Skip to comments.Universal health care.
Posted on 04/24/2008 8:01:21 AM PDT by britlabour
Firstly - apologies for this not being a news story but I really wanted to ask this question! As you know, in the UK we have universal healthcare. A couple of weeks ago I had an interesting conversation with a conservative American tourist outside Buckingham palace (we were both spectators at the London Marathon event). I was telling him about a hospital visit I had had recently and he replied that he had originally been opposed to socialised healthcare - until he suffered from chest pains at Heathrow, an ambulance arrived within six minutes. Basically what I wanted to ask was - what are the reservations that many Americans have to free healthcare, funded by the taxpayer and evenly spread nationwide (or statewide as the case may be). I know that it SOUNDS socialist - but sometimes it is a good thing to borrow ideas that are good from an otherwise failing ideology, as the British Conservatives did with the NHS. Any thoughts?
Chest pains is a different animal than being put on a waiting list for other surgeries; dial 911 and say “chest pains” and response is immediate. How about UK dental care? We’re told it’s so expensive that many people pull their own teeth.
One of the objections we Americans have is that the idea of “universal health care” will never stay an insurance plan. Inevitably when more and more people flood the system, care will have to be rationed. Already in the state of Massachusetts, which has a state run plan, many doctors cannot provide a plain physical until mid-2009!
From a Libertarian stand point I refuse to allow an bureaucrat to make decisions about whether or not I or my family receive care, from whom or for what. I refuse to give politicians the power of life and death over me.
If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s ‘FREE’- PJ O’Rourke
How do you guys handle malpractice suits?
The problem I have with it is principle-based. No, it it not good, IMO, to borrow any socialist ideas. If people need healthcre, they’ll just have to pay for it themselves.
Let's look at the service. First, six minutes for an ambulance to arrive is pretty normal here as well and doesn't reflect any major difference, but let's talk about elective surgery (versus emergency). If you needed a hip replacement, how long would it take for you to get an appointment. This is personal for me because my father just had hip replacement surgery last year. He was able to go to the doctor for initial consultation, set up the appointment, and have the surgery all within a week. In Canada for example, the waiting list for hip replacement is six years.
There are also fundamental issues. For example, when you say ‘healthcare’ is a right, why stop there? Why not housing. It isn't fair that some don't have homes while others have homes, should everyone just share home costs? How about a car? How about income?
Now, going back to your friend.. guess what, in the US, if he didn't have insurance, hospitals are still required to take care of him in an emergency, so insured or not insured, he would have been helped- without universal coverage.
This is just one small comment on some of the differences.. I'm sure many others will jump in..
Well, dental care is actually free - or heavily subsidised. About $8 equivalent for a tooth filling. There is the option to go private though. Some areas don’t have enough space and you perhaps need to wait for a month or so for an appointment unless it is an emergency.
disabled, war-widows, etc etc? What about those.
There's the rub, right there. The fact is, people DO pay for it themselves, always. The only question is whether they pay for it directly, as in a fee-for-services arrangement, or indirectly through insurance companies, co-ops, government-run agencies, or what have you.
Any structure other than fee-for-services necessarily adds overhead to the system. Insurance companies add a lot of overhead, and government adds even more.
Here in the U.S., a call to 911 normally produces an ambulance right away, too.
The question shouldn’t be about why we’re opposed to socialized medicine. The question should be: What exactly do you believe are the advantages of socialized medicine?
Let’s start there.
You just, inadvertently stepped into the number one reason why the government should be out of this from a 'universal' standpoint. I am going to use vets as an example because it is personal to a lot of people. No one here will argue that we should take care of injured veterans, it is an obligation for their service to us. However, how do you help those in need when you are saying 'everyone' is in need? If you have a bucket of water and you want to help ten thirsty people, do you give the water to everyone, whether they are thirsty or not, or do you just give it to the thirsty? If you have an obligation to take care of wounded vets, how can you do that when you are spreading out the funding to everyone? With universal systems, those who are truly in need and you have an obligation to help are those who are hurt the most because the pool of funds to help them, is spread out among everyone.
That’s why we have Medicare. Those people are still taken care of, even without “universal health care”.
“free healthcare, funded by the taxpayer “
Notice the contradiction?
Your healthcare is NOT free.
No no no! Though I can understand your error. Our tax system is painfully difficult to understand. 0-6000 pounds is tax free, 6-12000 is 10p, 12-24000 (about) is 21p, 24-36000 is 38 or so. You only pay it on the relevent part of your wage. so for the first 6000 you pay nothing, for the second 6000 you pay 10p (per pound, 10%), the next 12000 you pay 21p on the pound. ETC. It’s all staged, you are not taxed on the top rate for your pay on all of your pay. I hope that’s clear as it can be!
Disabled people could rely on private charity if government wasn’t taxing us to death. War-widows can get the life insurance from their spouse, since the government is an employer, and most employers provide that.
Under most universal systems, the cost is redistributed out, scaled, as with a tax system. Government cannot be trusted, at all, to govern healthcare wthout looking at it from a “What about the poooooooor?” mindset.
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