I see the morons are at it again in the Observer this morning. Hilariously though this time they're missing a crucial point.
Currently, in the UK, if you work you pay taxation, be it NI or Income Tax, which goes towards the cost of healthcare under the NHS. If you don't work you don't pay it, but you still receive healthcare anyway. If you are unable to be treated in an NHS hospital you can be treated in a private one which is paid for by the NHS.
Now take a look at what the Observer is getting its knickers in a twist about. According to them, some terribly evil Tories have proposed a "new system of health provision in which people would pay money into personal health accounts, which they could then use to shop around for care from public and private providers. Those who could not afford to save enough would be funded by the state".
It doesn't take a genius to note that the current situation and proposal are effectively producing the same outcomes. The only difference is that where an individual is paying in and not being funded solely by the state, the latter proposal means the authority to allocate the monetary resources for those outcomes remains with the individual who paid them.
Sorry, perhaps I'm being a bit thick here, but what is actually wrong with that? You're not dismantling the NHS, all you're doing is changing from a single payer to a multiple payer system. Everyone is still covered with the same basic provision, no one is denied access because they lack the ability to pay, and private and public hospitals continue to co-exist as they already do.
If ever you wanted a great example of the infamous "forces of conservatism" that Blair talked about, all you have to do is look at those screaming about the "dismantling" of the NHS. They're not interested in ideas or reform. Preserving the structure is more important to them, than getting the best outcome for all.
They call themselves progressives, yet they're only interested in conserving. Ironic huh?