Why did London celebrate socialized medicine during opening ceremonies?

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  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 12, 2012 9:36 p.m.

    the concept of socialized medicine sounds great - every citizen gets coverage for free. The reality isn't close to the concept unfortunately. America has become - like Europe - a dependent nation that lazily expects hand outs - full of "Freddie the Freeloader" types and Obama is more than happy to provide sufficient lies to sooth the ignorant masses. It is really hard to see a future of freedom and prosperity for this country going forward. If you like what has happened in Greece then you will love what is coming soon to America. Sad thing is many people don't have a clue...the Obama voting block.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    Aug. 12, 2012 10:13 a.m.

    Yeah, regardless of where you sit on the argument of socialized healthcare, I think a main point of the opinion is that it really didn't belong in the opening ceremonies of the olympic games. Surely, if the opening ceremonies were in the United States and there was a celebration of the 2nd Amendment, regardless of how folks in other countries felt about our Constitution, they would be justified in wondering why we would introduce that in the opening ceremonies of an athletic event.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 11, 2012 1:12 p.m.

    Hey UT Brit!

    I take your point. Yet if, in fact, the USA is less regulated than any other "1st world" nation, that means there is no free market in healthcare. The US "Health System" is regulated signficantly by the government, as well as other forces: giant pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, no doubt medical professional organisations. The whole dscussion about Private v Government Health Care is a fase dichotomy, it's all pretty much controlled. Coercive government Health Care is perhaps a little worse, alhough there are elements of coercion on the horizon in both "systems", and some already in place.

    I would like to see the American public regulate the medical profession, for example by living more healthy, by being less blindly trusting of medical procedures, less hysterical, more self reliant etc. This would bring down the unconscioabl cost of "health care" more than anything else, unless..... they manage to force us into "health care".

  • UT Brit London, England
    Aug. 11, 2012 9:30 a.m.


    The US health care system is the least regulated and least government controlled in the 1st world, you spend around double what other countries are spending though.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 11, 2012 7:58 a.m.

    Some posters referred to settng bones especially tricky ones, and another about someone who died of colon cancer:

    1. I agree it is good that some people can set bones, but do not agree that it takes a National Health System to accomplish that. OTOH I don't think that we really have a free system in this nation to even make a fair and full comaparison. Our system is hardly free; I would like to see a truly free system so we are not dealing with false dichotomes all the time.

    2. There is no cure for cancer or the bankruptcies caused by wishful thinking in that department. Most people seem to die of colon cancer (a cancer far above the national average in Utah) at about 63, the same age as in my grandfather's and great grandmother's generation. It is a sadistic waste of money though I don't blame people for trying and hoping. A good diet would do far more at no expense for most people.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Aug. 10, 2012 10:57 a.m.

    Redshirt, you could write your headlines for the US. Thousands with cancer turned away from hospitals because they can't pay million dollar bill. Tens of thousands turned down therapy because of insurance mistakes.

    The only reason I see to oppose single payer healthcare is that republicans will try to starve it and drown it like the USPS and then claim it doesn't work. England would have to double the money it spends per capita on healthcare to match the US yet thier own facist conservatives are trying to starve it to death.

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 10, 2012 10:32 a.m.

    Maybe the Brits celebrated their health care system for the same reason they fly their flag and play/sing their national anthem.

    Maybe, after paying for all of their health care costs under their system, they had some money left over to include this in the opening ceremonies.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 10, 2012 6:56 a.m.

    Praising the opening ceremonies, consevative and British expat Andrew Sullivan wrote: "Britain's 2012 Olympics were of the anti-fascist variety. Which is fitting, isn't it, since this tiny island nation was the lynchpin in fascism's twentieth century demise. Defeated, in part, by a sense of humor, perspective and a spot of anarchy." Simon Schama described them as " Danny Boy was on to a different shtick entirely from ceremonies past. Where they have been seamless, faultless, heartless, Boyle’s was mischievously directionless, multitudinous, anarchic, reminiscent of Ariane Mnouchkine’s Theatre du Soleil productions that resist fixed vantage points . . "

    Both authors liked the opening ceremonies because of their inherent Britishness, the way they captured the national character of England and the UK and part of that character happens to be the NHS. Not everything is a political statement intended for American audiences. We may need to lighten up and get over our bad selves.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 10, 2012 6:00 a.m.

    how do you know the missionary had pre-existing bias? You know the thoughts and intesnt of his heart?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 10, 2012 12:07 a.m.

    "I guess the system is good, unless you are old, or born premature, or have an expensive illness to treat."

    Must be describing our system. Ours is the only one that I know of that leaves 30+ million high and dry, causes bankruptcies, drops people with illnesses, and refuses those with preconditions, all while costing twice as much as anybody else.

    I wonder, if the letter writer would be ok if a British missionary came here for two years and then reported about our health system. Would she trust his opinion? Or would she quickly disregard it as someone who hadn't spent enough time here, didn't study enough, or didn't experience enough of our system? If she wouldn't trust the opinion of a British missionary why should we trust her husband's view on Britain's system?

  • Allisdair Thornbury, Vic
    Aug. 9, 2012 11:37 p.m.

    And I thought the LA openning with the covered wagons was strange Ha. You Guy are so narrow minded. You would never have understood the Ned Kelly reference in the Sydney opening. By the way Australia's socialised medicine - Life expectancy 81.2.

    As for Redshirt doing a dig through the headlines can I suggest you look at the your own headlines.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 6:22 p.m.

    Heaven forbid someone else celebrate something that we politically disagree with! The people of England thought it was a good idea to institute a single payer system, and obviously they feel it is working well enough to celebrate.

    Are we really that offended that any opposing view point must be censored before it reaches our eyes and ears? They appear to be healthy, no rampant genocide, democracy appears to be working there...what is the problem besides an opposing view point?

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2012 5:38 p.m.

    The UK has 60 million and the USA has 300 million inhabitants. Obama's massive, chaotic and hurried health care is not the HC of much smaller countries Canada and the UK and their more fiscally responsible approach. In the UK it is a matter of national pride and at the same time they make fun of its many deficiencies. The current US system is flawed as to high costs, and lack of complete access to a small but important part of the population.It is recognized as the best in the world. Medicare and medicaid is available. The US economy is strong when the free market is allowed to work properly while at times checked by the government.Ingenuity is sparked by freedom.Obama-care isn't focused on simply helping the uninsured.It is a massive govt takeover of a major part of the economy done in a reckless and hurried manner with too little debate and transparency. Obama grossly underestimated the high costs of such a system and the tax increases necessary. This takeovers is unpopular and seen as an attack on individual freedom. We need to consider a alternative solution that helps the poor and uninsured.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 5:07 p.m.

    "I like my own health system: eat wonderful healthy food, avoid overeating, get exercise naturally by doing moderate physical work regularly, be married with wife my exclusive partner, don't overdo it, don't worry too much, avoid drugs including medecines, seek clean air and water, that kind of thing."

    What wonderful way to take care of your health, Gildas. If everyone took care of their health better, it would go a long way to reducing health care costs in this country. But of course some people will still have health problems even with trying to take care of themselves. But, anyway, so how do we get people to take care of their health? What do you suggest? This country is very unhealthy and overweight. How do we change that? I don't think it is going to work just telling people to eat better and workout more.

  • UT Brit London, England
    Aug. 9, 2012 4:00 p.m.


    Or how about we go off actual studies and facts instead of sensationalist headlines from the two most right wing papers in the UK, one of which is considered a tabloid which famously supported the Nazi party before WW2 kicked off.

    As for cut backs, you can see what the current conservative government is doing. They are cutting back on operations so that their private health companies they own or have stakes in can start making lots more money. One thing I can say about the US health system, it is able to generate massive amounts of money for health care execs and politicians, that's why the current conservative government is desperate to try and go down that route.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 1:32 p.m.

    To those who think the National Health system in England is great, please explain how you can say that in light of the following headlines:

    “The babies born in hospital corridors: Bed shortage forces 4,000 mothers to give birth in lifts, offices and hospital toilets” Daily Mail

    “100,000 terminally ill 'do not get proper palliative care'” Telegraph

    “The breast cancer patients TOO OLD to save: Thousands are being denied surgery by 'ageist' doctors” Daily Mail

    “Cataracts, hips, knees and tonsils: NHS begins rationing operations” the Independent

    “Lung cancer victims denied lifesaving scans” Telegraph

    “Patients forced to live in agony after NHS refuses to pay for painkilling injections” Telegraph

    “They left my baby to die in my arms: This mother thought her son had a fighting chance when he was born at 22 weeks... but the hospital staff refused to help him” Daily Mail

    “Top doctor's chilling claim: The NHS kills off 130,000 elderly patients every year” Daily Mail

    I guess the system is good, unless you are old, or born premature, or have an expensive illness to treat.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 1:15 p.m.

    Oh absolutely! I find it so revolting that everyone in the UK has health insurance that I have not watched one minute of the Olympics in protest!

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 12:46 p.m.

    Good heavens. Why is it our place to judge what the British wish to celebrate? It is their country and their culture they are showcasing.

    Not everyone needs explosions, car chases, and girls in bikinis to be entertained.

  • UT Brit London, England
    Aug. 9, 2012 12:20 p.m.


    Yes very admirable things to do and good advice to all. I must say though, clean air, water and little medications don't help very much when you have a shattered shin bone poking through your skin.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Aug. 9, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    Gildas, I totally agree with your lifestyle philosophy, but what about my wife's best friend who died of non-hodgkins lymphoma at age 46? Or my sister who had a coronary artery anomaly which caused a heart attack at age 63? What about my friend's clean living wife who died of colon cancer in her 40's.

    Everyone should have health insurance, no matter what your risk factors, sometimes stuff just happens.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 11:18 a.m.

    Apparently, the significance to British history and culture of children's literature in general, and Sir James M. Barrie (and his famous relationship with the Great Ormond Street Hospital, and by extension, the NHS) in particular, is lost on Ms. Summers. Pity. However, what's more the pity is her also apparent need to politicize that fact in her letter.

    I, on the other hand, found that part of the Opening Ceremonies both fascinating and enlightening.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 9, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    I know a young man who was mugged in our country while working on a volunteer basis for 2 yrs. His "medical exam" consisted of a phone call, which is not uncommon. I'm sure he would've gotten an in-person medical exam if it were serious? I hope he doesn't judge our medical system based on that single experience.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 9:34 a.m.

    Since personal anecdotes seem to be all the rage here, let me say that I received superb treatment under Norway's socialized medicine system. I've spent a lot of time there doing research, and since I'm really klutzy and awkward, pretty much got hurt every time I was there. I've never received anything less than terrific service.
    As for the London opening ceremony, I've also spent a lot of time in England, understand their history and culture, and loved their ceremony. And when Paul McCartney sang Hey Jude, I was in tears. I especially loved the tribute to children's literature. But the NHS tribute was great too.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    Several years ago I lived in Canada for about six months. While there, I became seriously ill. I called a local clinic and they made an appointment for me that same day. I went in, they treated me, gave me shots and a prescription. They apologized to me saying that since I was not a Canadian citizen they would have to bill me for the service. A month or so later, I got a bill for a very small amount, much lower than it would have to get the same services here.

    Does this one experience make me an expert on the Canadian healthcare system? If so, it was great.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    The British system works and they are proud of it. The U. S. system is a mess. Besides, taking the word of an American there temporarily for two years who probably didn't understand the system and had pre-existing bias is hardly a reliable way to assess their system. Their results are better than ours at less cost. By the way, isn't it interesting how some prefer the ceremony of the totalitarian state over that of the free one?

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2012 8:19 a.m.

    England has no obligation to make thier olympics appeal to the US viewer. What would they do, show Donald Trump firing someone and Snookie eating on a couch?

    I thank the people from England for stepping in here, the USA is truly in need of international help to save us from the facist movement.

    "two years many years ago" So your husband served a mission in England many years ago? Respectfully, that doesn't really qualify you as an expert on thier healthcare system. I realy wish people could be open minded enough to realize the facts that these socialized systems cost half as much and work better than our system. Oh but for pride thier eyes would be opened.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    I like my own health system: eat wonderful healthy food, avoid overeating, get exercise naturally by doing moderate physical work regularly, be married with wife my exclusive partner, don't overdo it, don't worry too much, avoid drugs including medecines, seek clean air and water, that kind of thing.

    It costs almost nothing and works better than either the British NHS or the American system which is also very controlled and expensive. Keep costs down by avoiding doctors except if really necessary.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    I thought there was much more to British history, culture, and society that could have been trumpeted before the world than their health care system, but if they are happy with it, let them be happy with it, just don't force it on us.

    liberal larry,
    more goes into life expectancy than health care. lifestyle contributes significantly more than does access to health care.

    our "mess" of a system as some have described it became much messier with Obamacare. And where is the reduction in cost BO promised would go along with it? My premiums have gone up, not down.

    you know the heart and intent of the missionary?

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 8:01 a.m.

    If you're not a fan of socialized medicine, that's fine.

    But certainly you cannot be advocating a system like ours! A system that excludes those who need health care the most? A system that excludes 30+ million people? A regressive system which focuses on treatment rather than prevention? A system that drops you if you become sick? A system that causes bankruptcy? A system which costs double socialized medicine while seeing worse results?

    Certainly you cannot be advocating our system...

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 7:07 a.m.

    Sooo scary to be able to get medical attention when needed without the worry of losing your home and everything else.

    I enjoyed the Opening Ceremony, and wish with all my heart that the US had a similar system to Britain's NHS.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Aug. 9, 2012 6:47 a.m.

    Your husband may hate England's healthcare system, but people living there evidently don't! The English have a life expectancy of 80.5 compared to American's anemic 78.2, and they do it for $3487. per capita while we spend $7960. Don't feel bad, we have a life expectancy a couple of months greater than Slovenia, and we almost live as long as Cubans, although they both spend a lot less on health care than we do.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 6:19 a.m.


  • UT Brit London, England
    Aug. 9, 2012 1:09 a.m.

    The NHS has served us very well for over 60 years, the vast majority of Brits are proud of the NHS. We are disturbed that the current conservative government is trying to go down a health system more approaching the US, a system that is the worst in the 1st world by almost every discernible metric. So see it as a tribute if you will.

    If you want scary, try waiting in a US ER and then dealing with a US health insurance company after. Having lived on both sides of the pond I would take the NHS any day of the week over the US health care system.

    As for the opening ceremony it was okay, it could have been much worse. You compare the opening ceremonies of Beijing to London which is more than a little unfair when you take into account budgets. I have found the people that enjoyed it are the ones who knew a bit about the history of the UK.

  • liberate Sandy, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 12:30 a.m.

    I think this article is greatly lacking in thought and perspective. Let's say the majority of Londoners, not all, but the majority, prefer "socialized" medicine over the form we have here, where costs are outrageous and a significant minority do not have any health coverage. Let's suppose they have made the decision that they are fine with receiving subpar or delayed treatment in exchange for coverage for all. Who are we to judge their decision to do something a different way, not wrong by the way, just different. Who are we then to judge them for celebrating on their home soil their way of doing things? I see no problem with it even though I prefer our system. I'm also sure your husband would have a different perspective if he were one of those here who has no coverage at all. Perhaps in that scenario lower quality "socialized" medicine wouldn't look so bad.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 9, 2012 12:27 a.m.

    While in Israel, Mitt Romney heaped lavish praise on Israel's healthcare system. They spend less than half of what we do, and are every bit as healthy. They, of course, have a version of socialized medicine, as does every other developed country in the world, except us. Survey's also show that the population in those socialized medicine countries tends to be much happier with their system than we are with ours.

  • Theinvisibleman Horsham, W Sussex
    Aug. 9, 2012 12:24 a.m.

    What a sad and uninformed view. Whilst not a perfect system, the NHS has looked after me and my family for many years. We get an excellent service which we all pay for via our taxes. No selection process and no-one looking for our credit card as we enter the hospital or visit our local GP. It is available to all as it is needed and it should be rightly celebrated. I guess you also missed Mr Bean playing Chariots of Fire?