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View Full Version : Should Helth Care be Socialized?


CFC
25-07-2004, 01:54 PM
In the US we do not have socialized health care. In the US or any country for that matter, should the government put aside money to set up a free health care system? Would a social health care system be as good as a private one or even better?

I ask this because this week I had a medical exam at a free clinic for the DOD(Department of Defense). I noticed a few differences between the free center and the doctors office I usually go to.

For you people who have socialized health care, how is your system?

Which one do you think is better socialized or private?

Edit: I can't spell.

Hazzle
25-07-2004, 02:18 PM
In the US we do not have socialized health care. In the US or any country for that matter, should the government put aside money to set up a free health care system? Would a social health care system be as good as a private one or even better?

I ask this because this week I had a medical exam at a free clinic for the DOD(Department of Defense). I noticed a few differences between the free center and the doctors office I usually go to.

For you people who have socialized health care, how is your system?

Which one do you think is better socialized or private?

The NHS is awesomeness, it just needs modernising and some throwing of cash at it...sadly governments give with one hand and taketh away with the other...but yeah, I'd say our healthcare system, on the whole, does remarkably well on what little investment it gets. I think a lot of the staff are more in it for the caring aspect than the paycheck too, as they get paid so little...I think when you're earning more money you're more inclined to see patients as customers...whether that's good or not I'll leave you to decide.

Sarah
25-07-2004, 03:26 PM
Free Health care is fantastic! I love the NHS, I'd be dead without it (quite literally). Free Health care! Wooo!

But truthfully, I think the US should have free healthcare, how much would you have to pay for treatment for a broken leg?

Dyce_Blue
25-07-2004, 03:39 PM
I'm no expert on healthcare, and my view may be biased because I live in a huge city. My mom is a nurse in the ER at the biggest trauma center in Texas, and I myself have visited several times. The American healthcare system is built around health insurance. For certain unhealthy individuals, this insurance can become quite pricy, just like auto insurance. The one difference I have learned about is the wait associated with receiving healthcare. I'm not sure of statistics, but across the pond, people have to wait a lot more than in the US for non-emergency injuries. In America, receiving treatment is virtually automatic. I'm OK with it the way it is. For lower income individuals, there are different ways to pay that take a lot off of the price. Again, my perception may be clouded.

MarkOB
25-07-2004, 10:37 PM
As an old-fashioned Tory, I think the NHS would be much better off if we stopped paying for it from the government down and started paying from the patient up.

In 2002-03, central government spent about £50 billion on healthcare. That's about the same as it received from VAT (a little less, but close enough).

If we abolished £50 billion worth of taxes, all taxpayers would be about £1,500 better off.

Then we could all start to pay for our own medical treatment on the NHS on demand.

I think that health in Britain is another one of those areas where people think that the socialists, led by Clement Attlee after the war, did us all a great deed. Yet at last people are starting to realise that it's not good enough to preach about the principles of the NHS, because nobody cares about ideology if they're laying on the floor in a hospital waiting room because your hospital can't afford any beds.


Well, that's what I think! :)

duckula
25-07-2004, 10:39 PM
Government down thanks, the NHS has always served me and mine well with a minimum of bullshit. I'm all about helping the helpless.

Spire
25-07-2004, 10:39 PM
I don't think the US can afford free health care right now, considering the shape of the economy and the size of the national debt.

CFC
25-07-2004, 10:40 PM
One one hand: I do not think it should be socialized. The quality of my health has to do with the quality of my health care provider. The quality of my health care provider is determined with how well it competes with its peers. That competition is created by the advantages of a private or capitalized system.


On the other hand: I believe everybody has the right to be in good health and should not be denied care due to lack of money.

MarkOB
25-07-2004, 10:47 PM
Government down thanks, the NHS has always served me and mine well with a minimum of bullshit. I'm all about helping the helpless.


We are all about helping the helpless, but you can't really offer that as an alternative policy. In truth, isn't it nothing more than a cuddly little platitude?

duckula
25-07-2004, 10:53 PM
No, the NHS provides healthcare for all. Mmmkay?

MarkOB
25-07-2004, 11:01 PM
But what if the NHS can't manage to provide healthcare for all? Some have to go without and then those who go on about the principles of the NHS are no longer about 'helping the helpless' but about 'helping the helpless, give or take a few who are beyond help'!

Hazzle
26-07-2004, 12:38 AM
But what if the NHS can't manage to provide healthcare for all? Some have to go without and then those who go on about the principles of the NHS are no longer about 'helping the helpless' but about 'helping the helpless, give or take a few who are beyond help'!

I'm an old fashioned Tory, doesn't mean I think private healthcare is per se the way to go. A reformed NHS is the way to go, a few tweaks...but the system as a whole works. If it didn't most of us would be sick at the moment...now shush...it's rare me and Ducky agree, and if we do it's a sign we're right...nuff said :)

acliff
26-07-2004, 07:43 AM
But what if the NHS can't manage to provide healthcare for all? Some have to go without and then those who go on about the principles of the NHS are no longer about 'helping the helpless' but about 'helping the helpless, give or take a few who are beyond help'!

The NHS has so far, for me and mine, provided adequate service and healthcare. In fact they've even given me and my sister braces free of charge, even though we didn't actually have anything particularly wrong with them.

If you are ill then you will be treated. Now, those beyond help, the terminally ill are cared for too. Of course private healthcare is a bit more personal and may provide you with better/swifter care, but thats because you've just thrown money at the problem. The NHS is in my opinion, is one of the best healthcare systems in the world, in addition to our extended welfare state, which makes all the refugees and immigrants flock to British shores.

MarkOB
26-07-2004, 11:02 AM
I'm an old fashioned Tory, doesn't mean I think private healthcare is per se the way to go. A reformed NHS is the way to go, a few tweaks...but the system as a whole works. If it didn't most of us would be sick at the moment...now shush...it's rare me and Ducky agree, and if we do it's a sign we're right...nuff said :)

I agree with you about a reformed NHS. I think my party does place too much emphasis on promoting private healthcare. But if people were required to pay for their treatment (in exchange for which, the government could cut £50 billion worth of taxes) that would cut out a lot of bureaucracy and centralise the system around the patient. Those would be extremely worthwhile 'tweaks'.

MarkOB
26-07-2004, 11:04 AM
The NHS has so far, for me and mine, provided adequate service and healthcare. In fact they've even given me and my sister braces free of charge, even though we didn't actually have anything particularly wrong with them.

If you are ill then you will be treated. Now, those beyond help, the terminally ill are cared for too. Of course private healthcare is a bit more personal and may provide you with better/swifter care, but thats because you've just thrown money at the problem. The NHS is in my opinion, is one of the best healthcare systems in the world, in addition to our extended welfare state, which makes all the refugees and immigrants flock to British shores.

But the NHS is so overstretched. I realise that some of the scare stories about the state of our hospitals are a bit overdone, but we still have longer waiting times, fewer doctors per thousand, fewer nurses, and a poorer deal of everything that the developed countries we are supposed to be partners with, many of whom actually have fewer resources than we do.

hasselbrad
26-07-2004, 12:03 PM
...could fuck up a steel ball.
Seriously. Nobody in the U.S. goes without healthcare simply becuase they don't have access to it. There are all kinds of indigent care available to those who are willing to use it. The best hospital in Tampa (surgery wise) is Tampa General. That's the same hospital that treats every bum with a flesh wound that staggers in off the street.
Our current system isn't perfect, but last time I checked, there isn't anything in this world (save for Keira) that is.

Hazzle
26-07-2004, 11:52 PM
Our current system isn't perfect, but last time I checked, there isn't anything in this world (save for Keira) that is.

I AM!

Oh...and I agree with Private-Public partnership, utilising business models of private medicine to make the NHS more efficient, ring fencing...but no, not private healthcare for all.

I'd much rather cut down the amount the government spends on spin...oh...and deal with the 7 billion worth of benefit fraud that we KNOW about that goes on every year...the figure could be 5 or 6 times as much...sure it's not quite 50 billion, but the fact is, we'd probably hardly notice the tax cuts with how much we'd pay for health insurance...it wouldn't be cheaper.

It'd also inspire people to seek treatment MUCH later...because the more insurance is used, the more the premium goes up...everyone knows that. Imagine all the cancer patients who'd not get checked until it was too late?

MarkOB
27-07-2004, 12:07 AM
I AM!

Oh...and I agree with Private-Public partnership, utilising business models of private medicine to make the NHS more efficient, ring fencing...but no, not private healthcare for all.

I'd much rather cut down the amount the government spends on spin...oh...and deal with the 7 billion worth of benefit fraud that we KNOW about that goes on every year...the figure could be 5 or 6 times as much...sure it's not quite 50 billion, but the fact is, we'd probably hardly notice the tax cuts with how much we'd pay for health insurance...it wouldn't be cheaper.

It'd also inspire people to seek treatment MUCH later...because the more insurance is used, the more the premium goes up...everyone knows that. Imagine all the cancer patients who'd not get checked until it was too late?

I agree with you about most of that, but I still think that we could at least investigate the thought of being radical about the NHS. We're too afraid to think of something outrageously different just because nobody's had a real think about it yet.

And I agree that my beliefs about NHS reform do beg a lot of questions, e.g. would this make all healthcare private healthcare; what if I blow all my spare thousands on gambling and tobacco?!

But I do think that a lot of people are afraid of thinking radically about this for fear of it going horribly wrong.

MarkOB
27-07-2004, 12:09 AM
And I don't think there's anything wrong with looking at radical changes when all that this Labour government can do is throw more money and more money still at the services. Fat lot of good that's doing!

Hazzle
27-07-2004, 12:11 AM
I grew up a Thatcherite child...and I grew up with an immense admiration for her and her policies...so don't think me unwilling to be radical in reforms...just think going the FULL hog of privatisation in the NHS is probably something even Thatcher herself wouldn't have done. It's different privatising utlities (and that has panned out well, and I totally agree with it)...look at how poor Railtrack privatisation worked? Where health and safety are concerned, we have to be a little more cautious in reform.

MarkOB
27-07-2004, 12:45 AM
I grew up a Thatcherite child...and I grew up with an immense admiration for her and her policies...so don't think me unwilling to be radical in reforms...just think going the FULL hog of privatisation in the NHS is probably something even Thatcher herself wouldn't have done. It's different privatising utlities (and that has panned out well, and I totally agree with it)...look at how poor Railtrack privatisation worked? Where health and safety are concerned, we have to be a little more cautious in reform.

To reform the system in such a way as mentioned earlier is not necessarily to privatise the system. In practice, even though I talk of grand reform and radicalism, it's simply changing how it's paid for and getting rid of a few bureaucrats in the process (probably a win-win situation in both cases). I can see (obviously!) that you're not a socialist who clings to Clement Attlee's days and all that. I agree with you that privatising utilities is different to privatising services such as healthcare. But it's not as though what I suggested would be privatisation. All it really does is send power from the top down to the bottom up.

acliff
27-07-2004, 08:04 AM
But the NHS is so overstretched. I realise that some of the scare stories about the state of our hospitals are a bit overdone, but we still have longer waiting times, fewer doctors per thousand, fewer nurses, and a poorer deal of everything that the developed countries we are supposed to be partners with, many of whom actually have fewer resources than we do.

The problems are exaggerated for political use. My mum had to weight a tolerably short time for a recent varicose vein operation. Which is hardly life threatening. I'm sure you know that statistics can be used to make a point, but can be warped to enhance it.

From my family's experience, we've had good service. We've been to private health care too, for various different things, and although it is better, the NHS should be supported more, and shouldn't be made out to be the downfall of our society. Considering that most countries don't have a national health service, and if you're poor, you're essentially fucked. This is the case in Korea.

MarkOB
27-07-2004, 08:51 AM
I'm the first to accept that some of the scare stories are exaggerated and hyped up. But the fact remains that the NHS is poorly structured. We are still in a situation where it's not the doctor and the hospital manager which takes decisions, but the bureaucrat and the politician. The fact remains also that we have fewer doctors per thousand and fewer nurses per thousand than most of our rich friends.

I worry that in our public services we look for the lowest common denominator. We look for a low standard of achievement and then when we reach that we don't try to progress any further.