World-renowned physicist has gotten into a public battle with the UK government over the current health care situation in his home country.
Stephen Hawking is certainly not one who is shy with his opinions, but his recent public tirade against the UK National Health Service is raising some eyebrows. Hawking, more well-known for his knowledge of physics, is criticizing Britain’s Conservative government over what he perceives as a crisis in the state-run NHS.
Hawking believes conservatives are trying to make the NHS more like the for-profit system in the United States, which has led to enormous costs burdening the economy and sapping the poor and middle class. In an article published in the Guardian, Hawking — who was diagnosed with a motor neurone disease at age 21 — accused UK health minister Jeremy Hunt of cherry-picking evidence to justify the policies he was pushing.
Hunt slammed Hawking in return, claiming that his criticism was a “pernicious falsehood.
“The care I have received since being diagnosed with motor neurone disease as a student in 1962 has enabled me to live my life as I want, and to contribute to major advances in our understanding of the universe,” wrote Hawking.
“In the U.S., where they are dominant in the healthcare system, these corporations make enormous profits, healthcare is not universal, and it is hugely more expensive for the outcomes patients receive than in the UK,” he added. “We see the balance of power in the UK is with private healthcare companies, and the direction of change is towards a U.S.-style insurance system.”