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I'm proud about the National Health Service. It's a piece of real socialism. It's a piece of real Christianity too, you know.
We had to wait a long time for it.
What I had in mind when we organised the National Health Service in 1946 to 1958. And remember when we did it, you know, you younger ones - this was immediately after the Second World War, when we were as Sir Winston Churchill said, a bankrupt nation. But nevertheless, we did these things. And there's nowhere in any nation in the world, communist or capitalist, any health service to compare with it.
Now, the National Health Service had two main principles:
That the medical arts of science and healing should be made available to people when they needed them, irrespective of whether they could afford to pay for them or not. That was the first principle.
The second principle was that this should be done, not at the expense of the poorer members of the community, but of the well to do.
In short, I refuse to accept the insurance principle. I refuse to accept that the National Health service should be paid for by contributions. I refuse to accept that. I refused to accept it because I thought it was nonsense. If you hadn't fully paid up, you couldn't have a second class operation because your card wasn't full of stamps, could you?