American Health Care Vs. The World`s Prices [Pic]

Submitted by: fancylad 4 years ago in

We"re getting screwed!
There are 148 comments:
Male 159
You live in such underdeveloped countries that you have to pay for people to help you when you are sick? Pay for others when you are able trough taxes, and they do the same to you when you need it the most.
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Male 275
@QueenZira
I hope you are right.
We`ll see.
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Female 2,228
Essersmith,

"A country that has been fighting socialistic concepts since before most of us were born."

Not true, in the 19th century prominent American economists were writing scathing critiques of the way European pirate capitalism shamelessly exploited the "Hindoos" and gave nothing of value back to society. We have been a Social Democracy for most of our history, current malaise notwithstanding. And it may interest you to know that in our latest health care merry go round over 70% supported the Public Option, which would essentially have given us what the rest of the western industrialized world has.

We are the original comeback kid, don`t count us out yet.
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Male 275
@Kalimata
You misunderstood me. Im all for universal healthcare. Living in scandinavia I enjoy all the benefits of a remarkably good political system.

All im saying is: I agree, but good luck applying it to a country that have been fighting socialistic concepts since before most of us were born. They are not ready for it and they wont be for a long time.

Arguing back and forth is a moot situation since "we" are not going to give up the working universal healthcare that we know and have. And "they" are not going to admit that it might actually be a better solution...
And why would they? Its the land of the free and home of the brave with liberty and justice for all...
You know.. for some..
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Male 5,811
[quote]Mabey we should look at why they and pharm companies charge so much.[/quote]
There`s an interesting idea. Our government negotiates rates with these companies and the rates we have are much lower than yours. Definitely something worth looking at. However I foresee cries of "class warfare" if that were the case.
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Male 661
@Essersmith
Dude, I`m Canadian, already have.

I guess perhaps I`ve lived with it for so long that the idea of not having universal healthcare is abhorrent.

I have no problem with my tax dollars going to help someone else receive cancer drugs. I know that their dollar is going to pay for my visit to a GP when I have strep throat. And if they don`t pay taxes due to low income, whatever, don`t bother me none.

Overall it benefits society. If it didn`t, well then most of the developed world would have abandoned universal healthcare, which they haven`t so...
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Male 9,766
JohnKelley

"Great, next let us compare quality and length of wait before service."

OF COURSE there isn`t as long a wait. Half the people can`t afford to get in line. Jesus Christ.

What is going to have longer waits, the store selling $8,000 iPads or the store selling free iPads?
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Male 663
>>>Great, next let us compare quality and length of wait before service.<<<

And perhaps one day we will use a metric that really matters like survival or complication rates.
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Male 59
Great, next let us compare quality and length of wait before service.
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Male 14,331
So now how is shoving health insurance down our throats going to fix hospitals charging way too much? Isn`t it the health insurance companies that help get prices like this? Mabey we should look at why they and pharm companies charge so much.
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Male 2,357
[quote]That still seems pricey.[/quote]
Admittedly, I probably could have gotten a couple hundred dollars off by driving to the cities; it wasn`t worth my time. Also, this was "out of pocket" with pretax dollars because of the HSA + HDHP.

Basically, this is how my insurance works... I fund an HSA with pretax dollars (up to ~$3000/year) and can use that for any health expenses. Now, the HDHP is the actual insurance. Each year, I am liable for up to $2000 out of pocket expenses (preventative care is free). Whether an MRI, prescription, X-ray, etc. I have to pay 100%. Then, after $2000, it becomes HMO style (I pay 20%) until I`ve paid $2400. Anything else for the year is covered completely by the HDHP.

The nice thing is that it is pretax and I can choose any provider (since I`m paying). If something goes terribly wrong, I`m still covered. My insurance costs about $35/month.
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Female 2,674
"To those Americans who say their treatment wait times are shorter - of course they are, because .. NOT EVERONE GETS TO WAIT IN LINE IN YOUR COUNTRY!"

Exactly! My mom had an issue, couldn`t even see the doctor about it for 6 months because she didn`t have insurance and couldn`t afford it. Once she got insurance, it took another 6 months for them to figure out the issue and then book her for the procedure (which did have a wait time of about 2 months for her, and they pushed her ahead of people due to the seriousness of her condition). Then turns out her issue is different than they thought so the surgery didn`t fix her anyway, and she`s out $1500 for an unnecessary surgery which would have been impossible to pay for without the insurance and she still has the condition but doesn`t get any kind of compensation.
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Male 9,766
Kalimata

"Why is this even argued over?"

Because even though every person in here, or pretty much period, who lives in Canada and Europe and has universal healthcare loves it, the ignorant Americans who don`t know anything other than what right wing pundits tell them, think it will be disastrous.

For reference see: papajon0s1

They are the same ones who say "America is the greatest country on earth!" without having ever been to any other countries.
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Male 275
@Kalimata
Now apply it!
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Male 5,811
[quote]Assuming HMO`s are the only option...[/quote]
Well admittedly I do not know all of your available options. HMOs are the ones I see in figures most often, but as you`ve said there are possibly cheaper alternatives.
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Male 5,811
[quote]MRI through my GF`s HMO is $3600 (limited choices). If I use my HSA and choose the best facility, I can get one for roughly $1000.[/quote]

That still seems pricey. I had an MRI a number of months ago, and rather than wait I went to a private clinic and my MRI was $700 out of my own pocket, no insurance.
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Male 661
Why is this even argued over?

Universal health care is a better system, hands down.
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Male 2,357
[quote]There are people in this country that believe we shouldn`t pay taxes at all.[/quote]
Yes - they`re called anarchists and they are either ignorant or insane.

However, many people - such as myself (and most Libertarians I`ve have the pleasure speaking with) - think that tax collection should be delegated to the states. The federal government should then collect whatever taxes are necessary from the states rather than the individual.

States, or even regional pacts of States should create the legislation in this country. The reasoning behind this is simply to maximize the number of choices for each individual.
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Male 2,357
[quote]No-one complains about paying for the fire department, or infrastructure, or the military or whatever via their taxes, do they? (Or maybe they do, correct me if I`m wrong).[/quote]
Fire department (police etc.) are local taxes. Infrastructure SHOULD be only local/state. Military assets (at least the Navy and Marine Corp by extension) are Constitutionally provisioned.

You are focusing on the wrong issue. The issue is not that people are against paying taxes for healthcare. The problem is that people are against having their choices completely taken away. If a state wants to implement a universal healthcare system and taxes it`s constituents, then do so by all means - that is within their power. It is not the place of the federal government.
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Male 2,357
[quote]If privatized healthcare is better, then partially privatized healthcare should be at least partially better.[/quote]
I disagree (as if you didn`t expect that). Something true of a whole is not necessarily true of the part. In my opinion, a 3rd party payer system is the worst option. A single payer system would be better (fiscally, though I don`t agree with the morality), while a free market solution would be the best.

[quote]I don`t think you understand how HMOs work[/quote]
Assuming HMO`s are the only option... I prefer an HDHP + HSA. An MRI through my GF`s HMO is $3600 (limited choices). If I use my HSA and choose the best facility, I can get one for roughly $1000.

The best option is to force the payer to have some "skin in the game" (HSA) and make their own choices. In addition, they should be covered from massive injury (HDHP).
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Male 9,766
papajon0s1

Only a bubble living republican would say "many people are going to needlessly die. Yes, die, as a direct result of Obamacare". Yes. More people having access to healthcare will of course equate to more people dying. Sarah Palin said so!
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Female 1,803
@papajon0s1 I find it hard to believe Obamacare had any effect on your paycheck in 2009 since very little, if any of it, had gone into effect then. I think your republican boss is jerking you around. My self-bought insurance hasn`t gone up at all (at least no more than it has every year I`ve had it and I`ve had it over 13 years).
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Male 5,811
It`s not surprising, the costs are mostly administrative. To anyone here claiming that without government intervention that prices would be much lower, I don`t think you understand how HMOs work, it`s in their best interests to make things complicated, redundant, and costly. If privatized healthcare is better, then partially privatized healthcare should be at least partially better.

And, as I`ve said ad nauseum before, Canada also has provinces with a 2-tier system that allows you to pay private clinics for MRIs and such if you have the means and don`t want to wait.

And saying that people don`t have a right to be healthy is just silly. The state (at least here) doesn`t force doctors to work in certain places or to become doctors in the first place. Rather, they incentivize doctors by offering huge signing bonuses and salaries if they`ll spend 5 years practicing in a rural town. Problem is most docs don`t want to.
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Male 579
You can make numbers say anything you want. Here`s some right off my damned paycheck: "As a direct result of changes in Federal Health care Legislation" (read Obamacare), or so said the company memo back in 2009, our insurance when up %64 in 2009, then another %32 in 2010. It didn`t go up in 2011 and they tried to sell us that that was so great! What a joke! Obamacare has cost me nearly $2000 since it`s inception. I`d have been WAAAAAY better off had they done nothing at all! If anyone thinks that the government is going to be cheaper you`re nuts! Costs are going to skyrocket all over the place and many people are going to needlessly die. Yes, die, as a direct result of Obamacare.
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Male 275
@McGrendel
"People also have the right to be asswipes. It`s totally a personal choice."

You pretty accurately described the thoughts i had about you there. Yes people have the right to be asswipes to eachother and Im confident you are at the front lines of asswipes.
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Male 9,766
Davymid

"No-one complains about paying for the fire department, or infrastructure, or the military or whatever via their taxes, do they? (Or maybe they do, correct me if I`m wrong)."

There are people in this country that believe we shouldn`t pay taxes at all.

For the most part this is just because it is new. 2 generations from now Americans will consider healthcare the same way we currently consider police and public education. It`s just hard to change people.
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Female 65
To those Americans who say their treatment wait times are shorter - of course they are, because .. NOT EVERONE GETS TO WAIT IN LINE IN YOUR COUNTRY! I can`t believe how brainwashed you Americans are over universal healthcare. You believe every stereotype fed to you by insurance companies scared over losing their huge profits. It`s ridiculously expensive in your country because it`s done for profit & there is simply no end to human greed, so insurance companies keep raising the cost in order to meet the shareholder`s demands for higher profits. It`s never going to end. In order to continue to generate higher profits, they will start denying treatments, delay treatment in hopes you`ll die... oh wait.. they already do that & you still believe they are right, ha, ha. Brainwashing at its finest! You can judge a society by how it treats its weakest, most vulnerable members - kids, elderly & the sick. Judging by how you treat your sick, your society is going to hell in a handbaske
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Male 12,138
I`ve posted this graph a few times over the years, from National Geographic a few years ago.



And the article which google picked up the graphic from America spends way, way, way more on healthcare.
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Male 12,138
Wow. I know I`m late to the party, but the idea that someone could lose their life savings over a life-threatening illness is beyond me. Or worse, possibly die because they can`t afford the care they need. That`s abhorrent.

Sorry, but this sentiment of "I have no problem with caring for the sick, but I WON`T BE FORCED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO DO SO!" *especially* when it`s demonstrably cheaper, comes across as sheer stubborn petulance.

No-one complains about paying for the fire department, or infrastructure, or the military or whatever via their taxes, do they? (Or maybe they do, correct me if I`m wrong).

Why then complain about the most basic of human needs, staying alive? Especially when just about every other functioning developed society has such a system, which works out quite well - no complaints from the people who are paying into it, as far as I can tell.
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Female 1,893
un beeeelievable!
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Male 9,766
Cajun247

"Sorry that stat doesn`t answer my question, out of HOW MANY patients recieve this treatment."

A Journal of Health Affairs study found the AVERAGE cost per cancer case was $70,000 in 1999. For whatever reason that is the most recent data I can find.

I also found data that says cancer costs have doubled.

"In 1987, the total medical cost of cancer (in 2007 American dollars) was $24.7 billion, but by 2001 to 2005, the cost increased by 98%, to $48.1 billion, according to a study published online May 10 in Cancer."

So I`d say it would be pretty easy to assume the AVERAGE cost per cancer case is easily over $100,000, and that is AVERAGE.

Point is, get health insurance, at least catastrophic health insurance. It isn`t that much. It takes ONE bad medical break and you are f.ucked.
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Male 3,147
MrPeabody,
No, there`s not an organisation dealing with just that...but we do have specialist hospitals and centres of excellence that would give comparable treatment - if your case warrants it then you get a referral from either your GP or your regular hospital consultant. And it costs nothing extra to be seen by the best in their field.

Just because their isn`t an `organisation` called the same thing as in the US doesn`t mean there aren`t equally qualified doctors you get referred to here...they may not all be in the same place under one banner - but they are there - all for no extra cost.

I know from experience.... i`m a war pensioner and i`m under the care of a london specialist hospital even though i live 300 miles from there now. When i need to go, they come and pick me up and drive me home again...the same service i`d get whether i was a veteran or not - again, all for no extra cost above my normal national insurance tax.
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Male 1,920
I ran into this quote, and thought it would help the discussion:

"The likelihood that they`re on a terminal course is fairly certain, but who knows?" says Dr. Kintner, who is familiar with the Clark case but didn`t meet the brothers. "If they were citizens of U.S., we`d try to get them to the National Institute of Health for diagnostic work, but in the UK the system is different. There is no comparable organization with genetic diseases, so it`s a little more difficult there."
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Male 10,855
I should go, I`m just getting tired.
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Male 8,544
Essersmith-" if you do not support universal healthcare, you pretty much dont want to be good to others."

I didn`t realize that `wanting to be good to others` was a requirement to be a member of the human race.

People also have the right to be asswipes. It`s totally a personal choice.
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Male 10,855
[quote]So I`d say it happens a lot.[/quote]

Sorry that stat doesn`t answer my question, out of HOW MANY patients recieve this treatment.
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Male 9,766
Cajun247

"How often does this happen?"

"According to Johns Hopkins Health Alerts, addition of Avastin® or Erbitux® to 5-FU or leucovorin can push up the cost of the dosing regimen to as much as $30,000." That is for 8 WEEKS of treatment.

So I`d say it happens a lot.
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Male 374
@Essersmith

"Im not sure I get it then, the state is not forcing everyone to do so, the people chose through years of democratic (here it is 2/3 of the votes) elections to do so."

If 1/3 of the people vote against public healthcare, then the state violates the freedoms 1/3 of the people when it institutes public healthcare.

Now, practically speaking, if we are going to have a government then we need a mechanism by which a majority can violate the freedoms of the minority. Without this, government is moot. So what is the appropriate definition of "majority?" Too low we violate freedoms wantonly. Too high and we make communal action impossible. The US constitution calls for a 2/3 majority for most things the federal government does. However, for the past century, the practice in the US has been to ignore this and take action on the basis of 50% vote.
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Male 10,855
[quote]Someone who is diagnosed with cancer can end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of treatment. Hell, some of the drugs cost around $100,000 a year. [/quote]

How often does this happen?
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Male 9,766
Cajun247

"Highest number I saw was $41134."

Well, then with all due respect you don`t have a f.ucking clue what you are talking about. You may want to bow out of this conversation and go do some research.

Someone who is diagnosed with cancer can end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of treatment. Hell, some of the drugs cost around $100,000 a year.
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Male 10,855
[quote] We had to take care of her at home, still on a respirator. Then about a month later, her heart started beating out of control. Ambulance to the ER. Died a day later in intensive care. How much do you think THAT cost?[/quote]

As tragic your loss may be, that is, unfortunately purely anecdotal.
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Male 143
lol well those american doctors have to do something to keep themselves in the top 1%... this is what happens when a country keeps there medical system completely separate from their government. Doctors rake in cash, insurance companies rake in cash, and the general population gets fuuuuuucked

oh and then the right wing comes and tells you that you`re not being drated and everything is fine and should stay exactly the way it is
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Female 1,803
"Highest number I saw was $41134."

lol. what, no cents? You`ve got it alllll figured out. Did you figure in the fact that once you get cancer, it often comes back? My mom got cancer and it came back two more times. The third time, she ended up needing a respirator to breathe. Spent a few months in one hospital, a few more in another trying to get off the respirator. Then another year in a respiratory rehab facility. Insurance finally ran out. We had to take care of her at home, still on a respirator. Then about a month later, her heart started beating out of control. Ambulance to the ER. Died a day later in intensive care. How much do you think THAT cost?
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Male 10,855
[quote] you could be looking at over $100,000 in costs[/quote]

Highest number I saw was $41134.
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Male 9,766
Cajun247

"That`s why I`d prefer to keep the money myself."

So you don`t have health insurance? If you ever get cancer or diagnosed with some other illness you could be looking at over $100,000 in costs. You`d be buried in debt for probably the rest of your life. You, like a lot of people in this country, are one illness away from financial ruin.

I don`t wish that on anyone.
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Male 10,855
The idea of someone, by themself, saving money in the event of a calamity is nothing new. Yes there ARE times it does make sense to go through a third party to insure against risk. But sometimes the markets, by and large, charge too much.
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Male 275
@Cajun247

Thats a great opinion. I hope you have the means to back it and not a bitter taste in your mouth when you need it.
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Male 270
Don`t worry, Obama Care will take care of this. Just like Obama has taken care of the debt, the economy, unemployment and everything else Bush and the Republicans have screwed up.

P.S. Sarcasm alert.
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Male 10,855
[quote]Look at all the people on the east coast who live near the water and decided they didn`t want to pay for flood insurance[/quote]

A dumb decision by many measures, which is why home insurers don`t insure people living near flood waters.
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Male 10,855
[quote]Its pretty pointless to look at chances here...[/quote]

Ah but that`s where I see an alternative. I simply see most health insurers as a woefully inefficient means of insuring against a risk so small. That`s why I`d prefer to keep the money myself.
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Female 1,803
@Cajun247 I really don`t see your point. The entire point of having insurance is to cover costs of things you can`t afford on your own when they happen, if they happen. Because you don`t know when these catastrophic things will happen, you buy insurance. Believe me, everyone has had your thoughts. "Why do I have to pay for insurance I`ll never use." I`ve had insurance on my car for 13 years and have only had a windshield replaced. Luck of the draw. The only reason insurance CAN pay for things is because some people won`t need to use it. But when you finally do use it, you`re damn glad you have it. Look at all the people on the east coast who live near the water and decided they didn`t want to pay for flood insurance. Bet they wish they had now. And now our tax dollars have to make up for their lack of prudence.

BTW- before you say something, I HAVE lowered the collision side of my car insurance to next to nothing. But I still have to have the part that covers other p
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Male 629
Australia is not free. No where is health coverage free. Things cost money and that money comes from somewhere. I don`t care which approach you want, just don`t confuse `universal` health care with `free` health care. Even if someone runs a free clinic, the costs to do so still come from somewhere.
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Male 700
Australia = Completely free :)
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Male 275
How often are you going to get run over and have to pay more than you have to be more than a vegetable?

Hopefully never, but I sure dont hope anyone else has that happen.

How often are you going to get burned when drinking hot coffee? Its pretty pointless to look at chances here...
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Male 10,855
Granted even if it`s 7 years worth premiums for average joe (in your case), it IS NOT infeasible to pay that off with a loan. To put things in perspective the new 2013 Hyundai Tucson will cost AT LEAST $20,000.
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Male 10,855
[quote">I pay $185/mo on my health insurance. I`m self-employed so that`s the total cost. $2,200 a year. The last time I had outpatient surgery it was over $7,000, so almost 4 years of premiums. Four years of payments for 5 hours of treatment.[/quote">

Well if my employer offered coverage I`d pay around $1021 a year, sounds reasonable except that the average ER visit costs grosses at $1318. Unless you`re someone REALLY unfortunate such a cost isn`t really justified. Then again this data doesn`t discriminate against high-deductible plans. Granted it`ll be about 7 years worth of premiums in your case, but again I stress how often is this going to happen?
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Male 275
@AntEconomist

"I never said I didn`t. What I said was that I do not want the state *forcing* me to do so."

That is because you cant have equal healthcare for everyone without...everyone.

Im not sure I get it then, the state is not forcing everyone to do so, the people chose through years of democratic (here it is 2/3 of the votes) elections to do so.

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Female 1,803
"Yet I`m almost certainly going to spend far more on insurance premiums than actual medical bills, so that`s statement moot."

I`d love to know how you know that. Crystal ball? Some people never get sick and that could be true. Some people get into accidents. Some people get leukemia or need a heart transplant. Some people have premi babies. We have zero control over when and how we`ll need healthcare. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow or never get sick ever. You could save a 100k for your personal health needs and then lose your job for a year and need to use a big chunk of that money to live on. I don`t expect for my house to burn down or get hit by a tornado but I still have home insurance. I pay $185/mo on my health insurance. I`m self-employed so that`s the total cost. $2,200 a year. The last time I had outpatient surgery it was over $7,000, so almost 4 years of premiums. Four years of payments for 5 hours of treatment.
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Male 9,766
AntEconomist

"One has the right to pursue an education, but not a right to an education. One has a right to defend one`s life and property, but one does not have a right to force someone else to defend his life/property"

So you would do away with all public programs? Public education? Public works? Public roads? National defense? Public police and firefighters?

You want to take away all the progress we have made as a society?
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Male 9,766
AntEconomist

"That leaves me, hopefully you, certainly others to contribute to caring for the sick voluntarily."

You are so full of s.hit. Are you hanging out at ER rooms paying the tabs of people who can`t afford it? Come on.

There are people who will die today, in the most prosperous country on Earth, because they can`t afford to treat injuries or illnesses. You, or I, or others aren`t going to help them. They are only going to get helped if we as a society decide that we are going to all take up the moral obligation of making certain nobody needs to suffer in this country because they can`t afford healthcare.

This isn`t about freedom of choice or any other talking point. This is about rich people not wanting to pay slightly higher taxes.
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Male 374
@Essersmith

"You prioritize your and everyones freedom higher than everyones care for less fortunates."

No, I prioritize everyone`s freedom equally high. You give preference to the freedom of those who believe as you do by advocating that the state force others to behave as you believe they should.

"While Id chose to pay 40% of my salary to cover all aspects of a functioning system (not just healthcare) any day of the year. Which, I believe, also gives a greater freedom to everyone. I respect that you dont."

I never said I didn`t. What I said was that I do not want the state *forcing* me to do so.
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Male 10,855
[quote] Because I KNOW you will not have the money necessary to cover your medical expenses.[/quote]

Yet I`m almost certainly going to spend far more on insurance premiums than actual medical bills, so that`s statement moot.
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Male 275
@AntEconomist

Very well, so its a matter of conflict of moral interests. - That is atleast a reason.
You prioritize your and everyones freedom higher than everyones care for less fortunates.


While Id chose to pay 40% of my salary to cover all aspects of a functioning system (not just healthcare) any day of the year. Which, I believe, also gives a greater freedom to everyone.
I respect that you dont.

Am i understanding it correctly or are you just stating a point of view?
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Male 374
@Essersmith

"To me, if you do not support universal healthcare, you pretty much dont want to be good to others."

Those are false alternatives. You are requiring me to choose between "I agree that the state should force people to provide healthcare" and "I don`t give a rat`s a$$ about sick people."

I believe that each of us has a moral obligation to care for the less fortunate. I also believe that each of us has a moral obligation not to force others of us to conform to our wills. That leaves me, hopefully you, certainly others to contribute to caring for the sick voluntarily.
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Female 1,803
" I`m not doing what`s necessary to take care of myself,"

Because I KNOW you will not have the money necessary to cover your medical expenses.Your plan is a fantasy that young men have because they don`t understand how life works. Unless you are rich. Are you rich? Do you intend to get married and have kids? Will you sock away money for them, too? You must be rich!
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Male 7,123
`a) slavery is at least sometimes acceptable (that`s the only way to ensure enough doctors when efforts to "make it attractive enough to become a doctor" fail), `

The whole slave trade in doctors is a silent scandal.
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Male 275
oh and:
"Simply let the government do whatever the hell 50.1% of the people vote for it to do."

50.1% is not (and should not be) accepted as the majority in many democratic countries.
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Male 275
@Anteconomist
You actually make a valid point in the distinction.
So lets rephrase: Everyone should have the right to healthcare.

Either you support that claim, or you believe like many others (unfortunatly), that those who (for whatever reason) can not afford their own healthcare are meaningless. That said is to the rest of us, that boyscouts should not help elderlies across the street, because they could have paid someone to do so if they needed the help.

The debate here is in essence: Do you wish good to your fellow man (All of them) or do you not wosh good for your fellow man?

To me, if you do not support universal healthcare, you pretty much dont want to be good to others.
Arguments against could be that the system can not support it or the public/officials are not mentally prepared for it.
Saying that i dont want to pay for X is a horrible argument, since you might aswell be X yourself.
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Female 2,674
"I`m in the UK so I genuinely don`t know how your system works. Are you saying you`re allowed to die if you can`t afford an operation?"

It depends. You show up in the emergency room with severe problems. Rapid heartbeat well above reasonable range, got shot, got in a car accident, things like that where you`ll die without immediate treatment, you`ll get treated. You`ll just get a huge bill afterward even if you have insurance because insurance doesn`t cover 100%.

Need something that requires planning ahead of time, such as cancer treatments or a surgery to fix a life threatening problem? Either too bad if you can`t afford it, or you`ll be charged thousands of dollars that you`ll have no way of paying and have to file for bankruptcy. And a lot of people don`t even realize they have such issues in the first place from not being able to afford a regular checkup at the hospital.
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Male 2,440
I`m going to skip all this crap and just post a link to a recent EconTalk podcast on the US health care system. I highly recommend listening to Russ Roberts` podcast.
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Male 10,855
[quote]Yeah, you`re going to willingly sock away a million dollars and hopefully have it in that unknown time period when you`ll need it. You can get in a huge car wreck today, buddy. See, you`re one of those people the rest of us have to pay extra for because you refuse to do what you need to do to take care of yourself.[/quote]

Now you`ve just contradicted yourself, first you say I`m saving up money for some emergency in my lifetime, and yet I`m not doing what`s necessary to take care of myself, even though I`m actaully saving money. That and the character assassination, sounds like you`re frustrated.
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Male 374
HolyGod

"Do you believe national defense, basic education, and police protection are a right in this country?"

OK, since you won`t answer my questions, I`ll answer yours and perhaps we`ll advance that way.

One has the right to pursue an education, but not a right to an education. One has a right to defend one`s life and property, but one does not have a right to force someone else to defend his life/property.

The distinction here is between negative rights (It is my right that X not be done to me) and positive rights (It is my right that you do X for me).

With positive rights, you cannot have equality under the law. If you have a positive right to X and I have a positive right to X and (as is usually the case) there is a limited supply of X, then the state must give preference to one of us over the other.

Unfortunately, the "right to healthcare" is a positive right. So, if you claim it, you are forced also to cla
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Male 3,147
AntEconomist, what horsepoo....

you mean a few republican politicians have said it recently and been lambasted for it...they are not great minded political philosophers however you want to dress it up in bullpoo.

Go on... go the whole hog and prove godwins law by equating social health care with either Hitler and the Nazis now.

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Female 1,803
"Right at SOME point, not everyday. One time, sixty years down the road. Thus putting money in an account I have total control over is more viable than some piece of paper that I`m more bound to wipe my ass with."

Yeah, you`re going to willingly sock away a million dollars and hopefully have it in that unknown time period when you`ll need it. You can get in a huge car wreck today, buddy. See, you`re one of those people the rest of us have to pay extra for because you refuse to do what you need to do to take care of yourself. You`re INVINCIBLE and will never get hurt. Yeah, thanks. Say, since you`re so good at saving, how much money have you put away for retirement so far, because you have to do that, too, you know. Hope you have an awesome job!
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Male 9,766
AntEconomist

Do you believe national defense, basic education, and police protection are a right in this country?

If you do, then by your reasoning you "must also claim that slavery is at least sometimes acceptable" (that`s the only way to ensure enough soldiers, teachers, and policeman).

However those things have been rights for a long time in this country, and with the exception of the draft, we have never needed "slavery".
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Male 374
@Listypoos: Actually, no. It`s a question that political philosophers with far more brain power than you and I combined have spent centuries debating.
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Male 10,855
[quote]And chances are, you`re going to get something as bad as cancer at some point in your lifetime.[/quote]

Right at SOME point, not everyday. One time, sixty years down the road. Thus putting money in an account I have total control over is more viable than some piece of paper that I`m more bound to wipe my ass with.
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Female 1,803
"...or health insurance is so expensive it almost certain to cost you more than any hospital bill you`ll ever get."

You`ve never been in the hospital, have you? The amount you pay in premiums would never cover your expenses if you get cancer. And chances are, you`re going to get something as bad as cancer at some point in your lifetime.
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Male 3,147

"The point I am making is that, to claim that "health care is a right" you must also claim that (a) slavery is at least sometimes acceptable (that`s the only way to ensure enough doctors when efforts to "make it attractive enough to become a doctor" fail)"

You realise how stupid that comment makes you look, right? Is the next straw you clutch at going to be as silly?
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Male 10,855
[quote]people don`t have insurance and those people tend to be the ones [/quote]

...or health insurance is so expensive it almost certain to cost you more than any hospital bill you`ll ever get.
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Male 374
Look, I`m trying to explore the claim that "healthcare is a right." This isn`t about the current state of healthcare or whether your Uncle Bob could get a heart transplant when he needed it. The question is, what do you mean when you say "healthcare is a right?"

This question is as serious as a heart attack (forgive the pun) because it is the root claim that HolyGod is making for why the state should provide this service.

If you can`t defend the claim with anything better than, "It`s a right because I want it to be a right and if you don`t you`re an idiot," then there`s no point discussing rights at all. Simply let the government do whatever the hell 50.1% of the people vote for it to do.
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Female 1,803
"Which it still fails to do surprisingly enough."

Because a lot of people don`t have insurance and those people tend to be the ones who wait to get help until it becomes something expensive to treat.
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Female 1,803
"The point I am making is that, to claim that "health care is a right" you must also claim that (a) slavery is at least sometimes acceptable (that`s the only way to ensure enough doctors when efforts to "make it attractive enough to become a doctor" fail), and (b) people are not equal under the law (because there will be many instances in which the state must choose whose "right to health care" to defend and whose to violate. "

Wow, hyperbole. The last hope of a desperate debater. I`m waiting for you to say "slippery slope". Why don`t you try the argument "If we make healthcare free, there`ll be too many healthy people on earth and all the food will run out." Or, "If people get healthcare for free, they won`t need to work."
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Male 10,855
[quote]Excuse me but how many unemployed people are living in your country that would like a job that provides an income and satisfaction?[/quote]

I would that doesn`t mean I want to be a doctor.

[quote]Everyone HAS to have insurance so the costs are spread around more fairly.[/quote]

Which it still fails to do surprisingly enough.
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Male 275
@AntEconomist

But your scenario IS pointless, because there are already sytems in effect that work and where you dont have to chose a or b.

You are suggesting scary scenarios and choices that have little to no validity.
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Female 1,803
"The difference is that in those countries you pay for everyone`s hospital stay."

So do we. That`s probably the main reason we pay so much. Hospitals charge people with insurance extra to make up for having to care for the people without insurance who don`t pay anything. That`s what gets fixed in the insurance mandate part of the Affordable Care Act. Everyone HAS to have insurance so the costs are spread around more fairly.

BTW- the entire concept of insurance (of any kind) is having a pool of people`s money to pay for the few people who actually need it. You have ALWAYS been paying for other people`s care. You honestly don`t think the premiums you pay get put into a little account and that`s just YOUR money to spend on your potential healthcare, do you? If you do, then you are totally clueless.
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Male 2,419
@AntEconomist

Excuse me but how many unemployed people are living in your country that would like a job that provides an income and satisfaction? as for x bieng larger then y simply means that some idiot hasn`t done his forecast right. basis of every ecomonie is still demand = suply.

and yeah if you go out today you might get run over by a car, if you don`t and you stop to buy groceries that store might be robbed and you could be hit by a stray bullet. if i was you i`d stay indoors and if you feel hungy you might consider that it`s better to be hungry then risk all the if`s and buts out there.
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Male 374
@HolyGod: The "what if" scenarios are not at all pointless. They force you to confront the implications of what you are claiming. Of course, we`ll likely never have a situation where we have only two people and only one dosage, but we do *frequently* have situations where we have 100,000 people and 80,000 dosages. We`ll never have a situation where there are no doctors, but we frequently have situations in which we need more doctors than we have.

The point I am making is that, to claim that "health care is a right" you must also claim that (a) slavery is at least sometimes acceptable (that`s the only way to ensure enough doctors when efforts to "make it attractive enough to become a doctor" fail), and (b) people are not equal under the law (because there will be many instances in which the state must choose whose "right to health care" to defend and whose to violate.
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Male 58
@ AntEconomist

I`ve been in the top Canadian tax bracket for the last 10 years and I have about another 15 years before I retire. I pay for my share as well as many of my fellow Canadians. I`m glad I can provide to people less fortunate in this form.

If you`re against universal health care, are you also against your government funding your military or highways or any other institutions? They are all a service that your government supplies at cost or should they be user based as well (like toll highways & bridges). I`m glad my government provides these services and as democracies we get to vote for which level of funding they are provided.

Why wouldn`t you want to try it? It`s like looking at an ethnic restaurant and walking past it for burgers and fries. You really don`t know what you are missing.
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Male 275
@AntEconomist
Thats an excellent hypophysis. Except where is that particular scenario true?

Ill give you a hint, your scenario is not true where I live... and both education and healthcare is "a right"/free here.
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Male 9,766
AntEconomist

"What if we don`t have enough doctors or nurses? Should the state force people to become doctors and nurses?"

You mean should we have a draft like they did in the military? No. They should make it attractive enough to be a doctor or nurse so that it isn`t ever a problem. It hasn`t been. I don`t see how it would become one suddenly.

"What if there is only one dosage of a drug for two people who need it."

What if there is a comet about to crash into Earth and destroy it and the only way to avert it is to kill a child, would you? I don`t want to play the "what if?" game. It is completely pointless.
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Male 374
@HolyGod: Let`s run with your claim that health care is a right. What if we don`t have enough doctors or nurses? Should the state force people to become doctors and nurses? What if we don`t have enough new medicines? Should the state force scientists to conduct research? Notice that your "right to health care" is conflicting with people`s rights to choose their own careers.

It gets better. What if there is only one dosage of a drug for two people who need it. If we both have a right to health care, then the state must choose which of our rights to health care to protect, because by definition, it can`t protect both.
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Male 439
The difference is that in those countries you pay for everyone`s hospital stay.
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Male 9,766
AntEconomist

"Why stop at health care? I propose that the private sector adopt this free model. We should each pay Apple $10,000 a year and then all of our i-Stuff will be free! We can pay GM $50,000 a year and have free cars."

Nobody has a right to an iPod or a Corvette. Some of us believe healthcare is a basic human right. It is OK if you don`t, but try saying something intelligent. Comparing needed medical attention to luxury items is asinine.
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Male 275
@AntEconomist

Except the private hospitals wont educate us, pay for police, fire department or the roads..
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Male 528
England: free (if you pay taxes)
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Male 9,766
robthelurker

Well dips.hit, the idea of paying for health insurance is so you are covered when you need medical attention. The fact that you can pay to be insured and then your insurance doesn`t really cover what it is supposed to is ridiculous.

It is kind of like paying for car insurance and then if you get in an accident your insurance company says you weren`t covered to be driving on that road.
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Male 7,123
I`ve been broke and walked three mles in the sleet to get to work because the bus-fare was better spent on food and now I am more or less comfortable. But broke or comfy I have never had to ask myself the question, `My child is sick, can I afford to get treatment?`

In any advanced affluent society (and if you are spending time on IAB that`s where you are) no-one should have to ask that question.

When I was skint and my daughter had a major asthma attack in the middle of the night and I have no car I could pick up the phone and a doctor would be at my door in thirty minutes and there was no bill. I guess I cost the tax-payer a fair bit.

But now I`m earning and paying a lot in tax my family have not troubled the health service in eight or nine years. I`m fine with paying the tax.
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Male 374
@Kcorb: "I am also happy to have my government use my tax money to fund it."

If you are happy to hand over your money for health care, then you don`t need the government to provide it. Simply hand over your money to a private hospital. What you really mean is that you are happy to have the government hand over other people`s money to provide you with health care.
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Male 58
There are flaws in almost any medical system. All I can say as a Canadian is that my family has used our system many times and I am very happy with it. I am also happy to have my government use my tax money to fund it . I am so happy with it that I am able to overlook administrative waste, wait times (which are not really all that long), less privacy, and slow government approvals for new treatments amongst many other problems. Some of the arguments used by Americans against universal healthcare are often true, but helping your fellow (wo)man is much more important.

I think most of my friends would classify me as the most right-leaning person they know. But I agree with the lefties on this...
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Male 17,511
I was wondering when guysmiley was going to show up yelling his usual chant.
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Male 1,625
@dilazer, you`re talking about out of pocket.

we paid only $250, but the bill was indeed $9500.

as pumba pointed out, the difference is who is footing the final bill. in hospitals (as well as pharmacies) there are actually 2 prices for these services. if you have insurance, baby delivery (for example) would be $9500; if you don`t have insurance, baby delivery would be $6000.
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Male 1,243
that`s why you gather at the little white house on the little hill, and chant "DEATH TO THE PRESIDENCY!!!!!!!! DEATH TO THE PRESIDENCY!!!!!!!! DEATH TO THE PRESIDENCY!!!!!!!! DEATH TO THE PRESIDENCY!!!!!!!!" Then you grow in numbers, and chant louder and lourder and keep growing and chant louder until the nation is handed back over to the people.
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Male 1,016
@ Chris86530: When you state: "I wouldn`t let my family dog be treated by a European physician.....

I would not let my dog be treated by any physician they aren`t trained to treat dogs , I would bring it to a vet thought
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Male 1,016
It`s free here in Canada too, these are prices that the hospital charges the insurance company or the patient.
Here in Canada the insurance company happens to be the government so the prices are much heavier regulated. the government in not in the hospital business they are not looking to make a profit they just want to break even. There in lies the issue in US it is all about making profits for the shareholders!
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Male 7,123
In the UK health care is not dependant on income, it`s based on need. If you don`t like waiting you have the option of going private but that generally only works for non-urgent treatment or if you want a fancier room. If it`s serious you need the NHS. Yes, it`s paid for by taxes but the cost to the taxpayer is way less than the cost in the US to whoever is footing the bill.

Most people in the UK regard the NHS (for all its faults) to be the jewel in the crown, something we actully got right. Either we`re all stupid or it works.
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Male 186
I call bullcrap. My kids were about $3,000 apiece to be delivered a few years ago.
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Male 15,270
Oh and treatment`s immediate for any of these things here in Hong Kong. Faster than premium USA/European/Canadian private sector.
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Male 15,270
Here, it`s all a flat rate of $12.65, unless you`re lower income, then it`s free; or unless you`re from the People`s Republic of China, then it`s more than the USA. it`s just our way of saying F-U very much to our new `masters`.
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Male 275
In scandinavian countries.. All these are free..
Not to mention schools and schollarships to everyone over 18 who wants to study in university.
We have it so hard ^^

@SCfan
Even if it was true, Id rather die waiting than die because I cant pay.
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Male 374
Why stop at health care? I propose that the private sector adopt this free model. We should each pay Apple $10,000 a year and then all of our i-Stuff will be free! We can pay GM $50,000 a year and have free cars. And we pay grocery stores $30,000 a year in exchange for free food.

Think of how rich we`d all be with all this free stuff!
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Male 1,421
"in sweden the maximum medical fee in a year is about 150$

as a reference i payed 12$ for a 1-day stay."

In Finland they are taking that 11€ per visit /22 per year fee away and making it completely free (yeah, government pays it, it`s not free etc.. ). Why? They found out that 80% of that fee was going it processing that fee and requiring more people to handle that all. So making the fee go away, they actually lowered the costs.. Funny eih?

And some criticized about European doctors.. Never had a doubt that they would be any different from US doctors. I think there some stats to show they are in equal terms professionally.
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Male 68
In Norway, all that is free after you get a freecard. You get a freecard if you get medical bills are over 350,- USD/year
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Male 2,085
No one goes broke paying for socialized healthcare, they just die while waiting for treatment.
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Male 7,774
I`m in the UK so I genuinely don`t know how your system works. Are you saying you`re allowed to die if you can`t afford an operation?
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Male 3,147
"You missed out the prices for the UK. Let me rectify it...

Uk Free. Free. Free. Free. Free.

Thanks NHS ;)"



It isn`t free, it costs around 80 billion pounds a year to fund.

Just because you`re not paying at point of treatment doesn`t mean it`s free....it just means we`re paying for it in our central taxes. The model does make it very cheap though, but because it`s centrally funded does mean that it is also controlled directly by government, and politics can and do influence the varying levels of treatment open to the patients....some cancer treatments are available in some areas, but due to costs are not if you live in the next town along.

Our system is by no means perfect....and the current government want to make it even less perfect for the peopl as a whole because like the republicans in the US they have rich friends who want in on the business of making people better and don`t want it to be cheap for all.
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Male 2,619
You missed out the prices for the UK. Let me rectify it...

Uk Free. Free. Free. Free. Free.

Thanks NHS ;)
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Male 145
in sweden the maximum medical fee in a year is about 150$

as a reference i payed 12$ for a 1-day stay.
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Male 3,680
holy poo it costs money to have a baby delivered? i guess i always thought doctors and the government would take care of that one. well, i suppose my future baby momma is just gonna have to have an at home delivery.
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Male 2,229
corporatocracy at work in the United States, social(ized) anything and Democracy; those are for "other" people. The Corporations don`t want or need "the people" to want a system that helps people, where`s the profit in that?
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Male 3,285
The real reason that the US has to pay for private healthcare is simple. Politicians are on the boards of the insurance companies. Mainly republican politicians.

Notice how they object to any and all changes that mean their companies would lose money.
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Male 3,285
And all those are 100% free in the UK :)
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Female 8,055
Well- seems to be clear- as always. Those of us lucky enough to have socialised healthcare are very happy to have it, we know it is not perfect but what is. the only US citizens who don`t wan t it are those who have no idea how it works or have no idea how well it works.
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Male 36
@ Chris86530: When you state: "I wouldn`t let my family dog be treated by a European physician", I hope you`re equally willing to state that you`ve made a biased and unreasonably generalizing statement which doesn`t really say anything of value. There are roughly 780 million inhabitants in Europe and saying that the hospitals here are equally bad and only fit to serve dogs is silly.

I live in a so-called socialist society, Denmark, and although the Danish health care system has the same problems as many others, malpractice for instance, it`s completely free and I fail to grasp how a person cannot see the obvious: getting healed and treated when you`re sick is just as much a human right as the access to food and water is.

But please, enjoy your worries over having to pay for health care and I`ll gladly have my second child delivered from a danish hospital - for free, take my daughter for all of her vaccines - for free and let my broken arm take care of, agai
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Female 6,381
Any Canadian will tell you our medical system is flawed, mostly (as I understand it) because hospitals are paid annual lump sums rather than "by the procedure" as is done just about everywhere else.
But at least no on goes broke over a family member`s illness or simply goes without life-saving care as so often happens in the US. The system simply works as a giant medical insurance company, where everyone pays into one pot. As with any insurer, the bigger the subscription, the lower the risks and (hopefully) the lower the cost. Plus, of course, it`s non-profit.
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Male 503
Its hard to ween people off the teet of all the lies they`ve been fed here in the united states. Ignorance is bliss, unfortunately, as is evidenced by many of the anti socialized healthcare coments here. Disgusting, really.
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Female 1,803
"You forgot to mention the price and tax increases we get on everything else when "free" healthcare is introduced."

What makes you so sure that it would cost more in universal healthcare taxes than you already SHOULD be paying to have your own insurance now? You think it costs more because currently your employer pays most of it and the rest comes out of your check automatically so it`s pretty brainless on your part. If the gov set the prices and everyone has to contribute, it should cost us less, like other countries that do it.
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Male 9,766
danari

"That`s not an honest comparison. In Canada, you`re paying the doctor`s salary through your taxes. An angiogram does not really cost $35."

Actually, I believe this is describing the cost of the procedure whether it is paid by the individual, the government, or an insurance company.

An angiogram is a simple 30 minute imaging procedure and I don`t know if it is actually performed by a doctor.

In Canada I don`t believe the patient pays anything for an angiogram or to have a baby delivered.
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Female 1,803
"People can only possibly be entitled to free healthcare if they take care of their body."

Only a guy your age would say something this silly. Wait until you get a disease that`s totally out of your control. So I guess you don`t do anything bad for your body like smoke, drink or engage in risky behavior like sleeping around or playing sports or driving too fast?
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Female 1,803
"It`s like saying that my trash collection is free. It isn`t free. "

Well, aren`t you lucky. In MN, we have to arrange and pay for our own monthly trash/recycling service.
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Female 4,438
I have no idea how much these things cost in NZ, cause it`s all free. There must be a cost to the government though....beats me what it is!
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Male 146
That`s not an honest comparison. In Canada, you`re paying the doctor`s salary through your taxes. An angiogram does not really cost $35.

It`s like saying that my trash collection is free. It isn`t free. You just don`t see the salaries that are paid by taxes.
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Male 9,766
Our healthcare system is F.UCKED. Even if you do what you are supposed to and play by the rules you get screwed.

My girlfriend had health insurance through work, "good" health insurance. When she had a baby she went to her in-network doctor at an in-network hospital. However it ended up being a C-section and the anesthesiologist was out of network which was out of our control. She got stuck with a $5,500 bill. That`s a lot of money to a lot of people.
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Male 9,766
Andrew155

"If you`re a man my age, that would be weighing less than 190 pounds"

Well that is an idiotic generalization. I`m 6`1", 210 lbs with 11% body fat. I`m in great shape.

If someone is 5`0" and they way 190 they are probably in horrible shape.
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Male 1,252
Having universal healthcare may create problems for the US, but its still the first step in solving a great many more.

Having regulated fees by the government is only to compensate for the capitalists being greedy and overcharging on the basic neccessities of life. Finding a good doctor may involve a little trial and error but at least some jackass cant buy his way to the front of the line because daddy left him a trust fund. F.U. Ralph Klein.
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Male 3,470
i love how americans like to pretend we have higher quality health care..

Some people hate the truth...
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Male 2,711
@Mikeox
It may not cost the patient, but it is not costless. These figures are the average actual expense of the procedure, regardless of how/who pays it.
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Male 1,497
Having children in Canada dosen`t cost anything at the hospital. This in inaccurate.
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Male 15,832
These prices don`t reflect the true cost. Most of those other "lower-priced" countries have HUGE government subsidies to offset the cost. Also, the US prices include costs for malpractice insurance (upwards of $100K/yr for a doctor and $millions for a hospital), product liability insurance for supplies, equipment, drugs, etc., which runs into $100 billions, defensive medicine (Google it), and onerous bureaucratic paperwork requirements (a typical doctor`s office will employ 1 nurse, 1 receptionist, and 2-3 people to handle Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance claims).

Our costs would be even lower than these socialist welfare states if the government and the parasitic lawyers would just get the f*** out of the health care business altogether and let the market work.
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Male 13
however, MRI wait time
USA Wait time-within a week
Canada wait time-8+months

I know i have a lot of family in Canada, they would prefer to pay extra than have the ridiculously long wait times
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Male 4
This graph fails to identify the differences in quality of the physicians and the rigorous training we endure...why do you think so many IMG`s have issues passing the American USMLE`s? I wouldn`t let my family dog be treated by a European physician. Secondly, I agree that reform is needed; however, creating universal healthcare is not the answer. This "healthcare act" is nothing more than glorified insurance reform and tax on the middle class (who are already buried, poor souls)...if healthcare in the US is ever truly made universal, incentive on the part of the individual physician will die and we will be stagnantly wading in a system of mass volume in which we must see as many patients as possible a day to make the same income as pre"universality."
Third point is to get these damn pharmaceutical and medical supply companies controlled, sorry to rant but had a long day in clinic. Feel free to flame and pick apart my statement with google searches and quotes
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Male 2,578
Jacobsona, if only everyone were as smart as you. In that world, things would be just peachy.
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Male 2,578
People can only possibly be entitled to free healthcare if they take care of their body. If you`re a man my age, that would be weighing less than 190 pounds and being able to run two miles in 15 minutes or less.

If you`re going to take, you have to meet them halfway. Especially, since we`re all suddenly realizing that Capitalism doesn`t generate enough wealth to fund unlimited social programs in their current form.
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Female 233
And yet when the gov tries to give it to you, everyone is in arms about it. God, people here are idiots.
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Male 36
Lawyers
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Male 2,841
You forgot to mention the price and tax increases we get on everything else when "free" healthcare is introduced.
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Female 1,803
Kinda makes one wish we had universal health care like they do...
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Male 20,911
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