This has been an interesting debate. I hope that you will allow, Mr. Amess, that it has been combative, and I intend to respond in true style and take no prisoners.
In my firmly held view, having known the party for such a long time, hypocrisy on the subject abounds among the Liberal Democrats. With no credible policy on the future of the health service, they hide behind "The Orange Book" in which Mr. Laws discusses the central proposals of the break-up of the NHS and a move to a system of social insurance. There was not one word about any of that in today's important debate. It is interesting that all those who espoused and were involved in drawing up "The Orange Book" have been promoted.
The hon. Member for Yeovil went on to argue for a switch from a monopoly NHS system to a national health insurance system, with the heath service remaining in place but as only one of the options available to all citizens. He went on to say:
"Additional charges could be paid by those people willing to pay for higher quality non-clinical services, such as private rooms. Such 'enhancement' charges would be set by each health insurance provider."