I need a weekend after that weekend. An impromptu dinner party on Friday, complete with our favorite BBQ ribs. A morning of playing dinosaurs and then multiple play dates for our kids on Saturday. And a full 6 hours at the zoo Sunday, highlighted by an appearance by Chris and Martin Kratt, hosts of the hugely popular kids (and parents' of kids!) show, The Wild Kratts. Did you know that a rhino's horn is made of keratin, the exact same stuff that your hair and fingernails are made of?
Thanks to the busy schedule, I barely had time to scan the headlines this weekend. So I caught up on a little reading Sunday night, while keeping one eye on the NBA Finals (I have a hard time rooting for teams from Dallas, but I am a native Clevelander, and now a Chicagoan, so I was firmly planted in the "anybody-but-LeBron" camp). Anyway, I almost felt like I was transported to a parallel universe when this headline popped up on my screen: "British fear 'American-style' healthcare system." It seems that our friends across the pond are very nervous about the possibility of change to their beloved health care system. Sometime today, the NHS Future Forum will make recommendations to the proposed Health and Social Care Bill. The legislation has been a lightning rod in England, much the way the Affordable Care Act was here.
Recall how during debate over the Affordable Care Act politicians, pundits and others in the U.S. feared the importation of jolly old England's universal, single-payer system? And remember the public lambasting Donald Berwick took (takes?) for remarks he made several years ago about the British system? Well turnabout is fair play, I guess. Opponents to the Health and Social Bill, including the British Medical Association, fear that it will open a backdoor to privatization. The accusations raised enough angst in the populace that Prime Minister David Cameron was quoted saying, "We will not be selling off the NHS, we will not be moving towards an insurance scheme, we will not introduce an American-style private system."
Apparently both Cameron and the Liberal Democrats' leader Nick Clegg are both running away from any perception that they'll be importing America's health care.
It's interesting to see how health care reform, no matter where you live or the style of system in place, can dramatically elevate the level of political rhetoric. I, for one, will be very curious to see the end results in England. If only my satellite network got the BBC; the sessions in Parliament are sure to be must-see TV!
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