I am English (and a dual citizen of England and the United States) and I am increasingly frustrated with the misinformation reported regarding socialized medicine. Several opponents of health care reform--including major conservative radio and TV commentators and several republican politicians--claim that in England major surgery is not given to those over 59. This simply is NOT TRUE!
My Mother had open heart surgery at age 81, is now 88 and doing well. She received excellent care, did not wait three months for a specialist; her surgery was immediate. My cousin recently had heart and lung surgery, he is 70 and his surgery was immediate and successful. Unlike the United States, all people and particularly the elderly are taken care of in England. Further, all English citizens do not pay for any prescriptions after the age of 60.
The biggest difference between their system and ours? Everyone has access to healthcare. E veryone. Comprehensive health care in England, like every civilized country except the United States, is considered to be a right of all people. Apparently, in the United States the people concerned about their rights don't care that millions of Americans currently don't have the same rights.