Earlier this year, Conservatives for Patients Rights (CPR), an anti-health care reform group led by the disgraced former CEO of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Rick Scott, began running a commercial attacking the British health care system. The TV ad runs through “tragic stories” of British citizens who it portrays as being against government-run health care such as the National Health Service (NHS).
Now, the Daily Mail is reporting that two of the women featured in the commercial say they were “duped” into appearing in CPR’s ad campaign:
Furious Kate Spall and Katie Brickell claim that their views on the NHS have been misrepresented by a free market campaign group opposed to Mr Obama’s reforms in a bid to discredit the UK system. [...]
Ms Spall and Ms Brickell both agreed to appear in a documentary on healthcare reform. But neither knew that the footage would be used as part of a TV advertising campaign carried on US networks.
The Daily Mail article goes on to note that both Spall and Brickell actually support government-run health care and were advocating for reforms within the NHS, not for its abolition.
CPR’s ad campaign is one of many misleading attacks being used by American conservatives against the United Kingdom’s single-payer health care system, which is so popular that even Conservative Party politicians unambiguously endorse it.
The right-wing Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) ran an editorial recently claiming that physicist Stephen Hawking “wouldn’t have a chance” in the UK because the NHS does not offer proper care to the elderly, prompting Hawking to remind IBD that he both lives in Britain and that without the NHS’s “high quality of treatment,” he “wouldn’t be alive today.”
Fed up with the deceptive attacks against their health care system from the American right, British citizens have started the “We love the NHS campaign” on Twitter, which has become one of the top trending topics on the service, with even British Prime Minister Gordon Brown taking part.