The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act wasn't the only landmark health care reform implemented in the last few years. In England, legislators transformed the nature of their health care system by passing the Health and Social Care Act 2012, a law that reorganized the NHS, the oldest and largest publicly funded health service in the world.

Both sets of reforms aim at bridging the gap between public and private investment, but despite England allowing for greater market-based competition and the United States expanding government-subsidized care, the two approaches share little common ground.

As the debate continues over the effect PPACA will have on this country's largely privatized system, it's instructive to examine the effect that private investment is having on Britain's historically public one.

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