Imagine you’ve fallen ill. There’s fever and pain, and it doesn’t go away. A trip to the doctor’s office lands you in the emergency room. Surgery follows, then several nights in the hospital. Weeks later, after more doctor’s appointments and loads of prescription medicine, you’re all well again, fit as a fiddle. And then they let you go on your merry way, without paying a penny. That’s right: $0. If you’re living in the United States, that is probably the stuff of fantasies. But not for our cousins in Britain, thanks to one of that country’s most noble creations: the National Health Service. It was founded in 1948 to provide free health care to all residents and has proudly stood as a much-loved symbol of British identity and the welfare state. But for several years the N.H.S., which celebrated its 75th birthday last summer, has been suffering its own serious health crisis. Last winter was the worst period ever for the system. People died in their homes waiting for ambulances to arrive, and hospitals overflowed with patients, with some assigned beds jammed into corridors. Millions of Britons have waited months for surgeries, and some, unable to find an N.H.S. dentist, have resorted to pulling out their own teeth. After a decade of stagnant salaries, nurses and doctors have staged walkouts, adding to the crisis. Now, as a new winter approaches, N.H.S. staff members fear that things will get even worse. The crisis has led to calls for Britain to scrap universal health care and return to a private or hybrid health system, like in the United States and other European countries. But as the Opinion video above argues, the N.H.S.’s woes are not a function of how it’s funded but the result of something else entirely.