Fred Barnes is a terribly stupid man. In asserting that “Obamacare” will create a bitterly contentious political environment for decades to come, Barnes writes:
We only have to look at Great Britain to get a glimpse of the future. The National Health Service—socialized medicine—was created in 1946 and touted as the envy of the world. It’s been a contentious issue ever since. Its cost and coverage are perennial subjects of debate. The press, especially England’s most popular newspaper, The Daily Mail, feasts on reports of long waiting periods, dirty hospitals, botched care and denied access to treatments.
A Conservative member of the European Parliament, Daniel Hannan, last year in an interview on Fox News denounced the NHS as a “60-year mistake,” declaring he “wouldn’t wish it on anybody.” As prime minister, Margaret Thatcher bravely cut NHS spending in the 1980s, but current Tory leaders regard criticism of the NHS as too risky. “The Conservative Party stands four square behind the NHS,” its leader, David Cameron, said in response to Mr. Hannan.
So, to be clear, the debate over the NHS is so bitterly contentious, and so fractious, that the leader of the Conservative Party is unwilling to come out against it? The NHS is so unpopular that the Tories are afraid to publicly oppose it? The only voice that Barnes is able to muster in opposition to the NHS is a Conservative MEP? Does Barnes understand, I wonder, that an MEP is not an MP?