Why doesn't the U.S. have free, taxpayer-funded healthcare and college?

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#1 Edited by qx0d (333 posts) -

If taxes go to different things, like welfare programs and the military, what's the reason U.S. politicians don't have taxes pay for Americans' healthcare and college?

No one should have to pay for healthcare. No one should have to pay for college (funny how high school is free, but not college).

Is there a reason why taxpayers aren't funding free healthcare and free college for Americans? If it's possible to do this, why do politicians not make it reality?

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#2 Posted by Treflis (13611 posts) -

Because in the US, access to healthcare and education is seen as more of a benefit rather then a human right.
Also it goes against the mindset that " Everybody is responsible for their own gains in life and if they can't then it sucks to be them"

To put it in short therms.

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#3 Posted by mattbbpl (16873 posts) -

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#4 Posted by plageus900 (2649 posts) -

I agree that we should provide a taxpayer funded college education, but what would that model look like? Would it only cover community colleges and state universities? Would it cover private universities as well?

I attend a private university and tuition + room/board costs 44k a year.

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#5 Posted by mattbbpl (16873 posts) -

@plageus900: Personally, I'd say keep for profit organizations out of it - that industry is a mess. Private nonprofits I'm ambivalent towards if they're accredited and regulated.

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#6 Posted by foxhound_fox (97820 posts) -

Because many Americans believe taxation is "theft" and they shouldn't pay to help other people in their community.

Also, it has to do with how those systems in the US are heavily privatized, massively inflating costs to the point where having taxpayers pay for it would be prohibitive.

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#7 Posted by rmiller365 (775 posts) -

Because America spends more on war and military than the next 12 nations combined. 610 BILLION dollars last I checked. You would think that healthcare, education, and fixing a crumbling infastructure would benefit the American people more than wars that wont ever change anything but that would make sense.

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#8 Posted by Sevenizz (3389 posts) -

I live in Canada and we have free healthcare, but it pretty much just covers doctor’s visits and major surgeries (you still have to pay for prescriptions and devices if you don’t have additional insurance). So basically you can find out what’s wrong with you, but are left to your own devices for treatment. Wait times are long (especially in emergency), and more specialized services (some cancers) may mean travelling abroad and paying out of pocket.

Not the best service, but not terrible either. But given the choice, I’d rather just get a decent job with insurance and get much better services. I don’t find it fair that I have to pay for other people’s healthcare who are either lazy, or a newcomer to the country who hasn’t paid their fair share in taxes. Both these individuals are a strain to the system and are a major factor why wait times are excruciating. The system gets mostly abused.

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#9 Posted by Horgen (119936 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:

Because many Americans believe taxation is "theft" and they shouldn't pay to help other people in their community.

Also, it has to do with how those systems in the US are heavily privatized, massively inflating costs to the point where having taxpayers pay for it would be prohibitive.

If someone profited from those taxes, I'm sure they could change their opinion. :P

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#10 Posted by CreasianDevaili (4418 posts) -

Healthcare set aside for now, what is the actual worth of free college? Wouldn't it just fall to the same issues we have from public education already, High School? What will be the ratio of good professors vs one's just wanting a paycheck? How do you keep the Ivy League free college from creeping up, since room/admittance shall have a limit no matter what one's dreams think otherwise. How are you going to MAKE companies view free college the same as the paid sector?

Also, since it's free, are we going to go and make a GED for free college for when someone screws up and can't finish traditionally? If no, then why? It's a right, right?

So in the end what the hell is the point of extending high school if it's just going to extend high school unless you shut down ALL the paid universities and ORDER employers to view college degrees the same as they would the color of one's skin. Talking discrimination.

I just don't get it. If it's free just to be free it's going to suck and no one will get anything from it from their time. If it does well then everyone will have to go to free college or it'll be the same as a high school drop out, social stigmas all around.

Lets put all this damn money into the high schools, and especially middle schools, first.

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#11 Edited by plageus900 (2649 posts) -

@mattbbpl said:

@plageus900: Personally, I'd say keep for profit organizations out of it - that industry is a mess. Private nonprofits I'm ambivalent towards if they're accredited and regulated.

Yeah for-profit's are another story. I mention private schools because there a few of them out here near the Oregon coast, and while they are private, they are non-profit, but very expensive.

I can definitely stand by taxpayer funded junior college and state universities. At Portland State University, tuition is $7,500 before room and board while Pacific University is $44k before room and board (I made a mistake above stating that it included room and board, when it doesn't). With 3,300 students on campus, that's roughly $194 million a year.

Luckily I have my own home and the GI Bill is covering the schooling.

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#12 Edited by mattbbpl (16873 posts) -

@plageus900 said:

Yeah for-profit's are another story. I mention private schools because there a few of them out here near the Oregon coast, and while they are private, they are non-profit, but very expensive.

I can definitely stand by taxpayer funded junior college and state universities. At Portland State University, tuition is $7,500 before room and board while Pacific University is $44k before room and board (I made a mistake above stating that it included room and board, when it doesn't). With 3,300 students on campus, that's roughly $194 million a year.

Luckily I have my own home and the GI Bill is covering the schooling.

44K before room and board? LOL, that's obscene.

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#13 Posted by plageus900 (2649 posts) -

@mattbbpl: I agree. It's about 59k afterwards.

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#14 Posted by Random_Matt (3834 posts) -

Hope you do not mean like the NHS, it creates a post code lottery, some areas you do well and others you wait like 14 weeks. Also, US education is a bit of a rip off, $44K?

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#15 Posted by Serraph105 (33518 posts) -

@qx0d: Basically it comes down to the priorities of the majority of voters. Healthcare and college isn't as important to them as the military, high school and war. It should be given what we know, but it's just not.

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#16 Edited by Jacanuk (18112 posts) -

First, should we first destroy the myth that Socialised medicine is world class and the only answer.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/10/nhs-england-misses-multiple-targets-for-cancer-treatment

And that is just one of the many many things that are wrong right now at the NHS, and the answer is not just to raise taxes and give more money. Facts are that socialised medicine costs the taxpayer a lot.

So the reason why America does not have it is fortunate because America has some of the best care in the world, and notice the lack of hospitals for countries who have socialised medicine.

https://www.forbes.com/2009/09/11/medical-emergency-abroad-evacuation-personal-finance-hospitals.html

https://www.topmastersinhealthcare.com/30-most-technologically-advanced-hospitals-in-the-world/

As someone clever once said, "trying to making everyone equal, just end up making everything average".

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#17 Edited by mattbbpl (16873 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

First, should we first destroy the myth that Socialised medicine is world class and the only answer.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/10/nhs-england-misses-multiple-targets-for-cancer-treatment

And that is just one of the many many things that are wrong right now at the NHS, and the answer is not just to raise taxes and give more money. Facts are that socialised medicine costs the taxpayer a lot.

So the reason why America does not have it is fortunate because America has some of the best care in the world, and notice the lack of hospitals for countries who have socialised medicine.

https://www.forbes.com/2009/09/11/medical-emergency-abroad-evacuation-personal-finance-hospitals.html

As someone clever once said, "trying to making everyone equal, just end up making everything average".

Healthcare is significantly more expensive in the US, and it's cost burden grows every year..

By what metrics is it the best? By most WHO metrics I've seen, the United States lags it's peers.

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#18 Edited by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

I don’t find it fair that I have to pay for other people’s healthcare who are either lazy

Because statements like this are made in public without any sense of shame even in an apparently civilised country like Canada.

I'm just off down the GP to fake illnesses and 'abuse' the system because I hate society... or something.

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#19 Posted by Jacanuk (18112 posts) -
@mattbbpl said:
@Jacanuk said:

First, should we first destroy the myth that Socialised medicine is world class and the only answer.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/10/nhs-england-misses-multiple-targets-for-cancer-treatment

And that is just one of the many many things that are wrong right now at the NHS, and the answer is not just to raise taxes and give more money. Facts are that socialised medicine costs the taxpayer a lot.

So the reason why America does not have it is fortunate because America has some of the best care in the world, and notice the lack of hospitals for countries who have socialised medicine.

https://www.forbes.com/2009/09/11/medical-emergency-abroad-evacuation-personal-finance-hospitals.html

As someone clever once said, "trying to making everyone equal, just end up making everything average".

Healthcare is significantly more expensive in the US, and it's cost burden grows every year..

By what metrics is it the best? By most WHO metrics I've seen, the United States lags it's peers.

Well, of course, healthcare is more expensive when you have the state buy from private companies.

But that is a problem you people who are fans of universal healthcare does not seem to answer, sure according to WHO who measure healthcare for everyone in America and here, of course, the cheaper clinics with less funding is not as good as the worlds best hospital in California where they have richer clients.

So answer this Matt, do you want to wait in line for months like those people at NHS or do you want a hospital where you can go and get treatment in decent time.

Also, no one seems to answer the problems with patients who have doctors who can´t prescribe the best medicine because it´s too expensive but have to go with the cheapest option or like with the baby in the UK where the parents were denied treatment and was told there was nothing they could do and was denied an option to fly to America for an experimental treatment but a chance nonetheless.

It´s all good to advocate for universal healthcare, but as said, making everyone equal just makes everything average.

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#20 Posted by mrbojangles25 (43533 posts) -

Healthcare is one thing, but education is quite another.

I think if there was universal post-k-12 education (aka college), there would be no admissions process to weed out people that don't deserve to go to the nation's best universities because, as taxpayers, these people are entitled to it. So while previously UC Berkeley might be turning away people with incredible SAT scores and GPA's simply because there are so many more qualified candidates, now they will simply make it a lottery system where any idiot has 1-in-____ chance of getting in.

If the government wants to fund scholarships for people deserving of it, that's one thing; but to takeover education entirely I am not so much in favor of.

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#21 Posted by Nuck81 (7275 posts) -

@Jacanuk: I'd rather wait for a month then not get treatment at all because I can't afford it.

A lot of Americans are being forced into lesser treatments or generic medicines because they can't afford it.

Americans are already denied treatment after their insurance drops them because their chemotherapy is too expensive.

Young diabetics are dying everyday because their are trying to ration their insulin that costs $400 a vial. To control their disease they need 3-6 vials a month. They try to make it in one.

American healthcare is shit

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#22 Posted by Nuck81 (7275 posts) -

@mrbojangles25: why does everyone assume that free secondary education means that everyone is going to Harvard?

Most proposals are talking about free tuition within the states colleges.

That means for the vast majority of folks that use it, they will be going to community college or vocational school.

It is opening up more grants for traditional 4 year colleges, but this is intended for people who want two year associate degrees or a trade certificate.

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#23 Posted by mattbbpl (16873 posts) -

@Jacanuk: Nuck responded to you well before I did.

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#24 Posted by mrbojangles25 (43533 posts) -

@Nuck81 said:

@mrbojangles25: why does everyone assume that free secondary education means that everyone is going to Harvard?

Most proposals are talking about free tuition within the states colleges.

That means for the vast majority of folks that use it, they will be going to community college or vocational school.

It is opening up more grants for traditional 4 year colleges, but this is intended for people who want two year associate degrees or a trade certificate.

fair enough, but the culture in the US concerning education is that it has to be the best school, has to be a four year, and so on. Community college, if a four-year is available to you, is not really something you do.

Now, if the government (state or federal) wants to change that--maybe you have to go to a community college first to prove you're serious, then apply to a university...or something--then I am totally fine with that.

But right now I just imagine that too many people will look a gift horse in the mouth and feel like their idiot child deserves to go to a school for smart people because they can afford to. Lawsuits, lottery system, etc. and suddenly it's considered a "failed program" and now no one gets their education paid for.

I'm not against it, mind you, I just don't think we are capable of doing it correctly.

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#25 Posted by Jag85 (13248 posts) -

@Jacanuk: The UK is ranked higher than the US in healthcare. For all its faults, the NHS is still better than US healthcare.

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#26 Posted by judaspete (2887 posts) -

@rmiller365 said:

Because America spends more on war and military than the next 12 nations combined. 610 BILLION dollars last I checked. You would think that healthcare, education, and fixing a crumbling infastructure would benefit the American people more than wars that wont ever change anything but that would make sense.

It got jacked up to $716 billion last year, an increase big enough to cover both tuition free college and universal preschool. And that doesn't even include the additional $69 billion foreign operations budget we spent on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria...

Money doesn't count when your buying bombs.

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#27 Posted by comp_atkins (35509 posts) -
@foxhound_fox said:

Because many Americans idiots believe taxation is "theft" and they shouldn't pay to help other people in their community.

Also, it has to do with how those systems in the US are heavily privatized, massively inflating costs to the point where having taxpayers pay for it would be prohibitive.

fixed

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#28 Posted by VFighter (4595 posts) -

@qx0d: School isn't "free", where did you come up with that?

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#29 Posted by Jacanuk (18112 posts) -
@Jag85 said:

@Jacanuk: The UK is ranked higher than the US in healthcare. For all its faults, the NHS is still better than US healthcare.

Only if you look at the general data concerning the overall population.

If you look at America and look at the people who have decent healthcare insurance or have money to pay, the treatment is far superior to anything the NHS has to offer.

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#30 Edited by Solaryellow (4738 posts) -
@mattbbpl said:

Cute picture but do you honestly think the first three are examples of good, government involvement here in the states?

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#31 Edited by mattbbpl (16873 posts) -

@Solaryellow: I do. Do you not?

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#32 Posted by Jacanuk (18112 posts) -
@Nuck81 said:

@Jacanuk: I'd rather wait for a month then not get treatment at all because I can't afford it.

A lot of Americans are being forced into lesser treatments or generic medicines because they can't afford it.

Americans are already denied treatment after their insurance drops them because their chemotherapy is too expensive.

Young diabetics are dying everyday because their are trying to ration their insulin that costs $400 a vial. To control their disease they need 3-6 vials a month. They try to make it in one.

American healthcare is shit

Sure, you would rather wait for a month and then receive average healthcare than none at all, but that does not change the facts as I pointed out, the top 10 hospitals in the world are mostly in the US, because they have more money to spend and also the doctors have more incentive to keep patients alive than they do in the UK.

Again look at the case with the baby where the parents had to go all the way to the EHRC because they were told their baby had no options left because the NHS did not want to try anymore.

But with that said I don´t think an option for the really poor people where they can get healthcare but that is a far, way from universal healthcare for everyone.

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#33 Posted by mattbbpl (16873 posts) -

@Jacanuk: "Only if you look at the general data concerning the overall population."

Um.... Right.

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#34 Edited by Horgen (119936 posts) -

@Solaryellow said:
@mattbbpl said:

Cute picture but do you honestly think the first three are examples of good, government involvement here in the states?

Any program will fail if you cut funding for it.

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#35 Edited by Solaryellow (4738 posts) -

@mattbbpl said:

@Solaryellow: I do. Do you not?

Considering the state of our infrastructure, educational system, etc.., I'd say no. Where it started and where it is now are much different.

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#36 Posted by mattbbpl (16873 posts) -

@Solaryellow: Talk to your knuckle dragging GOP representatives who continually underfund everything. Their anti-government ideology has been self destructive for decades, and to point to its effects now as evidence that government is bad is laughably disingenuous.

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#37 Edited by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

An asthmer inhaler costs $50 - $100+ in the US.

It was $15, less than a decade ago before it was re-patented.

Free on the NHS.

$2 from Cuba.

Just picked up a Combivent inhaler and paid $122.

Good thing I have insurance...

2009

http://www.conservativeunderground.com/forum505/archive/index.php/t-17779.html

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/10/heres-why-your-asthma-inhaler-costs-so-damn-much/

The USA. You look barbaric to everyone else and the only country to still carry a death sentence and carry it out more vigorously that any other country, dictatorship tyrannies included.

Sort it out the USA.

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#38 Posted by comp_atkins (35509 posts) -

@mattbbpl said:

@Solaryellow: Talk to your knuckle dragging GOP representatives who continually underfund everything. Their anti-government ideology has been self destructive for decades, and to point to its effects now as evidence that government is bad is laughably disingenuous.

that's the point.

don't like something? follow these simple rules

1) defund it

2) wait for it to deteriorate

3) point to its deterioration as evidence as it being ill-conceived in the first place.

what's shocking is that people keep falling for it.

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#39 Posted by tenaka2 (17144 posts) -

No idea, the UK does and its great. Americans are weird about health care. You come across as a bunch of heartless monsters.

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#40 Posted by Jag85 (13248 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:
@Jag85 said:

@Jacanuk: The UK is ranked higher than the US in healthcare. For all its faults, the NHS is still better than US healthcare.

Only if you look at the general data concerning the overall population.

If you look at America and look at the people who have decent healthcare insurance or have money to pay, the treatment is far superior to anything the NHS has to offer.

The US healthcare system is only more advantageous for a minority of the population. The UK's NHS system is more advantageous for the majority of the population.

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#41 Posted by Jacanuk (18112 posts) -
@Jag85 said:
@Jacanuk said:
@Jag85 said:

@Jacanuk: The UK is ranked higher than the US in healthcare. For all its faults, the NHS is still better than US healthcare.

Only if you look at the general data concerning the overall population.

If you look at America and look at the people who have decent healthcare insurance or have money to pay, the treatment is far superior to anything the NHS has to offer.

The US healthcare system is only more advantageous for a minority of the population. The UK's NHS system is more advantageous for the majority of the population.

You mean the NHS is average for a majority of the population providing average care which often means doctors don´t have the best options available to them because of cost.

In the US you can get the best care money can buy and if you have the cash why not get it.

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#42 Edited by Jag85 (13248 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

You mean the NHS is average for a majority of the population providing average care which often means doctors don´t have the best options available to them because of cost.

In the US you can get the best care money can buy and if you have the cash why not get it.

Most people don't have the cash to afford the best healthcare. So the point still stands that US-style healthcare is only more beneficial for a minority of the population, whereas UK-style NHS healthcare is more beneficial for the majority of the population.

Nevertheless, the UK does also have optional private healthcare alongside the NHS. So both public and private healthcare systems can co-exist.

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#43 Edited by mattbbpl (16873 posts) -

ITT: Jac's having a modern, "Let them eat cake," moment.

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#44 Posted by tenaka2 (17144 posts) -

Lol MERICA

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#45 Edited by npiet1 (1911 posts) -

I don't know if I'm bias but It really seems like Australia has it best. Educations free to a point. University/Tafe has their own loan scheme where it gets taken out of our paycheck if we earn over $1200 for a week. Its around $30 for that amount. Medical's free too. No ridiculous waiting times (depending on the area and what your in for.).

@foxhound_fox said:

Because many Americans believe taxation is "theft" and they shouldn't pay to help other people in their community. I've never got this. How selfish can people be.

Also, it has to do with how those systems in the US are heavily privatized, massively inflating costs to the point where having taxpayers pay for it would be prohibitive.

@CreasianDevaili said:

Healthcare set aside for now, what is the actual worth of free college? Wouldn't it just fall to the same issues we have from public education already, High School? What will be the ratio of good professors vs one's just wanting a paycheck? How do you keep the Ivy League free college from creeping up, since room/admittance shall have a limit no matter what one's dreams think otherwise. How are you going to MAKE companies view free college the same as the paid sector? You have no idea how university's work do you? Most of the teachers for bachelors are ex students their for a paycheck while studying their PHD. The Professors are there for a grant check to do research.

Also, since it's free, are we going to go and make a GED for free college for when someone screws up and can't finish traditionally? If no, then why? It's a right, right? No I don't know what that really has to do with if UNI was free.

So in the end what the hell is the point of extending high school if it's just going to extend high school unless you shut down ALL the paid universities and ORDER employers to view college degrees the same as they would the color of one's skin. Talking discrimination.

I just don't get it. If it's free just to be free it's going to suck and no one will get anything from it from their time. If it does well then everyone will have to go to free college or it'll be the same as a high school drop out, social stigmas all around. The loan system here makes it feel free. If you've gone to uni here. It gets taken from your tax. plus we don't pay a ridiculous amount.

Lets put all this damn money into the high schools, and especially middle schools, first. They both need money.

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#46 Edited by Jackamomo (2157 posts) -

My mum was a staff nurse and when BUPA (private healthcare) needed to do something like difficult or complicated surgery they would need to use the NHS facilities and surgeons.

Which annoyed her.

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#47 Posted by Jacanuk (18112 posts) -
@Jag85 said:
@Jacanuk said:

You mean the NHS is average for a majority of the population providing average care which often means doctors don´t have the best options available to them because of cost.

In the US you can get the best care money can buy and if you have the cash why not get it.

Most people don't have the cash to afford the best healthcare. So the point still stands that US-style healthcare is only more beneficial for a minority of the population, whereas UK-style NHS healthcare is more beneficial for the majority of the population.

Nevertheless, the UK does also have optional private healthcare alongside the NHS. So both public and private healthcare systems can co-exist.

I get that most don´t have the cash or job-secured healthcare plan, but that is why a partial government plan for them should be worked on. Or do you really think that a doctor who earns 100 times as much as a Walmart employee should have the same access?

And again you are missing the point here, NHS provides average care meaning that everyone is hurt by the lack of money the NHS is faced with, "https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/03/andrew-lansley-bowel-cancer-nhs-money-screening"

So clearly universal healthcare is not the way forward, the best way is to provide those who really can´t pay adequate healthcare and let those who can pay, pay for it.

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#48 Posted by warmblur (1935 posts) -

Greed

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#49 Posted by waahahah (2289 posts) -
@comp_atkins said:
@mattbbpl said:

@Solaryellow: Talk to your knuckle dragging GOP representatives who continually underfund everything. Their anti-government ideology has been self destructive for decades, and to point to its effects now as evidence that government is bad is laughably disingenuous.

that's the point.

don't like something? follow these simple rules

1) defund it

2) wait for it to deteriorate

3) point to its deterioration as evidence as it being ill-conceived in the first place.

what's shocking is that people keep falling for it.

The alternative is to completely destroy the country with free medical care for all. Thanks to murica's near half the population being obese and mostly suffering health issues because of poor lifestyle choices... nothing that free care will ever take care of. I believe the estimates basically make it impossible but fun to bring up as a talking point every election.

Not to mention if we go to a universal health care system it might be worse for other countries. We don't exist in a bubble. I once remember this Swedish intellectual begging america to stay private because their system doesn't cultivate enough innovation or resources. And we'd have to shrink our military budget which would push much of that burden back on other countries if our influence was diminished, which would force them to route some of that money from welfare back into security.

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#50 Posted by qx0d (333 posts) -

@Treflis said:
it goes against the mindset that " Everybody is responsible for their own gains in life and if they can't then it sucks to be them"

And yet we have welfare programs.