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Divisive Private vs Public Health Care

sunrise

aka ginger warlock
V.I.P.
Seeing the thread about Obamacare got me thinking about the health service we receive in the UK, to all none UK people on here and who do not know how it works it is very different to the US in the sense of that we pay via our taxes and by paying through them we can be assured that if we need it we will have it. For example I required the assistance of an ambulance on friday and needed to stay in until 9am on saturday morning until they were happy for me to go and happy for me to be discharged. I was allowed to walk out of the door that morning knowing I did not have provide them with any charges to the hospital.

Now you could take a view on it of that if you are paying for it and not ever using it then why pay at all but I think most people would agree that it is reasonable to pay for this service in the UK. The National Health Sservice may not be the best in the world but I can say I would rather have it than not. You do have to pay for medication and for prescriptions. I personally have what is called a pre-paid certificate where I have paid an upfront fee of 103 pounds and for that it means I can get as many prescriptions I require, I collect on average three separate prescriptions per month so for me it is worth paying on the basis that each prescription would cost me around 7 pounds per prescription.

Of course if you do not want the NHS and do not wish to use you you don't have to, you can have private healthcare where you can be seen much faster for things, have much more treatments and it will cover more than just medical procedures but also things like improvements and therapy.

As I have said before the NHS is not perfect and I don't think anyone would ever claim that it is but it is the best we have. You often hear of people having a severe dislike of the NHS saying how awful it is and newspaper will often tell you the NHS does not care and does not work or run well enough and to all of those people I want to shout at them and show them what it is like to live in a country where it does not exist at all and I think they will change their opinion quickly.

What do you think of the NHS if you live in the UK? If you live outside of the UK and are looking in what have you heard of it and what do you think? Is the healthcare you have now and have had adequate? How would you change it?
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
It's similar here in Aus. We have a private and a public system. Basically anyone at all is guaranteed health services, and they won't have to pay a thing under the public system. The private system is better obviously, but you have to pay more for that, like a monthly fee, the people who are in private consider it worth it though, the care is better.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I think its a good idea to have both. Then if you find yourself with a job that doesn't pay much or unemployed you can still see a doctor if you become ill. Probably the big reason people in several other countries can expect to live longer than they do in the US.

The way it is here if your real poor you can get medicaid but if your part of the working poor you probably won't qualify for it unless you have kids. Plus if you are on medicaid or use other public safety nets like food stamps people here will cut you down for it. Which some people abuse it but the vast majority don't.
 

Elanor

Registered Member
I personally think the NHS can be brilliant. Yes, there are times when it doesn't work as efficiently as it could, but I think that can be said for most large organisations. It is reassuring to know that if I was injured/seriously ill, I wouldn't have to worry about paying for my healthcare.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
Nothing ever works as well as the free market. Those in societies that have socialized medicine benefit from advancements made and discovered in free markets. Markets respond much better and must faster to the needs of people than the government ever could or would. That said there has to be some kind of regulation of markets and there should be safety nets for those that cannot afford certain services. Of course sometimes some of these safety nets interfere too much with the market which drives up prices but are for the most part necessary nonetheless.
 

Van

Heavy Weapons Guy
V.I.P.
Higher wait times, rationing, and increased overall costs are common side affects of public medicine. Private medicine certainly has those problems but they are few and far between because there is incentive to increase efficiency.

As stated I agree that we should have some kind of safety net but this should be regulated to make sure people who don't need the assistance aren't abusing the system, which I would argue for every other welfare program, food stamps for instance.

Now someone will inevitably say "well the US" spends the most on healthcare in the world, therefore since the US currently has a largely privately operated industry private must be worse than public. Well there are several factors to keep in mind. Those numbers include abortion (which is not healthcare, just the opposite), we are one of the wealthiest nations gross and per capita so extra money gets spent, we are selfish people who love to eat crap and not exercise, and we pay for it. We eat processed foods like we breath air and this the cancer rate is high, etc. there are a lot of factors that affect the cost comparison between the two. But I guarantee this, the government's overhead rate (while nearly impossible to calculate) is much higher (in this country and others) than private companies thus costs will be more in public medicine.

As CO mentioned many socialized medical systems benefit from medical advances in free markets. And of course they should but I think this gives some people an illusion that public medicine is as good and as efficient as private which will never be the case.
 

sunrise

aka ginger warlock
V.I.P.
I don't think anyone would ever argue that the public system is better than private health care, there are a lot of things about the public system in the UK that need to be improved. What angers me the most is how much people are willing to complain about how bad it is but are unwilling to do anything about it go private. I accept that the NHS may not be the best in the world, I accept that it needs to be improved but honestly I think here in the UK it is pretty good. I think the main thing that private health care gives is effectively a bump in the line over people who are not in private health care.

I am unsure if the over heads are higher than in private here in the UK but I know that the higher ups will stretch the budgets to breaking point if they have to save some money. For example, I know of a Special Care Baby Unit near to where I lived was wanting to be moved two hours drive up the road. Two hours may not sound like a lot but when a baby is in a critical condition that is crucial.

And who gets the blame for this? The staff, the staff are harassed, over worked, underpaid, abused on a regular basis and they can do nothing about it and that makes me sick, yes it is frustrating when you have to wait in an A&E room but that is something we have to accept and put up with.

I would like to ask the US readers of this thread what the situation is for you? Would you like to see a similar situation to what we have in the UK? What is that is so wrong with proposed care that Obama wishes to put in place?
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
Public and private systems need to be available. Tens of thousands of people die in the US every year from lack of insurance and without insurance, you're basically fucked. I don't honestly trust my government or my economy to run a successful healthcare system. Our costs are through the roof even with premium coverage. Of course, that coverage is going to change the instant you have a serious health problem. Obamacare is not the system I'm looking for but I'd like to see something way more affordable and with better coverage for sure.

The American healthcare system is a joke and is owned, like a lot of things here, by corporate America and its interests.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
One thing that shocked me about the US health system, is that I recently watched a video where a girl got bitten by a rattlesnake in America, and had to be rushed to hospital. She was treated with anti-venom or she would have died, or lost her arm. And it cost her $140,000!!!

That just blew my mind. In Australia if the same thing happened, anyone could have been treated with anti-venom under the public health system, no matter what their income or anything, and it wouldn't have cost them a dime.

I don't know many people who can afford $140K. For a snake bite too seems shocking.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
That's part of the big problem with the current system in my mind. One serious incident and BAM you're in debt. You'd think with all the crippling debt and health issues this country has already, you'd try to find some ways to lighten the load for the sake of the economy, right?
 
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