Why should the USA have Universal Health Care?

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Though other folks have argued that the WHO's survey is crap and no reason to believe that other health care systems have it better, I have to say that my personal experience and that of several friends and family members who live abroad has demonstrated over and over again the incredibly poor quality of American health care and the inequities and massive expense of our system.

I was just flying through Germany and needed to see a doctor.  Of course I don't have German insurance so I had to pay out of pocket.  My total bill including a prescription was less than 50 euros.  If I had been flying through the US and needed to see a doctor, I would have had to find a way to the emergency room (certainly not just the airport clinic as I found in Munich) and because it wasn't necessarily an emergency, they very likely might not have seen me, at least not within the 45 minutes they did there, and the bill would have been at least three to four times what it was there in Germany where I spoke to an intern and then a doctor for a total of about fifteen minutes.

Friends of mine in Taiwan, Hong Kong, elsewhere in Europe, etc. have all had similar experiences and would laugh at the idea of the United States having the best health care in the world.  I am fortunate enough to have a great insurance plan at work but I still hate going to the doctor because I always have interminable waits, I have to pay the same for insurance as everyone else who doesn't take care of themselves at all and are on ten medications because they refuse to exercise or take responsibility for their own health.

But we can't get mad at them for being irresponsible, we can only get angry at people who "refuse to buy health insurnace" because health insurance is insanely expensive and people can't afford it...

Give me a break.

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I would like to see beefheart's support for his declaration. It flys in the face of economic logic. But who am I? What do I know? I could be wrong, but until beefheart shows me something, I have reason to doubt his declaration, not believe it.
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My answer is brief and to the point: The United States already has universal health care. It's called health insurance. What the majority party in Congress wants is to provide those who won't purchase their own insurance--and the few who can't because of pre-existing conditions--to get that insurance and have it paid for by those of us who do take responsibility for ourselves. As of 11:59 am today, we had the finest health-care system in the world. It remains to be seen what we'll have in the days to come.

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When the cost of something continues to rise, and the quality of that same something continues to decline, there are coercive forces at hand, for this situation violates the Law of Supply and Demand.

The purpose of government is to safeguard rights, and one of those is the right to engage in economic activity upon a level playing field -- that monopolies will be restricted or eliminated by the government, so that all business has a chance at the market.

If this were the case, medical costs would decrease and the quality of care would increase -- but exactly the opposite is happening.

Health Insurance has had a special dispensation by the Federal Government for many years, resulting in expensive and ineffective health care.

Certainly everyone is entitled to get good healthcare at a reasonable price. The insurance companies, becoming the sole source of healthcare as the government looks the other way, is a recipe for disaster.

What system would give the most people the best coverage for the cheapest cost?  Isn't that what everyone would want?  It will never come from coercive insurance businesses, or the government.  To think that it magically will is to further invite disaster. Government-sanctioned healthcare is not the solution.  Government-sanctioned monopoly is the problem.  Whatever the government can do, a level market can do better.

 

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The above posts make great points. I think that if the general public were able to truly understand Universal Healthcare without all the political spins put on it most would be in favor of it. I think the biggest opposition would be the insurance companies who have controlled the health industry for such a long period of time.

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I think that you are asking a question that goes into the "lion's den."  This is an intensely contested issue on both sides and one of the challenges that the President is staking much in way of political capital.  The primary argument being made as to why there has to be universal health care is that individuals should not have to be subject to economic condition in order to attain health care for their families.  In a challenging economic situation, this argument becomes highly persuasive.  The richest and most industrialized nation should not also be one where millions of people are denied health care coverage.  The need for universal health care coverage arises from these arguments.

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From just a practical point of view, not having universal health care does not mean that health care is not universally needed.  So if those without insurance are still receiving care - they go to public hospitals where they cannot be turned away even if they can't pay - then the cost of treating those patients is added to everyone else's hospital bill.  And the emergency room is the most expensive form of primary care available.

So one overwhelming reason why we should have universal health care is because we already do - whether it is a government program or not - we just have the most expensive, least efficient form of it in hospital emergency rooms.  It would be much cheaper to do so with universal health care coverage.

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The most likely answer for this (the one that seems to be most convincing to me) is that health care ought to be a right -- one that is available to all people.

It seems very wrong to tell people that they cannot have health care if they are unable to find a good enough job.  Or to tell them they cannot have health care because of some preexisting condition that may not even be their own fault.

Therefore, it seems like it would be important for us to have some sort of guaranteed coverage that would not be tied to our jobs.

That's not to say it has to be a government-provided program.  But whoever provides it, it seems like there ought to be some way to get everyone insured whether they can get a "good" job or not.

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