Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Medaling in Health Care

              England, like every other host nation, used the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games to highlight its history and cultural contributions.  So, viewers in the United States were treated to the spectacle of a country promoting its National Health Service on the world stage.
            After all the brainless propaganda in the States about how terrible it is in England — how the people are gouged by taxes for the chance to languish in the streets waiting for inadequate care — millions of Americans must have been dumbfounded by the sight of more than 600 real doctors, nurses, and health care workers dancing around children on hospital beds.
             Luminous beds were moved about to spell “GOSH”, which stands for the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children.  J. M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, donated the rights to his Peter Pan books to GOSH.  Think of it.  He gave away money so children could have free health care.  Why did he hate capitalism so much?
Said one commentator:
            “Here, they feel so strongly about their health care system they’re actually celebrating it as part of the Olympic opening ceremonies.”
             I don’t know when an American city will next host the games, but I can already imagine the scene — a moving tribute to the insurance industry featuring enormous forms to fill in and patients taking out second mortgages to pay their deductibles.