How does the US public health care system work? ⇒

    6 April 2005, late evening

A question asked at ask.mefi. Basically, it doesn't.

This is a post from my link log: If you click the title of this post you will be taken the web page I am discussing.



  1. Using a fake name and address sure beats waiting for 18 months to meet a specialist in the public health care system in Australia.

  2. Yes, because I’m sure you get specialist care at the ER. I don’t think the American system beats much of anything.

  3. That’s simply not true. Or rather, it’s true for many, but not all people. For you, Ram, and for me, and for most middle class Americans, specialist care and the health care system, despite costs, are very, very good. With my parents in the UK, we are astounded to hear how long people just wait for nonemergency care there.

    On the other hand, for the uninsured (me) and poor Americans, yes, the costs can be astronomical or completely impossible. Many people do go without medical care, and that is bad. It’s simply absurd that in the wealthiest (and relatively small in populace) country on earth, there are millions and millions of people going without health care.

    And also, there are prescription drug costs. Spoke to a girl on the airplane from England, who happens to be living in the States for a bit, and she said her father receives 8 different cancer treatments for free. That just wouldn’t happen here. That is a benefit of the universal healthcare systems elsewhere.

    So really it isn’t nearly as black and white as you make it out to be. For some, care is poor and for some it is very, very good. People in Canada and the UK would wait for certain kinds of care far longer than would ever be tolerated here – but people in those countries would receive some forms of care for free and regardless of insurance that would be debilitating-costwise here.

  4. Yeah. Universal health care sure has benefits. In Australia its free. But you hear in television how kids with asthma have to wait 18 months to see a doctor. That sort of a thing won’t happen in America.

    There should be a basic level of care for everyone (free for minors and heavy concessions for retirees). I think that is what is missing in America.

    Also my first response was a bit tongue-in-cheek. I didn’t imply that American system was somehow better. Health care and insurance systems in the US are royally fucked.

    Also to provide universal health care, I am sure taxes would have to be increased. That doesn’t sit well with many. Like Sweden – pay close to 80% of your income as tax but can get a heart translant for 5 bucks!

  5. FTrain discusses US health care.

Don't be shy, you can comment too!

Some things to keep in mind: You can style comments using Textile. In particular, *text* will get turned into text and _text_ will get turned into text. You can post a link using the command "linktext":link, so something like "google": will get turned in to google. I may erase off-topic comments, or edit poorly formatted comments; I do this very rarely.