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A BRIT EXPAT ON U.S. HEALTHCARE

Updated: Mar 5, 2019


From a conversation on Facebook regarding Sander's Medicare for all proposal:


N.L. "I have always been a proponent of healthcare for all. However, I always felt that if healthcare is provided by the government for all, those above a certain income level should be made to pay for private healthcare, and if their politics leads them to choose the government provided care they should be made to pay extra into the system. As a UK citizen I know the cost of a government universal healthcare system is enormous, and we are entrenched in our “rights” to our healthcare, but the US could devise a totally new system based upon the values and rights that many countries worldwide have."


V.L.H. "N.L., has analysis indicated that the amount that U.K. citizens now pay in taxes to cover U.K. universal healthcare is greater than what U.K. citizens paid in total for healthcare prior to universal healthcare, or, greater than what they would pay if now having to pay for healthcare as U.S. citizens pay for it? I presume you're aware that U.S. citizens pay MUCH more for healthcare per capita than most industrialized Western nations. As long as all citizens are paying an equal share in taxes for universal healthcare, I can't justify charging those with higher incomes additional when actually using universal healthcare. However, if those with higher incomes are paying more in tax relative to how much they tax U.S. institutions and infrastructure, and, relative to how much they take from the same, then the issue of them paying more to use universal healthcare become rather moot. Don't you think?"


N.L. "I am not sure on the exact figures for before our NHS was created. It came about in 1948. Before that I gather it was a case of the rich being treated as they wished, either at home or in private locations, and the poor relying on a volunteer system of treatment. Us Brits are very protective of our NHS. It is constantly underfunded and the government is always having to add funds to keep it from collapsing. This has of course lead to the growth of the private health system which is more efficient. I cannot see why this type of system could not work in the US. After all, because the government funds a universal healthcare system it also gets to control and cap the cost of medication which is so needed in the US. Also, because there is a universal healthcare system in place it makes no sense for the private healthcare system to charge sky high prices as they would price themselves out of business. This in turn keeps monthly premiums for healthcare insurance “reasonable."


V.L.H. "It may be a question of semantics, but, if the government; (the public's employees), is putting money into the U.K. healthcare system, it is the British citizens own money they're putting into it, and that would merely be in addition to what the public already put into it, which is a practical way to balance accounts without overfunding it initially. However, I don't follow the logic that because the public has to periodically top off the funding for their healthcare, with their own tax money, periodically with additional funds, that it necessarily "lead(s) to the growth of the private health system." As I've suggested, a private healthcare industry could always coexist with universal healthcare because there are always those who want a better quality of many things than others, and those who can afford that difference. But, I don't see that universal healthcare invariably begets a private healthcare industry. More significantly, it glaringly appears from the U.S. healthcare system, as an example, that private healthcare is definitely not necessarily 'more efficient.' A healthcare system predicated on whether how much profit the industry can make from keeping you healthy or alive, determines whether they will act to keep you healthy and alive, or not, doesn't meet my requirements for healthcare. I can not accept that when insurance companies routinely deny patients as much healthcare as possible, while pharmaceutical companies have paid physicians to create a nation of opioid addicts, and, to overprescribe antibiotics to the point of creating antibiotic-resistant diseases, and when superbugs like MRSA are rampant throughout the nation's hospitals that the private healthcare system is 'more efficient.' I believe that staking one's health and life on whether one can produce enough profit for the industry through their ill health, is risking one's life unnecessarily. IF, the public spends more of its money than necessary to keep itself healthy and alive, I believe that is the public's prerogative to do so, and, if it did not do so, its government employees would spend that money on a few select other people instead, most likely without as much public benefit. #UniversalBasicHealthcare and nothing less, but, let others seek all the healthcare over and above that which they desire to seek.

NATIONAL HEALTHCARE IS SELF CARE

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