A few thoughts on health care reform in the US

Just need to vent a little here:

1. Bipartisanship is overrated. If you believe in something, pass it. It’s nice if Republicans and Democrats can all hold hands and smile, but that can’t always happen. Sometimes you have to choose your battles. If health care reform really matters to you, pass it.

2. No health care bill close to being passed has proposed anything like what the UK has in NHS. If we had something like NHS in the US, that’d be great, but that’s not what’s being proposed.

3. Highlighting health care horror stories in other countries makes no sense. Of course in countries with millions of people, you can find a handful of horror stories. In the US, there are tens of millions of horror stories. What is it—47 million Americans uninsured? And the rest of us who are insured are in danger of losing that insurance if we lose our jobs (especially if we have “pre-existing conditions”).

4. 1 trillion dollars over ten years sounds like a lot of money, but divided by year and by person, that’s $329 per year per person or about $0.90 a day per person. Meanwhile, we’ve spent about 900 billion dollars (almost a trillion) on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past eight years, and that cost doesn’t matter somehow (let alone the deaths of our soldiers and the civilians in those countries)? I’d rather go into debt to keep people healthy than to get people killed.

I’d love to see better health care in this country. Let’s see what happens.


  1. my counterargument: booga booga! fascism! communism! nazis are taking our freedoms! liberals and brown people are after our guns! booga booga!


  2. Something you never hear in the UK: “Wouldn’t it be great if we had a healthcare system like they have in the USA?”. The fact that senior UK politicians from all sides have spoken out in support of the NHS and distanced themselves from the odd dissident indicates that they know, while the UK public reserve the right to moan about the NHS, you threaten to remove it at your peril.

  3. Government backed health care could be good but remember we are going to have to pay for it with our taxes.

  4. Up here in Canada we generally don’t consider a nation civilized if they don’t provide all their residents with basic health care and if they still have the death penalty.

    It just seems odd to us that there are such countries that have taxpayer sponsored killings, but not taxpayer sponsored health care!

    The US may one day join the long list of civilized countries yet!

  5. I have not been following the debate in the USA closely, so I don’t know what arguments are being made for or against state sponsored health care.

    But living in Austria, I can say that I cannot imagine what life must be like in a country that offers only private medical insurance.

    State sponsored medical care, if done right, is so hassle free and useful. Granted, it’s not always economically profitable, but it sure is better than wasting billions on arms and war.

    I would rather have a deficit based on health and care, than destruction and killing.

  6. As an American who has lived in Great Britain for a couple of years, I have to point out that I DO NOT want to live in a country that has socialized medicine. Medicare and Medicaid have done a lot already to damage our health care system (their policy of paying a doctor only part of what he is owed has pushed up costs dramatically for non-Medic* patients); Barak Obama is in the final stages of attempting to finish the government takeover of health.

    Furthermore, America already has a multi-trillion-dollar deficit because of non-health-care issues; what would happen to my society if we add yet another trillion to that? We are facing massive inflation. Just as a reminder: deficits and inflation is what led to the German dictatorship that is knows for its destruction and killing more than anything else.

    Finally, it isn’t just horror stories: statistically, the United States provides faster care, and has greater survival rates for cancer and other diseases, than either UK or Canada; and both Canada and the UK have policies that prevent people from seeking the best care as well. (One example: a woman with breast cancer wanted to use a certain drug, but the NHS decided that they wouldn’t cover it; they *also* decided that she couldn’t pay for that one drug unless she paid for her entire treatment! Thus, her cancer progressed, and she’s going to die now. No United States insurance company will *ever* deny you your coverage because you chose to personally pay for something they don’t cover.)

    Live free or die! For death is NOT the greatest of evils!

  7. It is interesting to look at this article (and the associated comments) in retrospect now that Obamacare has passed. WE now find out from the Congressional Budget Office, no less, that the cost estimates touted by Obama in his push for this legislation underestimated the true cost, and new surprises are revealed almost weekly. Perhaps Nancy Pelosi is wrong – it really is better to read a bill before you pass it!

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