.

The fact that many Americans do not see a health service free to all at the point of need as a good thing in my opinion makes them a backward and gullible nation.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Liz) 13/08/09
Thank you for your informed comments it’s reassuring to hear someone who knows the American system praising the NHS.

The woman who spoke about “death panels” also had devils cast from her soul in her local church; does not believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution; thinks the earth is 6,000 years old and; had Obama lost to McCain would have been a heart beat away from being the most powerful person on the planet, this is unfortunately OK to many Americans.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 14/08/09

Tens of millions of British people share your anger; we are appalled at anyone disparaging the system that we and our friends and families see as the safe umbrella which protects us all, from the richest to the poorest; and “from cradle to grave”

There are those in America and here to whom the pursuit of profit is all; even to the point of denying health care to the poor, perhaps it’s a good thing to now see the light of publicity being shone on them, they are shameful and as you say “evil” let’s get them out in the open.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if you have watched it Terry but go and watch "Sicko" by Michael Moore, says a lot about the US Health system.

No surprise about the American media either after all they are involved in the lies that are 911.

Anonymous said...

'Testing my patience, big time.'

Sounds positively Hitlerian,Terry.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 17/08/09
Absolutely; if they don’t sort it out soon I’ll have to pay them a visit and it won’t be pleasant.

As Hitler himself said to his generals near the end; “we will still triumph; we will be back and next time there will be no more mister f*****g nice guy”

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 16/08/09
I intend to watch all of “Sicko” the excerpts I’ve seen are devastatingly bad for the American health system.

Anonymous said...

Kelly @ 12.08

Good lad! And next week, perhaps invade Cuba and sort out - I kid you not - their current toilet paper shortage?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 18/08/09
And learn how to revolutionise the health care system while I’m there; Cuba is second only to Italy in the world for numbers of doctors per head of the population; not bad for a 50 year old 3rd. world country eh?
Viva Fidel and the revolution.

Anonymous said...

Viva Fidel,Viva La Revolution and death to the opposition.

Have you ever thought, Terry dear, that the reason you and your like are free to spout your anti establishment rubbish is precisely because you do not live in a totalitarian state, like er ... Cuba?

And dont you think Cuba and Italy are strange bedfellows? Berluscone and Mad Fidel are hardly twin souls.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 20/08/09
I have thought about Cuba a lot and concluded that there are some people who are guilty of prejudice against it most of whom are right wing bigots with closed minds..