I particularly liked this little exchange.
John*, Hull asked
I remember who [sic] bad the NHS was 10 years ago, and I've seen real improvements. What do you think would happen if cameron got in?
Andy Burnham MP, Minister of State for Health answered
Cameron was the man behind the patient passport, which would have helped wealthy people opt out of the NHS...
How dare you try to opt out of the NHS! We shall abolish all private hospitals immediately!
Fucking hell, what a cunt. For fuck's sake, Andy, we want as many people as possible to opt out of the NHS (and not only so that they actually get a better service). I explained why some time back, when I refused to sign Richard Solomon's Our Petition.
... I believe that those who can pay for their own medical treatment should do so: as far as I am concerned—with a salary of nearly £60,000 and "expenses" which are often twice that—our politicians are more than capable of paying for their health care.
The NHS was set up to help the very poor who were unable to pay for treatment and this is the only basis on which today's NHS can even have a hope of surviving. If Doc Crippen wants the NHS to improve, then those who can pay must do so.
Everyone is starting to accept that care on the NHS is going to have to be rationed. Thus, it makes sense that those who can afford to opt out, get insurance, go private, should be heavily encouraged to do so.
The NHS—and the Welfare State in general—was set up to help those who were unable to help themselves, not those who were merely unwilling to do so. Most of us will happily go for a free lunch if we can, and so we shouldn't be surprised that the general populace opted to do so (especially since they were taxed specifically to cover their care through National Insurance).
National Insurance was supposed to cover your pension: it won't. Let's not pretend that there will be a state pension of any significance, if at all, by the time that those of us under 30 retire.
National Insurance was supposed to cover your healthcare: it won't. There are already predictions that the NHS will become, even partially, a paid for service in a decade.
National Insurance was supposed to cover your unemployment benefit: it might. Provided that you fill in your forms regularly (in triplicate) don't resign from your job, aren't the Director of an unsuccessful company, don't have any other assets, etc.
It is time for those fat cunts in Westminster to stop deluding people. Just call NI what it is, i.e. another income tax. Abolish it and roll it into income tax; stop trying to con people that it is an insurance scheme because it isn't. And then give tax breaks to people who buy private insurance.
There are tax breaks for private pensions—the government gives you your income tax back on contributions. Fine, let's do the same for health insurance and unemployment insurance.
But, for fuck's sake, will people stop deluding themselves and get some private fucking insurance. You have been warned: when the crunch comes, I will have no sympathy for anyone of my age who turns around and moans about not being able to afford their health treatment in thirty years' time.
Tough shit: you were warned.
* Presumably not Prescott. Definitely not.