Having lived in London, Ireland and now Los Angeles for many years, I would like to relate my experiences having used the healthcare systems in all three countries. First I must say I believe in universal healthcare, reason is a no brainer; I have lived in countries that have it; and anyone who is against it obviously has never used it!
But let’s put a few misconceptions to rest:
Politicians do not make medical decisions in universal health systems, doctors do! The difference is the funding is coming from the government and not a for profit company, which means the treatment will be paid for. Now that doesn’t mean there aren’t budgets in a universal system, there are. But denying patient care is never an option. In the states we have a for profit system that pays the doctors per every test they put through. Hence there are many tests in the states that are not needed but make money for someone. In Europe they don’t bother with needless tests, and the government pays less. Also doctors in the States make on average twice as much as any other doctor on the planet. This is because the charges are then sent the the insurance member as higher premiums, the consumer has no say in the matter. With no competition and no accountability prices for medical care in the states have skyrocketed and the care remains about 37th place world wide.
So it’s 1990 and I am living in Ireland, I get sick and need to go to the doctor. Although we have both an insurance system and a national health system I have no insurance. So I go to my doctor, pay him £16 ($20) in cash for the visit. I get a course of antibiotics which cost me about £30. Total is £46 and this is without insurance, never needed permission from anyone. The reason there was a charge is I was working and could afford to pay. If on the other hand I had cancer and required lots of medication, the medication would have been free. Even today there is a maximum that you pay every month, about €90. If you need more than that the government will pick up the tab.
No system is perfect, and governments will always wrestle with costs. But in the end when society excepts the medical care is part of the services you get from paying taxes. It just free’s you up, knowing your medical is there is comforting.
To think that many people in the USA (working people) don’t have access to healthcare because the insurance system says no; is just amazing!
In the civilized countries, where government has a obligation to look after it’s people; to look at the American healthcare system Is to look at society that just doesn’t give a shit! Cares more about profit than people. I will never understand that kind of society. It seems that pure unrestrained capitalism can be just as bad for the average citizen as communism run amok!
Ok so I am a bit passionate about this. I just think in a civilized society, I pay taxes, I would like some comfort in knowing society has my back.
In the states my taxes pay for bureaucracy, police, fire, military.
Not much has been upgraded on infrastructure in years. Maybe the USA is going the way of Rome, it was taxes to pay for the military in a crumbling society that killed Rome!