Should the U.S. have Universal Healthcare?

Should the U.S. have Universal Healthcare?

  • Yes

    Votes: 62 84.9%
  • No

    Votes: 11 15.1%

  • Total voters
    73

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 16, 2014
1,365
534
Houston, Texas
Should the U.S. have Universal Healthcare? Why should families go broke trying to purchase healthcare while others profit from astronomical premiums and $10,000 dollar emergency room visits?

Interested to hear from those around the world. What does your country do about healthcare? Do you like it? Hate it?
 

zin

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2010
488
6,471
United Kingdom
My country has a completely government-run system that gives you access to health care from cradle to grave. You are automatically enrolled in the programme at birth and you leave the programme when you die, there is no need to sign papers in order to be eligible. Treatment is given based on clinical need rather than ability to pay.

You do not pay for NHS treatment out of pocket, it is funded through general taxation. There is a nominal charge for prescription medicines from a pharmacy to prevent fraudulent use but you are not charged for medication at a hospital. You have free choice to choose any doctor you like, you can switch at any time, and you have the right to refuse any treatment offered to you.

Waiting times are generally longer than in the U.S., but normally if you take 13% of the population out of the line and give the remaining people the ability to buy their way to the front, this is to be expected.

Luckily I have never had to make use of a hospital after birth and only a few times for my family doctor. I like it and wouldn't change it, despite our current government's insistence on contracting out multiple NHS services to private companies.
 

zioxide

macrumors 603
Dec 11, 2006
5,725
3,711
We actually need a poll to see if the US should have first-world healthcare or not? It's a sad state of affairs that this is actually a debate in a country that not too long ago was the "greatest country in the world". How far we have fallen. :eek:
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
Should the U.S. have Universal Healthcare? Why should families go broke trying to purchase healthcare while others profit from astronomical premiums and $10,000 dollar emergency room visits?

Interested to hear from those around the world. What does your country do about healthcare? Do you like it? Hate it?


Where you been, bro? This is America 2014, we can't have nice things.
 

Cromulent

macrumors 603
Oct 2, 2006
6,032
35
The Land of Hope and Glory
My country has a completely government-run system that gives you access to health care from cradle to grave. You are automatically enrolled in the programme at birth and you leave the programme when you die, there is no need to sign papers in order to be eligible. Treatment is given based on clinical need rather than ability to pay.

You do not pay for NHS treatment out of pocket, it is funded through general taxation. There is a nominal charge for prescription medicines from a pharmacy to prevent fraudulent use but you are not charged for medication at a hospital. You have free choice to choose any doctor you like, you can switch at any time, and you have the right to refuse any treatment offered to you.

Waiting times are generally longer than in the U.S., but normally if you take 13% of the population out of the line and give the remaining people the ability to buy their way to the front, this is to be expected.

Luckily I have never had to make use of a hospital after birth and only a few times for my family doctor. I like it and wouldn't change it, despite our current government's insistence on contracting out multiple NHS services to private companies.
Furthermore if you want a nice fancy room all to yourself and more time with doctors you can still pay extra to get it if you want. Private healthcare does exist in the UK.

It should also be noted that the NHS is significantly cheaper for the UK government to run per head of population than the system in the USA which costs the US government more (and therefore requires higher taxation for the population) per head of population.

This is what surprises me about the debate in the US. It would actually save them money, not cost more to implement universal healthcare.
 

Happybunny

macrumors 68000
Sep 9, 2010
1,752
1,351
Yes I find the access to UHC one of the most important aspects of a FIRST world country, and not how many times you can destroy the planet.

Nobody should ever have to fear going bankrupt because they have the misfortune of being sick.

Health care is €97 per month for basic coverage, you can pay a bit more €107 and then you are also covered for eye glasses, dentist,hearing aids etc.
 

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,747
4,885
I question the lucidity of any person that is against universal healthcare in the USA.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
9,062
Toronto, Ontario
As someone who has lived under both systems, I can say that yes, universal healthcare is better than the alternative. The problem that I see in the US is there is a common mistrust in government's handling of resources (and rightfully so). When I pay taxes in the US I just assume someone is going to waste it on war or pork barrel spending because it is so common. When I pay taxes in Canada I expect it to go to the appropriate location and if it doesn't I expect the politician who spent it to be raked over the coals.
 

SactoGuy18

macrumors 68030
Sep 11, 2006
2,737
242
Sacramento, CA USA
If you're talking something like NHS in the UK, probably not. But if you're talking something more like the system implemented in Germany or France, that could happen within the next 20 years.

Here's the issue: NHS is completely dependent on government funding, and given how funding for government agencies can vary a lot depending on each governmental fiscal year, not having steady funding for what is close to a health care monopoly is going to be a big problem, in my humble opinion.
 

samiwas

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
1,575
3,518
Atlanta, GA
Here's an example of why I think this country needs something. This is a friend of my wife.

The dad took their 2-year-old daughter out to a playground to play, as any parent would do. At one point, the girl fell, and hit her head on a rock. She was out cold. When she woke up, she didn't recognize her parents and had lost most functionality. This was several weeks ago. The last report I heard last night was that she will have to be in therapy and they hope to have her home by January. That's five months from now of therapies and who knows what else.

Seeing that the hospital bill for my short stay in which nothing was done was over $14,000 their bill could easily be in the $1 million range, or more. Even if they have good insurance, they could owe tens of thousands.

So a fun day at the playground could turn into a lifetime of crippling debt based on nothing more than tripping on a stick. How ridiculously terrible is that for a country that claims to be #1?
 

citizenzen

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2010
1,433
11,628
As someone who has lived under both systems, I can say that yes, universal healthcare is better than the alternative. The problem that I see in the US is there is a common mistrust in government's handling of resources (and rightfully so). When I pay taxes in the US I just assume someone is going to waste it on war or pork barrel spending because it is so common. When I pay taxes in Canada I expect it to go to the appropriate location and if it doesn't I expect the politician who spent it to be raked over the coals.
Okay, but cynicism shouldn't stop solutions ... especially when the solution directly addresses one of your reasons for being a cynic.

The U.S. spends far more than other OECD countries on healthcare. UH would reduce that amount of spending, and avoid wasting money—both the government's and the peoples'.
 

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
2,105
2,163
IOKWARDI
Millions of pencil-pushing bean counters would be put out of work. Skyscrapers in major US cities would be hanging out "For Rent" signs. All those people with advanced degrees would have to be repurposed to creating new ways to screw the average American, or perhaps people in third world countries. The economy would suffer greatly.
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
2,329
10,254
Scotland
'Should the US have universal health care?"... Well, IMO d'uh.

The failure to provide universal health care causes health inequality between the rich and the poor, it burdens both individuals and companies with reams of paperwork regarding insurance, it increases the costs of employing people, it creates little incentive to engage in preventive medicine, it inflates health costs by granting de facto private-sector monopolies (the AMA) and by precluding collective bargaining on medical supplies and services, etc.

EDIT:

If you're talking something like NHS in the UK, probably not. But if you're talking something more like the system implemented in Germany or France, that could happen within the next 20 years.

Here's the issue: NHS is completely dependent on government funding, and given how funding for government agencies can vary a lot depending on each governmental fiscal year, not having steady funding for what is close to a health care monopoly is going to be a big problem, in my humble opinion.
In the UK people can go private if they wish, but basic health care is given by payment through taxes. The UK public does not tolerate cuts to the NHS very well, and any political party wishing to make cuts would be playing with fire. The funding tends to increase each year because of demographics.
 
Last edited:

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
On of the problems with universal health care in the US is, that it is used to cover up the underlying problem that health care cost seems to be artificialy inflated.

Another problem is, that universal healthcare will be used to justify other laws to restrict personal freedoms.
 

APlotdevice

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2011
3,109
3,749
As someone who has lived under both systems, I can say that yes, universal healthcare is better than the alternative. The problem that I see in the US is there is a common mistrust in government's handling of resources (and rightfully so). When I pay taxes in the US I just assume someone is going to waste it on war or pork barrel spending because it is so common. When I pay taxes in Canada I expect it to go to the appropriate location and if it doesn't I expect the politician who spent it to be raked over the coals.
The US government is pretty broken, I have to agree.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
Interested to hear from those around the world. What does your country do about healthcare? Do you like it? Hate it?
paying the doctor directly is very cheap in my country. (Compared to the United States)
People who pay cash get first class treatment.

The masses in force-financed "universal healthcare" get second class treatment and have to pay insane premiums.