The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

© Mrs Aginoth. The right of Mrs Aginoth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A civilised society?

I have never understood why the USA has such a general apoplexy whenever "socialized" medicine is mentioned. It seems that even many "liberal" Americans have a blind spot about this most basic human requirement and refuse to look at possibilities, probablities and facts. It seems to me that any country that does not have universal healthcare, can barely be called civilised, but on the few times I have tried to debate it with Americans they have been even more blind to the arguments than when I debate with fundy creationalists!

We may think that the NHS has problems, and is expensive, but compared the the US system we are a picture of perfection! I've highlighted some specific examples of fellow bloggers brush with injury & illness before, but when even the msm points out:

"most personal bankruptcies in the US are the result of illness.

The story of American healthcare is one of huge expenditure for little obvious benefit.

By head of population America spends twice the amount Britain does on health.

But life expectancy here is lower and infant mortality is higher, way higher in some ethnic groups. "

Those four statements seem pretty damning in themselves, but I still regularly hear Americans arguing that social medical care would bankrupt their country/cause immigrants to "use up" all the resources/encourage unecessary procedures (because the USA is well known for it's conservatism & reticence in using medical procedures for personal reaons!)/undermine their cultural values etc....

I am confused.

Ca anyone actually come up with a good reason for keeping the US system?

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  • At Monday, January 29, 2007 3:04:00 pm, Blogger Ross said…

    Your blog came up on a Google Alert I have setup for "Universal Healthcare". As a Kiwi living in the US, the whole healthcare thing is painful to observe. I guess like the NHS, our health system in New Zealand is far from perfect but I'd still have it any day over what we have here. Many articles fail to mention the secondary effects of the current system in the US.

    I've heard of people unhappily stuck in jobs that they don't like because it offers good healthcare compared to what they would get at a new job.

    Comparable health insurance is much more expensive for an individual self employed person than what larger employers pay so I wonder how many small businesses never get started because of the cost of healthcare or the risk of going without.

    Something I see fairly frequently in my local newspaper that I never saw back home is charity events etc to raise money for an unfortunate family who is facing financial ruin because someone needs surgery and doesn't have insurance.

    The whole psychological cost of many people (including a lot who have mediocre insurance) being one major medical problem away from financial ruin has got to have a negative affect on society.

    The crazy thing is that from what I've read, the US actually spends more public money on healthcare than many countries that have universal heathcare. That's because there is still universal healthcare here in the sense that there are laws saying that a hospital cannot turn someone away if they can't pay. The result is that many people end up going to an emergency room for something that should have been dealt with earlier by a visit to a doctor's office long before it got serious. Of course, E.R. care is mind bogglingly expensive.

    Some of American's distaste for government run "socialized" systems has merit so its a complex subject without an easy answer.


  • At Friday, February 02, 2007 7:11:00 am, Blogger dancingmorganmouse said…

    You are so right. Here in Australia we have a system quite similar to the NHS, Medicare, but the Government is slowly trying to turn our health system into the American style. Pretty much forcing us all to buy private health insurance. And it may well lay down on US pressure to end our subsidised drugs listings. All in the name of "free trade".
    Just how letting people wait for years to get a (non-emergency) operation or health care (because they can't afford to go private) can be considered civilised is beyond me. A society should care for its people, all of them.


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