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News Opinion

Comparisons between Obamacare and Britain's National Health Service are misguided [Letter]

Columnist Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s suggestion that "the transformative promises of the British Labor Party in 1945 are remarkably similar to progressives' promises of today" is a stretch way too far from reality, even when wrapped up in Winston Churchill's halo ("The challenges Churchill faced nearly 70 years ago mirror those of today," Nov. 24).

The last time I looked, American progressives were not advocating the nationalization of coal, utilities, steel and transportation, as the Labor government did after World War II. And the UK's National Health Service bears little resemblance to the Affordable Care Act.

The NHS is a single-payer system that avoids the byzantine nonsense that has been foisted on the American people in the name of compromise. Its expenditures per patient are far less than in the American "system," and the health outcomes are better compared to the U.S. — as they generally are in countries (including Cuba) that have national health systems.

In case you hadn't noticed, people enrolled in Medicare (a form of socialized medicine) seem to appreciate it. Nor am I aware of any of my conservative retired friends refraining from enrolling.

Keith Harries, Columbia

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