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Arguments Against Universal Healthcare in America

Updated on November 7, 2010

The prospect of universal healthcare in America brings out a great deal of arguments from both sides of the political spectrum. I thought I'd take a closer look at some of these arguments. While it might be a good idea to take a closer look at each one individually, the purpose of this article is to provide an overview.

Civilized nations across the globe utilize various forms of universal or nationalized healthcare insurance programs. Germany, the first country to implement national healthcare, did so in the 1880's, decades before America would see the serious development of any kind of health insurance at all.

All of these national healthcare systems in other countries have their own unique ways of accomplishing the goal of universal healthcare. Some have banned private healthcare insurance companies altogether. In other countries, the goal of universal coverage is met through legislation and regulation of the healthcare companies, and by requiring citizens to enroll in one way or another.

Other countries allow private insurance companies to exist as competition, or as supplementation to the national plans to provide additional coverage. Additionally private insurance carriers act in some nations in a complimentary manner to cover such medical services which are not covered under the governments' plans, such as cosmetic treatments.

While, there are many different ways of accomplishing universal healthcare, it is clear that doing so has many important benefits to the medical and financial well-being of the citizens of these nations. Countries with universal healthcare plans generally experience significantly lower infant mortality rates, longer life spans, and a greatly reduced per capita healthcare cost. The general health of the nation as a whole is improved by the prevention of epidemics.

Still, many opponents of universal healthcare in America are not convinced. Indeed, some are adamantly opposed, and exhibit an extreme amount of anger at the very thought of either a publicly funded plan, or government regulation of for-profit healthcare corporations. While many of their stated reasons for this fierce opposition are based obviously on misunderstandings of the specific plans the United States Congress is now considering, some of their arguments are a bit more reasonable.

The Free Market Argument

One of the main reasons for opposition to universal healthcare is the argument of the effectiveness of free markets at providing better results and cost controls. It is generally believed in a free market society that less government involvement produces multiple competing organizations which are theoretically supposed to in turn produce lower costs and increased innovation. This is supposed to result in a better, more affordable end product for the consumer.

When the "end-product" is not a matter of life and death, this model generally works quite well. Even so, there is a fairly large group of Americans who are perfectly satisfied with their healthcare insurance the way it is. This group consists primarily of people whose health insurance premiums are subsidized by their employers, and who have never faced a serious illness - yet, that is. As long as these people stay relatively healthy, and don't face premium payments that consume a large percentage of their income, this group will remain satisfied with things the way they are.

However, there are also a great deal of people who face rising premiums which increasingly eat up larger percentages of their income. For this group of people, the free market model isn't working so well. While premiums are rising across the board, and on average have doubled over the last decade, sometimes even higher raises in premium are occurring, due to such things as simply having a coworker with an ill child, which thus produces higher rates for that entire company.

Other people have experienced the frustrating reality of paying their premiums for years only to discover when they or a covered family member become ill that the insurance provider will not cover the necessary treatments. And once the primary insured, or the spouse or a covered dependent becomes seriously ill, increased premium rates can often become unsustainable, and the insurance irreplacable due to industry wide preexisting condition clauses.

In addition to high premiums, there are large annual deductibles, and caps on how much an insurer will insure you for yearly, and over the course of your lifetime. In the cases of serious illness, these above average premiums, yearly deductibles and over the cap out of pocket expenses can bankrupt a family, and still leave them incapable of funding necessary treatment.

So what the free-market provides us with is usually a very satisfactory insurance program as long as your need for it isn't very strong.

We Have the Best Healthcare in the World, Don't Mess With It

France has the best healthcare in the world, as rated by the World Health Organization. They accomplished this through providing comprehensive universal healthcare and also the utilization of non-profit supplementary providers. The government of France subsidizes 70% of normal expences, but pays 100% of more expensive or long term treatment plans. The compulsory contributions are enforced via a 5.25% deduction from salaries, capital income and other income such as lottery or gambling winnings.

After France on the World Health Organization's list of rankings come 35 other countries before the United States comes in at 37th, just behind Costa Rica. While the United States does rate high in advanced medical technology and procedures, France, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Japan and the United Kingdom rate very well comparatively, and all of these countries have universal healthcare programs. The major difference then being that this advanced medicine is actually reaching the people of their countries, and not just those people who can afford to pay high premiums and/or high out of pocket expenses.

Further, we have fewer doctors per person, obscenely higher death rates among all age groups including infant mortality, and we pay about twice as much as all of the countries mentioned above on healthcare per person on average, including all the people in the U.S. who received no healthcare at all, making the amount even more astonishing. We are less prepared to handle medical crisis, with a lower doctor to patient ratio, and less beds and facilities available per citizen as well.

If Healthcare Workers Face Lowered Compensation, Less People Will Want to Enter the Medical Field

Medical specialists in America do enjoy a very healthy salary, and that certainly is as it should be. Their education costs are higher than most, they have fees, dues, and liability insurance payments to make, and many work long hours putting in extra time to stay abreast of current advancements in knowledge and technique. We certainly wish to maintain highly skilled practitioners, and though we may occasionally hear complaints about the high price of doctor's bills, I'm sure no reasonable person truly begrudges the high salaries of skilled and caring physicians.

That said, there is no evidence to suggest that a program for universal healthcare would limit salaries to such an extent that would cause a loss of skilled talent. Indeed, when compared with other industrialized nations which do enjoy universal healthcare, the United States has a low percentage of doctors.

France has 3.4 doctors per every 1000 citizens. Germany, with the oldest universal healthcare program has 3.5 doctors per every 1000 citizens, as well as even Sweden whose doctors do not enjoy a high level of compensation. Meanwhile the United States with its free-market driven health insurance corporations, has only 2.4 doctors per 1000 citizens.

We Don't Want the Government Deciding What Procedures We Can Have

Would you like to have those decisions made for you by a for-profit healthcare insurance corporation whose main concern is making money? Because that is what we have. There are countless stories of insured individuals being denied treatment, or coverage for treatment, for a variety of reasons.

It is important to understand that healthcare insurance providers do not care about the patient, they care about the bottom line. Our sufferings, illnesses and tragedies do not concern them. It is a business, just business.

Like in any well run business, the executive pay is great, really, really great. In fact the healthcare insurance industry CEO's enjoy an above average CEO compensation, somewhere in the high 7-8 digit range, and those extra digits do not represent cents. They also enjoy many pleasurable perks and lucrative bonuses such as generous stock options. The shareholders also make money. None of this has anything to do with whether a patient lives or dies. The premiums always come in, and the trick of the business is to make sure that as little of that income as is possible through hook and crook is paid back out in claims. That's business.

A 2008 survey of doctors in America showed that the majority of them favored a universal healthcare program. The reason cited was overwhelmingly the fact that private insurers interfere too much with necessary treatments even when the patient has adequate coverage, and the lack of coverage or adequate coverage to cover necessary treatment in other patients.

Why Should Healthy People Have to Pay For the Unhealthy

This is already the situation, up to the point at which insurance providers yank coverage for unhealthy individuals. As discussed before, an ill coworker -or covered dependent of such- raises the premiums for everyone within the group. If a coworker's child has leukemia, you're increased rates are helping to cover that child's treatments.

Even assuming that no individual covered through the group is ill, the premiums are still calculated to help cover high cost treatments for other individuals insured through the same insurance provider, whether or not those individuals are included in your specific insured group.

You might think you can escape this 'share the load' consequence by obtaining insurance outside of employment. However, insurance premiums for individuals are priced even higher, since there is no specific group to spread the costs among should that individual or one of his or her covered dependents become ill.

So while cost sharing is already in effect on insurance plans obtained through private insurers, the difference with a government sponsored program would be that your premiums will not be used to fund shareholder dividends or extremely excessive -astronomical- executive salaries, benefits and other perks. Nor would your premiums be used to fund lobbying purposes or influence politicians. Experts predict a substantial cost saving on these administrative costs of about 14%.

But The Government Can't Even Run the Post Office

The United States Postal Service has been in business for well over 200 years. They are the third largest employer in the country employing over 760,000 Americans with over 32,700 branches across the U.S. They are extremely efficient, very fairly priced and have adapted well to changes in the industry.

So let me get this straight. The governments of Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Trinidad, Tobago, Venezuela, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Pakistan, Thailand, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Herzogovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom can all maintain effective universal healthcare programs, but the good old US of A cannot? Rubbish! Indeed, even Irag and Afghanistan have universal healthcare these days, sponsored by the United States War Fund.

All photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
All photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

The Burden of Unhealthy Lifestyles

Again, you're already paying for it, to at least some degree. Employed, insured people also smoke and drink, and use illegal drugs, and practice unhealthy eating habits and suffer from a lack of sufficient exercise.

There is some legitimate cause for concern regarding increased premiums due to adding poorer people to the insurance pool. For example, it is certainly true that poor people cannot afford the cost of a healthy diet. Between trying to earn a living and taking care of their family and homes, and their inability to afford healthy foods, they may not have much time, energy or money for exercise programs or other physical recreation. Unless such people are employed by a company which subsidizes a high portion of their insurance premiums, they will likely be currently uninsured, adding a lack of proper medical intervention to their healthcare dilemnas.

In time, this leads to increased medical needs for conditions which may have been averted had proper medical attention been accessible to them earlier. Now faced with full blown, out of control illnesses, they often require a great deal of expensive treatments to try and fix what might have been prevented in the first place with adequate medical care. Again, through higher hospital costs and taxes, you are already paying for this as well.

Adding these individuals to the medical care pool earlier will cost less in the long run, and might just have the added benefit of providing them with the same chance for a healthy life that more fortunate members of our society possess.

Universal Healthcare is Socialism

Socialism in its simplest definition is when industry and resources are owned and controlled by the state or a collective of the people, for the theoretical good of all as opposed to being for the benefit of a few. In a socialist society, there is no private property, or only a very limited ownership, and an egalitarian approach to goods, income and access to resources.

The acheivment of universal healthcare would not qualify as making us a socialist society, it would simply mean that we have achieved equal access to medical care. That's why it's called 'universal healthcare'. It does not mean that overall socialism would follow. While some fringe type individuals would like to see America become a socialist society, it's pretty much crazy to think anyone else does, let alone politicians.

Jesus, by the way, was a socialist.

Establishing Universal Healthcare

I discussed briefly in my opening the fact that there are many different ways of achieving universal healthcare. The trick for each society is to discover what works for them, and what doesn't.

Though many economic and healthcare experts believe that the single payer system is the most efficient, self sustainable and the best option for us in America, many Americans remain opposed to the concept. In light of that, for us, other options are being considered instead. 

It is important to note that it is believed that a great deal of the fear people have concerning a single payer system is due to propaganda put forth both discreetly and overtly by healthcare insurance lobbying firms whose employers would like things to remain the way they are. Currently congress is working on hammering out a compromise, but this effort is hampered by a still misinformed public, politics as usual, and the fact that at least some of the members of congress may be in the pockets of the healthcare insurance industry.

I'll be taking a closer look at different aspects of the healthcare debate over the course of the next few weeks. Feel free to offer suggestions or comments. I take criticism as an opportunity to learn, so don't be hesitant to say what you're thinking. Let me know how you feel, and thank you for reading.

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    • profile image

      Sanxuary 8 months ago

      No one can afford health care and thats the problem. Until you reduce the greed and find ways to make the remedial portion unexspensive it will never matter who pays. One broken bone costs more then what you put into the system for 10 years in some cases. A simple visit is hundreds of dollars and some medicine has gone up several 1000 times. Until you try to control cost there will be no solution to the problem.

    • profile image

      Nthmoment 20 months ago

      I loved this; so well written. I worked in the finance dept. in a hospital and I know the profit being made while many go without care because they can't afford the insurance premiums and deductibles. I am allergic to bees and went to purchase an epipen. I was shocked by a $500 gross price but BCBS would gladly let me buy the brand name pen for $300 versus $100 generic (that wasn't allowed). I also know that there are CPT and DRG codes that describe procedures and diagnoses with prices attached but yet the public is never told what they will pay upfront. With our technology and computer systems, we can't give a patient an estimate of their costs when it isn't an emergency? Instead a patient is patronized into signing waivers agreeing to pay anything not covered. I recently added a note to the waiver saying "I will be glad to pay, if you tell me the charges before they are incurred". I was denied the right to be seen by a dermatologist until I signed another form without that written. Where else is the public expected to agree to pay anything without prior notification of at least an estimate of the costs? I believe many in the US don't want universal healthcare because of what you mentioned - they are benefiting from those lucrative salaries, bonuses and insurance profits. The US needs to become less capitalistic and more humanistic and if that means more socialism, so be it. My question is how does the public (especially those suffering from our system) get heard? Can you find a way to get this published and sent to Congress? Thanks for your article. It was very validating.

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    • SotD and Zera profile image

      SotD and Zera 5 years ago

      Thank you for this article! It breaks down the problems with those arguments perfectly. This is a great resource.

      -Zera

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      SomeoneRandom 5 years ago

      @ Eiruam Yes, thank you! I have no idea why people slag off other Universal Health Care systems for being "too expensive" and "offer less money to the doctors." It's ridiculous! I just learnt what my cousin from California was paying for her insurance and medication and I almost hit the floor. I think it was more than I earned in a month and I'm on our Medicare. Also, I do love the fact that we get some money back, haha!

    • profile image

      michaelkemsens 5 years ago

      well macauley i dont normaly give it out but here is there site

      and some info ,check out there great prices ,just say michael said you would sort him out

    • profile image

      Eiruam 5 years ago

      Mike,

      Here in Australia we have Universal Health Coverage known as Medicare. I pay less in tax to support this system then you pay in Insurance premiums.

      I have been Hospitalized twice for life saving surgery. These procedures cost well in advance of $60,000 yet I left hospital not having to pay one brass razoo !

      As for retirement... Here your employer pays into your retirement fund. It costs you nothing and is not part of your wage, it is compulsory for all Employers to pay into your retirement fund. You can if you wish add to it yourself but you don't have to.

      I am also a Diabetic. I know many Diabetic Americans through forums and they have to pay out of their pocket between $35 and $100 for 50 glucose meter test strips. I pay 60 cents for same thing.

      Doctors here are not poor either. They drive their Ferrari's, Porches, Mercedes etc and live in three story mansions. Obviously they get quite well paid by the Government here under Medicare.

      America is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to get sick there.

    • profile image

      Brian 5 years ago

      Mike, they do not. How could they live? You used the argument that Americans couldn't live off of half their paychecks; but you seem to think that somehow people in France and the UK can? I live in Canada and I get taxed less than what you pay in premiums for healthcare. The service is great in Ontario. Where there are labor shortages (in western Canada) it is less so, but still great! Ya nothing is free. It certainly is more efficient than your system though. My wife is American and she was surprised at how great it is that she doesn't pay deductibles or have to fight with insurance companies. And the doctors are still just as caring as in the States. The doctors here are still very wealthy people. On top of all of this, our healthcare systme isn't falling apart. We are the most fiscally strong nation in the world.

      To everyone: There should be an organization that would fight for universal health care in the US. They should collaberate with politicians and law makers to show the social injustice of a private health care. Hopefully people understand that this is more of a moral/ethical issue of people being denied their right to life when they must give everything up in order to pay their healthcare costs out of pocket. And when they can't pay, they are denied healthcare until they die. How can they pursue happiness when their entire paychecks are eaten up by healthcare costs? If these costs were shared by everyone, it would be affordable for everyone to live. Essentially, the system right now makes in unaffordable to live if you get seriously sick. Even if it isn't your own fault. It's just too expensive to stay alive if you get seriously ill in American. These costs should be shared by everyone. Anyone who denies that is basically just living for money. You know what Jesus said about the love of money. I'm sure people stick by their convictions until they themselves get sick and the system turns against them. This is people's lives at stake. Those lives are worth more than mere money. I'm a republican/conservative, but even I see the evil in having privatized health care. People say this isn't a religious debate. I find it funny that the "religious" right (again I am religious and I am conservative on most issues) is more concerned about the cost of health care than the universality of health care. If you are religious, you should be more concerned about the well-being of your neighbor. The golden rule is, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Would you not want people to help you pay your healthcare bills if you couldn't afford to pay them? Would you want people to make you feel guilty about the inability to pay medical bills? Just goes to show that the "religious" right is no more religious than pagans who worship things rather than showing their love for God by loving their neighbors (I question their belief). It's a sad day when liberal atheists who support universal healthcare can be better examples of Christ than conservatives who call themselves Christians. All Christians should support universal health care. There is no question about it.

    • profile image

      Mike 5 years ago

      You left out the fact that people in France and the UK pay half, that's right half of their paychecks into retirement and healthcare. Americans will not be able to pay their bills, let alone enjoy the high standard of living we currently maintain.

      National Healthcare is not a sustainable program, and these dirty politicians know it! This author lists numerous countries with so called effective National Healthcare, when in fact these programs are falling because of rising costs and substantial decreases in the quality care. Let's try to remember that the organization that ranked these healthcare programs belongs to NATO. The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. Enough said.

    • profile image

      Mike 5 years ago

      The people that are against Universal Health Care are; for one, the doctors, because of fear of getting paid less; republicans, because they do not want to share the cost with everyone; the insurance companies, for fear of getting paid less. As long as there is profit to be made from it, the people that benefit from the profit are going to be against it. When it comes down to profit, people benefiting from it will not care if people die from not having enough health care. One less person to worry about treating.

    • louromano profile image

      louromano 5 years ago

      Good hub.Certainly, I would say that you have some justification if you are talking about the UK - there are a few things there that I am not happy with, especially the corporate lifestyle. Greece is a law unto itself - they do not like to be told what to do. Tax evasion is an artform, although Greeks happily pay health insurance - it is not a lot of money. I have a lot of freedom here - the Greeks will, quite literaly, burn down the parliament if the government attempts to infringe upon rights!

    • profile image

      Sheri 5 years ago

      Anecdotes?

      I knew a brother and sister from Europe. The brother came to the U.S. and the sister stayed in Europe. They both were diagnosed with brain tumors in the same year 1993. The brother went to Montfiore in NY, the sister went to a government medical center in France.

      To save on costs the French government performed a run of the mill procedure, while Montefiore went state of the art. The sister died in 1993, and the brother, Paul died in 2011 of a heart attack. He was my neighbor and a staunch defender of the free market.

    • profile image

      William 5 years ago

      What is the problem? The cost? Okay, if politician's care why don't they make medical expenses 100% tax deductible? Oh, that's right they want to run it also. I get it.

      Wait...why then do the subjects in socialized medical systems have a different system than members of parliament. Oh that's right, because MPs are better than you.

      The government is the cause of the problems in home prices (CRA), college tuition rates (gov stud loans), and healthcare (tort, insurance regulation).

      Governments create the problems by promising on what they can't deliver and to solve the problems they created they are promising something nothing in the universe can deliver: a free service.

    • profile image

      Custer 5 years ago

      Mclaren 83 good God, man.

      The fire department and police are emergency services and they are by definition what government is. They are the compromise free men make between anarchy and despotism to establish justice and tranquility.

      Apart from that Fire and Police are local. Your local municipality has every right to establish a "free" healthcare system and watch it wilt, just as long as I can vote with my feet and get the hell out of there.

      While police and firemen do their jobs when called upon. Do you REALLY want a police officer in charge of your personal safety? Do you really want the fire department in charge of wiring standards in your home?

      Take a breath people, your being sold on a utopian fantasy. Look at the sytems around the world. They are repleat with abortions and euthanasia to eliminate the costly members in the system. The WHO doesn't release information like that the same way the IPCC wouldn't address East Anglia's fudging world climate figures in order to receive more funding.

      When a bureaucrat is in charge of what services you're entitled to, you are at the complete mercy of the state.

    • profile image

      Neil 5 years ago

      This is like saying France's military is the best in the world when the US really IS the French military. Since the US provides 80% of the world's medical innovation we enable these little systems around the globe to conceal their true horrors. No kool-aid here - Supply and demand never fails, and Europe's declining population is evidence enough that demand of what is free has outstripped supply.

    • Coolpapa profile image

      Coolpapa 5 years ago from Florida

      Great Hub. For those still drinking the best healthcare in the world Kool-aid, I suggest you read "The Healing of America" by T.R. Reid

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the great post..nice

    • profile image

      Mark Fishman 6 years ago

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    • McLaren 83 profile image

      McLaren 83 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      We do not pay a fireman to come and save us from a burning house.

      We do not pay a policeman to keep us safe from crime.

      We do not pay the army to defend our country.

      SO, why should we fund these basic services through tax and not healthcare? Wouldnt it be in the nations best interest to keep people healthy and able to contribute to the economy?

      Should healthcare be a basic service like the fire department, the police and the military?

    • profile image

      Jimmy 6 years ago

      WHy would we put healthcare in the hand of the Government???? They cant run a business i thought we learned that already....OH by the way the only reason the postal service has been in business for over 200 years is BECAUSE we the taxpayers pay fro it!!!!!It cannot fail....because the government will keep pumping tax dollars into it!! SO any idiot who thinks the government does a great job at running it...stop and think who pays for it...US!!!!

    • profile image

      chill Bill 6 years ago

      Couldn't the government just flat tax ALL individuals income and business profits at say 30%. Have some type of fair sales tax on food and goods that we buy. Take in the the tax money and use it to take care of all basics necessities. National security, universal healthcare, social services for elderly and disabled, education, infrastructure, etc. will all be paid for from our tax monies. If elected officials can't manage the money then send them home to find other work to do. So when I get my paycheck it's no mystery as to where my money is going. I can see a better freedom for americans when our tax money is used to take care of things that we shouldn't even have to think twice about. If you get sick just go to the doctor and get it fixed or treated and the service is already paid for. I know abortion is a major thing to consider in universal healthcare. I am mostly against the practice, but I know that banning abortion is not going to stop it from occurring. I do believe that if we were to adopt a flat tax to cover americas basics as mentioned above then people would be plain and simply much happier, and over time I think that cruel practices will subside some. Things are overly complicated so that someone can get over on someone else.

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa

      Ashleigh Cruickshank

      You said ‘’ since when is it right to let sick poor people suffer just because they can't afford healthcare’’

      In America anyone needing immediate Healthcare attention can go to any hospital’s ER room for FREE, including non- citizens.

      In every State of the US , MEDICAID ( healthcare for poor people ) provides Healthcare for those who qualify.

      You said ‘’I'm on prescription medicine, this is still free since I'm in university, but when I hit 19 I'll have to pay for that and I'm not complaining; I'm in Scotland its pretty much free’’

      You will soon find out that nothing is FREE in life, remember that someone will be paying for the service.

      In America insurance Health premiums costs have been rising for those who are paying their share. The problem is the additional cost for those receiving FREE healthcare is passed onto the ones paying which includes the rich and poor.

      In America illegal immigrants are costing the taxpayers ( GOVERNMENT ) $ 300 billion a year for them using our government entitlement programs. In England , Scotland ,Soviet Union and China ,I doubt that those countries would accept paying for non citizens in the country.

      You said ‘’expected a nop notch service considering how much it cost, my mother almost fainted, but my doctor in the UK was better than the doctor I seen. And I've never really had an issue with the UK health service.’’

      Good luck on your next visit to the USA, we have the best Healthcare in the world right now, not government run. Don’t believe all the propaganda you may hear about the US healthcare. We are free to choose our doctors and we choose what kind of coverage we decide to pay for at this time. We not the government decides what services we need, the choice is between the doctor and the patient. Have your mother explain the pros and cons of your government run healthcare

    • profile image

      Ashleigh Cruickshank 6 years ago

      I'm only 18 so i don't understand the full complexity of the whole issue surrounding universal health care, and i may have the simplistic view that since when is it right to let sick poor people suffer just because they can't afford healthcare? I'm from the UK, and our health system is far from perfect. But if I'm ill I don't have the stress of phoning insurance companies or whatever. I just go to the hospital. or to my doctor. I have chronic migraines and so I'm on prescription medicine, this is still free since I'm in university, but when i hit 19 I'll have to pay for that and I'm not complaining; I'm in Scotland its pretty much free.. My family would probably be in a lot of debt due to my medical bills; doctors appointments, specialists, CAT scan, medicines, everything..

      I've visited America 3 times, and only had a run in with the health service once.. During my flight my ears popped and wouldn't un-pop, I was going to leave it until I got home but was in a lot of pain and it was ruining the holiday; so we decided to get something done about it.. after finally working out how to locate a doctor (in the back of some drug store, cant remember the name).. She doen a basic check then cleared my ears and prescribed me ear drops and tablets.. all of that was well over $200.. AND! It was only a temp fix, when I came back home I had to go back to my own doctors.. I expected a nop notch service considering how much it cost, my mother almost fainted, but my doctor in the UK was better than the doctor I seen. And I've never really had an issue with the UK health service.

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa

      Things Considered

      Discovered in the healthcare bill. Businesses will be required to file a 1099 tax form for purchases over $600.

      To cover the additional cost the business will probaly be laying off another person to cover the added cost.

      This has nothing to do with healthcare?????

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa

      Things Considered

      YOUR COMMENTS ON MY WRITING IS APPRECIATED. I received notices from my insurance carriers this week. Premiums will increase 20% and deductibles will be higher. Didn't president Barak Obama promise that healthcare cost will be lower? Incompetence or just another lie.

    • Things Considered profile image
      Author

      Things Considered 6 years ago from North Georgia Foothills

      Living in a society, Dale, requires some working together and compromise.

      John Ewall quit spamming my hub. I don't have the time to deal with all your long, rambling and often pointless posts. Find another platform for your tea party rants.

    • profile image

      Dale R. Suiter 6 years ago

      Of interest is failure to note the loss of freedom. Government control of private decisions = totaletarian rule. It is really that simple. National health care is government control of personal, private decisions. It is a huge move towards a socialist society too.

      Dale R. Suiter

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      I see the fanatics are out. I'll come back another time. Great hub by the way. Lynda

    • profile image

      Lethbridge Dentistry 7 years ago

      Good support for the argument. In Canada they enjoy mostly free health-care but have to endure atrocious wait times for necessary procedures.

      http://ricerollingsondentistry.com

      There has to be a happy medium somewhere. What kind of a society wants to watch the financially misfortunate suffer because they can't afford what should be a human right? Adequate health care.

    • FindMyTeenFashion profile image

      FindMyTeenFashion 7 years ago

      I can not believe that this problem has not been addressed. There are perfect models of Universal Health Care in other countries.

    • profile image

      Lorna 7 years ago

      Wow.....That is such useful stuff. Thank you for sharing, so that others may suffer less.........

    • adorababy profile image

      adorababy 7 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      This growing problem is pushing health care reform back onto the agenda of American politics after more than a decade of neglect. And yet, nothing guarantees that this debate will end differently than previous battles.

    • profile image

      ray 7 years ago

      Hi All,

      I just feel that one cannot live in this way anymore, but... Say, I have a health coverage but my deductible is 1,000 per person per year ( mi wife) but I earned 35,000 annualy, and I have two small children. There's no way in hell that I will be able to keep the noble medical coverage that my employer offered me, what am I supposed to do?

      They are really leaving no option for the regular man to survive in this society. Free market does not mean free tyranny, free plundering, free does not go along w/market because simply it's a stupid non-sense.

      Ray

    • profile image

      hello there 7 years ago

      how many of you know each other?????

    • profile image

      hello there 7 years ago

      thank you very much. it is quite obvious to me.... I was just trying to work out what on earth the counter argument could be.

    • profile image

      amanes 7 years ago

      Very Comprehensive, and great article....thanks!

    • braudboy profile image

      braudboy 7 years ago from Long Beach, MS

      Government run healthcare is a horrible idea. The only way to truly control costs while maintaining a high standard of medical care is to get more competition and free markets involved in the process. We could also take a good look at the insurance laws and make sure that competition is allowed to work across state lines. BUt, keep the government beauracracy out of our lives, for pete's sake.

    • thejcrevelator2 profile image

      thejcrevelator2 7 years ago

      Great comments all! I would agree with Ralph - we need to look at expanding Medicare for all, but this must start with those at the bottom of the income scale, the "least among us". JC needs to be in our minds as we proceed. If we adhere to his words; “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” - we are off to a good start.

    • profile image

      Vikkimama 7 years ago

      The dems ought to be commended for not allowing negative sentiments to derail the ongoing health reform initiative.

      They are doing the right thing. To make it possible for more

      than thirty million more Americans to have access to health insurance is no mean feat! Some people argue about the cost

      of this reform bill as if there is any time now or in future that such an endeavor will cost less.

      Some who delight in self-deceit, tell us that America has the best insurance in the world! No surprise. Other such

      assumptions or should I call it, brain-washing abound in most areas in the country. Most of us swallow hook, line and sinker any garbage we are fed by the politicians and the media. All it takes them is to harp on the phrase 'the American people will or will not...' and down we fall!

      This bill is certainly not perfect. But nothing ever is.

      Things are usually perfected over time.

    • profile image

      Vikkimama 7 years ago

      The dems ought to be commended for not allowing negative sentiments to derail the ongoing health reform initiative.

      They are doing the right thing. To make it possible for more

      than thirty million more Americans to have access to health insurance is no mean feat! Some people argue about the cost

      of this reform bill as if there is any time now or in future that such an endeavor will cost less.

      Some who delight in self-deceit, tell us that America has the best insurance in the world! No surprise. Other such

      assumptions or should I call it, brain-washing abound in most areas in the country. Most of us swallow hook, line and sinker any garbage we are fed by the politicians and the media. All it takes them is to harp on the phrase 'the American people will or will not...' and down we fall!

      This bill is certainly not perfect. But nothing ever is.

      Things are usually perfected over time.

    • profile image

      Vikkimama 7 years ago

      The dems ought to be commended for not allowing negative sentiments to derail the ongoing health reform initiative.

      They are doing the right thing. To make it possible for more

      than thirty million more Americans to have access to health insurance is no mean feat! Some people argue about the cost

      of this reform bill as if there is any time now or in future that such an endeavor will cost less.

      Some who delight in self-deceit, tell us that America has the best insurance in the world! No surprise. Other such

      assumptions or should I call it, brain-washing abound in most areas in the country. Most of us swallow hook, line and sinker any garbage we are fed by the politicians and the media. All it takes them is to harp on the phrase 'the American people will or will not...' and down we fall!

      This bill is certainly not perfect. But nothing ever is.

      Things are usually perfected over time.

    • profile image

      Vikkimama 7 years ago

      The dems ought to be commended for not allowing negative sentiments to derail the ongoing health reform initiative.

      They are doing the right thing. To make it possible for more

      than thirty million more Americans to have access to health insurance is no mean feat! Some people argue about the cost

      of this reform bill as if there is any time now or in future that such an endeavor will cost less.

      Some who delight in self-deceit, tell us that America has the best insurance in the world! No surprise. Other such

      assumptions or should I call it, brain-washing abound in most areas in the country. Most of us swallow hook, line and sinker any garbage we are fed by the politicians and the media. All it takes them is to harp on the phrase 'the American people will or will not...' and down we fall!

      This bill is certainly not perfect. But nothing ever is.

      Things are usually perfected over time.

    • profile image

      Vikkimama 7 years ago

      The dems ought to be commended for not allowing negative sentiments to derail the ongoing health reform initiative.

      They are doing the right thing. To make it possible for more

      than thirty million more Americans to have access to health insurance is no mean feat! Some people argue about the cost

      of this reform bill as if there is any time now or in future that such an endeavor will cost less.

      Some who delight in self-deceit, tell us that America has the best insurance in the world! No surprise. Other such

      assumptions or should I call it, brain-washing abound in most areas in the country. Most of us swallow hook, line and sinker any garbage we are fed by the politicians and the media. All it takes them is to harp on the phrase 'the American people will or will not...' and down we fall!

      This bill is certainly not perfect. But nothing ever is.

      Things are usually perfected over time.

    • profile image

      ADH 7 years ago

      If Universal Health care is for everyone, why will Medicare be needed? Will Medicare premiums be less? Will there be a cap on lifetime benefits? If everyone has to be enrolled into the Universal system, shouldn't reckless behavior be considered? I choose not to smoke pot, cigarettes,drink alcohol, over eat etc., is there a financial reward for living a healthy lifestyle?

    • profile image

      OMG 7 years ago

      Scanned your document, one obvious misleading ststement:

      "The compulsory contributions are enforced via a 5.25% deduction from salaries, capital income and other income such as lottery or gambling winnings."

      Frances compulsory contributions, if you are working, is around 21%, not 5.25% as you state, and their system is operating in the red. This percentage WILL go up.

    • martycraigs profile image

      martycraigs 7 years ago

      I'm self employed and currently healthy. My biggest fear is that after paying into the system all of my life if I get sick I will be dropped.

    • Beyond-Politics profile image

      Beyond-Politics 7 years ago from The Known Universe (beyond.the.spectrum@gmail.com)

      The thing aspect of the universal health care debate which surprises me the most is how those who oppose the idea can allow themselves to vote against their own self-interests

    • skylinerj34 profile image

      skylinerj34 7 years ago

      Great Hub All Things Considered. Funny! I just wrote a similar Hub last night. I have to admit mine is not as organized or have as much information as yours does but you just won yourself a fan!

    • maggiemae profile image

      maggiemae 7 years ago

      We are older Canadians (snowbirds) and we just went through the annual hassle of finding emergency medical insurance coverage for the winter in Mexico and a couple weeks in the US. Even the best of the policies leave us wondering if we are just throwing our money away. Oh, and our policy is 1,000 deductible. It is no wonder that so many retirees are heading to Mexico, Costa Rica and even the Philippines.

      I like our public system. Our professionals are well paid. The overwhelming majority of people get excellent basic care. Tomorrow I go for cataract surgery. It's a relatively simple procedure these days, and my total cost is $460 for the soft fold-able lenses. I could have opted for the hard lenses at no additional cost.

      Our public health system is alive and well. When I arrived back in Canada this last spring I had letters waiting from the diabetic nurse, the dietitian and the mammography program all wanting to schedule appointments.

      Of course our system has flaws or inadequacies, but don't they all. We have chosen to live in a rural area so our costs just to get to medical care are more, but that was our lifestyle choice. Prior to retiring we paid a lot of taxes, and I am sure that we paid more tax over the years than our counterparts in the USA. I think it was worth it, because we all are travelling on the same road. We all hope to live into our 90's in our own homes and suddenly die of a stroke or heart attack, but that is not the reality.

      I truly fear for our two sons who live in the US because I know they would lose their health care insurance if they were to lose their good jobs. Would they be able to afford any health care insurance on unemployment? I doubt it as their wives are stay at home moms.

    • omi saide profile image

      omi saide 7 years ago

      I am a nurse for over two decades. I know what goes on behind the scenes. The whole market is based on body count, and rating at all cost.

    • omi saide profile image

      omi saide 7 years ago

      I am a nurse for over two decades. I know what goes on behind the scenes. The whole market is based on body count, and rating at all cost.

    • profile image

      SJS 8 years ago

      The straw man arguments that you argue against are valid points but they ignore the real issue. The only way to enforce Govt health care is by using or threatening to use force. I don't agree with initiating force against others to promote a social agenda. Force should only be used in self defense and clearly health care doesn't qualify as self defense. If you haven't thought about the relationship between Govt and force the argument may be tough to swallow, but to pay for your health care utopia you have to steal money from me and give it to others according to principles that I disagree with. I prefer voluntary interaction among people along with the associated pros and cons.

      Spence

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Thingsconsidered - a well reasoned argument and well written hub. I have done several hubs on this issue as well, not with the idea that reform isn't needed but primarily that HR3200 (which I have read) is not a good answer to the problems at hand. The problem I have with the changes proposed is this If they design a system as good as our post office (I was a carrier for nine years) we will give universal service at a discount price but like medicare not really be able to afford it. Reform must address costs. Does everybody need coverage - yep sure do it will help lower costs for all of us. I truly believe the best possible solution done in a uniquely American way would be to set up four to six regional programs designed on the model of the Federal Employees Benefit Plan (which offers coverage at various costs and terms) and require all to be in one of the plans. This plan is so good that the lawmakers refuse to pledge to join the public option they propose for others. This is doable and would mandate universal coverage and has the potential to make it better for all.

      One other note, none of the other countries cited have a population as large and diverse as ours. Save China and India. I would not prefer to live under either system. I have refrained for the most part from knocking the NHS (Single Payer)for others it is their way and that's fine with me I still do not see it as a viable solution for the US.

      Would welcome your thoughts on this or on my related pages, my latest http://hubpages.com/hub/American-Health-care-refor...

      Thanks for your time and your view..

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Editor

      New York Times

      Josh Marshall recently offered a simple, elegant health care reform proposal: Allow people under age 65 the options of keeping their current insurance or signing up and paying for Medicare coverage. Works for me!

      Ralph Deeds

    • Patrice52 profile image

      Patrice52 8 years ago

      What a fantastic and informative hub. If only this information could reach more people, instead of the information put out by big business, i.e., the insurance companies!

    • Things Considered profile image
      Author

      Things Considered 8 years ago from North Georgia Foothills

      Ralph, Great article, by the same gentleman who wrote The Healing of America posted below.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

    • Things Considered profile image
      Author

      Things Considered 8 years ago from North Georgia Foothills

      donotfear,

      Thank you for your comments, and for raising a couple of points I've been meaning to address. Health care reform is such a large, complex issue, there are so many parts to it, and moving parts that relate in different ways to other parts, it is really a very vast and complicated thing to try and get a good solid grasp on. In a way it's no wonder people are so confused and scared, they're too busy to really take the time to figure the whole thing out.

      So you'll have to forgive me for not putting much value in your anecdotal evidence about 99% of the doctors you've spoken with. What I can tell you is that a great many doctors and healthcare provider associations do very strongly support reform such as the AMA and many grassroots doctor groups that have sprung up solely for the purpose of supporting health care reform and a public option.

      As you must know being so intimately involved in the field, we have a hospital crisis situation going on now. Hospitals across the country have been going bankrupt and many have been forced to close altogether. The reasons cited are the burden of the uninsured, high costs, not enough patients, and the high cost of administration due to having to file and refile and fight constantly with the insurance companies.

      On the note of not enough business, have you ever heard of medical tourism? Most naysayers to reform in the U.S. like to claim that everyone comes here to have medical procedures because we have the best system in the world. What you'll never hear them mention is that so many Americans are going elsewhere for treatment and surgical procedures because it's so much less expensive and just as good. These are people with money, and usually some form of insurance. But they're not stupid, and when their insurance refuses to pay and they're faced with paying extravagant rates for something they can obtain elsewhere for half as much or better, they go there instead. So those in America who can't afford treatment aren't getting it, and those who can afford it are getting it elsewhere, leaving hospitals with a lack of paying business.

      You also mentioned mental health, which is an increasingly important issue in health care these days. The house bill and the senate bill both include several provisions regarding mental health care, including legislation that would require insurance companies to treat mental health issues as fairly as other medical concerns, which reform is also attempting to raise the standards of.

      Thanks again for your comments, and for raising these important points.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      creemos, where did you get the idea that Social Security is bankrupt? That's not true. My social security payment is deposited every month in my checking account. Only a few small adjustments are needed to put Social Security on a sound financial footing for the forseeable future.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Which is preferable, bankrupting the hospitals or letting the hospitals continue to bankrupt the uninsured patients? Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States.

      Doctors seem to survive in other industrialized countries, just fine.

    • donotfear profile image

      donotfear 8 years ago from The Boondocks

      Good article and very convincing, however, I find responses from doctors opposite of what you report. I work out of E.R.s as a mental health assessor. EVERY doctor I come in contact with in my profession is absolutely AGAINST this "restructuring of health care". I can't go into detail on all the conversations, it would take forever, but the jist of what I'm picking up from the doctors is NO NO NO...."it will get worse..". Other comments are: "It will bankrupt the hospitals..." "Talk about a 'waiting list' now, just wait til Obamacare kicks in..." Even doctors who specialize in certain kinds of medicine, say, a urologist. Talked to one the other day in his office and he is not happy about the proposed change. I'm sure you will assume these doctors are only mad because it will cut their salary which they work VERY HARD for, but what they are trying to get across is that it will create a HUGE backlog of patients waiting to be seen, more hours put in by doctors, less money paid, and longer waiting periods for patients. The E.R.s I visit regularly NEVER turn anyone away, whether they have insurance or not. It's true that we DO need 'minor care clinics' for individuals with colds, fevers, and minor illnesses, without clogging up the E.R.s who need to be servicing SERIOUS problems. (yeah, that's why we have triage, but it still creates a backlog of people waiting to be treated for minor illness) A minor care clinic that will assure the person will be seen whether they have insurance would be ideal, but why not allow these to be supported by both governemt AND private donations, providing those who donate be given a good tax break for their contribution? Look, I'm no expert on this by no means. I don't know all the in's and out's of this. All I have to go on is my personal encounters with individuals working in the healthcare industry, yes, including nurses. And I have yet to speak to a doctor or health care provide who believes this system will work.

      ONE MORE THING I'D LIKE TO MENTION: I haven't heard one thing mentioned about mental health care. NOTHING. Right now all the state hospitals in Texas are on diversion, meaning there are no beds available and clients need to be diverted to other state hospitals across the state. We have REALLY sick people who are waiting around for a bed..people who are delusional, psychotic, suicidal and major depressed. And do you know where they end up? Sitting in and taking up space in an E.R. on a court order emergency detention until their bed becomes available. Remember, not ALL areas have their own mental health crisis holding units. As a matter of fact, we even have some who are being held, for safety reasons, in the county jail detox cell because there is no other place for them! We are one of them. So, I thought I'd better share this since I have direct contact with healthcare providers who are 99 to 100 AGAINST this plan.

    • profile image

      chris fairchild 8 years ago

      great read but you know they can make it affordable but keep the government out of the way they cant even run the government and people want to trust them to run healthcare i say keep it private

    • lostgirlscat profile image

      lostgirlscat 8 years ago

      Great article , but has anyone considered [as I'm sure you have] that the governmental requirements to cover EVERYTHING,

      (i.e.-70 yr old woman with maternity care on her policy] has driven the costs beyond belief? Of course this greatly benefits the insurance companies, as half of what they charge you for , they know you'll never need. But perhaps an ala carte insurance option would be a great stopgap measure until a better solution can be found. Let's not rush into this for the sake of any action is better than none. That is often NOT the case.

    • creemos profile image

      creemos 8 years ago from United States of America

      Health Care provision is a LUXURY NOT A RIGHT of we Americans.

      I successfully raised a large family of 18 WITHOUT government intervention or health care packages.

      Our nation (and taxpayers) simply cannot AFFORD this luxury. Our national debt load alone has bankrupt social security because, contrary to popular opinion, "Money don't grow on trees" and our beloved government doesn't have the resources to fund it... no matter what any party platform says.

      I think our political leaders believe the average American is a gullible doting idiot... and they are right.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      A note to my Congressman:

      My first choice would be to see Medicare extended incrementally to everyone over a period of years, starting with children, the poor, the unemployed and continuing until universal coverage is achieved. I recognize that this approach is quite unlikely.

      https://hubpages.com/politics/Canada_has_better_he...

      It seems to me that reform should accomplish two objectives;

      1. Universal coverage.

      2. Control of skyrocketing health care costs which won't be easy and which will require a number of approaches such as

      -efficacy studies so that ineffective, unnecessary and sometimes harmful procedures can be reduced or eliminated

      -encourage preventive care instead of treating people after they are sick

      -discourage McAllen, Texas, style for profit medicine and encourage payment of physicians salaries rather than piece rates for procedures and tests.

      -regulate the shit out of the health care insurance companies. (In my opinion they are parasites which perform no necessary function.)

      https://hubpages.com/health/CROOK-ALERT--UNITED-HE...

      https://hubpages.com/health/Leeches_Contribute_to_...

      -stop Big Pharma from bribing our doctors to invent illnesses for treatment by their drugs.

      https://hubpages.com/health/CROOK_ALERT__BIG_PHARM...

      https://hubpages.com/business/CROOK-ALERT-Army-Doc...

      Thanks for the opportunity to voice my opinions on this important subject!

      I'll try to get to one of your town hall meetings.

      Ralph Deeds

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Here's an excerpt from an interesting dispatch by Lou Dubose in "The Spectator" on some town hall meetings held by Senator Jeff Merkely in Oregon:

      "I caught up with the senator at his first meeting in Tillamook and proceeded up the coast for an afternoon meeting in Astoria. On the following day Merkley held meetings in the Dalles and Madras, tow smaller towns east of the coastal range.

      "Ten minutes into the meeting at the Tillamook library, a man asked the question that would be sked at least twice, in one form or another at each of the four meetings: 'I hear if you're at a certain age you're going to have to go before a committee where they're going to try to convince you that it's not in the interest of the country for you to get the medical care that you need.'

      "The senator explained that a provision in the House bill would require the government to pay private physicians for one voluntary counseling session regarding end-of-life decisions every five years. The questioner didn't buy it. It reminded him of Jack Kevorkian, the Michigan physician who served seven years in prison for assisting terminal patients to end their lives.

      "End-of-life counseling was the topic of the moment. That afternoon in Astoria a woman asked, 'Why do we have to have mandatory end-opf-life counseling?' The senator again explained the provision of the House bill: an optional consultation with your private physician paid for by the government. His explanation was followed by a variation on the same theme from yet another woman. 'Would you be willing to let me counsel your parents without knowing what my belief system was and I encourage them to end their life?' she asked. 'I think the government has no business making end-of-life decisions.' She angrily refused to accept the senator's explanation that coun seling would be provided by private physicians.

      "It was evident that these questions had little to do with the actual content of any health care bill. It was also evident that them most vocal opponents of reform were literally reading from the same script. In this case, a script that revealed the influence of Christian extremists, (like Jexter) whose sloppiness in dealing with facts and programmatic deceit has been largely ignored by the media.

      I spoke with one of the women who had asked about mandatory end-of-life counseling. She said she knew the counseling was mandatory because 'it's in the bill.' Yet she hadn't read the bill. She was reading from a memo posted on the website fo the Liberty Counsel, a Christian law firm and advocacy groupl and related to Jerry Falwe'''s Liberty University in Virginia.

      "Among the 112 talking points in the Liberty Counsel's ten page electronic samzidat were the following:

      "Sec 2511, pg. 992-government will establish school based 'health clinics. Your children will be indoctrinated and your grandchildren may be aborted!

      "Sec 1233, Pg. 429 Lines 10-12--'Advanced Care Consultation' may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans from the government.

      "Sec. 1713, Pg 768, Lines 3-5--Nurse Home Visit Services--Service #1: 'Improving maternal or child health and pregnancy outcomes oor increasing birth intervals between pregnancies.' Compulsory ABORTIONS?

      "Sec. 1751, Pg. 800--the government will decide which Health Care conditions will be paid. Say 'RATION!'

      "None of these claims are true. Nor were they compiled by the Liberty Council's staff. They were provided by right-wing blogger Peter Fleckenstein and posted under the imprimatur of the Liberty council.

      "HITLER, OBAMA AND MALTHUS--Sunday meetings in The Dalles and Madras were more angry and volatile. There was a lot of concern about a non-existent provision in the House bill that would provide free health care for illegal aliens. And the end-of-life questions continued.

      "In the Dalles, a 74-year-old woman wearing a nasal osygen tube held in place by a headband asked about 'this new House measure in the bill which says the government will determine when I stay and when I go.' when I asked her about her sources, she handed me a printout of the Liberty

      Counsel talking points, which she said she 'got from a pastor on the Internet.' She also said that 'getting rid of the old people was how Hitler got started."

      And so forth.

      Comment: Several of our most vocal Hubbers are apparently getting their "facts" from the same sources as the Oregonians.

    • profile image

      Opinion Duck 8 years ago

      Apparently, I should look at what I type before posting it.

    • profile image

      Opinion Duck 8 years ago

      Universal Health care must replace the system currently held by Congress and the government workers. If they don't want then the people should want it either. Many people in the private sector cannot afford or get health insurance because their companies no longer offer it or subsidize it. This is not true for government workers, so how does the government afford to do it, when private enterprise can't do it? It is called Taxes. While the private sector is receding, the government work force is getting larger.

      Health Insurance companies now make the treatment decision that some of the comments worry the government will make in the new healthcare system.

      Patents on drugs are a monopoly that generates treatments rather than cures. The last real medical cure was polio in the 1950s. Curing patients takes them out of the queue, while treatments just make the queue longer and longer.

    • Things Considered profile image
      Author

      Things Considered 8 years ago from North Georgia Foothills

      Thanks to everyone for your comments. It has long been my personal belief that you often learn more from reading other peoples' comments than you can learn by reading the posts, and you guys all confirm that.

      Real Freedom,

      Great Comments! I think you've really gotten to the heart of the matter, and made several relevant points. The "frenzy of misinformation" is dizzying, and confusing to many people. Fear of losing what they have is a main concern expressed one way or another over and over again by Americans opposed to health care reform.

      Everyone is certain that everyone else has been falsely indoctrinated, and so confident that they've been drinking the right flavor of Kool Aid themselves. "Drinking the Kool Aid" is an Americanism I guess, meaning becoming brainwashed more or less, or indoctrinated. We're all susceptible to indoctrination, I suppose, but of course we all prefer to think we've swallowed the 'right' flavor. I think the trick is to try them all. Just keep spitting out that which doesn't sit well in your stomach.

      I've read medical studies that back up your last couple of statements, more or less. People who are stressed get sick more often, and suffer more deeply, and patients stressed -often by the financial costs of their treatments- have a much harder time recovering.

      Thanks for your comments.

    • profile image

      Real Freedom 8 years ago

      One of the great freedoms that Europeans enjoy is the freedom from anxiety about healthcare. There are no worries about obscure phrases in insurance contracts that rob you of treatment. There is no fear that sickness will mean loss of a job and simultaneous loss of health care.

      If you can be treated you will be treated. The rationing of healthcare is becoming an issue as new technologies make it possible to keep people alive at great cost but with such a poor quality of life that many of them want to die. Some point out that the money would be better spent on preventative medicine etc. It's a hard debate for all involved.

      As a European, I can only really comment on US issues as they appear in debate. The most obvious things are the amount of fear in the debate, the distortion of easily checked facts (especially regarding the overall quality of healthcare which is relatively poor in the US by all reliable stats), the distrust of Governments and the all the flag waving.

      It seems to me that deliberate deception plays a far smaller role in life over here. The frenzy of misinformation that have been unleashed in this debate and are clear on hubpages just couldn't take hold in a western European country.

      (I saw one comment in a hub suggesting Obama was planning on allowing abortion of two year olds. The hubber host had not challenged it.)

      There are too many trustworthy news media in Europe with too much to lose by disseminating untruths or passing off wild rumours as facts.

      Flag waving is also something that would never be allowed in any serious debate. Natioanalistic politicians and commentators are immediately distrusted even by less educated Europeans. There is too strong a memory of the nightmare nationalism plunged us into seventy years ago. Also nationalism obscures truth in a way nothing else does.

      As for fear? Europeans have welfare systems that work for those who suffer misfortune and universal healthcare. Once the basic fears in life have been addressed people become a lot more rational and can debate serious issues in serious ways.

      To sum up- freedom from fear of treatable sickness is one of the greatest freedoms anyone can enjoy.

    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      That's better, Clayton - I have nothing against a reasoned response like that.

      As you can imagine, people spouting mistruths makes us angry, in much the same way that Americans are rightly irritated by Europeans making blanket assumptions about the US. Intelligent discussion is good, and you have shown a lot of intellectual honesty in your comment - I respect that.

      Certainly, I would say that you have some justification if you are talking about the UK - there are a few things there that I am not happy with, especially the corporate lifestyle. Greece is a law unto itself - they do not like to be told what to do. Tax evasion is an artform, although Greeks happily pay health insurance - it is not a lot of money. I have a lot of freedom here - the Greeks will, quite literaly, burn down the parliament if the government attempts to infringe upon rights!

      You are were quite right to be offended by the waiter - not only rude, but crazy in a country that relies on tourism. It does not create a good impression.

      I have had debates like this before, and they usually descend to the point of cultural relativism - healthcare is a good example. Most European systems were built from scratch, after the devastation of the war. They were built with Universal Healthcare in mind and have evolved that way. It works, so please do not believe the hype. No system is perfect, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.

      From the little I know about your system, it was built upon completely different foundations. I am not sure if Universal Healthcare would work - any answer must be using your American ideals. Other than that, I have little opinion - I have never been to the US, although I hope to, one day.

      As for the rest, there certainly are many differences - the idea that European countries are under the spectre of control and totalitarianism is a little extreme, but America seems to have done well under its own steam, as you said. As long as discussions are civil, we can all learn from each other and benefit from looking at different viewpoints.

      I suppose that what I am trying to say is that I have seen too many of these debates descend into 'my way is better than your way.' No system is perfect, and the aging population, decline in birth-rates and environmental problems are something that will affect every system.

      Interesting times for us all :)

      You should sigh up to Hubpages and write your thoughts down in a few Hubs :D

    • profile image

      Clayton 8 years ago

      Sufidreamer,

      You and I have a different opinion of what real freedom is. Being taxed for your healthcare and other expenditures, is not freedom. Do you have a choice of whether to be taxed or not? In the U.S., the answer is no. I'm not familiar with Greek's government, but I imagine the answer is the same. This in itself is an infringement on your freedom to choose, and it is something I'm against here in America.

      Now, the reason I'm so riled up has nothing to do with Europe. Europe is used as an example, because it's the only example available, so sorry if you feel offended. When in Paris, I didn't exactly feel welcome either, and I was shunned for being an American. Literally...I mean.. I went into a restaurant, and I asked for ice cause my drink didn't come with any, and the waiter said they didn't have ice, and as he walked away, he mumbled "Stupid American." I mean, I didn't know France doesn't use ice!? Lol... but anyways...

      I'm so passionate about this because the left are taking over this country, and it's the extreme left, the progressives. One of our president's Woodrow Wilson, was an extreme progressive, which many people don't know. Basically, the belief is that people are too stupid to take care of themselves, so the government needs to step in and do it for you, but they do it under the guise of "helping." However, Woodrow Wilson, knew he couldn't get a lot of his socialist programs across right away, cause people would reject it. So hows does one fix this? One of the things he did was to actually revise our school system's history books, leaving out a lot of important details of our history. This was the beginning of indoctrination, and the beginning of controlling the people. No one here in the U.S. will deny that our school system is horrific, and while I know many Europeans look at us as stupid, the truth is we're just uninformed. But the more uninformed we are, the easier it is for govnerment to have their way, and so they continue to expand and expand, again all under the guise of just trying to help us. So, I'm sick of this game, and I will not give in to allowing the government to take control of more power, and that includes my healthcare!

      The other scary ideology of progressivism is where they believe you get your rights from? Progressivism believes in the evolution of man, that the fittest will survive, and that our rights are endowed by the strongest. In America, our Declaration of Independence tells us our rights are given to us by God. But under the progressive ideology, it's by the more superior, the more intellectual. So if God doesn't grant us our rights, who does? The answer? The government.

      This is the exact same ideology under Adolf Hitler, which for some reason people claim was right wing, which doesn't make any sense, considering it was the Nazi SOCIALIST party. But it was this progressive thought that the superior people, in his case, the superior race, should be in power.

      So this healthcare issue isn't just about healthcare for me. It's about much much more, and it's very difficult here for people to see, because, well, they just don't know. The government is saying hey, look at this hand! All the while the other is slowly stripping away our freedoms from right under us. I tell you, I'm scared for my country, and I love it as much as you love yours. But I don't agree with Europe's ideologies. We didn't become a superpower in a short 200years by following what other nations do. We did it our way, and we've done just fine. Unfortunately...the principles we were founded upon just haven't been followed in a very long time...

    • profile image

      Clayton 8 years ago

      Connie,

      Right...neither does the current healthcare system...But unless they change the law that denies healthcare in an emergency room to illegals, nothing will change.

      Also, I can assure you my father and I do not see eye to eye. He is hardcore liberal/democrat, and thinks all illegals should be granted amnesty - I do not. And whether I would be conceived or not doesn't matter because this isn't about me. This is about America as a whole. I believe in helping others, I have no problem with that at all. What I don't agree with is being FORCED to do it. Cause when you do this, you disenfranchise the other side, but for some reason, the left think "oh it's ok cause the rich have all this money that grows on trees." The problem is when you disenfranchise this side, you lose other things like... I dunno... jobs. And, like I said in my earlier post, Socialism works until you run out of other people's money.

      I mean seriously though, if you think about it, what if the IRS was abolished, and there were no taxes. Can you imagine how much money you would save? The things you could afford? If government was just out of the way of making things MORE complicated, how the private market would explode? You cannot tell me that the government is the answer with the track record it has. Name one social program that the government has done well on?

    • Connie Smith profile image

      Connie Smith 8 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      Funny that you want to do away with free healthcare for illegal aliens when your father possibly would not have lived to even conceive you (assuming that since you are still in college) due to gangrene and other complications from your father's accident. However, it is true that the suggested healthcare program does not offer healthcare to illegal aliens.

    • profile image

      Clayton 8 years ago

      TC,

      You and I actually agree on something. Healthcare costs now are not sustainable. There are many ways to help curb these costs though. Stop providing free care to illegal immigrants (there's roughly estimated somewhere between 12-20million), People stop going to the emergency room, when it's not an emergency, and schedule an appointment, limit the amount of malpractice lawsuits (while some lawsuits are valid, most are bogus, according an an AP report), Americans start living healthier lifestyles (we have the largest obese population), Ambulances not forced to pick up people even when people don't want it (if an ambulance arrives, it is against the law to not take the person to the hospital, whether you want to or not. This is to ensure there are no lawsuits), Get rid of COBRA & MediCare & Medicaid (these government programs are very VERY complex - in some cases worse than the tax code - which is why administrative costs at hospitals and insurance companies are so high, which directly influences your premiums), once all of this is done, and we see billions of dollars and red tape saved and removed, I gaurantee you will see massive improvement in healthcare, and more people who can afford coverage.

      I'm sure there are many more ideas out there, but anything that involves government regulation I'm against. Mostly because I believe government is already too big, has too much power, and it's track record shows it usually makes everything worse. Just look at the TARP program, initiated by Bush, and continued by Obama. The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) estimates that this will add 23trillion dollars to our national debt. Wonderful....

      Socialism works until you run out of other people's money - Margaret Thatcher.

    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Clayton - another offensive statement. I detest this assumption that we are somehow not free, or are under a totalitarian regime. You are more than welcome to visit anytime and see how we live.

      I now live in Greece - nobody bothers me, I am free to set up a business, I pay very little tax and have a life that most libertarians can only dream of - the whole owning a smallholding thing. Greeks genuinely lived under a fascist regime, as did many Europens, so your views are offensive. We have freedom, too.

      As for waiting lists, there are for non-critical issues, but people are free to have their own private insurance or to pay directly. My mother has never had to wait for treatment. Neither has my sister, who wanted a second opinion after her accident. My wife's nephew broke his neck in a car accident a few months ago, and the care that he has received is top-class - he would be dead without the expertise of the NHS specialists.

      The Telegraph that you quote is a right wing paper - I could just as easily insert links to left wing papers, but what does that prove. I lived in the UK for 33 years and, believe it or not, do know a little about it.

      Even the leader of the Conservative party supports the NHS, and the British are up im arms about the lies told. Once again, stick to your own health service and stop spreading BS about ours. We have always been an ally to the US, so this attack on the UK is just like being stabbed in the back by a friend.

      I really cannot be arsed to keep repeating myself to you people and your narrowmindedness. Here is a post I wrote about it, because I am so pissed off with your arrogant assumptions about other countries.

      http://dropoutnation.blogspot.com/2009/08/greeks-a...

    • Connie Smith profile image

      Connie Smith 8 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      I am not really knocking your right to be a citizen, Clayton. I am saying you are lucky that your father was given amnesty against the wishes of the majority of the people. The fact that your father received free healthcare highlights just exactly what we are talking about. Many Americans work hard, but cannot afford health insurance. Yet, the poor folks (and illegals) get it anyway, all the while the hardworking poor get nothing. Do you really see nothing wrong with that?

    • profile image

      Clayton 8 years ago

      Ya, I posted as Reed accidentally. :)

      Connie,

      My father didn't pay a cent for his healthcare because he was an illegal at the time. The cost was subsidized by the tax payers. Now, I was born in this country, which automatically makes me a citizen. Plus, my mother was born here as well - I'm half mexican half white.

      I did not go to a public school, thank god, I went to a private school, paid for by the hard work of my parents. We've never been rich, but we've been smart with our money. I'm currently in college finishing my degree, and working full-time, paying my way through - no grants, no financial aid, no scholarships, just hard work.

    • profile image

      Clayton 8 years ago

      Sufidreamer,

      You misunderstood me. Yes you may be able to switch doctors, as long as you have time to do so. If you are in critical condition, as my father was, you don't have the same time. You have limited doctors and limited hospitals. Because of this, you can't just change doctors at the snap of your fingers.

      For me, I can go online with my HMO, and look at a list of doctors, and go "click"! I want that one! And they're mine. Also, we have PPO's that allow us to bypass our regular physician and go straight to specialists. You, on the other hand, have to wait, and wait..and wait.. often times for half a year until you can see a specialist. Maybe you're Ok with this, but as Americans, we enjoy the fact that we don't have to wait.

      P.S. read this http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/60926... . Now you can realize it's not just me speaking through my arse, but actually this article, written by your own people, prove my point.

      P.S. I don't say these things to insult you. The American people love FREEDOM. Europe sacrafices it by allowing the government to regulate everything for them, and they like it! In france, they actually protest in the street against capitalism in favor of socialism! That's not the U.S., and we will fight it all the way!

    • Connie Smith profile image

      Connie Smith 8 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      Will the real Ralph Deeds please stand up? LOL

      It sounds like Clayton is lucky that he lives in the USA, thanks to an amnesty program that most Americans were against at the time, to be able to protest our current administration. I'm also curious about how Clayton's father was able to get his doctor bills paid after his accident as Clayton said he did not have a healthcare plan. Can you imagine all the people currently in America who cannot afford the first opinion, much less the second one that Clayton's dad was able to get to save his legs? It sounds as if Clayton has done well in America in spite of his father coming into this country illegally. Wonder if Clayton used American tax payer dollars to fund that education he obviously now has?

    • Things Considered profile image
      Author

      Things Considered 8 years ago from North Georgia Foothills

      Clayton I did not assume you were well off yourself, there is no doubt that a great deal of people financially challenged are protesting against health care reform. You and I disagree fundamentally, you see healthcare as a privilege, as you said yourself, and I don't.

      You see reform as giving the currently uninsured too much of what the insured already enjoy. You see it as hurting the haves too much to share with the have nots. These things I'm saying about how you see things are based on your own words.

      You sound like an impatient parent trying to explain to a child why you can't keep a stray dog. It's too inconvenient, it's too impractical, it'll cost too much, we'll have to walk it, etc etc. That's fine as far as it goes, but we're talking about people here.

      You may want to paint it as a problem of the indigent, but it isn't. It's a problem of the working class, and the ever shrinking middle class.

      The WHO, okay I'll give you another obvious one. America has a really high murder rate, which of course, contributes to the lower average life expectanies. But these points are not what prompted the WHO to give us a low overall rating. It's the high costs, the inaccessibility to so many Americans -not just of insurance, but of healthcare insurance doesn't cover, and the likelihood of healthcare expenses to bankrupt a family or elsewise cause severe financial burden.

      The public option is going to have some problems, as long as it cannot compete with private insurers. If all the public option manages to attract is the sick, the rejected by the insurance companies, and the malnourished poor- the high risk pool, if you will, then it will have trouble. But tighter regulation on the ins. cos. will have the dual benefits of producing better care for the privately insured and forcing the cos. to compete with the public option for the business of the healthier, which will help to level out the risk pool of the public option.

      You're right that insurance premiums aren't the only drive behind the high costs, however, the med. ins. industry does add between 20 to 30% in costs to the system. 15 to 25% in their overhead, executive salaries and bonuses and profits for the shareholders, and the rest in the excess paperwork and time spent by providers in negotiating for coverage of patients' treatments. The public option plan unfortunately won't be able to combat most of that for all of us, but they will be able to control it in part in regards to the public option itself.

      What we can't afford is to go on as we have. The average cost of family coverage is over $1200 a month. That is a pretty hefty chunk out of the average working class family's monthly income. It's more than doubled in the last ten years. If we don't change our direction soon, we're going to end up where we're headed, and that is what we can't afford.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      The above comment was erroneously attributed to me (Ralph Deeds). I disagree with nearly everything in it. Sounds like more "facts" from Clayton. Maybe somebody's playing identity theft games???

    • profile image

      pgrundy 8 years ago

      Are there two Ralph Deeds here?

      The off site Ralph doesn't sound like our Ralph.

    • profile image

      Ralph Deeds 8 years ago

      We already have many preventitive measures in place for healthcare. For companies, it's called health & wellness. If the company puts in a gym at the office, or provides healthy lunches, company outing events for walking, biking, etc...provides pamphlets for their employees on how to eat healthy, things of these nature, it can significantly reduce premiums.

      And what? We don't have doctors that say, don't eat this, and excersise this much, or you'll have these complications? We don't have blood tests that show genetic disorders that could cause problems down the road? I'm 23 years old, and I already know that my body automatically produces more bad cholesterol than good. This is why many people in my family have heart disease. To help, I can diet and exercise more, but it is my choice.

      As such, the problem isn't that we don't have preventative measures, or that we as American's don't have the knowledge, it's that we CHOOSE to live unhealthy lifestyles anyways! We like our fast foods and fried foods...pizza and beer during a football game. That's who we are! And it's why we don't live as long either. In places like France, people people walk and take transportation. They eat their meals in small portions, and take time to eat as part of etiquette, and drink a lot of tea (which it's been proven that drinking warm liquids while eating helps your digestive system quite a bit).

      And, since we have a country of 300 million people, vs. 69million, and we live as unhealthy as we do, you are obviously going to see higher healthcare costs.

      Other factors for healthcare costs being so high include: The fact that ambulances are forced to take you to the hospital if they arrive on the scene, even if you say no. The fact that many people go to the emergency room, when they should schedule an appointment, and one of the biggest which costs billions of dollars every year, are the 12-20million illegal immigrants who use our facilities, and you and I as tax payers have to pay for their care. This will continue to happen with or without universal healthcare, unless the law changes to only provide care to citizens and legal residents.

      In regards to social security, medicare, & medicaid, I urge you watch I.O.U.S.A.themovie.com. I'm not sure of the link, but if you google it you'll find it...Then you'll see how these social programs are going to leave a debt for your great grandchildren so large, that unless we do something, they won't have much of a life to look forward to. (I exaggerate not)

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 8 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      The WHO? World Healthcare Organization?Sounds like a rock group.The Rock? Isn't that an Insurance company? and Mutual of Omaha ? Isn't that in Nabraska where they make lots of money selling insurance rather than growing corn? I really like those legal loopholes they have in their con-tracts where it says they will not cannot raise your rates or reduce your coverage based on your age.Don't they just raise everyones rates ,or lower their coverage so as not to discriminate against any age group? That sounds fair although a bit misleading.The Boss is a rock singer who probably needs insurance by now as he's getting up there in age.Maybe he can sing his way into the hospital,but the rest of us can't carry a tune ,so were going to have to be like the gratful dead and go the way of the dinasaurs.

    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Clayton: Under the NHS system in the UK, you're pretty much stuck with the person you're given!

      This becomes very tiresome - I have little interest in your health system, but these constant attacks on ours become very tiresome, very quickly.

      I can name at least a dozen family and friends who have changed consultant/doctor, including my dear old mother (three times). Every other British hubber will tell you exactly the same. Either:

      1) We are all wrong, despite being British.

      or

      2) You are pulling 'facts' from between the cheeks of your arse.

      I think that I know the answer to that one - I hope you washed your hands afterwards.

      The NHS is not perfect - no system or organization is - but that does not justify the open season going on in the US at the moment. If you don't agree with Universal Healthcare, fair enough. However, you should be able to make a solid case against it without spreading mistruths about other nations.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Clayton, there are so many errors in your thinking that I don't know where to start--

      1. We already have a universal government health care plan that isn't perfect but works quite well for most people--it's called Medicare. I've been eligible for some time and am quite satisfied. Medicare does need to do a better job of curbing cost increases due to unnecessary and sometimes harmful tests and medical procedures. In general our health care "system" provides too much emphasis on paying for tests and procedures and too little on preventive medicine. Continuing on the present path of double digit annual increases is not an option. Soon nobody, except employees of Goldman Sachs or the federal government will be able to afford health care insurance. Our system costs much more than health care in other countries and produces inferior results.

      2. You are wrong in your negative comment on Social Security. It is an effective program supported by both parties. You should not worry about receiving benefits when it comes time for you to retire or benefits for your wife or children in the event of your premature death or for you in event of disability. Social Security needs only a couple of small tweaks to put it on a sound financial footing for the forseeable future. The same is not true of Medicare where more radical reform is required in our basic approach to health care in this country.

      3. U.S. health care ranks down with developing countries in effectiveness as measured by the World Health Organization in life expectancy AND infant mortality. WHO data may not be perfect buy it's the best available.

      Two basic goals of reform are essential--1) Universal coverage and 2)Control of skyrocketing cost increases. There is no single fix for controlling cost increases. This will require a variety of measures including very tight regulation of health care insurance companies who perform no necessary function.

    • profile image

      Clayton 8 years ago

      Things Considered, before you judge me, you need to understand that I was a COBRA Administrator for 3 years, and worked as a 1099 contractor selling insurance for 1 year. So my experience is not as limited as you may think.

      So I'll rephrase my last comment so you can clearly understand what I meant. As I said, healthcare is not a right and it is a privilege. I say this because the issue here isn't about what it right and wrong, moral or immoral, it's about the fact that people like yourself actually trust the government to handle your healthcare. Seriously!? With a track record like our complex tax code system, that not even our new Secretary of Treasury, Tim Geithner, can't even follow, our failing social security system that my generation and the generation after me will be forced to pay into but never reap the benefits of, the mounting deficits from medicare and medicaid that when all added together with SS comes to 50 trillion dollars...How can you possibly believe that our government can handle healthcare on a national scale!?

      We've already tried it in Hawaii and Massachussetts. Hawaii's universal healthcare plan failed in 7 months! Why? Because what was meant for the uninsured, the insured wanted! Who the heck doesn't want FREE healthcare? And in Massachussetts, healthcare is adding to the state's already crippling deficit.

      And do you really think this won't increase everybody's taxes? Healthcare costs are currently over 1 trillion dollars a year. This has nothing to do with insurance companies...insurance as you know covers for the cost of healthcare..it doesn't drive it. So even if you tax the wealthiest 10% of this country that already pay for over 80% of all federal income tax, there's no way to cover the cost of healthcare.

      So I'm sorry, your dream is an unsustainable one, and in your mind you think you'll be offering the poor better healthcare, but in reality, you'll be forcing everyone, middle class and up, to have sub-par healthcare. Why? because rationing would be bound to happen cause the cost would be too great.

      Oh, and in regards to me not wanting to follow the WHO...I'll give you a perfect example of why their data isn't accurate. Infant mortality rates. The U.S. is the only country in the world that counts any baby that was alive for even a second, as a live birth. All across Europe, many of the countries don't count a baby as a live birth if it doesn't meet their requirements of size, weight, or maturity (any birth 26 weeks and under are not counted).. So when the WHO get's their data, where do they get it from? Each country's government, and as you can see, each government gathers their data much differently.

      In any case the infant mortality case people try to count as fact that socialized care is better, is easily debunked.

      And P.S. My father was an illegal immigrant from Mexico in the early 70's and was granted amnesty under Reagan. In the early 70's he of course, couldn't have any insurance, and healthcare was much worse, as technology wasn't as advanced. He had a motorcycle accident so severe, that doctors told him his legs would need to be amputated. He asked for a second opinion, and another doctor said no, let's save his legs. My dad can walk today because of that doctor. You may chalk it up to him having a lucky doctor, I say he's smart for asking for a second opinion! Fortunately, we can still do that in America! Under the NHS system in the UK, you're pretty much stuck with the person you're given! (Psst.. this is part of what rationed care looks like)

    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Good Hub, TC - blowing away some of the myths. I have little idea about the best system for the US, but this arrogant denigration of other countries becomes tiersome.

      @Connie - $800 per month! You can have a decent standard of living in Greece for that sort of money. $200 for health/pension payments and the rest for having fun!

    • Connie Smith profile image

      Connie Smith 8 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      TC, you really are so articulate and put across another great argument here. That is my problem with healthcare. The right just doesn't get it that the people who go without ARE in the working force. Most of the poor receive socialized medicine already in the form of Medicaid, so the ones who do not have it are in the service sector: maids, retail clerks, etc. It is a national disgrace. My own daughter (a student) is on Medicaid. She went to the same dentist to get the same procedure done that I just had. Hers was free, mine was $380. I have a great healthcare program, Tricare Prime (military) so I don't worry for me. I only worry for my other daughter who owns a small struggling company and can't get Medicaid because of her income, yet can't afford $800 a month either for a family plan. Like she says, she feels victimized because she works. There is no rhyme or reason to it.

    • Things Considered profile image
      Author

      Things Considered 8 years ago from North Georgia Foothills

      Clayton, I must admit I didn't bother reading your whole post. By the time I got to the usa being responsible for more than half of medical advancement in the last hundred years, I pretty much stopped reading. Feel free to post your sources. I'm just kidding, I did read your whole post. I'm a compulsive reader, couldn't help it. But when you start your comment as you did, you're obviously trying to offend. Like the repubs in the senate, covering your ears and screaming no no no, while claiming you're actually trying to engage in a productive two-way conversation. Socialized medicine doesn't make us a socialist country, that was my point, and it was pretty clear. Dude, you should totally stop watching John Stossel. And hey that Canadian lady who came to america to get her operation ended up dying you know? Did Stossel mention that? Did he mention that she could have had her operation sooner in Canada? Did he mention that Canada has actually been working hard to improve their system over the last decade or so? Doesn't matter, but what you should understand is that there are at least two sides to every story, and Stossel is a tool.

      Most of what you say is pointless, like no, you shouldn't trust the World Health Organization, surely they have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to world health. I think you should go on trusting the rhetoric of the right wing party whose main purpose for existance right now seems to be nothing more than to thwart the democratic party in a childish -but politically fair- attempt to make them look bad. That's what republicans do. And to be fair, they do it much better than the dems.

      I do want to address one thing you mention. It makes no more sense than the rest of your arguments, but since I keep seeing that comment in different places I want to address it.

      Yes, poor people have access to emergency rooms and sometimes in some places to clinics. And you think that gives them quality healthcare? That when they have a heart attack, or the symptoms of advanced cancer or other illness become so severe, that then they can go to the emergency room AT THAT POINT and be properly taken care of?

      No, of course you don't think they're getting the same quality care that more fortunate people receive. People who get yearly physicals, whose symptoms are observed by a physician before they themselves even knew anything was wrong. And who then can be and are put on immediate treatment plans to counteract and stop sickness in its tracks before it devours their insides. That's quality care, and that is not what access to a free clinic and the emergency room generally provides. Alot of good all the advanced medical techonology in the world does for someone who can't afford it.

      You want health care horror stories, you don't need to look to Canada for them. But what your last comment seems to reveal is some sort of snobbery that allows you to think that hard working low wage earners don't deserve quality health care. Quality health care is the privilege of the well to do, and screw the waitress, the single mom, the hardworking laborer with a family of children to support.

      Those people have more pride than you'll ever merit. The system we've fostered makes them feel like it's charity, because we've made it a COMMODITY they can't afford. Quality health care shouldn't be a privilege of the rich, and if that is the system our country takes, then our country is not led by a government for the people. Health care is about the well-being of people. It's not a luxury.

      I have no patience for you. You're offensive, ignorant and selfish.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Clayton, universal health care in one form or another seems to work pretty well in all the other advanced industrialized countries. Costs are much lower and results better. Most people who are eligible for Medicare seem to like it. The only problem is that it needs to do a better job of curbing cost increases as Atul Gawande's article in the New Yorker pointed out--Medicare's cost of for profit medicine in McAllen, Texas, is triple those at Mayo in Minnesota or Cleveland Clinic because doctors own the hospitals and testing facilities and as a result order unnecessary tests and perform unnecessary surgery and other procedures.

    • Connie Smith profile image

      Connie Smith 8 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      If you don't think health care is rationed now (for the profits), you really are naïve, Clayton.

    • profile image

      Clayton 8 years ago

      I'll first admit I didn't read the entire article. A lot of the information taken sounds like it came from Michael Moore's documentary, Sicko.

      In regards to France having the best healthcare in the world, this is affirmed by WHO. What information does WHO use to make this conclusion? Is it based on accessibility to healthcare? Mortality rates? # of people who do and do not seek care? In other words, why do I need to accept the WHO's conclusion as irrefutable fact?

      You see, people like to also point to Cuba and say their health care is better than the U.S., but what they don't realize is the WHO got their information from the Cuban government. Not the people. So, can we really trust this information? And this goes for all countries.

      Truth is, if you need a life saving procedure, you come to the U.S. We are responsible for over half of all medical advancements in technology and medicine for the 20th and 21st century. This is because of our free market, and competition drives advancement, plain and simple.

      In regards to universal healthcare not being socialism? I'm not sure how you were able to come to that conclusion. How is a federal run healthcare system not socialism? Part of the socialism that will be included in the universal healthcare is rationing. I know everyone keeps saying that healthcare won't be rationed, but tell me if you can deny this? The U.S. is about to experience massive deficits. We don't feel it now, but very soon, we will have over 50 trillion dollars in debt. How, you ask? Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid. Between these three social programs, our country will experience the Weimar Republic. Hyperinflation, and unemployment worse than the great depression, if we don't act now. The only reason we're not experiencing this yet is because all of the baby boomers haven't retired.

      So, I ask you, if we have universal healthcare system, and we're then hit with this 50 trillion dollar deficit, how will america save money? By cutting costs in the healthcare system. How will we cut costs? By rationing healthcare...

      All of this proves one simple fact - we simply cannot afford it, and neither can other countries. Your article says nothing of the deficits healthcare is causing France, or any other country. You see, we've also already tried Universal Healthcare in Hawaii, and it failed in 7 months due to higher than expected costs. Massachussetts is also experiencing the same problems, as it is battling mounting debt from it's universal healthcare program.

      There are also stories in Canada of how healthcare is so expensive, they've rationed care by leaving it up to fate - the lottery. There are cities who literally put names in a bowl, and if your name get's pulled, your the lucky winner that gets to see a doctor! Is this what we really want? (ABC has a documentary showing this - not hard to find)

      Lastly, just need to point out, that everyone in the U.S. has healthcare. If you walk into an emergency room, by law, you cannot be turned away - insurance or not.

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      sirnunnos 8 years ago

      Ok a private hospital in alabama,1 xray = 500.00,now that same xray machine ran the day before,lol,and the day before that;so when is it right to charge people those pricess in a free market

      and if you do want insurance from compianies you work for is at least 100+ out after taxes a pay period of weekly.hospitals,insurance companies are just as greedy as the banks,yea free enterprise.