campaign to save the NHS — an update

The following message from the 38 Degrees team was received earlier today. It gives the latest news on their campaign and encourages people to continue lobbying their MPs before this week’s crucial votes on NHS reform:

Over the next two days, our MPs vote on the future of our NHS. Liberal Democrats are talking about a rebellion. [1] And Conservative MPs are nervous – they’ve been busy trying to spin their way out of trouble on the NHS all summer. [2]

38 Degrees members have sent over 40,000 emails to MPs from all parties in the last week, and now others are speaking out too. Powerful doctors and nurses’ groups are queueing up to say this bill is bad news for patients. [3] The British Medical Association sent shockwaves with their official verdict, calling on MPs to either make major amendments, or kill the bill. [4]

This week, anything could happen. This is the moment to make sure our MPs are in no doubt: we want them to say no to these dangerous changes to our health service right now. Click to send your MP an email:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/nhs-crunch-vote

MPs must choose whether to protect our health service from changes that could take us down the road to US-style healthcare, or whether to toe the government line and jeopardise the NHS that’s been looking after us since 1948.

We know the NHS isn’t perfect. But every day, nurses and doctors deliver babies, treat illnesses and look after people at the end of their lives – striving to be true to the founding vision for the NHS, that it cares for all of us from “cradle to grave”. [5]

Imagine someone you love being diagnosed with a serious illness, and having to worry not just about how you’ll cope, but how you’ll pay for their treatment. We know that country – it’s called the United States of America. [6] That could become the reality here if we don’t stop these changes.

Many MPs are already wavering and working up the courage to vote no. [7] The government is frantically trying to spin their way out of trouble. [8] It’s time for a huge, people-powered push to call on our MPs to do the courageous thing – click to email your MP:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/nhs-crunch-vote

Even if we don’t win the vote, we can still save the NHS. The closer this week’s vote is, the more the House of Lords will be compelled to go over every last detail of the proposed changes with a fine-tooth comb, knowing how controversial it has been. That’s why we’re not backing down, we’re ramping it up. Click to send your MP a message now:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/nhs-crunch-vote

Thanks for being involved,

Johnny, Hannah, Marie, Becky, Cian, David and the 38 Degrees team

PS: People power built the NHS. After the Second World War, politicians and the public demanded a free health service for everybody. Together, they created our NHS. Now politicians are trying to undo that incredible achievement. The main thing standing in their way is people power. That’s why we need to convince our MPs to protect our NHS. Click to send your MP an email:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/nhs-crunch-vote

NOTES:
[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8739621/Liberal-Democrat-talks-to-decide-which-way-to-jump-on-NHS-reforms.html and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14778406
[2] http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2011/09/02/nhs-legal-opinion-respond-to-your-mp/
[3] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8738561/New-NHS-could-be-more-complex-and-costly-warns-nursing-chief.html
[4] http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/sep/01/bma-letter-mps-nhs-reform
[5] The phrase was used in the Beveridge Report which was the beginning of the modern welfare state: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_State.
[6] Thousands of Americans die every year because of the inadequacies of the US healthcare system:  http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/12/nikki-white-and-health-care/?apage=7 and http://www.seattlepi.com/local/opinion/article/Surviving-the-U-S-health-care-system-1242239.php.
[7] http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2011/09/05/tough-test-for-lib-dem-loyalties-as-nhs-refor
[8] We’ve responded in detail to Conservative and Lib Dem spin here: http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2011/09/02/nhs-legal-opinion-respond-to-your-mp/ and here: http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2011/09/02/exposed-liberal-democrat-response-to-independent-nhs-legal-advice. Also it has been revealed that fears about privatisation may have been well-founded: http://www.spinwatch.org/blogs-mainmenu-29/tamasin-cave-mainmenu-107/5452-nhs-reforms-plunged-into-fresh-turmoil

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