Dan Hannan’s hatred of the NHS


The calm and reasoned debate taking place in the US over the future of health care routinely features comparisons to the health systems in other countries, including our own.

As Luke and Hopi note, Tory MEP and libertarian hero Dan Hannan has been merrily trying his best to convince Americans that they have an excellent system of health care and they should count themselves lucky not to be saddled with something as godawful as the British NHS.

Hannan presumably thinks the millions of Americans who suffer without health insurance or who struggle with bankruptcy as a result of health care costs are better off than they would be under a NHS-style system.

After all, as terrible as it is to be in physical pain or to be made homeless due to hospital bills, at least inhabitants of the land of the free are not being subjected to a dastardly “Marxist system” and “massive encroachment of the state”.

Once again, here is Dan Hannan contributing to the red baiting and scaremongering in the US over health care reform:

The problem for ideologues like Hannan is that the NHS is a popular institution with – on the whole – loyal staff and satisfied patients.

Thatcher could not mess around with it too much. Cameron has made it clear he wants the Tories to be seen as the party of the NHS. Even for right-wingers uncomfortable with socialised health provision, it seems to be political commonsense to acknowledge the popularity of the NHS and to be seen as ‘on its side’.

Yes, there are always going to be problems with it (like any system) and we should always be open-minded about ways of improving the service, but attacking the NHS with the kind of language that Hannan uses in-front of American audiences does not go down so well with the general public over here.

Watch Hannan enjoy NHS-bashing banter with Fox News wingnut Glenn Beck in the clip below. Hannan is supposedly an intelligent man. Surely he has some suggestions from his own libertarian perspective on how US health care could be reformed. Does he have ideas on how to extend coverage and bring down costs? If he does, he doesn’t explain them here. Instead he’s just got lots of criticisms of the NHS.

Hannan is jokingly invited by Beck to stand for office in the US (they just LOVE his cute English accent and Thatcherite views out there!). As far as I am concerned they are welcome to him. Perhaps the Tory leadership also hope he decides to make a permanent move across the pond.


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2 Responses to “Dan Hannan’s hatred of the NHS”

  1. Thomas Byrne Says:

    You know, apart from the fact Hannan -doesn’t- want to abolish universal healthcare?

  2. captainjako Says:

    Er – has anyone been claiming that he does? Criticism of Hannan focuses on him telling Americans how terrible he finds the NHS and the idea of socialised health care whilst many over here (such as this blog) take issue with his views.

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