I love this story. Same thing I hear from friends in the UK, Finland and Australia . They love their healthcare system and to use their words " americans must be daft to put up with the lack of healthcare in the US" For those that don't know the word daft as near as I can tell from it's usage by friends means " crazy" insane" , not too smart" Anyhoo Enjoy and please while we fight to make sure healthcare gets passed please pass this on. It's rather long for some who have the attention span of Republicans so I will short cut it a bit. But for the more intellectual among us the entire story can be read at the link provided. Why I love Britain's socialized healthcare system | Salon Why I love Britain's socialized healthcare system As I learned when my newborn daughter was very sick, in U.K. hospitals, people take care of each other By Stephen Amidon Aug. 22, 2009 | My eldest daughter had a rough first week. Born after 22 hours of hard labor, her pink skin proceeded to turn an alarming shade of yellow on the second day of her life. It was a bad case of jaundice. She would need to be placed in an incubator, whose ultraviolet light would hopefully clear up the condition. If not, a transfusion would be required. My exhausted wife and I watched in numb horror as our child was encased in the clear plastic box that was to become her crib for the next seven days. What we had hoped would be a straightforward delivery had turned into a nightmare. Because I am American, and those endless days and nights were spent in a maternity hospital in London, the week that followed has been very much on my mind as I listen to the recent attacks on the British National Health Service. It is a system that I found to be very different from the one currently being described as "evil" and "Orwellian" by politicians and commentators eager to use it as an example of the dark side of public medicine. I was initially skeptical about the NHS. Id grown up comfortably in suburban New Jersey; good private healthcare was always immediately available through my fathers insurance. When my English wife became pregnant soon after we settled in London, I was alarmed by the idea of having our first child born in a system I had been told was underfunded, overstressed and inefficient. After all, healthcare in the UK was free. How good could it be? Friends and relatives back in the States were spending thousands to have children. If you get what you pay for, I was about to get a whole lot of nothing. I really began to appreciate the NHS. The moment she showed distress, we were whisked off to a private room, where we were looked after by a no-nonsense pediatrician and the imposing Irish ward sister, or chief nurse, who quickly made it clear to me that my sole useful contribution to the whole process had come nine months earlier. Blood was drawn regularly from our daughters tiny heel; test results came back promptly. The meals were surprisingly edible. I even developed a taste for the milky tea brought to me by kind nurses. My only complaints over the following week were that the free cookies in the fathers lounge were always running out. And for some reason the ward sister kept giving me withering looks, no matter how dutifully I attended to my familys needs. As my blindfolded daughter slept in the incubators eerie violet glow, I would take occasional strolls through the ward. It was the most egalitarian place I had ever seen. The yuppie woman honking into her newfangled cell phone, the young Pakistani mother who always seemed to be surrounded by a half-dozen gift-bearing relations, the self-sufficient older woman desperate to get home to look after her other children -- all of them were cared for in exactly the same manner. Whoever needed help got it. When a terrified Afghani girl arrived, rumored to be only 14 and apparently abandoned by her family, several nurses dropped what they were doing to teach her the rudiments of child care. The rest of the mothers waited patiently until they were finished. Other wards were the same. There was no private wing with champagne service. Everybody was in this together. If you were a woman and you were in labor and you were in our part of London, this is where you came. If things went wrong, skilled doctors appeared with the latest technology. Nobody asked about insurance or co-pays. This, I learned, is what the NHS is about -- common decency. It is about the shared belief that all the people who live in the United Kingdom constitute a society, and a decent society provides certain necessities for its members. Freedom from hunger is one. Police protection is another. Free healthcare from the cradle to the grave is simply one more item on this list. I saw this decency at work countless times over the following decade, until my return to the United States. I saw it with the twice-daily home visits by community midwives for the fortnight after each of our newborn childrens release from hospital, and in the vouchers for free milk we were given for those babies. I saw it when our GP paid us a house call early one Sunday morning to treat our sons spiking fever. I saw it most clearly, however, in the treatment my in-laws received at the end of their lives. My wifes father, who suffered from acute myloid dysplasia, spent his last year receiving constant care, including several sprints to the hospital for emergency transfusions, where doctors struggled heroically to keep him alive. His final week was spent in a very comfortable single hospice room whose French doors opened onto a terrace overlooking his beloved Yorkshire moors. When he died, he left us his house, and not a penny of healthcare debt. My mother-in-law, stricken by arthritis, got two artificial hips and two knees from the NHS, and received daily home visits from social workers during the last three years of her life so she would not have to go into a nursing home. Neither of these septuagenarians was working at the time. The amount of money spent on their care must have been staggering. And yet, despite shouldering this yoke of decency, the nation prospered around them. People were buying French wine and German cars and second homes. They were attending Cats and supporting Arsenal and going on holidays in the sun. Sure, people complained about the NHS. But the British complain about everything. Living without a public health system, on the other hand, was unthinkable. On the day we were finally given the all-clear, there were no papers to sign, no bills to settle. All we had to do was remove our daughters blindfold and go. But I felt I had to leave something behind. So I rushed down to the local corner shop and bought several tins of cookies to give the staff whod looked after us so well. As luck would have it, the Irish ward sister was the only one at the nurses station when I arrived. Before I could explain myself, she gave me a tight, approving smile. "Wondered when youd start chipping in," she said, returning to her paperwork. "Just leave them in the fathers lounge."