The Guardian have some data for the numbers of people with private medical insurance https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... health-nhs
It's not as widespread as you seem to indicate. Although I think many white collar jobs provide the *opportunity* to get pivate insurance, either free or low cost, not everyone takes it. I could have had it in a couple of jobs, and never signed up for it.
It's been flat for a number of decades - but I already knew that.
I was curious whether anyone would pick up on it, typically none of the leavers did.
Not that I'd claim they never do any research...
It doesn't detract from the message though, at the moment most folk are happy with the NHS so they tend to use it and not worry. Neither has the government made any effort yet to encourage private health uptake, but that could change overnight.
So my take so far is that it's good news, but that doesn't mean we should blindly assume we won't sleepwalk into an American system - in fact I think in the long term that's very likely.
FWIW (and for full disclosure) I do have private health insurance, it's a freebie and requires more effort on my part not to take it. Having said that I've never used it, whenever I've made use of the NHS I've never felt the need to 'play the card' - that might change if a consultant suggested to me that there was some benefit in doing so.
I do need to start wearing a fitness tracker though - the health insurance I have gives big discounts off bicycles and running shoes in return for points that you earn by doing fitness stuff - and given the amount of running and cycling I do it's well worth it.
Shame I'm so lazy when it comes to actually doing form filling stuff like that...