July marks the 70th birthday of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS). In Britain, the NHS was widely (though not universally) welcomed, and swiftly became a symbol of national values and commitments. However, this positive view of ‘state medicine’ wasn’t shared by American commentators. As a result, the NHS became a highly politicised and controversial topic in US healthcare debates. This lecture will explore US representations of the NHS, and British response to them, asking why American visions of a British social institution provoked such strong reactions at home.
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