General Category > The Argument Chamber

"Free" healthcare around the world


I saw a post Pixie made on Facebook about this, I didn't want to respond to that and dilute that message that "insurance is good, free is bad" but there are different types of free out there.

If I want to go to a doctor, it used to be free for 6 and under, now 13 and under its free.  Great so if a young one is sick, there is no barrier to getting them seen.  Politics took it from 6 to 13 .. and not higher.  Some groups have free/cheaper visits, but for me it can be $50 to go see a doctor.  It sucks when you go along and they just say, well its not more serious, just viral.

Dental care is free up to 18, after that it really varies.  If you teeth are fucked, then you are looking at a major bill, could be easy to go into the thousands of $.  For us, when public health got rolled out, the dentists at the time said, cool but don't put us in.    Fuck that decision I say.  Most people who don't have dental issues don't understand as they have never had the financial or physical pain, let alone the shit that it does to your emotions when you worry about smiling.    Politicians sometimes talk about change but no progress in decades.

Public hospitals, A&E is free. If you need to get referred, a doctor will need to contact the hospital depending how bad it is, it might be declined or seen depeding on various criteria.
We do have a private health system in parallel, so people can use insurance/pay to bypass the delays or getting declined if you think there is something wrong.

As someone who has had a few health problems, I'm glad I live where I live, but I do have some other problems where I wish we were even more progressive.

Those in the US opposed to universal healthcare really don't get how inefficient or poorly performing their system is. You only get the best outcomes in the US if you have the money and for the vast majority of the population, that isn't the case. They pay over the odds for healthcare when they need it, which can be financially crippling.

There's also a decidedly mean spirited and uncharitable attitude (often expressed by "Christians" on the political right) that they don't want to pay for somebody else being unwell. As if getting unwell was an entirely self inflicted cost that could otherwise be avoided. Again, the majority don't grasp that universal healthcare funded through taxation would actually work out cheaper for them than insurance but, its the very rich on the political right that promote the negative messages. Because they WOULD have to pay more and even though they can afford that, they'd rather line their own pockets.

Indeed. Bernie Sander's Single Payor System would *save* 5 TRILLION per year. But somehow that's evil because Socialism.

I spent over 30 years ensuring active duty, retired and dependents in the military got excellent healthcare.
Since we didn't "charge" for our services it was essentially socialized medicine. We had budgets, we would always
attempt to get the best bang for our buck even though there was no real cash flow from the patients. This type of medicine
focuses on preventive healthcare, excellent access in most cases and we got high marks from the same accrediting agencies
(JCAHO for example) that civilian hospitals use. One important aspect of our system was you cannot sue for malpractice in
most cases. If a bad outcome happens or there is indications of poor standard of care, you are taken care of permanently
by the system. (our outcomes and "errors" were always lower than most civilian hospitals.)   

 My opinion is that this type of system could work in the US. It's not cheap to initiate this type of system, but it would be cheaper
in the long run.


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