Stephen Hawking: I would not be alive without the NHS

The Telegraph

The British physisist spoke out after Republican politicians lambasted the NHS as “evil” in their effort to stop President Barack Obama’s reforms of US health care which will widen availability of treatment but at a cost to higher earners who will pay higher insurance premiums.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS,” he said. “I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.”

Prof Hawking, who has had Lou Gehrig’s disease for 40 years, was in Washington to be awarded the America’s highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

He received emergency treatment in April at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge. An American newspaper subsequently used Prof Hawking as an example of the deficiencies of the NHS. “People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless,” it claimed.

A Twitter campaign defending the NHS emerged to give an outlet for protests against the controversy that arose out of Mr Obama’s drive to reform American healthcare. Users of the micro-blogging service have been posting messages in support of the British health care system.

Urbanitejewelry, an American in Britain, wrote: “I’m an american in the UK. Had a bad health scare a few months back and was well taken care of, no money involved. incredible.”


  1. Reforms in U.S. health care — which could be similar to the UK's National Health Service — should be implemented, because they would provide health care services to Americans who could not afford them.

    We must not let our poor citizens suffer and die unnecessarily, because they cannot afford medication or health care services. This is an anti-Christian attitude toward poor people that is too common in America, and needs to be put to rest.

  2. I belive heath care is important to all people and poor people in need should be helped.With that said I also believe that our reps.need to take their time,consider all the options then vote,To rush into such things can never be good. Once something is voted on as a bill it can almost never be changed.Are you willing to fund Abortion? Mass. does all you need is a fifty dollars co pay.Are you willing to give up large amounts of money each week from your pay check for the health care of others? there are only so many rich people and they can pay only so much.All bills start out as good things but years later they become monsters,I know I deal with the state and goverment
    medicare/medicaid.Reform is needed.Lets do this right.I would not be rushed into buying a car with out checking all my options and neither would I want my health care to be rushed just to push through some kind of plan. linda

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