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Argument Against Universal Health Care in the Us BY shaker71493 Jacob Nieuwenhuis Contemporary Issues MSR 10 March 2010 Universal Health Care in the United States “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep. His cupidity may at some time point be satisfied; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
” -C. S. Lewis (1898 – 1963)
The issue of universal health care taking over the present health care system has become a heated topic all over America. With President Obama’s promise to pass a bill that will give government coverage to all Americans, most people were happy that health care would become more affordable for them. But is this the case? There has been a stiff opposition to the passing of any bill of this kind throughout the entire process, but the longer a bill stays in circulation the more time people have to form an opinion on the issue.
With the law in effect now the issue now turns to if this will e better off for America in the long run, and if there is any good to such a system. History has a lot to say about socialized medicine. There have been many countries, not only socialistic countries which have used a public method of offering medicine.
A few of these countries are Great Britain, Canada, France, Australia, and also the European system. These systems will be analyzed from their roots up in order to see whether they were successes or failures. The National Health Service (NHS) of Great Britain, which was created on July 5, 1948, is the world’s largest publicly funded health service ever.
As can be seen on the diagram, the NHS is divided into two sections: primary and secondary care. Primary care is the first point of contact for most people and is delivered by a wide range of independent service providers, including general practitioners, dentists, pharmacists and optometrists. Secondary care is known as acute healthcare and can be either elective care or emergency care. Elective care means planned specialist medical care or surgery, usually following referral from a primary or community health professional such as a general practitioner. In this system there are a lot of different trusts (refer to iagram). These trusts are where the money is sent for certain types of care. The main trusts are the Primary care trusts. Primary care trusts (PCTs) are in charge of primary care and have a major role around commissioning secondary care, providing community care services. They are the main core to the NHS and control 80% of the NHS budget.
Green, did a report on the effects of preventive care in Great Britain for diseases such as circulatory disease and cancer. His main focus was on the circulatory system and the conclusion of his reports states that: “The main findings can be summarized as follows. The I-JK has a poor record of preventing death from diseases of the circulatory system. After allowing for the different age structure of each country in the European Union, the I-JK death rate from circulatory diseases for persons aged less than 65 was ranked thirteenth out of the 15 countries studied. ” There are many negative aspects of the NHS.
There are stunning reports of people who didn’t get care, or who waited for months in order to get prevented care. One example of a terrible thing that happened recently in Great Britain was a cancer patient who had to wait for 62 weeks before starting treatment. Patients were outraged by this. They said that for some cancer patients with slow growing tumors could wait that long but that it is atrocious that someone would have to wait that long to receive any type of care at all. It was compared side by side with a case from 20 years earlier, when Heather Goodare was diagnosed with the same problem and eceived treatment within two weeks after first being diagnosed. The European system has run into a lot of obstacles over the years, mostly financial. There is currently a 5 percent to 8 percent increase in expenses per year in real terms, resulting in enormous deficits and even greater problems when the rate of unemployment rises. When employment rates improve, the deficits are eased because more taxes come in to pay for care. But as soon as employment falls again (which is common everywhere right about now), deficits come back. A common method used for getting over this deficit is rationing care and restricting use of high ost preventive cares such as CAT scans. Sometimes this is only towards people who meet a certain criteria, e. g. the elderly. This can only be bad for the consumer. Michael Tanner sums this up nicely in his article condemning socialized medicine in the U. S. : “The Europeans have run into a very simple economic rule. If something is for it. Think of it this way: if food were free, would you eat hamburger or steak? At the same time, health care is a finite good. There are only so many doctors, so many hospital beds and so much technology. If people over consume those resources, it drives up the cost of health care. “
All the countries in Europe have this health care system. There are, however, three countries in Europe that allow their citizens to opt out of the official system and to take with a tax credit for the money they paid to the official system, to purchase private insurance in the health market. These countries are Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. In those countries, citizens do not have to pay twice in order to acquire private health insurance. The systems of these three countries are important in that they may point the way to a solution for the current financial problems Western health care systems are experiencing.
This private plan is more expensive but reachable for at least a third of the population. For the most part, people in Europe are happy with the health care they receive. In the Netherlands there is a basic plan that everyone can buy (it is not a government mandate). This covers things such as broken limbs, emergency room visits Oust the visit), and seeing general practitioners. On top of this, a person may buy whatever “premium add-ons they want. An example of an add-on is dental and orthodontic care. With this add-on all the people in the household of the insurance buyer receive ull dental care as well as braces for all the children of the family. Trudy Rubin, who is a Philadelphia Inquirer opinion columnist, says that the United States is not learning valuable lessons from the European system of healthcare. She addresses the three myths that she thinks are thought to be believed as fact. She takes these myths from an excerpt from T. R. Reid. The three myths are as follows: “Myth No. 1, he says, is that foreign systems with universal coverage are all “socialized medicine. ” In countries such as France, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan, the coverage is universal while doctors and insurers are private.
Individuals get their insurance through their workplace, sharing the premium with their employer as we do – and the government picks up the premium if they lose their Job. Myth No. 2, which is long waits and rationed care – is another whopper. “In many developed countries,” Reid writes, “people have quicker access to care and more choice than Americans do. ” In France, Germany, and Japan, you can pick any provider or hospital in the country. Care is speedy and high quality, and no one is turned down. Myth No. 3 really grabs my attention: the delusion that countries with universal care “are wasteful systems run y bloated bureaucracies. ” In fact, the opposite is true. America’s for-profit health insurance companies have the highest administrative costs of any developed country. Twenty percent or more of every premium dollar goes to nonmedical costs: paperwork, marketing, profits, etc. “If a profit is to be made, you need an army of underwriters to deny claims and turn down sick people,” says Reid. ” Canada is another place where health care is run by the government. This came into effect when the parliament unanimously passed the Canadian Health Act in system. Under this law, provinces must ensure that their health care systems respect ive criteria: The first is public administration. This means that the health insurance plans must be administered by a public authority who is accountable to the government. The second is comprehensive benefit. The plan must cover all medically necessary services prescribed by physicians and provided by hospitals. The third is universality. This means all legal residents of the province must be covered. The fourth criterion is portability. Under this, residents continue to be covered if they move or travel from one province to another. And the final criterion is accessibility.
This means that services must be made available to all residents on equal terms, regardless of income, age, or ability to pay. The process which a patient goes through to receive health care is very simple. When a person goes to a doctor for any kind of medical treatment they have to present what is called a provincial health card. This is a credit card-looking piece of plastic that lets your physician know you are a legal user of the system
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