Why not free universal healthcare if

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In summary, free universal healthcare would be better than the current US system because it would improve coverage and treatment for chronic and preventable diseases. The cost of health care would decrease under universal healthcare, and private insurance companies would be eliminated.
  • #1
Benzoate
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why not free universal healthcare if ...

... the United States military and NASA is funded directly through our taxes? I must admit I am not very knowledgeable of what will happen to the quality of our healthcare system if funding was supported through taxes. I know socialized medicine works in some parts of the world and is terrible in other parts of the world. Frankly , I do not think we as taxpayers should forced to pay for others peoples health care costs just because they are to lazy to go out and exercise and keep a healthy diet. But on the other hand , if we can afford to send rockets and satellites to space and to planets that costs up to billions of billions of dollars in taxes, not to mentioned contiunue to expand new NASA programs like their Robotics programs, then why can't we provide universal healthcare to every citizen? Do we really need to continue to expand our military? We already supposedly have the best military in the world and in history.
 
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  • #2
Since all of the top Healthcare providers are at least part socialised, and very few are purely private and are not as well rated. I can only assume that like everywhere else, the same thing would happen, your healthcare overall would improve.

US GDP Military=3.9%
US GDP Healthcare=14%
 
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  • #3
I think we should keep health care as it is but that our government (taxes) should take care of certain life threatening things like cancer, transplants, and the like. If we did things this way our health care premiums would go down, probably signicantly since typcal health care plans wouldn't have to provide for these few but enormously expensive situations. But that is as close to socialized medicine I would ever buy in to.
 
  • #4
Yes after all a mix of social and private systems elsewhere are only doing much better. Who'd want that?
 
  • #5
Schrodinger's Dog said:
Yes after all a mix of social and private systems elsewhere are only doing much better. Who'd want that?

Please provide some examples of what "better" looks like and explain how it would work in the US. I've been to military hospitals, I know what Uncle Sam is capable and not capable of providing.
 
  • #6
drankin said:
Please provide some examples of what "better" looks like and explain how it would work in the US. I've been to military hospitals, I know what Uncle Sam is capable and not capable of providing.

Well since you're not in the top 15 for Healthcare services, under the WHO statistics, primarily because of poor coverage, high infant mortality, and low overall mortality in comparison with Europe, then I'd say it's all very well but if people aren't getting the best healthcare in the world for whatever reason, then it means nothing.

The same way partial private and nationalised service works in every other country in the world, and of course even the most expensive systems in Europe are 6% less than your extraordinary 15.4% GDP.
 
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  • #7
Health care would improve (overall coverage, treatment of chronic and preventable diseases, etc) if it was universal, and the cost of health care would decrease. Private insurance companies are intent on maximizing their profits, and the very quickest, easiest way to do this it to delay payments to health-care providers or to deny payments outright. Generally, they do this through a series of red-tape arguments, in which they deny payment (or most of a payment) because they say that the doctor's bill for treatment does not meet their coding requirements. Coding is the most important function in a medical practice if the practice is to be financially stable. A coding specialist knows how to navigate the vagaries of the various insurance companies' coding requirements (sometimes varying by plan within insurance companies) in order to get the patients' treatments properly covered. Eliminate the private insurance companies, and most of the delay, denial, and financial friction in the US health-care system would be eliminated as well.

The insurance companies are parasites. Among the worst are Blue Cross - Blue Shield. When my wife was in a serious car accident, BC - BS denied every claim repeatedly, so that I had to resubmit claims over and over again, and they did not coordinate benefits, so that once her medical bills were well over the limit at which BS should have kicked in, I still had to submit each bill to BC, only to have it denied, and then have to re-submit it to BS, perhaps multiple times, before it was paid. At the time, I was in my 30's, working in a well-paying industrial job with what I thought was decent health insurance. If I had been unable to keep up with all the denials and obfuscations that the insurance company kept throwing at me, my wife and I would have been saddled with debt and bad credit for years. Repeat - health insurance companies are parasites. The most cost-effective way for them to make money is to deny or delay payment of legitimate claims, and that is how they operate.
 
  • #8
Schrodinger's Dog said:
Since all of the top Healthcare providers are at least part socialised, and very few are purely private and are not as well rated. I can only assume that like everywhere else, the same thing would happen, your healthcare overall would improve.

US GDP Military=3.9%
US GDP Healthcare=14%

I would like to see what sources you used to obtained to this information.
 
  • #9
Benzoate said:
I would like to see what sources you used to obtained to this information.

Well the Health service statistic of GDP was from the WHO and the other was from wikipedia, which was out by .16% according to the CIA factbook.

Ah seems to have gone up to 15.2

See this link, check out the figures for 2003.

http://www.who.int/entity/whr/2006/annex/06_annex2_en.pdf

4.06% military expenditure. From CIA factbook

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2034rank.html

I presume they are reliable enough.
 
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  • #10
Benzoate said:
why not free universal healthcare if the United States military and NASA is funded directly through our taxes?
Using that hunk of logic, shouldn't everything be free for everyone?
 
  • #11
jimmysnyder said:
Using that hunk of logic, shouldn't everything be free for everyone?

No just basically understood necessities, education, water, electricty, welfare programs, unless of course you consider accessible healthcare to be a luxury of course?
 
  • #12
Schrodinger's Dog said:
No just basically understood necessities, education, water, electricty, welfare programs, unless of course you consider accessible healthcare to be a luxury of course?
Not food, clothing and shelter?
 
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  • #13
jimmysnyder said:
Not food, clothing and shelter?

Er not sure why you are asking this, are you assuming that that was meant to be an exhaustive list of basic needs? It wasn't. They were just examples.
 
  • #14
Schrodinger's Dog said:
Er not sure why you are asking this, are you assuming that that was meant to be an exhaustive list of basic needs? It wasn't. They were just examples.
So all basic needs should be free. Basic needs includes food, clothing, shelter, education, water, electricity, welfare, accessible healthcare, and this is not an exhaustive list. Can you give me an example of something that should not be free?
 
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  • #15
jimmysnyder said:
So all basic needs should be free. Basic needs includes food, clothing, shelter, education, water, electricity, welfare, accessible healthcare, and this is not an exhaustive list. Can you give me an example of something that should not be free?

Alcohol. :smile:
 
  • #16
Schrodinger's Dog said:
Alcohol. :smile:
I repeat, with the logic of the OP, everything should be free to everyone.

Benzoate said:
why not free universal healthcare if the United States military and NASA is funded directly through our taxes?
 
  • #17
Heck, I'm still trying to get my arms around the idea that there are people who believe all basic needs should be provided by the government. I didn't know anyone actually believed such a thing.

Could I see a logical explanation for why the government should provide such things for free, followed then by a logical explanation for how a goverenment could provide such things? In particular:

-What political theory holds that it is the responsibility of government to provide for all the basic needs of all citizens?
-Based on the history of economics, is there an example of a system that was capable of functioning (stable-ly) without the primary motivator for human activity (need) applying? Ie, if peoples' needs are met without any effort, why would people work?

History is chock-full of counterexamples, such as the pervasive medicrity of life in the USSR prior to its demise, and the lack of an increase in poverty rate with the slashing of welfare rolls in the US a few years ago. And western political theory is based on the concept of individual freedom, which necessarily must similarly include individual responsibility.
 
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  • #18
jimmysnyder said:
I repeat, with the logic of the OP, everything should be free to everyone.

No your just taking an absurd approach. There are some things that are considered basic requirements, and some things that aren't and some things that are luxuries. Just saying everything should be free is frankly just avoiding the issue. No one is saying everything should be free, but some things are more practical and beneficial if they are given to all, the right to healthcare is a basic right, in almost all countries in the West; not because every country is socialist, but because most people aren't obsessed with profit. Healthcare is not something that should be provided on the basis of wealth, that is frankly in this day and age a little worrying.

Vanesch I never said all basic needs should be free either, so where that came from is also a mystery.

I presume you pay for your electricity, water, food and so on. And likewise you would pay for your healthcare in taxes. The point is if you can't you aren't abandoned.

And yes free universal healthcare is absurd, I don't know any country that operates such a system. But the OP's point aside, I don't think anyone is suggesting it be free.
 
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  • #19
Schrodinger's Dog said:
Well since you're not in the top 15 for Healthcare services, under the WHO statistics, primarily because of poor coverage, high infant mortality, and low overall mortality in comparison with Europe, then I'd say it's all very well but if people aren't getting the best healthcare in the world for whatever reason, then it means nothing.
I don't doubt that your assertions are true (with the exception of infant mortality), however, I would actually like to see the data. Do you have references for those claims?
 
  • #20
russ_watters said:
I don't doubt that your assertions are true (with the exception of infant mortality), however, I would actually like to see the data. Do you have references for those claims?

Of course it's all on the WHO website. If you want to take a look just go there.

Of course when you have 1 in 6 people without health cover, then to be frank you would expect mortality to go down, and infant mortality to rise anyway. And I am joshing you not, infant mortality is higher in the US than in most European countries.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004393.html

However here's a summary. Obviously lower is better for infant mortality.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Database.
 
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  • #21
Schrodinger's Dog said:
Vanesch I never said all basic needs should be free either, so where that came from is also a mystery.
Flip back to post #11 where you stated explicitly that all "basically understood necessities" should be free, in response to a direct question by jimmy about whether "everything" should be free.

So then dropping back: please tell us explicitly what should be provided by the government. Ie, Should all basic necessities be provided by the government?
 
  • #22
russ_watters said:
Flip back to post #11 where you stated explicitly that all "basically understood necessities" should be free, in response to a direct question by jimmy about whether "everything" should be free.

So then dropping back: please tell us explicitly what should be provided by the government. Ie, Should all basic necessities be provided by the government?

Misunderstanding I figured since we don't "pay" for our healthcare, I assumed that was what he was trying to compare. The fact is that's probably what the OP meant anyway, let's face it. Since AFAIK no healthcare provider raises funding out of thin air.

russ_watters said:
So then dropping back: please tell us explicitly what should be provided by the government. Ie, Should all basic necessities be provided by the government?

I really don't know where this is going, yes they should, but nowhere have I said for free, except in the sense I have taken the OP to mean. Electricity, education, heating, water, lighting should all be available. And IMO so should healthcare, private or national according to need.
 
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  • #23
Schrodinger's Dog said:
Of course it's all on the WHO website. If you want to take a look just go there.
No, I don't want to spend six hours mulling through data myself. I'd like to actually see the data presented in a coherent form so I can look and easily verify your claim.
Of course when you have 1 in 6 people without health cover, then to be frank you would expect mortality to go down, and infant mortality to rise anyway. And I am joshing you not, infant mortality is higher in the US than in most European countries.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004393.html

However here's a summary. Obviously lower is better for infant mortality.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Database.
I specifically mentioned infant mortality because when the numbers for developed countries are so low, differences in measurment methods and in amount of effort made to save low birth-weight babies far outweighs any actual difference in the quality of prenatal care.

Myths of US healthcare: http://drugwonks.com/2007/11/debunking_some_health_care_urban_myths.html
The Cuba vs US infant moratlity myth: http://www.skepticism.net/articles/2002/000022.html
From the second link, the primary reason the US's statistics on infant morality are so "bad" is that we try harder than anyone else in the world to save premature infants and give birth and death certificates to infants that other countries would list as stillborn:
The problem is that international statistics on infant mortality are helpful in revealing large differences, but when it comes to small differences such as that between Cuba and the United States, often other factors are really behind the numbers.

The primary reason Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than the United States is that the United States is a world leader in an odd category -- the percentage of infants who die on their birthday. In any given year in the United States anywhere from 30-40 percent of infants die before they are even a day old...

In many countries, however, (including many European countries) such severe medical intervention would not be attempted and, moreover, regardless of whether or not it was, this would be recorded as a fetal death rather than a live birth. That unfortunate infant would never show up in infant mortality statistics.
 
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  • #24
That's your own statistics. And I'm sorry but there are large differences between many European countries and yours, so I don't think the point is relevant.

If you ask me those web sites are just apologist web sites. You can spin it any way you want. But the WHO statistics are definitive and are broken down to take various factors into account, for example they now discount health concerns such as obesity and all others mentioned there, so again it's not really relevant to todays figures.
 
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  • #25
Fortunately, I am addicted to alcohol, so for me it is basic necessity. Normally I keep a bottle of medicinal alcohol with me in case of snake bites, and a snake. All at my own expense even though the United States military and NASA are funded directly through my taxes. Why aren't such basics free?
 
  • #26
Also, infant mortality can't really be used as an argument for universal heath care in the US, since assistance, including just plain free care, is available for everyone in the US.

http://www.4woman.gov/faq/prenatal.htm#i
 
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  • #27
Schrodinger's Dog said:
That's your own statistics.
Huh? I did not make any of the statistics myself.
And I'm sorry but there are large differences between many European countries and yours, so I don't think the point is relevant.
Define "large". The difference between the US and France (from your stats) is 2.2. The difference between the US and China is 15.7. Put another way, your odds of surviving being an infant are 99.78% in France, 99.36% in the US, and 97.79% in China.

When stats are of such a rare phenomena, small transients seem to have a much larger impact. The same can be seen with airplane crash stats, where from one year to the next your rate can go from 0 to 10 per million.
 
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  • #28
russ_watters said:
Huh? I did not make any of the statistics myself. Define "large". The difference between the US and France (from your stats) is 2.2. The difference between the US and China is 15.7. Put another way, your odds of surviving being an infant are 99.78% in France, 99.36% in the US, and 97.79% in China.

Well considering statistics have now been changed to take into account various concerns, I really don't think that the 2007 statistics are anything like the ones that report are talking about. Like I say, you can be an apologist all you like, but it's simply denying the problems you do have. Sounds like burying your head in the sand and refusing to admit your health system has any problems to me.

jimmysnyder said:
Fortunately, I am addicted to alcohol, so for me it is basic necessity. Normally I keep a bottle of medicinal alcohol with me in case of snake bites, and a snake. All at my own expense even though the United States military and NASA are funded directly through my taxes. Why aren't such basics free?

Well if you are addicted shouldn't you be going to see a Dr to get some psychiatric help?

That's a stupid question, one I don't feel the need to answer.

Anyway I've got to go to bed, I'm getting tired. If you have any questions I'll answer them tomorrow or should I say today for me.
 
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  • #29
Schrodinger's Dog said:
Misunderstanding I figured since we don't "pay" for our healthcare, I assumed that was what he was trying to compare. The fact is that's probably what the OP meant anyway, let's face it. Since AFAIK no healthcare provider raises funding out of thin air.
The word "free" is not the bone of contention, SD. Everyone understands that "free" really means provided by the government and paid for by our taxes.

The bone of contention is where you claimed every basic need should be provided by the government.
 
  • #30
Schrodinger's Dog said:
Well considering statistics have now been changed to take into account various concerns, I really don't think that the 2007 statistics are anything like the ones that report are talking about.
So then you acknowledge that the statistics, historically, have been flawed?

In any case, can you provde support for your claim that statistical methods were fixed between 2006 and 2007. Ie, is the data now collected by the WHO instead of being provided to it by individual countries?
Sounds like burying your head in the sand and refusing to admit your health system has any problems to me.
Please quote where I stated that the US healthcare system has no problems. I have never, ever, ever made such a claim.
 
  • #31
russ_watters said:
Please quote where I stated that the US healthcare system has no problems. I have never, ever, ever made such a claim.
I'll make it nice and explicit: The US healthcare system, like all healthcare systems, has flaws. The flaws in a universal system are different from the flaws of a system where people get their own insurance, but essentially:

The US healthcare system provides a wonderfully high level of care (perhaps the best in the world) that is unfortunately, not evenly available. In addition, corporate lobbyists have too much influence on legislation of our system, which has resulted in laws adverse to the consumer and costs that are inflated beyond the improvements in level of care/inflation.

It is my opinion that the US should not have universal healthcare because it would create more problems than it would solve. The US should reduce the influence of lobbyists, allowing it to enact laws to better manage competition and avoid monopoly price controls and price fixing, as well as enact laws mandating optional employee healthcare options for all full time workers.
 
  • #32
Schrodinger's Dog said:
That's a stupid question, one I don't feel the need to answer.
The stupid question being "why isn't alcohol free". But it is the question that reveals the answer to the OP's question "why isn't healthcare free". Would you reserve to yourself the privilege of defining basic needs, and not allow me the same? If everyone could define what is basic and the government had to fund it, then everything would be free for everybody. That is impossible. So we have elected legislators who decide what to fund and what not to fund. They don't jump to my tune any more than yours. If you want them to fund your idea of basic needs, then you will need to show your legislators, to their satisfaction, not yours, that it is in their best interest to indulge you. So far, you have not accomplished this. I'm working day and night on the alcohol thing. I did get them to make it legal, but they won't foot the bill. I put the blame on me.
 
  • #33
I have a proposal. Why not make a dual healthcare system , where healthcare is fully supported by the government and other portion of our healthcare system is supported by private insurance. This dual healthcare system would be analogous to our education system , which parents have the option of choosing to send their kid to a private or public school . the funding for healthcare doesn't have to be completely private or completely public.
 
  • #34
Benzoate said:
I would like to see what sources you used to obtained to this information.

Canada's health care costs 1/3 of what it cost (per capita) as in the US. This is less than what our government pays per capita for health care. Actually, our government pays way too much for health for what it gets...The US government could probably offer basic universal health care and actually cut spending.
 
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  • #35
Here's a http://bp0.blogger.com/_otfwl2zc6Qc/Rzmah0RKkiI/AAAAAAAACxM/_yTMErbhbmE/s1600-h/le1.bmp" (pg 18), "How Does the U.S. Health-Care System Compare to Systems in Other Countries?" by U. Iowa researchers that also discuss the WHO rank:
Pg 4:
WHO Rankings
• Ranking methodology subjected to significant
criticism in academic circles (Science, Health
Economics)
• But oft cited as ‘authoritative’ nonetheless ...
The study also confirms that the WHO ranking for the US is partly based on 'inequitable' access, i.e., not only on the excellence of the medical system. Two different things.
 
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