Dear American Citizen,
I write from the other side of the Atlantic. Our homelands are separated by a vast, malevolent body of water. Thousands of miles stand between us, yet still we share so many things, music, theatre, fashion, culture, history, high street stores and banking ties, and much more. Our military train together, and politicians lean on each other. We really aren't that different.
Despite all this, I'm confused by the widespread opposition shown by many Americans to Obamacare. I don't understand why so many are repulsed at the thought. I know some paint Obamacare as a socialist land grab. We have people here who believe similar too, though thankfully they are in an irrelevant minority. Municipal healthcare is not some clandestine socialist construct. It's a fantastically effective way of keeping American workers, American Moms, the American sports hero, and state employees healthy and productive. It's a way for every single one of you to be able to be fit enough, and well enough to make the American dream a reality!
Vocal opponents of Obamacare use the UK's National Health Service (NHS) as a reason not to enrol. NHS hospitals have been labelled by some US politicians as "death factories". Trust me, not every NHS hospital is perfect, but death factories they are not! I was born under the NHS. It saved my life. It brought my two beautiful little boys into the world, and was there when they fell ill. It rehabilitated me back to work when I was incapacitated. The NHS gave my mother a triple heart bypass operation, and dragged her convulsing body away from the threshold of death when she fell into a severe diabetic coma. The NHS cared for my grandparents in their final hours, and recently allowed a family friend to end his days with peace and dignity, in his own home, on his own terms.
When my eldest son fell ill, he was taken to the nearest hospital by emergency ambulance. He received outstanding treatment by talented and dedicated professionals. Throughout the whole terrifying saga I was humbled. I found myself in awe of the fantastically positive impact the NHS has had on my life, and on the lives of those I love. I found myself reflecting on this as I sat in a small waiting room in the early hours of a cold Sunday morning, nursing staff hurrying from bed to bed, the corridor constantly filled with echoing footsteps of those paid for by my taxes, and the taxes of the middle aged man sitting opposite me to care for perfect strangers, irrespective of their wealth, status, or occupation. I was able to reflect on it because not once did I have to worry about the cost of my son's treatment. The same was true of his birth, and the birth of his younger brother. My sole focus was the wellbeing of my wife and babies. Municipal healthcare gives you the freedom to do that, to focus only on what is important.
The fact that costs under Obamacare are met partially through federal taxation bothers many of you. It irritates some to think they are paying the hospital bill of the guy who lives down the street.
"Why should I pay for my co-workers broken leg?" was the question I was asked via Twitter on this subject.
"Because in return, he pays if you ever lose your job and then break your arm, have a heart attack, or a nervous breakdown" was my reply.
Americans spend a lot of taxation on subsidies. Huge portions of your tax dollars go on subsidising poverty wages of employees of the USA's biggest companies through tax credits. Surely it's better to subsidise the treatment of child cancer than the annual bonus of multi millionaire heads of your largest corporations?
I mean no disrespect to you, or your country. I love American music, food and television. I drive an American car. I am just mystified as to why the thought of Obamacare is so abhorrent to a nation that champions its citizens standing united under one flag, all working together, on a level playing field for a common cause. There is no more common a cause than municipal healthcare. The NHS is the greatest thing about Great Britain, make no mistake about that. I am as proud of it, as you are of the stars and stripes.
So, my American friends, don't be repulsed or swayed by propaganda of insurance companies, and those who say Obamacare is un-American. Embrace it. It will be one of the wisest decisions in American history. Under municipal healthcare, every man, woman and child are treated as equally as they are under the constitution of which you are so understandably proud. What could be more American than that?