Americans: Why do you want a company in charge of your health?

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Okay, I'm anti-corporate. I'm not about to hide that, it's a pretty plain and simple fact. I have nothing against success or the free market, I just don't like companies, I especially don't like large companies and I really hate the idea of any kind of monopoly that doesn't give you 200 dollars for passing go.

But my seething anti-corporatism aside, I really really really just don't understand why anyone would want an HMO in their life. I've heard the arguments; for profit is good because competition ensures the best service, government health care is inefficiant, standardized health care limits your freedom etc. I can see where these arguments come from, with the possible exception of the limiting your freedom thing, but in my mind they're all overshadowed by one definition: A company is a business organization. It is an association or collection of individual real persons and/or other companies, who each provide some form of capital. This group has a common purpose or focus and an aim of gaining profits.. The primary goal of any private company is to make money. If someone can find me a single Fortune 500 company who's ambition is to break even at the end of the day I'd shake your bloody hand. With a health-care providing company the main goal is profit; looking after my health is simply a means to that end and really, no one cares about the means as long as the end is accomplished. I don't understand how anyone can trust a company to whom profit is a more important statistic than their well-being with their fucking well-being. It seems silly, like trusting a cat with your open can of tuna. Maybe the cat loves you and maybe you're important to the cat but to the cat, it's well-being is more important than yours, so that tuna is gone.

TL;DR: Why do you want a company in charge of your well being when your health is subordinate to profit?

MoNKeyYy:
Okay, I'm anti-corporate. I'm not about to hide that, it's a pretty plain and simple fact. I have nothing against success or the free market, I just don't like companies, I especially don't like large companies and I really hate the idea of any kind of monopoly that doesn't give you 200 dollars for passing go.

But my seething anti-corporatism aside, I really really really just don't understand why anyone would want an HMO in their life. I've heard the arguments; for profit is good because competition ensures the best service, government health care is inefficiant, standardized health care limits your freedom etc. I can see where these arguments come from, with the possible exception of the limiting your freedom thing, but in my mind they're all overshadowed by one definition: A company is a business organization. It is an association or collection of individual real persons and/or other companies, who each provide some form of capital. This group has a common purpose or focus and an aim of gaining profits.. The primary goal of any private company is to make money. If someone can find me a single Fortune 500 company who's ambition is to break even at the end of the day I'd shake your bloody hand. With a health-care providing company the main goal is profit; looking after my health is simply a means to that end and really, no one cares about the means as long as the end is accomplished. I don't understand how anyone can trust a company to whom profit is a more important statistic than their well-being with their fucking well-being. It seems silly, like trusting a cat with your open can of tuna. Maybe the cat loves you and maybe you're important to the cat but to the cat, it's well-being is more important than yours, so that tuna is gone.

TL;DR: Why do you want a company in charge of your well being when your health is subordinate to profit?

does it matter really either way we are paying some one, want social health care increase taxes. want private health care pay a firm. i prefer a business so I'm not stuck on a waiting list cause the government arbitrarily decided the surgery i need is "elective" and not necessary even if my job requires so. besides a company has to meet standards and expectations, and if the company sucks they lose money and fail. simple as that.

The US ranks 37th on the World Health Organisation's list of countries with the best health care mostly due to our lack of socialised health care. Other Americans may give you their uninformed opinion on the matter, but it is best to listen to credible sources.

Some of us don't. I'd much rather have a health care system like Canada's.

It's pretty simple, politicians want company health care because corporations tell them to, corporations want company health care because it increases company control and profits, and politicians need those profits to get reelected.

What the average American wants usually doesn't figure much into the equation.

Okay. They want profit. So what? I'm a company. I build websites. I do it for the money. I wouldn't do it for free. So what? Do my websites suck now? I don't think so. Do you think everyone would be more happy if the government builds websites for everyone?

You don't like monopolies yet you like to give the entire health business to the government?

One of the best ways to improve your profits is improving your efficiency. One of the best ways to improve your profits is using better technology. And that's what I like, technology. Technology (Medicine is technology too) saves lives.

You know Hayek, the big defender of the free market?

"There is no reason why, in a society which has reached the general level of wealth ours has, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom; that is: some minimum of food, shelter and clothing, sufficient to preserve health. Nor is there any reason why the state should not help to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance in providing for those common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_hayek

So what I'd like to see;
-hospitals and health insurances done by the free market
-a good free market is transparent. Therefore, health insurances have to be clear and transparent. When you're ill, health insurances can't use some small lines somewhere in the contract to refuse paying for the health services you need.
-the poorest citizens, who really can't pay for their own health insurance, get their insurance paid for by the government.

Have you got any problems with that?

Back when I was in middle school in Canada, my mother was diagnosed with melanoma. She was put on a list to see a specialist and she would see said specialist in 8 months (melanoma kills in 6). Luckily she was engaged to an American so we moved after the wedding , got it removed in 6 weeks.

I'm now 28 and she's still here, under the socialized healthcare she would have been dead when I was 13.

Yay America! Yay privatized healthcare! \o/

Danyal:
Okay. They want profit. So what? I'm a company. I build websites. I do it for the money. I wouldn't do it for free. So what? Do my websites suck now? I don't think so. Do you think everyone would be more happy if the government builds websites for everyone?

Hell no, have you seen how shitty government websites are?

Any US Marines! Marine Online???? ARG!!!!

When the private insurance costs less than the tax increase then yeah the private insurance is better. Also from everything I've heard private healthcare is also faster.

Danyal:
Okay. They want profit. So what? I'm a company. I build websites. I do it for the money. I wouldn't do it for free. So what? Do my websites suck now? I don't think so. Do you think everyone would be more happy if the government builds websites for everyone?

You don't like monopolies yet you like to give the entire health business to the government?

One of the best ways to improve your profits is improving your efficiency. One of the best ways to improve your profits is using better technology. And that's what I like, technology. Technology (Medicine is technology too) saves lives.

You know Hayek, the big defender of the free market?

"There is no reason why, in a society which has reached the general level of wealth ours has, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom; that is: some minimum of food, shelter and clothing, sufficient to preserve health. Nor is there any reason why the state should not help to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance in providing for those common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_hayek

So what I'd like to see;
-hospitals and health insurances done by the free market
-a good free market is transparent. Therefore, health insurances have to be clear and transparent. When you're ill, health insurances can't use some small lines somewhere in the contract to refuse paying for the health services you need.
-the poorest citizens, who really can't pay for their own health insurance, get their insurance paid for by the government.

Have you got any problems with that?

it has been explained many many times on this forum why the free market simply cannot supply decent health services. america who are much closer to a free market for health compared to a lot of europe already spend twice as much others.

it is simply, health care is something people will pay for no matter the cost, people prefer to live, even if it costs them all their money.

reonhato:

it has been explained many many times on this forum why the free market simply cannot supply decent health services.

That's great! Now you don't have to do any thinking work, just searching work. Find it and send me a link to that great explanation.

america who are much closer to a free market for health compared to a lot of europe already spend twice as much others.

I don't know how true that is but it seems to be pretty good at least;

Vanilla_Druid:
The US ranks 37th on the World Health Organisation's list of countries with the best health care mostly due to our lack of socialised health care. Other Americans may give you their uninformed opinion on the matter, but it is best to listen to credible sources.

And paying 50% less doesn't help much if you contribute the other half via your taxes.

it is simply, health care is something people will pay for no matter the cost, people prefer to live, even if it costs them all their money.

Just like bread, housing and clothing. So the free market is also inadequate in providing those?

You're kidding me. Captcha: MARKETS rnloda.

MoNKeyYy:
The primary goal of any private company is to make money.

Your point being? The goal of any bureaucracy is to further secure and expand it's domain. Full stop. Anything on their mission statement is fluff, and they will only do the bare minimum to keep their domains from being encroached upon. Moreover, once created, it is almost impossible to eliminate bureaucracy. So what makes you think things would work any better under such a system?

Danyal:

reonhato:

it has been explained many many times on this forum why the free market simply cannot supply decent health services.

That's great! Now you don't have to do any thinking work, just searching work. Find it and send me a link to that great explanation.

america who are much closer to a free market for health compared to a lot of europe already spend twice as much others.

I don't know how true that is but it seems to be pretty good at least;

Vanilla_Druid:
The US ranks 37th on the World Health Organisation's list of countries with the best health care mostly due to our lack of socialised health care. Other Americans may give you their uninformed opinion on the matter, but it is best to listen to credible sources.

And paying 50% less doesn't help much if you contribute the other half via your taxes.

it is simply, health care is something people will pay for no matter the cost, people prefer to live, even if it costs them all their money.

Just like bread, housing and clothing. So the free market is also inadequate in providing those?

Is it too much to ask for people to show some charity to their fellow human beings? Sometimes it is not about money or the "freedom" you may lose, sometimes it is about helping people. Would you prefer that education be on the free market so that only those with money can afford it, or would want it to be available to all? Your black heart makes me sad.

Vanilla_Druid:

Is it too much to ask for people to show some charity to their fellow human beings? Sometimes it is not about money or the "freedom" you may lose, sometimes it is about helping people. Would you prefer that education be on the free market so that only those with money can afford it, or would want it to be available to all? Your black heart makes me sad.

"Some charity to help my fellow human beings", "my black heart". Sorry?

'-the poorest citizens, who really can't pay for their own health insurance, get their insurance paid for by the government.'

If you need help... you get help! Simple as that. That's what I wrote. How is that evil?

At the end of the day, any government organisation is going to be run similarly to a business, but their goal isn't necessarily just to make profit, and they have an image to protect. Then again, if public healthcare is poorly funded, then some people get absolutely screwed.

The main issue with companies running healthcare is that on average, American healthcare is much more expensive than anywhere else, with little to no improvement on the quality of that care. I was pretty sure this was common knowledge, and as a European am quite surprised to see people defending private healthcare - although I believe it should be there if people want it, I don't see any good reason to get it.

ravenshrike:

MoNKeyYy:
The primary goal of any private company is to make money.

Your point being? The goal of any bureaucracy is to further secure and expand it's domain. Full stop. Anything on their mission statement is fluff, and they will only do the bare minimum to keep their domains from being encroached upon. Moreover, once created, it is almost impossible to eliminate bureaucracy. So what makes you think things would work any better under such a system?

In such a system at least it would be in the best interest of the health care provider to provide care, even if it is only in defense of their domain as you call it. In the United States it's in the interest of the HMO or hospital to provide as little care as possible. My turn for full stop. Before you say anything, consider this. I read (you can deny this if you want, it's just a number and doesn't actually mean that much) that the average 5 member family in the US pays about 14000 a year for health insurance, averaging out to ~2800 per person yeah? So if in 20 years a person never neads care, that company is 56000 dollars in the black for that person. But then, all of a sudden that person gets oh say, meningitis. They need surgery, the cost is 100,000 because you know, brain surgery is expensive. That company is now 44000 in the red for that person, and 44000 dollars is a lot of money. That company will do every single thing in it's power to get as much of that 100,000 back from that person as possible. Even if that person's meningitis is cured, the HMO may find out that they had a concussion when they were eight and because both effect the central nervous system it counts as a pre-existing condition. Coverage cut, rate increased and they're now sitting with 100,000 dollars of debt minus the 56000 already paid over the course of their life.

My point is that HMOs have entire departments that may as well be labelled 'Department of Fuck over our consumers.' Bureaucracies can be ineffeciant yes and equally as corrupt as corporations but they're public officials who don't usually have a 'fuck over everyone' department. I'm not trying to say by any stretch that government organizations are perfect, just that they don't actively try to fuck you over.

keiskay:
does it matter really either way we are paying some one, want social health care increase taxes. want private health care pay a firm. i prefer a business so I'm not stuck on a waiting list cause the government arbitrarily decided the surgery i need is "elective" and not necessary even if my job requires so. besides a company has to meet standards and expectations, and if the company sucks they lose money and fail. simple as that.

The section I've bolded is what I percieve as something of a double standard in your argument. Why do you think a government employee telling you to wait for arbitrary reasons is better than a private employee telling you that you can't have it all for arbitrary reasons? I also don't really agree with your company sucks=fail logic. For most buisnesses that's true but it seems like HMOs play by a different set of rules. When was the last time anyone said "well this HMO denied me care so I'm gonna switch and not pay them" or "well this HMO has denied lots of people so I'm not gonna hire them". We're talking about two different realms here, if an HMO is just a bad company they'll fail, but if they're actively trying to fuck people over they're conforming the buisness model that's kept them profitable for decades.

Well, the advantages of paying for your own health care is that you don't have to share in paying for others as well, who might have far more severe and expensive health problems than you. And that it's not the government which decide what treatment you're to be offered, and how long it'll be before you get it; When you're the one paying, then you're also the one in charge.

The downsides are of course that since private companies need to turn a profit, they theoretically can't offer treatment as cheaply as a body that only needed its budget to balance could (though bureaucracy can easily take that advantage away). And that those who can't afford private health insurance - or find that the insurance company is of the opinion that the terms of the one they have don't cover the specific disease they're suffering from - are left to their own devices.

Ultimately, which is better depends on how well off you are, and how competently managed the public health care would be, i.e. can it provide the best treatment available within a medically acceptable time frame?

If it can always match what a private health care could offer to each individual, then it's superior. If it can't, then there's no way to justify replacing the current private health care, as you can't ask even a single individual to give its life for public health care.

I think "wanting a company in charge of my health" is completely incorrect.

I want me in charge of my health, and a market allows me to seek the medical attention that I desire. Socialized medicine necessarily determines what is necessary and appropriate healthcare, and I'd have to base my actions within those options.

I am responsible enough to care for myself and determine what is trustworthy and appropriate treatment and what is worth paying for.

tstorm823:
I think "wanting a company in charge of my health" is completely incorrect.

I want me in charge of my health, and a market allows me to seek the medical attention that I desire. Socialized medicine necessarily determines what is necessary and appropriate healthcare, and I'd have to base my actions within those options.

I am responsible enough to care for myself and determine what is trustworthy and appropriate treatment and what is worth paying for.

You do know that pretty much every country with UHC gives you the option of paying for private or better care.

UHC does not involve giving everyone the exact same healthcare, it involves giving a minimum standard of care to everyone. If you want more than that minimum standard you can pay extra to get it. You appear to be one of the majority of Americans who have no idea what good healthcare actually is.

The main issue for the US is the lack of public hospitals. Public hospitals do not run at a profit, therefore care is cheaper. In the long term it is much cheaper for the government to offer UHC when they have their own hospitals. Why pay a private company $50,000 to care for a patient when you can do it for $35,000.

Vanilla_Druid:
The US ranks 37th on the World Health Organisation's list of countries with the best health care mostly due to our lack of socialised health care. Other Americans may give you their uninformed opinion on the matter, but it is best to listen to credible sources.

Yeah, the U.S. is ranked down there below Morocco and Chile. 37th isn't so great, especially when the U.S. is number one in health care costs.

Danyal:
You don't like monopolies yet you like to give the entire health business to the government?

its not a business.

i know that might be difficult to grasp but some things just aren't.

its no more a business than the army or police are.

protecting the lives of your population, whether its from a criminal, a terrorist, a disease or the armed forces of an foreign enemy , is one of the primary functions of government.

there is no moral reason on earth why billions of dollars should be spent by a government in the name of protecting the citizenries health from harm on the one hand while on the other it is not and furthermore there is even less reason to hand the money used to pay for that to the shareholders of a private company.

the only "efficiency" private companies are interested in is making more money by expending as little as possible in pursuit of it in order to be able to hand the biggest amount possible they can to people who do absolutely nothing except collect it.

Cause its cheaper for me. 28 bucks a month for hospitalization and just pay cash for rest of my care and I'd rather not be owned by the government who will coerce me into paying for a service I don't want or need.

tstorm823:
I think "wanting a company in charge of my health" is completely incorrect.

I want me in charge of my health, and a market allows me to seek the medical attention that I desire. Socialized medicine necessarily determines what is necessary and appropriate healthcare, and I'd have to base my actions within those options.

I am responsible enough to care for myself and determine what is trustworthy and appropriate treatment and what is worth paying for.

You mean as opposed to in a system with private health insurance, where the insurance company is in complete control of what treatment they are willing to allow you to have?

Come on, this isn't rocket science. Either you leave the choice up to a private corporation that is only interested in exactly one thing; taking as much of your money as possible and giving you back as little money as possible, or you leave it up to the government, which might be corrupt and inefficient, but at least isn't interested in simply screwing you over.

Don't pretend like you have a choice either way. Whether or not you have private health insurance, it's the insurance company that decides what treatment you'll be able to get.

Not to mention the fact that you're not competent to determine which treatment is best anyway. There are people, called doctors, who are trained for years so they can tell you what the best treatment is.

sneakypenguin:
Cause its cheaper for me. 28 bucks a month for hospitalization and just pay cash for rest of my care and I'd rather not be owned by the government who will coerce me into paying for a service I don't want or need.

I suggest you read up on what universal healthcare is, because you clearly don't know at all.

Do you seriously think the government will actually force you to undergo treatment without your consent? Seriously?

Danyal:
One of the best ways to improve your profits is improving your efficiency. One of the best ways to improve your profits is using better technology. And that's what I like, technology. Technology (Medicine is technology too) saves lives.

another good and often used to a legal extent way to increase your profits is slavery. not to mention the whole "sell as bad product as possible for as much money as possible" effecton healthcare.
That being said, i woudl rather see swedens model (half the country belongs to government) than private company. however the system in place at the moment is even worse.

Elcarsh:

sneakypenguin:
Cause its cheaper for me. 28 bucks a month for hospitalization and just pay cash for rest of my care and I'd rather not be owned by the government who will coerce me into paying for a service I don't want or need.

I suggest you read up on what universal healthcare is, because you clearly don't know at all.

Do you seriously think the government will actually force you to undergo treatment without your consent? Seriously?

What the President suggested is that they will inform providers that the patient should not get one thing or another, but something else, which is what you'd end up with (I think his example was something like someone needing knee replacement might be better off with a pill).

Insurance companies do the same thing. But, in a free market (which the US does not really have at this time and I would prefer we work on market reforms to make it so) I can easily fire my insurance company and get one I like better. Not so easy to fire your government.

MoNKeyYy:
TL;DR: Why do you want a company in charge of your well being when your health is subordinate to profit?

How is that any different from the way the government would do it? Though admittedly the government is significantly less skilled at getting their investment back. So it probably wouldn't cost us as much out of pocket in the long run...but instead the country would default in the next ten years. It's sort of a "pick your poison" situation at this point.

I think the reason people around here hate universal healthcare so much can be accounted for a few reasons.

1. We constantly hear these horror stories about people in other countries who have to wait hours or even days to get aspirin or a splint for their injuries because of how inefficient the system is.

2. Though the red scare was a long time ago, and most people realize how stupid McCarthyism was, for some reason people still seem to have this stigma that if you let a little in it will all soon be communist. Naturally it's the conservatives that harbor the most fears regarding this.

3. A lot of times, even though people know they're in a bad situation, they will stick with what is familiar over change. They know what they've got now. With government healthcare, they know it can either be really good or really bad, and it is very difficult to change back once you've got it. So how can you blame them for wanting to avoid something they know could turn out to be even worse than what they have now, and not even have a way out? At least if they stick it out with what they've got now, they've still always got the government healthcare as a contingency plan (as much of a gamble as it is). But once we've got government healthcare, that's it. No plan B. It has to work, there's no other choice. And I don't think people these days have enough faith in the government to make a sandwich properly, nonetheless make and run a healthcare program properly.

I mean at least with insurance companies, you've got everything under contract. With the government? They'll do whatever they want however the hell they want, and they can and will change it at any time. Not as much certainty. Again, most American people believe that the government is out to screw them as much as insurance companies. So at least with insurance, you can do something about it if you don't like your plan. Change it, cancel it, change providers. And if they do something to screw you over, sue them.

I'm sure some people like having a company because they're in a position to take some advantages with it. That and being able to pick your own insurance.

I'm sure being ill informed about Universal Health Care is a part of the problem as well. Remember the whole "Granny Death Squad" bullshit that the news dredged up?

There's also the fun comparison of "I don't trust the Government to get my mail to me on time, why would I want them in-charge of my health?" Probably also a few "I don't want to play for an illegals medication!"

That said, I'm all for both. If you don't want or trust the Government with your health care and think that a private company would be better regulated for you then go for it. If, however, you can't afford it or don't want to sign up for an insurance policy with a company for a minor problem, you could use the Governments.

I wanted it. Like a long time ago.

As much as the government can screw things up they can reasonably say that they're out to at least try and serve the people as their first priority (not always true, but ideally should be). Companies, by the very definition of their existence, can't.

I would be much more in favor of a small tax increase on everyone (along with the big one for the rich) to provide for the public service rather than letting a corporation say they'll take care of it.

I've had a close family member dropped from their insurance in the name of profit when they needed help before. IMO it should be the government's responsibility to provide for the health and well-being of their citizens. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The problem I'd be looking at is how to fairly help the immoral insurance companies break up and find their employees work once the government takes over to provide free health care.

I prefer a mixed system. There's a baseline that the government provides which will take care of most of your problems in a fairly timely manner. If you want better or more coverage, there will still be a private market which acts as a supplement to the baseline. This is the system that France runs on and the WHO thinks they have the best system in the world.

That being said, with the amount of control corporations have over our government, I consider this highly unlikely.

Elcarsh:

You mean as opposed to in a system with private health insurance, where the insurance company is in complete control of what treatment they are willing to allow you to have?

Come on, this isn't rocket science. Either you leave the choice up to a private corporation that is only interested in exactly one thing; taking as much of your money as possible and giving you back as little money as possible, or you leave it up to the government, which might be corrupt and inefficient, but at least isn't interested in simply screwing you over.

Don't pretend like you have a choice either way. Whether or not you have private health insurance, it's the insurance company that decides what treatment you'll be able to get.

Clearly, you underestimate what I would do to the health care system given the chance. Insurance companies can go rot it a ditch. The modern concept of health insurance is already almost a legally enforced monopoly. It's hardly insurance at all, since the times they're least reliable is when you have an unexpected condition. Statistically, health care should be universally cheaper without the middle man in the first place, but when the system gets built so that the health care system doesn't work for you unless you go through a for profit bureaucracy, it's gone too far.

Anyway, since the for profit businesses with cutthroat practices are primarily the insurance companies and not the hospitals, it's hardly an arguement that the government handling "insurance" directly would be best because the system we have now is to cut-throat and incompassionate when the current system only got built through the government being bought by the insurance companies in the first place.

I'd rather have a system where there wasn't systematic deterents for me paying my own bills directly.

Not to mention the fact that you're not competent to determine which treatment is best anyway. There are people, called doctors, who are trained for years so they can tell you what the best treatment is.

I never said that I could decide what is best... just that I could decide what was trustworthy and appropriate. I don't need the government to tell me not to get treatment that would hurt me.

Danyal:

-hospitals and health insurances done by the free market
-a good free market is transparent. Therefore, health insurances have to be clear and transparent. When you're ill, health insurances can't use some small lines somewhere in the contract to refuse paying for the health services you need.
-the poorest citizens, who really can't pay for their own health insurance, get their insurance paid for by the government.

Have you got any problems with that?

The problem I have is that I don't think healthcare can function in a free market. I think that for the same reason that electricity generation and water supply don't function that well in free markets; free markets are based on supply/demand and healthcare doesn't obey those rules. Healthcare literally has infinite demand, because it is nearly impossible for someone to NOT need it (unless they managed to go from healthy to dead in several minutes).

The system that I've enjoyed most through experience has been Taiwan's. I will be the first to admit that due to lack of money it doesn't have the highest quality, but I think as a consumer it offered me the best value for my money.

Lastly, a point of criticism about the American model. Why the fuck are you guys/gals making employers pay for healthcare? That makes NO sense! It's fine to argue whether a single payer healthcare system is good or not, but why the hell are employers the ones who are paying for it?

Looks like my post got eaten.

The reason Americans want a private company in charge of their health derives from two factors:
1) Americans tend to be a myopic bunch who rarely travel or live abroad. Very few Americans have direct, personal experience in other countries under other health care systems. So they have to base what they think about them from what they hear, which leads nicely to...

2) Americans have been subject to extensive propaganda for decades, resulting in many Americans having a very twisted notion of what the real situation is. We have been told so many horror stories about Canadian wait lists or British medical errors that many people accept without question that these isolated incidents are the only possible outcome of nationalized health care. They believe that America has the best health care in the world, despite a literal mountain of evidence showing that we pay more than other industrialized countries for worse results.

To give you an idea of just how fervently believed this propaganda is, I had two nearly-identical hospitalizations in the US (under private health care) and Japan (under nationalized health care). I got superior service in Japan for less than one tenth the cost. However, I still have family members (who were present for neither hospitalization) who insist that my treatment in Japan must have been vastly inferior to my treatment in the US, despite me having direct experience otherwise. My doctor in the US, in a subsequent surgery not performed in Japan, made me come back for a repeat because he wasn't able to get the job done the first time around (naturally, charging me full price for both surgeries) and his office bungled the paperwork to the point that one of his nurses literally had me on the table seconds away from having a procedure performed on me that would have undone all of the work the doctor did- all because the desk staff in our privately-funded health care system didn't bother to read a fucking chart- and yet I still know people who insist that my American health care must be better. That's how deeply we as a nation have drunk the Kool-Aid.

This ties in with other propaganda Americans have been subject to for even longer, which says that for some reason we should always assume that government-organized endeavors are always less efficient than private-sector endeavors. This is part of the mythology that fits into our national religion of Mammonism, which teaches that the magical Hand of the Free Market always moves faster than the hands of the evil demonic government, and any actual evidence anyone has to show this isn't true is heresy.

It's mostly America's obession with the free market and opposition to anything even remotely associated with Communism coupled with a healthy dose of propaganda and scare tactics. After all, the magical free market fairy is the solution to all of our problems and anyone who has any form of criticism against it is clearly a nazi fascist socialist anarchist commie bastard. This obsession seems to be spilling over into Europe as well. Just last month my country's government tried to privatize healthcare as well. Thank fuck for doctors who actually give a shit though.

An interesting thing to note is that many of the Americans claiming that government run healthcare is an awful idea because the government is inefficient and such...also think the government is capable of using the death penalty.

Najos:
An interesting thing to note is that many of the Americans claiming that government run healthcare is an awful idea because the government is inefficient and such...also think the government is capable of using the death penalty.

Not only that, when asked about the health care given to servicemen and women they will almost certainly proclaim it to be world-class. The government apparently can manage health insurance, but only when it's part of the military.

What's my alternative? Let the government run my healthcare?

Have you seen how our government runs things? (the phrase 'into the ground' leaps to mind)

How the Canadian, the British, or even the Japanese do their thing is all well and good; I'm not versed enough to comment of any of that. But what I'd be willing to bet good money on is our government -the United States government, given the same task, would bungle it so catastrophically that we'll pine for the days when we were 37th.

Our governmental system, quite frankly, was not designed to handle things like Universal Care.

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