by John Hawkins | December 8, 2005 4:05 am
If the Democrats were to ever get their way and implement socialized medicine in the United States, here’s the sort of nightmare situation we’d see as a consequence:
“One of the most decorated British fighter pilots of the Second World War has sold his medals, diaries and other memorabilia partly to pay for a hip replacement operation for his wife who faced at least a six-month wait on the National Health Service.
Sqn Ldr Neville Duke, 83, the Royal Air Force’s top-scoring ace in the Mediterranean theatre who set a world air speed record of 728 mph in 1953, put the collection up for auction rather than subject his wife Gwen to months of pain and discomfort while she waited for an operation.
The standard waiting time for hip replacements in the orthopaedic department at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, one of the nearest facilities to the Dukes’ home, is six months.
Mrs Duke, who has been in pain with her hip for eight months, was told by her chiropractor that the wait might be 15 months.
Before the sale Mrs Duke, 85, explained: “It is very likely I will need a new hip and that is something we just cannot afford. If I went on a NHS waiting list I would have to wait forever, and at my age that’s no good.
‘By selling Neville’s things we will be able to pay for the hip. We pulled out of BUPA because they practically doubled the rate when we reached 60.
“There are other important reasons, such as security, for selling. He’s very upset about it.”
In the event, the auction at Dix Noonan Webb in Mayfair raised £138,000, some £8,000 of which would be required for an operation. The medals went to a private British collector.
Sqn Ldr Duke’s DSO, awarded in the field after he shot down seven enemy aircraft in seven days, DFC and two bars, Air Force Cross and OBE for his achievements as a test pilot for Hawker form one of the finest collections of medals accrued by a pilot of his generation.
The lots also included the ripcord he pulled when he baled out for the second time in the war and came near to drowning in an Italian lake after almost falling out of his harness.
Sqn Ldr Duke said the decision to sell the medals was a hard one but had been forced upon him by worries about his wife’s condition, security at the family home following three burglaries, the cost of insuring the collection and the desire to keep it together, the couple having no children.”
So we have a war hero selling his treasured momentos because he can’t bear to see his 85 year-old wife needlessly hobbled for up to 15 months to get a “free” operation from the government.
That’s what socialized medicine is like, folks.
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