When I was an industry PR guy, I was part of a never-ending effort to defame the NHS, usually by citing a few anecdotes about Brits who claimed to endure long waits for needed care. The industry's propaganda got little resistance from the media or the American public.
The point is not that the British, or Canadian or any other system is necessarily the exactly right model for the U.S. But we will never get anywhere near the right model unless the ideological fog that clouds our political discourse on health care is lifted.
What happened at Mid Staffordshire Hospital was almost the perfect storm. Combine an absence of leadership and an over-focus on cost-cutting, and to that add discouraged staff, and you have all the ingredients for disaster.
You don't have to be a economist to understand why American healthcare has been such a disaster for so long -- and why Obamacare has spectacularly failed to do the one thing that would have solved most of its problems.
In the case of fetuses and rich people, Republicans insist on the sanctity of life. But in the case of destitute people, infants who imprudently choose working-poor parents and struggling young adults the GOP says there's nothing sacred about their lives.
One of the major accusations against Obama's nominee to head up the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Dr. Donald Berwick, is that he "loves" Britain's National Health Service. Ergo, he loves socialism, ergo he is a Marxist.