Why do thinktanks and suchlike, when arguing for much-needed extra funding for the NHS, weaken their claims with wild assertions about its inefficiencies? Whilst not doubting that "a shortfall of £30bn a year is expected by 2020", and that problems exist, millions will disagree with Warner and O`Sullivan when they state that the NHS is "not offering brilliant care", giving "poor value for money", and in "miserable decline". So much for the "more measured view of the NHS" as requested by the leaders of ten NHS organisations back in January! Not a word on how many of the NHS`s problems caused by the government`s job and financial cuts! It is an oft-used ploy of this government`s propaganda machine, persuading the people with alarmist stories and emotive language about an organisation`s failings, before taking its first steps towards privatisation, for surely, that is what the proposed £10 membership scheme is? Free health care at the point of use is a principle to be maintained at all costs if this country wishes still to be described as "civilised", far more important than high-speed railways, nuclear weapons or being a "full spectrum defence partner" of the USA.
The report is also typical of its kind in that it gives no reason for the NHS having to "escape the constraints of general taxation", as if income tax rates cannot be changed; it is well-documented that the fortunate people earning between £70,000 and £149,000 pa. have been treated very leniently in terms of taxation by this government, and that, perhaps, is the "uncomfortable truth" which our political leaders need to accept? It`s worth remembering too, that under Thatcher, for many years, the top rate of tax for the very rich was 60%.