Saturday, November 23, 2013
Winston Churchill Revisited and Updated on National Health Care
The inherent vise of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
Winston Churchill (1874-1865), Remarks at 1954 White House luncheon
I have just finished reading The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965, by William Manchester and Paul Reid, 1182 pages, Little Brown, 2012). The book is the second of Manchester’s two volumes on Churchill life. Mancheser was unable to complete the second because of ill health and needed the assistance of Paul Reid. The first volume was The Last Lion, Vision of Glory, 1874-1932).
What strikes me about the second volume is:
· World War II dismantled Britain’s Empire, much to Churchill’s chagrin.
· Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the American President, distrusted Churchill as an imperialist who he thought wanted to restore Britain’s Empire after the war.
· Churchill was adamantly against socialism and fought tool and nail to reverse Clement Attlee’s socialist regime in Britain and to become Prime Minister again, which he did
In reading the book, I was interested in Churchill’s views on the National Health Service, which was inroduced in Britain in 1948.
His views produced a mixed bag of quotes
Here are a few of them
In 1944, he said,” Our policy is to create a national health service in order to ensure that everybody in the country irrespective of means, age, sex or occupation shall have equal opportunity to benefit from the most up-to-date medical and allied services available
Yet late in 1945 campaign to retain his position as Prime Minister, he declared: “The (Socialists) hunger for controls of every kind, Socialism is, in essence, an attack not only upon British enterprise, but upon the right of the ordinary man or woman to breathe freely without having a harsh, clumsy, tyrannical hand clapped across their mouths and nostrils."
And, “Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy,”
And, “Why should the queue become a continuing, continuous feature our life? Here we see clearly what is on their minds. The socialist dream is no longer a utopia, but Qeueutopia.”
And, “If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law."
I wonder what Churchill would say about ObamaCare . He might say the following if I may take the liberty of paraphrasing and updating him.
“We have tried a noble experiment, and it has failed. It is not the end of the beginning, it is not even the beginning of the end, But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning,"
” I cannot forecast to you the actions of Obama. ObamaCare is a riddle wrapped into a mystery inside an enigma."
“The Progressive Dream is no longer a Utopia, it is a Snafutopia.
"Healthcare.gov is a superb example of Technological Inexactitude."
“ ObamaCare is an attack on small business enterprise and the right of the ordinary man and women to live and breathe freely without having the heavy hand of government suppressing their choice physicians and health plans.”
“If you have 20,000 regulations, you destroy all respect for the Healthcare Law.”
“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never- in nothing great or small, large or petty. – in the search for a better health system for all.”
Tweet: Winston Churchill was a great man with strong and sometimes conflicting opinions about socialism’s role in health care and its consequences.