President Donald Trump took a swing at Britain’s National Health Service on Monday, tweeting that Britons were marching in the streets because their universal health-care system was financially strapped and dysfunctional, and got a swift rebuke from the British prime minister.
“The Democrats are pushing for Universal HealthCare while thousands of people are marching in the UK because their U system is going broke and not working. Dems want to greatly raise taxes for really bad and non-personal medical care. No thanks!” he wrote.
But the thousands of Britons who took to the streets over the weekend were marching in support of the NHS and calling for greater government funding.
Trump’s tweet about Britain’s universal health-care system – once said to be the closest thing that the British have to a national religion – provoked ire from across the political spectrum, including from British Prime Minister Theresa May.
A spokesman for May said that “the prime minister is proud of our NHS, that is free at the point of delivery.” The spokesman said that funding “is at a record high and was prioritized in the budget with an extra 2.8 billion pounds. In the recent Commonwealth Fund international survey, the NHS was rated the best in the world for a second time.”
Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s health secretary, said he is proud to hail from a country where people have coverage “no matter the size of their bank balance.”
Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party said that Trump was “wrong,” adding: “People were marching because we love our NHS and hate what the Tories are doing to it. Healthcare is a human right.”
The march was called “NHS in crisis: Fix it now” and was organized by the People’s Assembly and Health Campaigns Together. Demonstrators carried placards that read: “NHS: More staff, more beds, more funds” and “Saving lives costs money, Saving money costs lives.”
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Karla Adam